"Ivan," Episode 17 of "The Blacklist," introduces Uncle Flippo, the blue-Hippo toy. He makes Liz realise that Red had rightly warned her about Tom. In the episode called "Ivan," Ivan had not much to do, as he had no intention of hurting Americans or their institutions. The main criminal of this episode is a high-school boy who wants to please a girl, with the help of the Skeleton Key. The key, developed by a government secret agency, is a high tech-Cyber asset that crashes a country's complete computer system during a war. The case does not make much sense, but Liz and Tom's cat and mouse game keeps the episode engaging and interesting.
The highlight of an otherwise mediocre episode is Liz closing-in on Tom and realising that her husband is a dangerous man. Here is the Recap of "The Blacklist" Episode 12, "Ivan":
In a computer room, computer printers suddenly start printing pages, with the word "Smile" written on them. Only one man is working at the time and he is unable to stop the printers from printing pages after pages. The computers are hacked, as well. The man shuts-off the main system, and gets out of the room. Outside, he makes a call, informing the receiver of the call that he has the prototype and that the security network was breached. Soon, the man gets killed in a freak car accident and someone steals the computer prototype.
Mr Kaplan makes an appearance again. This time she digs-up the place where Tom had buried Jolene and the Cowboy. Red and his bodyguard arrive at the spot, and see the dead bodies. Red does not want others to find out that he was there, but makes a call to 911, reporting about a missing person.
Liz presents Tom Uncle Flippo. The knocks on the door interrupt their friendly conversation. A detective arrives to ask questions about Jolene. Tom looks a little perturbed by the development. Later, Liz asks Aram to find out about Jolene.
Liz visits Red and finds him working on something. She believes he is working on a bomb. Red mentions about the man who died in the car accident. He indicates that Ivan, a notorious cyber criminal, must be involved. Red has a personal score to settle with him, as well, since he stole his 5 Million dollars. Liz reminds him that he cannot use FBI to settle his personal grudges. Ivan becomes the blacklist case when Red adds that the man in the past has used his technological skills to crash the Russian markets, to steal government secrets and he has also fiddled with Siberian pipelines. It is the first time Ivan has done something in the U.S. territory and it is just the beginning of whatever he has planned.
Liz, Agent Ressler and Aram go to inspect the car. They find the box in which the prototype was kept. Also, they find Ivan's digital signature. The agents from NSA arrive and stop them from further investigating. The intervention by Boss Cooper leads the NSA's agents to reveal that the killed man belonged to their agency and that he was working on Project Skeleton Key, and a prototype of this key has been stolen.
Thanks to Aram, Liz find outs Jolene's real name, Lucy Brooks and that she was a wanted criminal and a convicted felon. At home, Liz blames herself for not suspecting Jolene. She is determined to find all the information about Jolene. Liz shows Red Jolene's photo and wants to know if he knew her. Red refuses to answer. Liz demands to know the whole truth, but Red is evasive. Liz accuses Red of disturbing her life. She says that thank god, she has Tom and when it comes to Red, she does not know what to believe. Red tells her that he never lied to her.
Meanwhile, Red helps FBI to find out Ivan's motive and his next move. He meets Ivan and fakes that he is ready to save him from the FBI if he pays-back his 5 million with interest. Red mock-shoots at Agent Ressler and pretends to help Ivan escape the scene. In a plane, Red wants to know from Ivan what he plans to do with the prototype and to whom he plans to sell it. Ivan, however, has no role in the stealing of the prototype. He is also looking for the person who is using his signature and name to commit the crime. Ivan has no interest in targeting America.
The further investigation leads the FBI team to a woman called Lee and then to her grandson, Harrison Lee, a student. Before the FBI team can question him at his school, Harrison escapes, triggering an evacuation alarm system.
Meanwhile, with the help of the call records, Aram is able to find out from where Jolene made the last call. Liz reaches the street where Tom's secret hideout is located. She calls-up Tom, informing him about her whereabouts. In the time she takes to open the door, Tom removes all the evidence from the wall. Later, he knocks her down from behind and escapes. Liz does not see that it is Tom.
At the FBI office, the team discovers that Harrison is cyber stalking Abby Fisher, the daughter of the man who is the lead engineer of the Skeleton Key Program. While Liz is talking to Abby's father, the whole city plunges into darkness. Harrison has used the Skeleton Key to stop the power grid distribution system. The FBI team reaches Abby's house to find that she is not at home.
Harrison has used her friend, Jackie's ID, to make her come out of the house and meet him at a Metro station. The boy is in love with the girl. He stole the prototype to stop her father from moving to Colorado, as Abby didn't want to go there. Abby freaks out and Harrison is dejected. FBI team reaches the station.
To escape, Harrison gets into an empty train. He uses the Skeleton Key to start the train and Liz uses her gun to break a window and get inside the moving train. She manages to convince Harrison to give-up and thankfully the train does not crash.
Back at home, Tom behaves like a concerned husband when Liz mentions about the attack on her while she was trying to find about Jolene. She sits down to check her inbox and finds an evidence attachment sent by the detective searching for Jolene. It contains the photos of the evidence found at the secret hideout. Liz sees Uncle Flippo in one of the photos and realises that Red was right about Tom.
Later, Liz visits Red and tells him that he was right about Tom. Liz recognises the song that Red is playing on an antique music box, which he has built. Liz talks about hearing the song from her father when she used to get nightmares about fire and smoke. Her father used to hold her in his arms and hum the song, "everything is going to be okay." Red holds a crying Liz and says that "everything is going to be okay."
FBI lost interest in Ivan as soon as he revealed he is only interested in targeting Russia. The notorious criminal on Red's blacklist turned out to be an asset for American security agencies, and thus he was not notorious enough. And, the high school student, who stole a security agency's prototype of a key, just wanted to impress a girl and confess his love for her. If it was not for Tom and his expressions and moves, the episode would have been a major disappointment after Episode 16, which was high-on-twisted content. Uncle Flippo was a nice little twist.
The ending moments of the episode have set up a base for an interesting confrontation between Tom and Liz in the next episode of "The Blacklist."