‘The Blacklist’ 5×19 Review: ‘Ian Garvey: Conclusion”

Last night, the fight between Red and Ian Garvey reached it’s end, and it was…something. I don’t know if I went into this episode with inflated expectations for an epic conclusion to a fight that’s been driving this whole season, but it was a pretty lackluster finish to this story line. Red’s secret wasn’t revealed, Ian Garvey was killed instead of captured, and Liz didn’t check Garvey for a gun for some reason?

“Ian Garvey: Conclusion” started off with a lot of promise. Red had a pretty brilliant plan to trick Garvey, involving a body double and an elaborate escape plan, Red’s usual antics that we love to see. However, things just spiraled from there. Red pulled off his plan, faking out the Task Force into thinking Garvey had killed Zarak Mosadek, using that body double I mentioned. He kidnapped the real Ian Garvey, and was about to make him reveal where he had hidden the suitcase when Red and Dembe got a little too cocky and weren’t paying enough attention, allowing Garvey to crash the car and escape.

Just like Liz not checking for a gun, Red and Dembe letting their guard down long enough for Garvey to crash their car and escape was another moment that felt totally unbelievable for the two characters.

Then came the final showdown between Red, Ian Garvey, Liz, and Jennifer (Red’s daughter) at her bar, and it was a mess. First, we had Jennifer protecting Ian Garvey for some reason. Yes, he was like a father figure to her, but she also had insurmountable proof that he was the head of the Nash Syndicate and had murdered a bunch of people including Tom and Detective Singleton. It seems like even if you loved someone, you would draw the line at murder.

Then we had Red letting his guard down to listen to Jennifer, who started to tell him about how she remembered being devastated the day her dad (Red) just disappeared, leaving the family behind. I get that the revelation that his “daughter” (I put daughter in quotes because I’m still not convinced we know the real story behind this) was standing in front of him would have been shocking, but this is Red we’re talking about. He knows how to handle any and every situation, and he would never let his guard down to talk to a woman he barely knows, especially when Ian Garvey is standing right behind her.

Then, we had the infamous moment where Liz forgot or neglected to check Ian Garvey for a gun. She came into the bar, and told Garvey to put his hands up, which he did, but she didn’t check to see if there were other weapons on him after that. The gun was in his pocket, not even hidden. This proved to be a major problem later, as Ian Garvey used the gun to shoot Red a couple of times, and then of course Dembe fired back to protect Red, shooting Garvey about 3 or 4 times in the chest. He was rushed to the hospital and we didn’t see him die for sure, but it seems pretty likely that he’s not going to make it and Red’s secret is going to die with him.

All of this served to put together a conclusion to a story that left a lot to be desired. Liz kind of got revenge for Tom, but not really because they still were never able to prove in court that Garvey was actually guilty of Tom’s murder. Yes, Garvey is probably dead, but I was hoping for something a little more satisfying that would have made Tom’s death more worth it. We still don’t know what Red’s secret is, and the longer they keep drawing this out, the lest interesting it’s becoming. At this point I don’t even really care what Red’s secret is, I just want them to move on to something else. It looks like we might finally get the answer in the season finale, I’m hoping anyway.

At least now that the whole thing with Garvey is basically done, we do get to move on to some other stories. Next week, we’re finally getting an episode centered around Samar and Aram! Yes, it involves Samar getting kidnapped, but she can handle herself and it will add a lot of depth to her character as well as Aram’s. Aram hardly ever goes out in to the field, but you better bet he’ll stop at nothing to make sure Samar gets home safe. It also looks like this episode might involve more of Samar’s backstory, and I really can’t wait.

Check out the synopsis and trailer for “Nicholas T. Moore” below and start getting prepared for another Blacklist hiatus, because there’s only three episodes left this season!


The mysterious appearance of an unidentified young girl sends Liz and the Task Force on a hunt to discover her connection to the secret Red is hiding. However, when her family steps in to protect their own secrets, the investigation turns into a race to save the little girl’s life.

The Blacklist airs Wednesdays at 8/7c on NBC.

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