Clark Middleton who played Glen Carter in The Blacklist, did not leave the show, but passed away prior to the season eight filming.
During its eight-season run, The Blacklist has dealt with many deaths of fan-favourite characters in the story. The biggest of those losses was that of Elizabeth “Liz” Keen in the season’s final episode.
During the season, one of the most touching deaths was that of Raymond Reddington’s tracker, Glen Carter, played by actor Clark Middleton. Writing off the character was not an easy decision for the producers, but it gave the actor a fitting send-off after his untimely passing before the shooting of season eight.
Glen Carter is the only The Blacklist character specifically created
Clark Middleton, in the role of Glen Carter, was introduced during the second season of The Blacklist.
When the character was first introduced, his appearance was envisioned as a one-episode cameo, but after Middleton’s audition, the producers grew fond of his character and decided to write the character in as one of the main guest characters on the series. This made him the only character on The Blacklist that was specifically written with the actor in mind.
The creator at the time, Jon Bokenkamp, explained this decision, stating, “We just loved him. His character started with our love of Clark and how great he is at what he does.”
Why did Glen leave The Blacklist?
Glen Carter was introduced in season two of The Blacklist. But on the series, he made an appearance in a total of 13 episodes between season two and season seven. Despite this, he was one of the most beloved characters on the series.
Therefore, the cast and crew, like its audience, was saddened by the news that the actor, Clark Middleton, passed away in October 2020.
The official statement shared by his wife, Elissa Middleton, confirming the news read: “With heavy hearts, we announce the passing of a life eminently worthy of celebration: Clark Tinsley Middleton, 63 — beloved actor, writer, director, teacher, hero, husband, beacon, friend. Clark transitioned on October 4th as a result of West Nile Virus, for which there is no known cure. Clark was a beautiful soul who spent a lifetime defying limits and advocating for people with disabilities.”
His passing was confirmed prior to the beginning of season eight’s shooting, which left the writers of the series questioning what to do with his character in the story.
In November of 2020, Bokenkamp spoke on this conundrum, stating, “We talked about different versions of it: Do we not say anything? Do we just imagine that Glen’s still out there in Red’s orbit and we just don’t see him and we hide it? We made the choice to acknowledge his death on the show, and that’s going to happen fairly soon in the season.”
How did Glen die in The Blacklist?
The writers and the producers of the series opted to mirror reality, as in the story, Glen died from the same cause as the actor did in real life, the West Nile virus.
In episode six, titled The Well Stone Agency (No. 127), Glen’s death is confirmed and his final wishes were that Reddington gets Huey Lewis to play at his memorial service and to spread his ashes at the Statue of Liberty.
In the next episode, the series gave the character a full-circle moment when Glen’s mother found a manuscript that Glen had written about his adventures with Reddington revealing that Glen wrote it, instead of him being a muse for Huey Lewis to write the manuscript.
Jon Bokenkamp bids Clark Middleton farewell
Creator and executive producer of The Blacklist, Jon Bokenkamp, publicly honoured Clark Middleton after the news of his passing. Bokenkamp shared a statement which read:
“Besides being a truly unique and gifted actor, Clark was simply an incredible guy in every way. I know his entire family at The Blacklist is devastated by this news. Clark was one of the good ones, and we lost him way too soon.”
Megan Boone bids Clark Middleton farewell
The lead actress wrote:
“Our friend, Clark Middleton, a fan-favorite actor who frequently came to work with us on The Blacklist, passed away today. I’ll always be grateful to him for the talent and kindness he shared with us. His character, Glen was an indelible part of our show, as anyone who watches it knows. Losing him will cast a shadow as we begin to shoot season eight next week. My thoughts are with his friends, family and wife, Elissa. Rest In Peace.”