The Blacklist season 5 finale review: The duffel bag secret revealed!

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In the early moments of The Blacklist season 5 finale on NBC Wednesday night, it almost felt like an ordinary episode. After all, we saw Raymond Reddington doing what he could to chase down a criminal in Sutton Ross.

Where things get a little more complicated comes in the form of why Reddington was so intent on hunting down Ross. He was the man presumably with the duffel bag, a man who has a history of stealing important tech from other countries and doing it under a heavy veil of secrecy. There is a reason why for many years, Reddington thought he was dead.

What also made this finale different was the simple fact that Liz Keen and the FBI Task Force were intent on stopping Ross at the same time Reddington was. He wasn’t altogether interested in collaborating this time — they each wanted the same thing and were willing to do anything they could to get it. Yet, when Liz crashed her car in the midst of a chase Reddington did stop for long enough to check on her before continuing to go about his way.

So why was Sutton Ross so out for blood in the first place? As Dembe reminded us in this episode, Sutton thinks Reddington ruined his life and that was clearly enough for him to want to seek some sort of revenge against him.

Here’s the funny thing, though: Even with the car crash in mind, Liz still somehow managed with the help of the Task Force to bring in Ross before Reddington could. James Spader’s character was none too pleased with that, and tried to threaten Cooper that he would stop the Blacklist operation unless he had Ross and the contents of the duffel bag. That didn’t quite happen; instead, Ross managed to kidnap Liz, get a gun, and then run amok through the FBI’s black site. He eventually escaped thanks to Aram deciding to give Ross the passcode. He didn’t want to run the risk of Sutton shooting her and he chose to take that risk.

Eventually, though, Sutton called Reddington to arrange a meeting — one that he, supposedly, was meant to attend alone. Why do criminals ever assume that this is going to happen? We wondered that, but as it turns out, Ross and his people were prepared for that. Sutton helped to stage a distraction, one that would enable him to eventually lose the FBI so that he could have precisely what he wanted: Reddington and Liz staring right at each other. He offered to trade his life for hers but clearly, that wasn’t enough for Sutton Ross. He wanted information from Reddington, and that includes the contents of the duffel bag.

Here, it is, the moment you’ve all been waiting for — Reddington’s secret. In his conversation with Ross, Reddington came close to (presumably) revealing that he is not who he claims to be. He said “I am not” before the gunfire started to come out. The FBI arrived, Reddington shot Ross, and following that Reddington got his duffel bag and took off. It was still a secret … or was it?

Here was the big secret — Liz spoke to Tom at her grave (surprise Ryan Eggold cameo!) and it was there she revealed that Sutton Ross told her everything. She worked with him to set up his escape plan. Beyond just that, it turns out that Jennifer Reddington was also involved. From there, she finally saw the DNA test. Everything was pieced together perfectly and as it turns out, the truth is out there.

Raymond Reddington is an imposter. The theories are validated and now, a true chapter finally begins.

Did Samar survive?

That was a mystery for a long time in the finale but near the end, Aram got a text message to come back to the hospital — where Samar was, awake! Not only that, but it seems that she’s more than fine wearing the engagement ring.

CarterMatt Verdict

Is it fair to call this one of the most epic finales for The Blacklist that we’ve ever seen? We definitely do consider this to be a game-changer like no other. Also, isn’t it nice to see Liz completely get one over on Reddington?

What did you think about The Blacklist season 5 finale overall? Share right now in the comments!

(Photo: NBC.)

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