In the middle of the first part of the Season 9 finale, Dembe (Hisham Tawfik) and Red hide from their attackers, who have cornered them in a cabin. As Dembe tends to one of Red’s wounds, the two men briefly discuss their heart-to-heart friendship. Suddenly, Red sees a duck call lying on a shelf. He picks it up, briefly reminisces about his childhood, and then puts it in his mouth moments before he and Dembe break out of their hiding place, guns firing. But the whole scene becomes very disappointing a moment after they realize that the FBI has shown up to save the day.
One popular Reddit thread paid particular attention to duck whistle scandal. The original poster u/kafkadreams6667 was puzzled as to why the writers even put this scene there. Others readily agreed with them, especially u/NailiciS, which was voted for pointing out that while the writers may have been aiming for humor, the juxtaposition with what appeared to be an impending death scene rendered the attempt at frivolity untenable. However, towards the end of the thread, u/waterdog1968 dropped a wisdom bomb that made it all clear. “The phrase that came to my mind was ‘sitting ducks’. I think Red thought they bought the farm this time,” they stated, adding, “I really laughed as soon as I ‘got it.’ Indeed, it was a fitting metaphor for what was happening on stage at the time. Unfortunately, the performance left a lot to be desired for most fans.