Well, that worked.
Marvin knew all of Red’s secrets, which threatened to come out on The Blacklist Season 9 Episode 22.
It didn’t help that everyone was working at cross purposes. Harold needed Marvin to clear his name. Raymond wanted Marvin to keep from losing his empire. Marvin desired to come out on top.
Marvin was on top for much of the season, keeping both Reddington and the Task Force off balance.
But once Red determined that Marvin was the mastermind behind Elizabeth’s death and Harold’s frame on The Blacklist Season 9 Episode 21, it was all over for him. But Marvin was just too delusional to realize that yet.
He would never be the boss, not as long as Red was still breathing. He got reminded of that early and often on this episode.
I mean, look how soon he was in custody. Aram was able to identify the plane upon which he planned to escape, and Ressler tricked him into coming out of hiding and arrested him.
That was when things got interesting.
Red was incensed that Marvin was in the Task Force’s custody. He knew Marvin could leverage what he knew about Raymond’s operation into a release, regardless of all his crimes both as Reddington’s lawyer and, more recently, as his foe.
Harold and Panabaker appreciated the value of the Blacklist Task Force. But Washington is a town of committees filled with small-picture thinkers, more concerned with optics and photo ops than the long-term good.
So, yeah, Marvin had a decent bargaining position. But it wasn’t so good that he could snub Harold and demand to Panabaker that he be given his own task force to replace Red and the current Task Force. That was unrealistic.
The good news was that charges against Harold were dropped after he brought in the big prize: Marvin. The bad news was that Marvin would get away with orchestrating Liz’s murder, among other things, by turning on Raymond.
There was no way that Reddington was going to let that happen. So Cooper was stuck attempting to keep Red from killing the man responsible for the death of Agnes’s mother.He was pretty conflicted as a result.
Being a master of misdirection, Raymond was always a step ahead. He met with a guard at Marvin’s prison, leading Harold to prevent Red from breaking into the prison.
But that was all a ruse because no one saw Reddington cashing in a favor with a judge at the courthouse where Marvin was to be arraigned before he accepted the government’s offer of a plea deal.
Marvin made good use of his time back in prison, making the acquaintance of Chinese assassin Wujing, who needed a good lawyer.
Wujing, who was serving a life sentence, had a guard lined up to help him escape. But for that to happen, he needed a lawyer who could come up with an excuse for him to be transported to the courthouse. Marvin was just that lawyer.
Marvin, feeling full of himself after landing a plea deal that would let him skate, needed a reminder of his place in the food chain. And Red gave that to him.
Like others before him, including Mr. Kaplan and even Liz herself, Marvin had to learn not to mess with Raymond.
So when the judge who owed Reddington a favor called away Marvin’s judge, Marvin found himself face to face with Red inside a judge’s chamber in a courthouse. That’s called reach.
That was when Raymond disabused Marvin of his illusions. Red had delegated many duties to Marvin, so maybe Marvin could be forgiven for considering himself Reddington’s partner in crime. But Red clearly reminded him that he was but an underling.
Raymond also made it evident that Marvin would never live long enough to enjoy the newfound freedom that he thought he had negotiated.
It was little wonder that Marvin left prison and blew his brains out. That beat living his life continually looking over his shoulder. At least he controlled his departure.
But Marvin also set in motion The Blacklist Season 10.
He let Wujing know that Red was responsible for his capture way back on The Blacklist Season 1 Episode 3. He also gave him a list of others Raymond had conspired to put away to help in the hunt.
So expect a lot of recycling next season, which could well be the finale for the series.
The scene at the end was touching as the Task Force finally was seen saying goodbye to Elizabeth while swapping their favorite memories of her.
Appropriately, Dembe’s talk was the best, as he went back further with Liz than any of the others.
It was good to see that both a reinstated Park and Aram were taking much-needed mental health breaks.
It will be intriguing to see if either Weecha or Mierce come back with Red after their trip home. Thanks to Marvin, he will need all the help he can get.
This season was a worthwhile transition. Viewers got to remember the best of Liz without having to watch her going off the rails yet again.
To revisit this Liz-less season, watch The Blacklist online.
What did you think of how the Marvin storyline was wrapped up?
How did you like this transition year?
Has next season been set up well?
Dale McGarrigle is a staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow him on Twitter.