A The Blacklist Community
Monday 10:00 PM on NBC (Returning September 22nd, 2014)
*WARNING SPOILERS FOR "MAKO TANIDA"*

I've got a new theory about Tom and his crazy commitment to this mission. Tom's behavior seems too extreme to be explained by simple professionalism, especially considering that some of it has arguably hurt his standing with Berlin.

Evidence of abnormal commitment to "Mission Tom Keen":

1) He fought this mission, for the opportunity to spend multiple years pretending to be a completely different person 24-7. It's hard to imagine that any amount of money is going to be worth that.

2) Reddington has nearly killed him once, has since subtly threatened to finish the job, and yet Tom has held his ground.

3) Tom moved heaven and earth to frame Red without direction from or the assistance of his employers, and risked life long incarceration to stay put.

4) He kills Jolene without checking with Berlin if it was okay to murder another operative in the name of keeping his cover in place. This is after he already knows Berlin has doubts about him.

Because I am an incurable romantic, my first thought was that it was the power of love. I'm not giving up on that possibility, but I realized that it is possible for this to be personal to Tom in a way that has nothing to do with Liz.

Tom stops briefing Jolene on his Red-Liz research to tell her about the time he could have shot Red in the head. He seems gung ho on that plan and is displeased when Jolene seems uninterested in the suggestion. My theory: I think Red might be responsible for the death of someone Tom loved. This might have even been a lifelong vendetta. One of Tom's parents may have been one of those American spies that were supposedly exposed by Reddington in 1994.

Something else that might support this theory: Red hasn't killed Tom yet. For weeks we've asked ourselves why. Red swore to protect Liz by any means necessary. I'm sure Red could have killed Tom a hundred different way and not have it traced back to him, yet Tom still lives. I think Red knows who Tom used to be and because of that he is reluctant to kill him.

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