As The Blacklist steamrolls to its Season 5 finale — there are only four more episodes left — it's going to have to blaze through plenty of lingering questions and storylines. It appears that we'll get the ending of one major plot this week, if the curiously titled episode "Ian Garvey: Conclusion" means anything.
Ian Garvey (Jonny Coyne) has been one of the show's toughest Blacklisters, and as the person behind Tom's death, and therefore, Liz's (Megan Boone) quest for revenge, wrapping up his story with three episodes left has us wondering where the show will go after. Or is this the end of Garvey at all?
To get some answers, we chatted with The Blacklist creator Jon Bokenkamp to preview the episode and what comes after.
One thing that stuck out to me about this episode is its title: "Ian Garvey: Conclusion." What can we take away from that title?
Jon Bokenkamp: Well, we can take away that it's going to be a raucous standoff between two men who have been at each other for the better part of the season. Reddington (James Spader) now has incredible leverage over last episode's Blacklister, Zarak Mosadek — he's a drug supplier for cartels who is basically supplying the drugs to Ian Garvey and his band of misfits, the Nash Syndicate. Red has leverage over this guy, and when Red has leverage, that always makes for a good episode of our show. I think Red now finds himself in a position where he can at least try to take a strike. And what I promise is the plan may not go exactly as planned, it might involve a magic trick, but we are going to bring these two characters together, we want a big showdown. What's fun about it is we still have more episodes after this, it is not the end of the season and it is not the resolution of everything, and there's still questions to come.
But is it the end of the Ian Garvey story?
Bokenkamp: Maybe, maybe not. It depends on what Ian Garvey has a counterpunch, and what his agenda is. So I wouldn't underestimate Ian Garvey in the coming bout.
Let's talk about Liz's transformation. We've seen her take a really big step this season towards becoming almost a new person, like when she killed all those guys in "Ruin." How much further will she push in that direction in these final episodes?
Bokenkamp: Well, I think she needs to be very careful. She knows who her father is, she knows she has the blood of a very dangerous man pumping through her veins. She's fueled by revenge, which is probably not a very helpful thing. In that episode you're talking about, Red warned her to not pursue this, that nothing good can come out of it. And I think we've seen her change, we've seen her do things that are a little more mischievous, even in the last episode she was hijacking information from an Internal Affairs investigation. She's certainly crossing more lines, she's murdered people [laughs]. The propensity for darkness and that compulsion that she feels is something that is incredibly dangerous and has Red worried for this person he cares deeply about, and is something that might make for some really fun television.
We've seen her get more violent, usually with other people, but a few episodes ago we saw Liz get rough with Red, which is something we don't see too much of. Is that a precursor to a showdown between those two in these final episodes?
Bokenkamp: I think that's fair to say. You know it's funny, in the pilot, I had forgotten about this, in the pilot she stabbed him in the neck with a pen. So I think we saw a little bit of that fire coming back. She feels pushed, she feels cornered, she feels like she's not getting answers. She's not going to be pushed around by a man who is hiding something. I do think that as we look forward one thing that's going to be interesting about that part of the season is the relationship between Liz and Red and how it's really changed, more now than it ever has before.
Any other things you'd like viewers to know about the big episode this week?
Bokenkamp: The one thing I might say is one of the fun elements of the magic trick Red has in mind, is it involves a Blacklister we've seen before. In Episode 514, we met Raleigh Sinclair, played by John Noble, who is a man who is very good at creating alibis. And it's time that Red calls in a favor of a man who can hopefully assist him in pulling off a heist. Again, it's The Blacklist, so it probably won't go as things are planned, but we're excited to have John Noble back and he's fantastic. It's a weirdly fun and yet strangely dark episode, so I'm really excited for fans to see it.
The Blacklist airs Wednesday nights at 8/7c on NBC.