Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Blindspot 1x16 Review: "Any Wounded Thief" (Sabotage) [Contributor: Jen]


"Any Wounded Thief"
Original Airdate: April 4, 2016

It's Taylor Shaw's birthday! And in "Any Wounded Thief," Kurt has a special surprise for Jane. So does Oscar, and Jane must decide how far she's willing to go for the mission.


CASE OF THE WEEK


An armored car heist ends with three of the truck employees killed. The logo on the armored truck matches one of Jane's tattoos, and we're off to the races! The team finds a syringe in the truck containing the antidote to sarin gas. That's just great. You know what that means? The truck is transporting chemical weapons! I do so love hearing about liquefying organs. 

The chemicals are being transported to the USA Chemical Materials Agency. They store and destroy all of the U.S.'s chemical weapons. Is that a thing? Are we actually storing and destroying chemical weapons at some factory-like garbage dump? Someone just lie to me, okay? Tell me "no" so I can go back to my blissful state of ignorance.

It turns out the general in charge of the USA CMA has been stockpiling chemical weapons. He believes the U.S. shouldn't be destroying their supply. But keeping them stored underground a drained pond, however, is a solid strategic plan. Obviously. (Seriously, how did this guy become a general? Yeesh.)

Of course, the plan to store chemical weapons doesn't go as planned! Shocker, I know. The president of the CMA — Vanessa Chang — sold some canisters to North Korea. So... absolutely nothing to worry about there.

Any time a character on Blindspot is cast with a well-known character actor, the chances are high they are a bad guy. Also, Vanessa swore she would never dishonor her family. Obviously, she's absolutely going to dishonor her family. Apparently she didn't know the U.S. would be North Korea's target. Why? Because they love us so much? Oh honey... just go to prison and stop talking.

The team tracks the target to the U.S. stock exchange. Two men posing as janitors with vacuum cleaners strapped to their backs wander around the stock exchange floor. Spoiler alert: they are not carrying vacuum cleaners! One (see: me) wonders how you get sarin gas canisters into the U.S. Stock Exchange. I mean, I figure it would take more than a janitor uniform and a smile, I can tell you that much. But that's a pesky detail Blindspot is hoping we'll ignore. 

Ignoring it is certainly made easier when Jane shoots out the glass from the second floor and jumps down to the first floor to tackle one of the terrorists. It is awesome and quite possibly one of Jane's coolest stunts ever. Who cares about details? Jane is jumping and barrel-rolling. SOLD.

Once again, we have another corrupt U.S. military officer and a U.S. company working with enemies of the United States. I'm sensing a pattern on Blindspot.

TEAM BLINDSPOT


Both Kurt and Read are dealing with the fallout from Read's break-up with Sara. It's obvious Sara blames Kurt because she's moving out. So, Kurt has a little man-to-man conversation with Read via a boxing session. Don't you love men? They just punch out their differences. Kurt is angry that Read hurt Sara, so he delivers a hard punch to Read's kidney. Read drops the gloves and tells Weller he just can't win with him. 

I agree with Read. And I know — that very well may be one of the seven signs of the apocalypse. In all seriousness though, Kurt needs to get a grip. Read did what Kurt asked to protect Sara and Sawyer. Let us not forget the nut job who held a gun to Read's head and threatened Sara and Sawyer's lives.

And now Kurt is mad at him? This is what he wanted. It's clear Kurt doesn't remember the parameters of a break-up. One or both parties normally end up sad and hurt. Plus, Read makes sad puppy eyes all episode because he's nursing a broken heart. LAY OFF, WELLER. I'm #TeamRead on this one.

Zappata tells Read he's being an idiot and to get back together with Sara. Obviously, she's right (except for the homicidal gunman, but that's just details). Read is disillusioned with love right now so he tells Zappata their lives are the job. They aren't meant to have spouses and children. Well... okay, tell that to the thousands of happily married FBI agents, fella.

Mayfair takes a run at Read as well and basically calls shenanigans on him. He's a straight shooter like her. Read blows her off, but Mayfair is like a dog with a bone. She's not going to let this go. While it makes sense why Read lied to Mayfair, it feels like self-sabotage. 

Patterson, meanwhile, is dealing with her own emotional fallout. It's her one year anniversary with David and he made reservations at their favorite restaurant. Also, his last crossword puzzle was published. Did we know David wrote the crossword puzzles? I missed that detail.

Patterson goes to the restaurant and hallucinates David as she finishes the crossword puzzle. Well, that's a little concerning. Hallucinations are not typically the best way to reassure the audience that Patterson is grieving in a totally healthy way. She finishes the crossword puzzle and sees the message David wrote for her, "GOT ONE PATTERSON." He figured out another tattoo. Also, David is the cutest. I'm so sad he's dead.

Of course Patterson will go after the tattoo because her curiosity will get the best of her. However, I believe her guilt is also driving her choice. She feels like she killed David and she must atone for that. Patterson has nothing to atone for and ultimately her guilt is driving her to a dangerous self-sabotage: she's going to get herself killed.


KURT AND JANE


It's Taylor Shaw's birthday and, of course, Kurt remembers. He gives Jane a gift. All together now: awwwww.

Jane remembers too, but something totally different. Her mind flashes back to a memorial service held for Taylor Shaw twenty-five years after she was taken. Taylor watches with Oscar. She sees Kurt and her mother. She watches as Kurt argues with his father. It almost seems like Taylor's mother sees her, or at least glances in her direction. Taylor remarks to Oscar that it feels like yesterday, and he tells her it should. She never moved on.

It doesn't illuminate too much more new information, but it does give Jane a memory of her mother which becomes important later on. The gift Kurt gives her is a necklace her mother bought when Taylor was born. It has a green stone to match her eyes. Yes, a very "mom" thing to do. After her mother died and her belongings were sold off, Kurt bought the necklace. He knew how much it meant to her mother.

Yes, that's right folks. Jane is now walking around wearing a necklace that's from both her mother and Kurt. Not only is it a birthday present, but it's the only tangible thing Jane owns that connects her to her mother and her life as Taylor Shaw.  It also represents Kurt's unfailing belief that Taylor would return someday. Kurt knew he would find her.

Endgame. 

So... pay no attention to what happens next. Kurt keeps his date with Allie instead of getting a birthday drink with Jane. Allie arrived earlier to surprise Kurt with coffee and a muffin and he seemed less than enthused. Truthfully? I didn't see what Allie was talking about. Kurt did seem genuinely happy to see her. I think Allie is feeling insecure because she caught Kurt giving Taylor a little blue box.

Allie tells Kurt they are in a good place and asks him not to sabotage it. She picks up on the vibe between Kurt and Jane, but that alone doesn't make her especially intuitive.  Any idiot can see Kurt is in love with Jane. This is like Allie walking outside in a hurricane and complaining it's windy — she's much smarter than this. Allie is a confident and beautiful woman. She deserves someone who doesn't make her feel insecure. Ignoring her gut is only going to cause her pain in the end. So, while Allie worries Kurt will sabotage them, I can't help but wonder if she's sabotaging herself a little bit.

Of course Kurt is going to sabotage his relationship with Allie, but not for the reasons we think. Oscar tells Jane she needs to come between Weller and Allie. Jane needs to be the person Kurt trusts the most. Jane immediately balks at that request. She can't imagine manipulating Kurt like that. She believes Allie is good for Kurt — she makes him happy and Jane doesn't want to ruin that. 

This is why I love Kurt and Jane. The best love stories are the ones about selfless love. Kurt and Jane are constantly putting one another's happiness, safety, and well-being above their own. When a sarin gas canister explodes, Kurt, Jane, and Vanessa Change (the idiot who fired a gun around SARIN GAS) are all exposed. Jane's syringe breaks and Kurt immediately gives Jane HIS antidote. Jane won't let Kurt die, so she puts a bullet in Vanessa and takes her antidote for Kurt. (Don't worry, she tells Read to give Vanessa his antidote.) But this another example of Kurt and Jane loving one another selflessly.

Oscar tells Jane they all need to make sacrifices and Jane shoots back, "What sacrifices have you made?" Honestly, it's pretty insensitive of Jane to say this. She knows they were engaged. I think she did it to push Oscar's buttons. And it works. He loses it, finally. Oscar tells Jane how difficult it is to be with her and how much he loves her. The last thing he wants to do is push her toward Kurt Weller. And then Oscar kisses Jane — which she initially resists — but then reciprocates and they sleep together on what looks like a pool table. AVERT YOUR EYES!

I mean, it's fine. We all knew this was coming. Jane's memories of Oscar are becoming more frequent and Kurt's rebuff hurt Jane. Yes, she's pushed him away, but it still hurts. So Oscar is a source of comfort to Jane. She's lonely. Kurt and Jane being pulled toward their other love interests doesn't make what they have any less real. 

Nor does Oscar's request to sabotage Kurt's relationship with Allie. The main reason Jane doesn't want to do this is because her feelings for Kurt Weller are very real. She understands that in order to protect Kurt, she has to work with Oscar. Lying to Kurt is bad enough, but manipulating him this way feels worse. It feels unimaginable to Jane.  

Taylor was willing to sabotage her entire relationship with Oscar for the sake of the mission. But it seems that, when push comes to shove, Jane isn't willing to make the same sacrifice with Kurt Weller. That's really what triggered Oscar's outburst.

So, will Jane do it? Probably. It makes for good drama. When this all comes out, Kurt will believe Jane was just using him. But the truth is what is unspoken. The truth is represented in what Jane will wear around her neck every day. In a world of lies, her love for Kurt is the only real thing Jane has.

Stray Thoughts:
  • Zappata isn't free from self-sabotage either. She is back at the tables. There's a reason they call it a gambling addiction, after all.
  • Jane disarming the general was another sweet move. I love how the team just let her handle it. 
  • Next week, Patterson is kidnapped. NOOOO, my baby! They need Patterson to find Patterson.

6 comments:

  1. Your reviews make me so happy. Thank you. Just. Thank you for making sure I don't sob over Jane and Kurt never finding their way back to each other every week.

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  2. I believe in one of the flashbacks about Taylor saying it's been 25 years and it looks like it just happened is talking about Kurt because Oscar say it's because he never moved on.

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  3. I'm more into Jane and Oscar, their chemistry is undeniable than Jeller.I found Jeller insipid. I hope Oscar isn't a bad news.I want to learn more about him and Jane.

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  4. Hi! I love your blog .Thank you for your share.By the way,i want to share a best free date recovery to you!

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  5. This was a fantastic review! Really well-written and perceptive, especially about the Weller/Jane relationship (speaking of which, is he EVER going to start calling her "Taylor"?). The beauty of Blindspot is that even the alternate love interests are allowed to be fully-fleshed out and relatable -- not just straw men to be sacrificed for Jeller (I would actually feel bad if/when Allie and Oscar get their hearts broken).

    Terrific ep with Jane's most kickass moment yet--that two-story leap in the Stock Exchange. Unlike you, I didn't think Patterson's hallucination at dinner was a bad thing; just a productive way of working through her grief. And I know I'm alone in this, but that conversation between Patterson and Dr. Borden almost seemed like the start of a new ship...they had chemistry!

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