Finally, the mastermind behind Liz’s murder and the resulting coverup was revealed.
And the name that came out on The Blacklist Season 9 Episode 20 wasn’t much of a shock once you thought about it.
Red has always compartmentalized his operation. Everyone had their job to do, but very few were conscious of the big picture.
But Raymond’s lawyer Marvin had that kind of access and knew where all the bodies were buried, some literally.
Ever since Marvin began working for Reddington, he helped keep the trains running on time. Dembe was Red’s closest confidant, but Marvin’s value to his empire couldn’t be denied.
As he mentioned, Marvin never trusted Elizabeth, who was Raymond’s blind spot. As erratic as her behavior was through the years, not putting much faith in Liz certainly was the right call.
So when Reddington was dying and decided to make Elizabeth his heir, Marvin did the right thing for Red’s legacy and had her killed. Sure, that was harsh, but it was effective.
Also, Marvin kept Raymond’s organization up and running during the two years that Reddington went away to grieve and supposedly die, neither of which Red did effectively.
But Marvin made a tragic miscalculation. He expected that Raymond would have moved on from Liz when he returned when instead, he took the exact opposite approach, attempting to discover who was behind her murder.
This choice meant a trail of bodies to serve as a distraction: Coster, Cole, and both Lecroixs. That and putting Harold in a vice meant that the Task Force was off its game as well.
The problem was that Reddington was using all his resources in the investigation, of which Marvin was but one. So it was near impossible for him to be aware of everything Red was doing and stay a step ahead of him.
Granted, Raymond was being slowed down by the Task Force and Harold, who weren’t telling him everything they were up to for fear of what he might do.
That was probably a good call based on what he did in this episode. He shot and accidentally killed the head of the Caelum Bank to get a name. When that name of Heddie’s, he had Weecha run into Dembe and Ressler’s car to abduct her.
It’s a shame that the Caelum Bank got such short thrift, as it seemed like an exciting concept. There’s still likely to be fallout for Raymond since he effectively shut down an important financial institution for many criminals.
This episode also showed how single-minded Reddington is about finding the mastermind behind Liz’s murder. He killed a man who had helped him for years to get the wrong name out of him.
When Heddie’s name popped up, he immediately should have realized that she couldn’t have been responsible, based on his and Liz’s interactions with her. What reason would Heddie have had to do this? And how simple would it be to frame her?
Again, Red employed Heddie for her financial wizardry. Even though she admitted to feeling underappreciated, at no time did she exhibit the ability to pull off something this complex.
Raymond would have seen that if he’d been in his right mind. But he’s too obsessed right now. Enough people have told him that, but he’s not hearing them.
It’s a good thing that the Justice Department picked now to pull Park out of the field for her medical condition. Things could have gone badly if not for her presence in the office.
First, she found the flash drive that detailed Lecroix and Cole’s scheme. Two lawyers who were also involved gave Harold the alias of that scheme’s mastermind, Claudius, which, sadly, led nowhere.
Then she attempted to get Reddington to accept her help since she felt discarded by the FBI. While he didn’t, her headache causing her to drop and shatter her glass made him suspicious of Marvin.
Finally, she found the wedding video that showed Marvin was the Lecroixs’ best man. Harold contacted Raymond just in time to tell him not to trust Marvin but Reddington already had him trapped on a plane.
When the expected reveal that Heddie was still alive was made, Red confronted Marvin. And he told Raymond precisely what he had done, like he had done a favor by keeping him from making the mistake of having Liz as his heir.
So in one fell swoop, he had cleared Harold, although it’s debatable if anything he said would have been admissible in court.
But Marvin made a significant mistake threatening Mierce, the only person Reddington cares about as much as he once did Elizabeth.
There will be hell to pay over the final two episodes. Marvin has been hiding in plain sight from Red, but what happens when he’s the target of Raymond’s rage?
It was great to see Weecha up and about, even though she pushed herself too hard.
Mierce is a miracle worker, first with Reddington and now with her sister.
But Weecha’s collapse meant she tried to do too much too soon.
To follow Marvin’s journey, watch The Blacklist online.
Did you have Marvin as the mastermind?
Did Park prove her worth to herself?
Is Harold in the clear or not quite yet?
Dale McGarrigle is a staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow him on Twitter.