The Blacklist recap: Where Curiosity Inevitably Kills the Cat

The cat's out of the bag on Tom's deception and Jolene's secret identity, meanwhile a young boy tries to impress his crush with a cyber-weapon.
Ep. 17 | Aired Mar 24, 2014

Craig Blankenhorn/NBC

This episode was slow on the action, but it really packed in some emotional catharsis and plot developments that we were sorely missing. Liz has finally caught on to Tom's duplicity and she discovered Jolene's identity. Thank God. There's a certain point when the audience can't take it anymore. There's only so much yelling at the TV that we do before we throw our hands up and go, "Screw it, girl friend." You go on down into that dark basement to investigate the suspicious sound of steel being scraped across a cement floor. See if I care. But we can all heave a sigh of relief because she knows now. And based on the preview for next week, she and Red set some Tom Traps and I am stoked about it!

The Blacklister this week was a Red Herring because the computer hacker that Reddington wanted punished (Ivan, No. 88) turned out not to be the man behind this week's crime. The culprit was just a high school boy who happened to be a computer whiz with an obsessive crush on the daughter of a NSA agent who was developing a "skeleton key" cyber-hacking device for the U.S. government. Kids these days.

So the episode started off with a man typing away in a secret computer lab when pages start shooting out of his printer with the phrase "SMILE" written over and over. My first thought was, poltergeist! But no, this isn't The Vampire Diaries. The computer guy panics and grabs some tech hardware before bolting streetside, where he places a phone call and says that he has "the prototype." He gets in a car and all the security cameras on the street follow him. We flash to a man in a dark hoodie sitting on a park bench with a laptop; he's watching all the camera feeds. He somehow triggers the airbag in the man's car and the car runs into an embankment and bursts into flames, but not before Hoodie can reach in and snatch the tricked-out iPad that was sitting in a special case in the passenger seat. I swear, muggers will try anything to get your Apple products these days.

In the woods outside of DC, Red and Dembe are taking a little winter jaunt to dig up the bodies that Tom buried last week. Or rather to hire Mr. Kaplan, a petite old lady with a beautiful coat that Red covets. Her husky voice and sharp replies tell us she's a perfect match for Red (series regular?). She's clearly great at what she does, and apparently what she does is -- depending on the need -- locate crime scenes or make them disappear. Red's got all the best contacts. "How long have they been dead?" he asks Mr. Kaplan. "Eight days from the looks of the decay, but I can do a field autopsy if you'd like more details," she replies. But he wants the bodies left where they are, presumably for Liz to find later, and makes a 911 call to report a "missing persons."

NEXT PAGE: Fate comes knocking on Tom's door...


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