Osseous spoilers. Big ones.
This episode is really all about the final five minutes, but it has a lot of fun getting there, including a bizarre cameo from John Waters. This week’s Blacklister, Sutton Ross, is – not that it matters – an expert in stealing R&D secrets. More significantly, though, he’s the present holder of the Bones, which means that Liz and Red are both after him; Liz being assisted by the FBI, including Aram, who needs a distraction from the fact that Samar is still in a coma.
Liz and the FBI get to Ross first, and he’s taken into custody. A furious Red tells Cooper that if Ross isn’t handed over to him, there will be no more Blacklisters. Cooper stands firm. Ross, meantime, offers to tell Liz and only her the truth about the bones, and the two of them are left alone in an interrogation room. But he then takes her hostage and manages to get her out of the building. Ross phones Red and proposed to trade his life for Liz, and Red agrees.
Once Ross – who is evidently quite a player – has both Red and Liz in his hands, Liz is taken away and smacked around a bit. Red is told that she’ll be killed unless he tells Ross the truth about the Bones, but he only gets as far as “I am not…” before the FBI bursts in. Ross is arrested, but with typical insouciance Red shoots him on his way out, taking the Bones with him, then burning them in front of Liz’s grandfather (Brian Dennehy). So Red’s secret remains safe. And Samar has regained consciousness and accepted the marriage proposal she received while comatose, which is nice, albeit maybe a proposal when she could hear it would have been nicer.
Which… brings us to two reveals. The smaller one (although still pretty spectacular) is that Liz was working with Sutton Ross from the point at which the two of them were alone in the interrogation room, and that she already knows the truth about the bones. As does Jennifer, also part of the Ross/Liz scam. And the bigger reveal: those are the bones of Raymond Reddington. Whoever “Red” is, he’s not Reddington. (This has been a fan theory for a while: in addition, the producers have confirmed that they have had this in mind for a long time, and that James Spader has been in on it to inform his acting.)
So who is Fraud Frauddington? He’s a criminal mastermind, for sure, but why he came into Liz’s life a few years ago is something which is now entirely unexplained. And Liz and Jennifer have teamed up to find out who Fraud is, what he wants, and then, y’know, bring him down. The show has been renewed for a sixth season, which I’m delighted about: quite a few of Unpopcult’s favourite shows seem to run a bit dry on inspiration after only one or two years, but the fact that The Blacklist, five seasons in, is still fairly close to the top of its game is hugely impressive.