How The Blacklist Will Reveal More Of Red's Secret Origins

The secret origins of Red on The Blacklist
(Image credit: Patrick Ecclesine/NBC)

The Blacklist has a bone to pick with one of its smooth-talking leads, thanks to a mystery that has ensconced Season 5, with James Spader's Red in hot pursuit of those troublesome skeletal remains ever since he learned Mr. Kaplan had set them loose. The bones are currently possessed by Ian Garvey, the man who murdered Tom, and The Blacklist's creator Jon Bokenkamp is now teasing how those bones connect with Red's secretive origin story. Here is what Bokenkamp said:

Garvey has had the bones in this duffel bag since Episode 8, and he hasn't gone to the press. He hasn't gone to the FBI. He hasn't used his leverage over Reddington, and we don't know why. By virtue of the fact that he hasn't made a move yet, that tells us there's something else going on --- and that 'something else' is going to shed even more light on the origins of Raymond Reddington and, obviously, secrets that Reddington doesn't want revealed.

Based on what Jon Bokenkamp is hinting at to TV Line, it seems that these bones could have multi-pronged implications for Red, as well as how viewers see and understand him. After 5 seasons of half-truths and full-out deceptions, fans know that secrets and Red go together like sprinkles and icing. They are inextricably linked, and though Ian Garvey has been shy about using his ammunition against Red, The Blacklist's latest revelation may explain his apprehension to take Red down.

Of course, we're talking about how Liz only just learned that she has a sister, Jennifer Reddington, courtesy of Red and his ex-wife Naomi Hyland. As it turns out, Jennifer has a far less sordid relationship with Ian Garvey than he does with Liz, who hates him for murdering the love of her life and the father of her child. Jennifer has a different take on the guy, though, and that connection could prove valuable to Liz. The Blacklist's Jon Bokenkamp spoke more about Jennifer's upcoming role, saying:

[Jennifer] changes the complexion of the show in a way, and yet, we're not interested in telling a story about two long-lost sisters. Jennifer is going to be used in some ways by Liz, and she has some information. It's going to make for some real great conflict as we push forward.

So basically, one of Red's daughters wants to kill Ian Garvey, and the other wants him to remain alive. Don't you just hate when that happens? Sibling rivalries, right?

While Red could be caught in between his daughters' dueling desires, he has interests that are wholly separate from theirs. He needs to get those bones back from Garvey, and something tells us Red's goals will prevail. The biggest question, though, is why Red is going to such great lengths for these bones in the first place?

The episode entitled "Ian Garvey: Conclusion" should shed more light on Red's connection to them, in one complicated manner or another. Either way, the secret does not bode well for Red's relationship with Liz, nor for the safety of his past secrets and indiscretions. Of course, that relationship has seen many highs and lows before. Will whatever secret those bones contain put the father and daughter in a state they can never recover from?

But hey, at least The Blacklist has resolved the mystery it started back in Season 2 with the introduction of Red's ex-wife. Liz no longer has to be alone in having a complicated relationship with Red as her father, which may be a good thing...or a bad thing. Stay tuned.

New episodes of The Blacklist air Wednesdays at 8 p.m. ET on NBC. The Season 5 finale is not far away, so check out our complete guide on when the season finales of all your favorites, including The Blacklist, are set to air this year. Wondering what else is coming up on NBC and when it premieres? We have the answer via our guide to TV's midseason and summer premieres.

Britt Lawrence

Like a contented Hallmark movie character, Britt happily lives in the same city she grew up in. Along with movies and television, she is passionate about competitive figure skating. She has been writing about entertainment for 5 years, and as you may suspect, still finds it as entertaining to do as when she began.