The Blacklist wraps up one of its most transformative seasons on Wednesday with the promise of one of the biggest reveals on the show yet: who the F's bones are in that bag? What we know of the bag is that whatever secret lies inside it, it's something that's potentially seismic for Red (James Spader), as he's killed people to keep its contents secret from Liz (Megan Boone). This has also been the year that Liz came into her own — although admittedly that means embracing some of her dad's traits — so anything that Red does that threatens her won't be brushed aside, not when she has a dead husband to avenge.
Additionally, Samar (Mozhan Marno) is still in critical condition after nearly drowning in the back of a van from being kidnapped by a creep, and we don't know if she'll pull through. People nearly dying? Earth-shattering secrets coming to light? It's just another season-ender for one of television's twistiest shows. And thankfully it won't be the last, as NBC decided to bring the series back for a sixth season.
To get an idea of what to expect from the finale, we chatted with series creator Jon Bokenkamp.
First up: Samar's alive, but she went through hell in the last episode. Will she be OK? Is there a threat of brain damage or something else?
Jon Bokenkamp: The continuation of the Samar storyline is a big reason you need to see this last episode. Samar's life is literally hanging in the balance, and we've never been afraid of killing off beloved characters on The Blacklist. This is one of those cases where you simply have to tune in to see what happens.
Are you ending on a cliffhanger or is the finale a pretty clean break?
Bokenkamp: Hmm... That's hard to answer. It's a cliffhanger in that we're obviously not answering everything, but our Season 5 finale easily presents the biggest truth we've ever given about Raymond Reddington. We're putting it all on the line with this episode.
We saw in the promo for the finale that Liz is captured, and the captor will only release her if Red tells him the secret of the bag of bones. How difficult will that decision be for Red?
Bokenkamp: Honestly, I think that's a pretty easy decision for Reddington. Elizabeth Keen always comes first in his mind. He has no choice but to protect her, the fallout from that is what makes this episode so gut-wrenching.
When the truth of the bones is revealed, will we see some of the fallout from that in this episode or will it be tackled next season?
Bokenkamp: I think I should only say this: You're going to see a very clear promise of what is to come next season.
How will Red and Liz's relationship change after the truth of the bones is revealed?
Bokenkamp: I can't honestly answer. I haven't had time to wrap my head around that.
So I understand John Waters appears in this episode as himself. What the heck? Care to explain that one? And any other surprises in store?
Bokenkamp: I think John Waters is just a wonderfully strange, confident, unique personality. We've wanted to have him on the show for some time now. This past December, I was able to catch part of his Christmas Show in Omaha and it was just an absolute blast. He was so honest and warm. I walked out telling my wife: I have to figure this out, we've got to get him on the show somehow. Thankfully he was a great sport and it's a really fun cameo.
You're already thinking about next season. What's the tone? If Season 5 was about Liz realizing her shared traits with Red, what will Season 6 be about?
Bokenkamp: It's too early to tell, but I can promise you this: it's going to be unlike anything we've done before.
The Blacklist Season 5 finale airs Wednesday, May 16 at 8/7c on NBC.