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

Back at the Macbeth household, Tom and Liz are playing happy married couple (cringe). Liz gives Tom a little plastic light-up toy, called Uncle Flippo, to take to school to impress his 4th grade class. (Uncle Flippo is a big deal with the kids in Blacklist world.) Their flirty banter (double cringe) is interrupted by a policeman knocking at their front door asking questions about Jolene Parker, who's been missing for a week. Tom seems on edge, obviously, but Liz is just pressing forward asking questions, completely unsuspecting.

Liz pops in on Reddington at his workshop (he has new digs almost every episode) where he's filing down some metal cogs. Liz makes a bomb-building joke and asks if she should be worried. "Yes, but not about this," he says. Red Reddington, the teller of truths. He's referring to a newspaper clipping he found about a car crash -- the one we saw earlier -- and he suspects a cyber terrorist named Ivan. Subtext though, he's definitely warning Liz to be worried about Tom. But Red is elaborating on his grudge against Yvonne (that's how Russians pronounce "Ivan"). "He stole from me," Red says. "His brother and I shared a lovely meal of jellied meat and a gallon of vodka all the while Ivan had his hand in my pocket."

Liz is unmoved. "Ivan took credit for the hit," Red continues. "In some deep, dark recess of the internet inhabited only by scary people and reckless teenagers..." (Weird, they must be at The 13th Step.)"...a place where curiosity inevitably kills the cat." After a weighty pause, we're all wondering -- will curiosity kill Liz? Or will it be her deluded feelings of love and trust for Tom that ultimately do her in? Still to come!

It's back to the Post Office to round up the team and catch this Ivan hooligan. All hands are on deck for this one, including Agent Ressler, who's still at work even though his girlfriend just died in his arms eight days ago. Liz is concerned for him and tells him he should take time off. "Work distracts me from thinking about Audrey," he says. "I can distract you from thinking about Audrey," replies Liz...no, wait that was me who said that. Aram posits that with a serial number off the car he can tell if the systems have been tampered with electronically, so the team packs up and hits the junkyard, where Liz snubs the poor guy working the day shift in January. Something about the way she said, "Thanks, we'll take it from here," sounded so bitchy.

Aram discovers the car's airbag was deployed pre-crash, and find a signature on the coding that spells IVAN. Just as Ressler notices the fancy iPad case that the computer guy was carrying his tablet in, the NSA rolls up to tell the Feebies to back off their crime scene. Then Agent Cooper turns up and there's a pissing contest. Conclusion: total inter-agency cooperation. The NSA reveals that the stolen iPad is something the U.S. just developed for cyber warfare called a "skeleton key" because it's a program that can open any security system in the world. So basically Live Free or Die Hard. The head engineer, David Fisher, said that the team had completed their first phase of development and was about to relocate to Colorado.

"So the federal government has armed a cyber terrorist with the equivalent of a nuclear warhead," says Red when Liz brings him up to speed back at his workshop. "Another fabulous example of your tax dollars at work. Yet another reason why I don't pay taxes." Naturally Red takes the reins and flies to Minsk, Belarus to track down Ivan for  the vodka and witty repartee for the Feds. Red sits down and says, "Perhaps the face escapes you, my card," and tosses down his FBI Most Wanted poster. All we learn is that someone has been impersonating Ivan online and the skeleton key is in the hands of an unknown hacker.

The exchange does give us some gem lines though. Red looks over Ivan's should at his iPad, "Don't you find all those little fingerprints on the screen distracting or does that sort of thing not bother you?" Ressler and Red stage a shootout where it looks like Ressler gets shot in the chest, but it's just a dye pack. Thank God. I feel like no one is safe on TV anymore after last night's episode of The Good Wife.

NEXT PAGE: Liz cuddles up to the enemy...

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