When he was 3 years old, Christopher Hargrave was kidnapped from his parents Susan and Howard Hargrave. His mother mentioned it has been 28 years since his disappearance, which makes him 31 years old by the event of "Susan Hargrave".
As a foster child by the name of Jacob Phelps, he was a petty thief who was eventually recruited at a young age by an underground spy trainer known as the Major in 1994. As an adult, he was hired by Raymond Reddington to keep an eye on Elizabeth Keen, however Jacob got romantically involved with Elizabeth which led Reddington to fire him.
To protect himself and to remain with Elizabeth, Jacob went to Milos Kirchoff and the Major reassigned Jacob's contract to Milos when offered to double Red's original price.
As part of his cover, Phelps took the identity of Thomas Vincent Keen and started working as a fourth grade teacher. He and Liz eventually married and made plans to adopt a child.
Tom and Liz oversleep and are awakened by their dog, Hudson, on Liz's first day as an FBI profiler. While they are getting ready for work he shows her two fliers and asks her to choose which one he should visit with his community group. He also wants the car, but because Liz is late he agrees that she can have it. When the FBI arrive outside to take Liz, she gives him the car keys.
He calls Liz and goes to the adoption meeting alone.
When Liz returns home she finds Tom tied to a chair. He is tortured and stabbed by Ranko Zamani, then taken to hospital where he is placed on a ventilator.
While he is in the hospital, Liz tries to clean the carpet because Tom's blood was all over the floor. She gets angry and starts to peel the carpet off. Underneath, she finds a compartment in her wood floor, and in the compartment is a box, containing multiple fake passports all with Tom's picture on them. Also, she finds a gun and money, and suddenly faces a dilemma about what to do. She could confront him and see him deny it, or she could look up the gun in the system and have Tom arrested. She carpets the floor before he comes back, that way she can still make her decision.
He wakes up in hospital while Liz is at his bedside.
He returns home with Liz. That night Liz finds a touching testimony he made for the adoption agency about her. She cries after seeing the testimony, and considers her next move.
He is starting to recover though still using a wheelchair. He speaks to Elizabeth Keen and says that he wishes she could talk to him about her work. Their friend Ellie then arrives to make him some more breakfast then take him to his physiotherapy session while Liz is at work.
When Liz returns that evening he apologises for what he said that morning and that he understands her position.
When Liz is moping at her computer after the witness was killed, he notices the date on her pad and assumes that she is cheering herself up, since on the computer for that date 23 June 2012 is a series of pictures from a romantic break that they had taken that day.
When Liz comes home after being rescued, he tells her that he has booked a three day break for them in the same place as before.
In Liz's dream he attacks her when she confronts him about the box, but in real life he tells her that he has booked an ultrasound scan with the mother of their child.
He finds the box and spends the rest of the episode trying to contact LIz. When she returns home that night he tells he that they need to talk, with the box open on the table.
He and Elizabeth Keen argue about the box and its contents. He eventually challenges Liz to inform the FBI about the box. She then makes the call.
He is brought to the Post Office blindfolded and Liz tells him that this is where she works.
He is interrogated by Meera Malik about the gun and the reason for his presence in Boston on the day of the murder. He claims no knowledge of the gun and tells Meera that he had a job interview in the hotel.
After checking Meera presents him with a picture of the school principal, whom he fails to recognize.
Once Gina Zanetakos has admitted being the killer he is released. As he is being escorted through the operations room he sees a picture of Newton Phillips on the board and identifies him as the man who interviewed him for the non-existent teaching position.
He and Liz discuss remodelling their house to erase the bad memories of the past few weeks.
When Liz arrives home from work, he has recreated the scene from their first night in the house as a date night.
He takes the call from Liz's aunt saying how sick Liz's father is, and because Liz is unable to leave, flies to Nebraska to see her father.
He arrives after Liz's father has passed away and is sitting outside having a coffee thinking about how to tell Liz, when Raymond Reddington joins him and tells him that Liz is stronger than he thinks, and that she will be OK. Red also mentions that Liz's father will "always be there protecting her" in what seems to be a threatening fashion. Tom, pretending not to know Red replies: "I hope you are right".
He consoles Liz while she is going through Sam's possessions prior to going to work.
He calls Liz while she is a prisoner of Anslo Garrick, but Garrick answers the call. Liz calls out to him to call the FBI, but it is unclear if he heard her since he did not make the call.
Once Liz is free and the operation has ended he tries to convince Liz to leave the unit and the FBI and move to a rural community.
Tom applies for a job in Lincoln, Nebraska without telling Liz, until he has to go to an interview.
Tom tells Liz that although he went to Nebraska, he did not attend the job interview. He reminds Liz that they are hosting a baby shower that evening.
During the baby shower he and Liz argue about the fact that Liz is not intending to take time off work in the period after the baby arrives. The argument is ended by Lucy Brooks when she introduces herself.
After Liz leaves (to raid Eric Trettel's laboratory) Lucy flirts with Tom and invites him to a photography exhibition.
When Liz stands him up again, he goes to the exhibition with Lucy.
He and Liz watch a sonogram of the baby they intend to adopt, and discuss their plans and check that they have all the accessories needed.
Upon the completion of case Liz tells him that she can't go through with the adoption and challenges him to say that he does not have any doubts about their relationship or the adoption. After Liz has delivered her bombshell, he spends time with Lucy Brooks.
After he and Liz fight over the adoption, he goes to Orlando, alone, since he believes they should spend time apart. Once there, he meets Lucy Brooks.
Tom and Lucy Brooks are out together and eventually meet up in a hotel bar bathroom, where they begin to make out. Lucy starts giggling and Tom begins to question his previous and current actions. Lucy gives Tom a room key for room 618 and leaves the bathroom without Tom. He is later seen drinking at the bar, fiddling with his wedding ring. He then decides to go to Lucy's room and tells her that he cannot have an affair with her because he loves his wife, Elizabeth Keen. Lucy replies with, "Wrong answer, Liz is not your wife, she's your target", thus prompting Tom to reveal his true nature by talking about "Them", the company he works for. Tom then reveals that he only married Liz because the "company" ordered him to.
Tom kills Lucy Brooks and the Cowboy because they have become security risks to his mission.
Before killing Lucy, he has her give Liz a cover story explaining her leaving the city.
He barely escapes, after Liz discovers his safe house. He later calls his contact at a bank to tell her to tell Milos Kirchoff that the safe house was exposed.
He and Liz renew their wedding vows.
He tells Maly that he is accountable to Milos Kirchoff.
He calls his contact at the bank for an escape route. Later, Red hires the Pavlovich brothers to raid his safehouse. They bring Tom to the Keen house. After arguing with Liz, he escapes and tells Liz that Red is using her for his own ends.
Tom figures out that he is being followed and captures the man following him. He then tells the man to call Red and tell him that he lost the lead. He takes the man to a room and kills him, after telling him about his boss, Berlin.
At the beginning of the episode, where Tom Keen appears, he provides a list of the people who work for the FBI alongside Raymond Reddington to his employer after the plane crash. Later, he takes Liz hostage and tries to use her to stop Red from killing Milos Kirchoff, however, Liz disarms him and shoots him three times in the stomach. While he lays on the floor, apparently dying, he whispers to Liz that her real father is still alive. When the FBI SWAT team storms the room where Tom supposedly died, the camera zooms in on the area of the floor where Tom's wounded body was. It is unknown whether his corpse was removed, or he survived his injuries.
Liz has a nightmare about being confronted by Tom and Red.
Liz mentions Tom in her cover story to Linus Creel.
He is mentioned in Liz's reminisces to Samar Navabi.
He is seen as Liz's prisoner on a abandoned ship.
He tells Liz the identity of Berlin's weapons dealer.
At the beginning of the episode, he is seen in a flashback holding Liz hostage, and is being transported in a car to Ellie. While being held hostage on a boat, he kills Eugene while Liz shoots Samuel Alecko. After he kills Eugene and Liz shoots Samuel in the foot, he tells her that she should call Kathryn Nemec. Later, he makes a deal with Liz and Donald Ressler in exchange for information on Milos Kirchoff, he is allowed to escape. Ressler then tells Tom that he will arrest him eventually.
Tom goes to his primary employer, The Major, whom he addresses as "Bud", and asks for another assignment, any kind. The Major wants him to hold out for something classier, where his good, clean looks will be an asset, but Tom insists. He is sent to Germany to infiltrate Die Entrechteten (German for "the disenfranchised"), a white supremacist drug cartel based in Dresden. Before going underground, he calls Liz and tells her he is going undercover. When she tells him that she is too, he gives her some advice on how to act.
With his new identity in place, "Christof Mannheim", Tom disguises himself as a Neo-Nazi, shaving his hair down to a crew cut and covering his body with Nazi-related tattoos, including the text "Deutschland für die Deutschen" ("Germany for the Germans") and Schutzstaffel (SS) bolts on his neck. Fully in character, he goes to a bar and picks a fight with a large customer, eventually knocking him down. This impresses a senior member of Die Entrechten, who buys him a beer.
In a flashback to New York in 1994, Tom, then a young boy named Jacob Phelps, is shown running from a man carrying a stolen purse. As he runs in the streets, a car pulls along side of him and allows him to enter to help in his escape. Inside the car, a man, presumably The Major, offers Tom a way out of his life in the foster system, leading to his training as a spy.
In the present, Tom, undercover with Die Entrechteten, overhears them complaining about their current arms supplier, a man named Kohl. One of the members says Kohl is too conspicuous, but a senior member tells him that he is the only one they can go to since it isn't safe to do arms dealing across the German border. Tom tells them he knows someone in Salzburg who can help, but the senior member isn't willing to try since Tom is a very fresh recruit. To further his plan, Tom tracks down Kohl and assassinates him as he's driving. The Germans, left without options, ask Tom about his contact.
Reddington and Agent Ressler go to Germany to locate Tom and convince him to return to clear Liz's name. Reddington creates a means to reach Tom by disrupting an arms sale and inserts himself into the sale. Reluctant to hear him, Tom eventually decides to help Liz in her trial. He appears before the judge to confess to the murder of the harbor master and claim Liz had no involvement and even tried to stop him from committing the murder. Even with evidence that Liz was not guilty for the murder, the judge still plans to hold her on perjury, kidnapping, and other charges. However, Thomas Connolly appears and orders the indictment stopped, saying the judge has no authority at the federal level. Liz and Cooper are protected by the judge's ruling and Tom is released.
Liz asks for his help when Red's life is in danger.
Aids Liz in her search.
Tom is seen at the beginning of the episode having breakfast with Liz Keen. When Reddington calls Liz he tells her not to answer then asks her to call him Jacob, his real name.
He aids Elizabeth Keen in finding Leo Andropov to obtain information from Andropov, and the 2 successfully obtain the information Elizabeth Keen needs for Harold Cooper. However, they fail to capture Andropov, instead they arrive after Cabal agents have killed Andropov.
Tom follows Agent Ressler to his home. Noticing that, Ressler turns around and aims his gun at Tom. Tom holds up his hands and states to him, "We need to talk".
Cooper informs Tom that finding Karakurt is the best way to exonerate Liz and reveals that Karakurt is presumably hiding with his brother in law's crime syndicate. Tom later tells Cooper that Asher Sutton is the key in finding Karakurt and later Tom poses as a gambler to gain Sutton's attention. Tom was successful in getting his attention and was indentified as a fraud by him. Yet Sutton took a interest in him and Tom followed his lead after asking him what was around there.
During a sit down with Sutton, Tom claimed to be a man named Matt Buckley and Sutton invited him to his engagement party. He later reveals to Cooper that being exposed was part of his plan. At the engagment party Sutton is bothered by a Russian man demanding money and Tom convinces him to leave. Afterwards he offers his help and Sutton reveals that he is being extorted by Russians for money. Tom helps by killing the Russian that previously bothered Sutton.
Tom and Asher are captured by the crime syndicate due to Tom killing their collector in the previous episode and they are forced to fight each other to the death. Tom kills Asher after trying to avoid it and afterwards demands to meet the boss. During the meeting he kills 3 men (1 indirectly) and captures Karakurt.
Elizabeth goes to see Tom at the dock where he proposes to her. Elizabeth says she doesn’t know what she wants in the future but she knows what she wants right now. At the end of the episode Tom goes to see Reddington. Reddington forbids Tom from marrying Lizzie, stating “you already married her once without my approval, you won’t do it again.”
Tom returns home to Liz after receiving a suitcase full of bones.
Tom enlists Dr. Nik to identify the bones in the suitcase. Later, Tom tracks a phone number to Albert, the man who helped Kathryn Nemec get the suitcase to Tom. Tom arrives at Albert’s house to find him bloody and tied up. Tom hides in the closet when Reddington arrives and threatens Albert in an attempt to find the suitcase. Albert refuses to tell Reddington who has the suitcase, and Reddington shoots him. Albert tells Tom to "find Oleander” then dies.
After being kidnapped, Tom is stabbed in the abdomen in an attempt to murder him and then Liz. Despite his injuries, Tom fights back in an attempt to save himself and Liz. As Tom is being strangled to death, Red arrives with Dembe and shoots all of the men in the room. Dembe discovers that Tom has lost a lot of blood and does not believe that he and Liz will make it. Despite this, Red rushes Tom to the hospital with the help of a police escort arranged by Samar. At the hospital, Tom flatlines while a neurosurgeon is called for Liz. Tom ultimately dies of his injuries while Liz enters a coma. Ten months later, Liz awakens from her coma and asks about Tom after learning of how long its been. Red is forced to tell Liz that Tom is dead.
After the death of Sutton Ross, Liz visits Tom's grave where she is visited by a hallucination of Tom. Liz explains to the hallucination how she uncovered the truth behind what is in the duffle bag, the bones of the true Raymond Reddington. Liz recognizes that like so many other people, Tom died trying to show her the truth that he learned from the DNA test he'd found in the bag.
- Why has Red not given Elizabeth Keen more information about Tom?
- A: Red is letting the whole thing play out and let Liz see Tom for who he really is.
- What would Raymond Reddington have done if Tom had died from the injuries inflicted on him by Ranko Zamani in "Pilot"? The link to Milos Kirchoff would have been lost.
- A: Zamani was far too skillful to have killed Tom, without Reddington's permission.
- Q: Tom was in the intensive care unit. Injuries that severe can quickly turn fatal.
- A: That depends on the injury. It was implied that Zamani knew what he was doing. The largest determinant of whether a severe wound becomes fatal is the amount of time it takes to get treatment.
- A: Kirchoff placed Tom in Liz's life so that if Tom died the link would not have been lost. As Zamani told Red: "I paid him a visit like you asked". Zamani knew what he was doing.
- Why was Tom captured by Zamani? He could have easily killed Zamani and hidden the body. ("Mako Tanida")
- A: Zamani probably surprised Tom and he was armed with a gun. Zamani easily captured Liz by waiting.
- A: To maintain his cover, he could not be sure how much Red knew and the disappearance of Zamani would have confirmed Red's suspicions.
- Who is Tom working for?
- A: It is not Alan Fitch. It is Milos Kirchoff.
- A: Both the Cabal monitoring the house and Raymond Reddington are certain he is leading a double life. The Cabal and Red would not maintain such certainty without evidence. Furthermore, Red would not have ordered the attack by Ranko Zamani in "Pilot" without evidence.
- A: In "The Judge", Red's suspicions about Tom were proven true, and Liz is now in further danger.
- A: In "Mako Tanida" Tom states that his employers are stationed in Berlin.
- A: In "Milton Bobbit", Tom states that he is accountable to Milos Kirchoff.
- Why is the homicide mentioned by Harold Cooper classified?
- A: Because the victim was a defecting FSB agent.
- Why did he not call the FBI and alert them when Liz asked him to?
- A: Tom could be working for the Cabal.
- A: He started to suspect that Liz has gotten closer to the truth and his behavior in the last few episodes showed it. During her nightmares in "The Courier", the people Tom works for in Berlin are very powerful and extremely dangerous.
- What was Tom's motive for going to the art gallery with Lucy Brooks? Is he suspicious that she may be after Liz and trying to cast doubt in his eyes? Or is he just lonely and trying to have some fun?
- A: Tom suspects Lucy was spying on him and his double life is finally revealed in "The Judge". It was also revealed that Tom had only married Elizabeth because his superiors told him to do so in order to attack her.
- Is Tom his real name? Lucy Brooks changed hers for the assignment.
- A: Unlikely, as Christopher Maly revealed in "Milton Bobbit". It is also revealed that his marriage to Liz is possibly invalid as Tom may have family of his own with the unknown Nikki. Tom's real name was revealed in "The Major" as Jacob Phelps.
- A: His real name was revealed in Season 3 as Christopher Hargrave.
- How and when did Elizabeth Keen capture Tom?
- A: She shot him twice and captured him while wounded.
- How does Tom know Kathryn Nemec?
- A: Kirchoff told him.
- A: Red told him when he worked for him.
- What did he mean in "The Decembrist" when he told Red that he did not say a single word about their arrangement?
- A: When confronting Red at a bar in San Francisco, Tom mention from the time he worked for him, Tom never once mentioned a single word of their arrangement
- Why was he so shocked by the gun in the box? His wife is an armed federal agent.
- A: It was his escape plan. He had to convince Liz that it had been planted there to frame him.
- Why did Tom keep the weapon used to kill the FSB agent? He should have got rid of the evidence.
- A: Only if he had reason to suspect that there was evidence left at the crime scene. As the event in question took place before the series began and it is implied that it was done under orders from Berlin it may have been that Tom had expected Berlin to have a cleaner on hand to deal with evidence. Or, as it was a high profile target and the event was eventually classified, it may have been that the US government never revealed that evidence was left so Tom would have had no reason to dispose of the "evidence".
- When Tom went to the Post Office, why did they not confront him about the handgun used in the FSB assassination? Cooper and Ressler knew Liz had submitted the bullet and casing for ballistics.
- A: It's actually implied that they did as Tom vehemently stated that he was set up and that he did not know anything about the gun or the murder.
- Why did he keep the escape box in the Keen house? He had a safehouse and could have created multiple backup safe houses.
- A: In spycraft the "go bag" is always kept in a place where the owner has easy access to and can easily keep track of. As such they are usually hidden in the houses/apartments of the spy/agent because that's a location the spy/agent has easy access to. Tom did have a safehouse (designated "Watchtower") in a different part of town but if he needed to escape he had better access to his living room floor boards than an abandoned building on the other side of town.
- Why does the top of Tom's "escape box" have a carving of the burn scar on Liz's hand?
- A: The theory is that it's a brand of some sort tied either to Berlin's organization (probably not given events in "The Decembrist") or to Red's past. Liz stated that whoever gave it to her wasn't trying to hurt her and Tom stated that he was one of the "good guys" in late Season 1 so it's plausible that Liz was marked at an early age for her "protection" by whoever was protecting her at the time (maybe her biological father?).
- When Reddington and Tom met each other at the hospital, why didn't they confront each other?
- A: Red indirectly confronted Tom.
- Why does the morgue tag on Tom in "Ian Garvey" state his age as 33? When Elizabeth Keen visits the grave in "Ruin" his tombstone states 1985 - 2017, making him 32 years old.
- A: Error in the bureaucracy, a difference in 1 year could be the result of not looking at the date of his birth.
- Why does the morgue tag on Tom in "Ian Garvey" state that the cause of death was a gun wound?
- A: Error in the bureaucracy.