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Ian Garvey attempts a double-cross, but you can't double-cross a double-crosser...especially when they have a literal double

The Blacklist

S5 E19
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April 26, 2018 at 02:15 AM EDT

And so concludes Ian Garvey, not with a secret, but with a death — which on The Blacklist, is a much less conclusive event. While I don’t love the idea that Ian Garvey is (maybe? probably? definitely?) gone, and with him, the truth of the bag o’ bones along with him when there are still three episodes left in this season, I do love that I had no idea we’d end this episode with Raymond Reddington’s two daughters standing in a protective stance in front of Ian Garvey, begging him not to kill the man who stands between them and the truth.

You would have to have been either thoroughly distracted by losing all your oxen in a game of Oregon Trail, or listening to “House of the Rising Sun” at max volume in noise-cancelling headphones to have missed all the reference to “The Truth” that preceded Wednesday night’s episode. Both of Raymond Reddington’s top priorities, Elizabeth (beloved) and Garvey (be’hated) are desperate to know the truth that Red is hiding inside that all-important bag o’ bones. What’s odd is that while they’ve told Red over and over that they need to know The Truth, Red himself can’t stop saying that the very best motivator…is Fear.

“Unhappiness motivates whimpering; action is motivated by fear,” Red tells Zarak Mosadek at the very beginning of a series-best switcheroo. And that might be true, but to be motivated by fear is to be motivated by logic: Assessing that you’re in danger, and reacting in opposition to that danger, is a logical instinct. What Red is failing to take into account is that some people are willing to be very illogical; how the need for something like the truth can override the need for something like self-preservation. Red thinks fear tops all other motivations because Red is motivated by fear — fear that Liz will find out the Whole Truth of what (er, who) is inside that bag. But the truth of what’s inside that bag is what got Tom Keen killed, and so the truth is what Liz will stop at nothing to find. That’s what we call in the business, a bit of a pickle.

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This might have been Ian Garvey’s conclusion episode, but the greatest faceoff here was one of father and daughter, fear and truth, self-preservation and “howling at the moon.”

You may have noticed that Garvey hasn’t gotten little mention in this recap thus far, and that’s because that evil troll of a man is on his last leg. He’s caught, and what’s worse, he thinks he can un-catch himself. Double-cross Raymond Reddington? I don’t think so.

But he’s going to try, and it is going to lead to a twist that I hope I was not alone in figuring out…well, only once it was explicitly laid out for me. But I’m getting ahead of myself. The episode starts with Red working everything out with his new ally Zarak Mosadek after saving Mosadek’s son in the last episode. Mosadek has cut off Garvey’s drug supply, and will not supply to the Nash Syndicate again until Garvey hands over the bag o’ bones to Raymond Reddington. Red and Mosadek arrange meeting to exchange the bag, and Red is on his way…

At which point Mosadek calls Ian Garvey and says that since Reddington knows too much about both of them, they’ll go through with their own plan at the meeting: Kill Reddington. Hey, best of luck, pals! (Recap continues on next page)

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James Spader returns as Raymond ‘Red’ Reddington, a mastermind criminal who teams up with the FBI.
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