What will happen to Tom?
Because of the Flash Forward a lot of us are wondering about Tom’s fate in 05x08 - will he be killed or will he live? Obviously if he is killed, there would be a major shift in the show. First let’s look at support that he will be killed or mortally wounded.
1) The TVLine Blind Item: Rumor has it that an hour-long drama series on one of the Big 5 broadcast networks is poised to kill off one of its most popular characters (an original series regular), while tacking on a time-tripping twist straight out of How to Get Away With Murder.
According to sources, if the storyline is approved by The Powers That Be at the network, the character in question would be murdered in the show’s forthcoming season premiere, at which point the action would jump back two months. Subsequent episodes would continue to chronicle the eight weeks leading up to [REDACTED]’s death all while dropping clues about the party — or parties? — potentially responsible for the shocking crime.
2) The TVLine Blind Item confirmed to be The Blacklist: For the last two months, TVLine readers have been placing their bets on the answer to this Blind Item, which hinted that an hourlong broadcast drama would kill off a major character — via flash-forward, at least — during its season premiere. For those who guessed that The Blacklist would be the one to off a series regular, you can officially redeem those long-awaited bragging rights.
3) Jon Bokenkamp while not confirming Tom’s death, does confirm the Flash Forward will happen: “ We thought, “Why not give a taste of something that’s going to come?” People can see that it’s still a very strange and dark and dangerous and, at times, bloody show. We felt like that was a nice little tease of something big to come. We wanted to acknowledge to the audience that the journey Tom is starting on really puts him on a collision course with trouble. “
4) The description of 05x08 indicates a cosmic shift in the show:
11/15/2017 (08:00PM - 09:00PM) (Wednesday) : FALL FINALE. When Tom (Ryan Eggold) goes missing, Liz (Megan Boone) desperately retraces his steps in order to find him. Meanwhile Red’s (James Spader) hunt for the suitcase of bones puts him on a collision course with Tom that will change everyone’s lives forever.
4) Now let’s look at the promo pics for 05x08 that have been released, along with the 05x01 Flash Forward and try to put them in order - or not!
Above it appears Tom is beat up somewhat. He has a cut above his left eye and some under his left nostril. He also has a little bit of blood on his jacket and a little more on the lower part of his shirt. So someone knocked him around. But he is obviously very much alive.
Now some wonder if the above pic is taken after Tom got initially beat up in the first pic. It’s hard to tell. He may have a cut over his left eye. Certainly there is nothing substantial here as far as wounds. Did he hook up with Red after his first fight (and after changing his clothes)? I am not convinced though because of the following pics from the Flash Forward in 05x01
Compare the above pic with the first one. He appears to be wearing the same jacket, but unlike the first pic there is way more blood. His face is cut up more, he has blood on his neck, more blood on his jacket, and his shirt is soaked with blood. And this looks to be the same shirt he was wearing in the first pic too. So this obviously happened after the first pic and after the scene with Tom and Red in the 2nd pic. This leads me to believe that the 2nd pic may have been the first in the sequence. Not sure. Either way the 3rd pic appears to be the last one in sequence as his wounds are way more severe than in the prior pics.
Now support for Tom not being killed:
1) It looks like Tom does die in this pic but we don’t know for sure - yet:
2) JB in his interview after 05x01 does not confirm Tom dies.
3) Ryan was tweeted to be in a production trailer during the filming of E05x09. Rebuttal to that - He could have been there to re-do a scene in 05x08, or do a voice-over, or be filmed in a casket for the cemetery scene coming up in 05x09, or film a flashback or dream sequence for Liz. We just don’t know yet.
In any case, personally I am actually enjoying Tom this season like I did in Season 1. He is good at being a bad guy - reckless, dangerous, hiding stuff from Liz, doing stuff behind her back, putting her in danger by using her badge, confronting Red (and you can feel the hate emitting from Red, especially in E05x03), and not thinking things through. It’s like Red said - all this is in Tom’s nature. Men like Tom don’t change. And with all the foreshadowing, even if Tom survives this (which I strongly doubt), it appears the Liz and Tom are doomed forever.