Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Blindspot 1x18 Review: "One Begets Technique" (A Little Oceans Eleven-y) [Contributor: Jen]

"One Begets Technique"
Original Airdate: April 18, 2016

I love it when Blindspot has a good ol' fashioned romp, and "One Begets Technique" is exactly that. It's also the return of the hysterical Rich Dotcom. Time to have some fun!


Rich is convinced he's going to die in prison and reaches out to Team Blindspot. He's willing to give up Shohid Ahktar, the financial mastermind behind Al Qaeda and ISIS, in exchange for a minimum security prison.

I am immediately suspicious. Rich is about to hand over number eight on the Most Wanted list and all he wants in return is MINIMUM SECURITY? Umm... no. Nice try. A commuted sentence or release would make more sense, but Rich didn't even try to negotiate that.

Ahktar is an art lover and Rich has just the thing to entice the paranoid recluse out into the open: the Gardner paintings. In the nineties, someone stole all ten paintings from the Gardner museum. The burglar was never caught, and the FBI has no suspects. Rich knows the thief: Randall Turner. On top of being a leading professor in art history, he's also the world's premier art thief.

The plan is to fake Rich's prison break and steal the Gardner paintings from Turner. The problem is, Turner has maximum security protecting the paintings. He keeps the paintings in a windowless and concrete room. A smart watch, that he wears at all times, arms and disarms each room as he walks through them. There's a 12-digit keypad lock and a heat-sensitive palm scan. Each painting has wires behind it. If the wires are tripped, a shotgun blast will blow a hole through the paining and kill the person attempting to remove it. Finally, Turner has a kill switch around his neck. If he senses something wrong, he can incinerate the entire gallery.

Whew! This is episode is like a miniature version of Ocean's Eleven. I kept waiting for George Clooney to show up in a suit. Weller is convinced they are being played, but Rich has work-arounds for all the security measures. With a big "number eight on Most Wanted list" flashing in front of her eyes, Mayfair approves the operation.

Everything goes fine until the team hits the heat-sensitive palm scan. It's no longer a palm scan but a retinal scan! No reason to panic though. ... Okay that's a lie. They can absolutely start panicking.

Luckily, Patterson has a work-around for this. She kills the power and the team is able to open the door to the room of paintings. Unfortunately, doing this also triggers Turner's smart watch. Turner rushes back to his house and tries to take out Allie and Jane with a sword. No, you read that correctly. It is probably an ancient sword he stole from a museum. For whatever reason, our super soldier Jane has a difficult time handling the art professor/thief. You know what that means. Weller to the rescue! He yanks a painting off the wall and the gunshot kills Turner.

It also puts a hole in the corner of the painting. Rich just so happens to know the world's premier art restorer. If you are thinking that this is all beginning to sound a little too convenient, then you are thinking right. With the painting restored, Rich meets with Ahktar. Jane, naturally is his date, and they arrive in garb that just screams of The Great Gatsby. Except nobody else is dressed for the occasion. Ahktar claims the paintings are fake, which leads to some hand-to-hand combat with Jane on the roof, and knives, no less! Fighting off a knife-wielding super criminal is no issue for Jane. Sure, apparently in this episode a professor is a problem. But not a terrorist.

It's all a ruse. Of course. Rich jumps off the roof, using a parachute hidden in his tux. Yes, the FBI checked for explosives, but not parachutes! Sigh. Plot holes the size of the Grand Canyon give me migraines. Rich and his partner in crime, Boston (the art restorer) get away with the real Gardner paintings. Boston switched them out while repairing the damaged painting. Shohid Ahktar insists he's not their man and since Rich is the only person who can identify him... Team Blindspot is up a creek.

Yes, there were glaring plot holes, but Ennis Esmer's Rich Dotcom sells it with each hilarious one-liner and incessant pecking away at the awkwardness that is the trio of Allie, Kurt, and Jane. So I'm willing to let the plot absurdities slide. Sometimes you just need to cover up the tattoos and have a little fun.


"One Begets Technique" took a little time to examine Bethany Mayfair's personal life. She visits and old friend, Marcus, and asks him to help identify the driver in the photo Reade gave her. Marc was friends with Bethany when she was with Sophia Varma. He suggests Bethany get back "out there." Even though she blows Marcus off, Bethany does make a date with Alexandra.

Then Sophia Varma shows up in her backseat. I wish I could say this was shocking, but you could see it coming from a mile away. Blindspot held up a neon sign that said, "Sophia is alive" with those constant flashback images. A softer touch wouldn't kill them. They even flashed back to an image of Sophia and Bethany during the car scene! Ya know, just in case we forgot what Sophia looked like and that she use to be Bethany's girlfriend. It felt like a really insulting game of Memory. Thanks Blindspot, but my brain has the capacity to remember a person you showed me FIVE TIMES in the last 40 minutes.

If Blindspot is trying to introduce another love triangle, then they should have introduced Alexandra about five episodes sooner. The resurrected great love of Bethany's life versus the woman she just met at a restaurant doesn't exactly seem like a fair fight. The romantic side seems like a foregone conclusion. Hopefully, the X factor has more to do with why Sophia faked her death and what information she has that can illuminate Project Orion.


This episode turns up the heat on the Allie/Kurt/Jane love triangle with Rich Dotcom playing narrator. Essentially, Rich just says what the audience is thinking and it is FANTASTIC. He remarks that Kurt is constantly looking at Jane and not Allie whenever there's danger. He needles both Jane and Kurt about their sexual tension (while they are in Allie's presence). The three try to shrug it off for a time, but it quickly winds its way to pointless. It's so deliciously awkward.

Allie decides there's something between Kurt and Jane (SHOCKER, NEWS AT 11!) and she needs "some space." Here's the issue: Kurt and Allie started their "thing" with Allie acknowledging she didn't want to be a consolation prize for Kurt. Allie was well aware there was something between Kurt and Jane before she jumped back into bed with Weller. Suddenly acting like this was news to her rang a little false for me.

Also, Kurt acting like he had no idea what Allie was talking about is pretty ridiculous too. Dude, you just made out with the woman a couple weeks ago. You sat at the park — a.k.a. your secret spot of special feelings — waiting for Jane to show up so you could proclaim your undying love for her. The man probably has a list of baby names hidden in his desk somewhere. So, let's not play the "we're just co-workers" game, Kurt "Heart Eyes" Weller.

As expected, Jane plays the emotional manipulation card Oscar asked her to play and pretends to remember fishing with Kurt and his dad. She produces the fake memory at a particularly effective time — when Kurt brings her to see Bill at the hospital. Kurt eats it up. It is basically heart eyes on steroids. Great.

I know Jane is only doing this because Oscar threatened to kill Kurt if she didn't work with him. Ahem. Say Jane, remember when Oscar threatened to kill Kurt? Here's just a thought: maybe you should stop sleeping with him? I don't care how yummy the Chinese food is.

... Sorry, did that sound bitter? Good. It should. Eventually this whole "I pretended to remember our childhood so you would fall even more in love with me even though you are already completely in love with me" game would play better if Jane wasn't also sleeping with the man forcing her to do it. It makes it look like Jane isn't being forced to do anything. It makes it look like she's choosing to lie to Kurt willingly for "the mission."

That's going to be a tougher pill to swallow — and forgive — for both me and Kurt Weller.

Stray Thoughts:
  • Patterson going "cat claws" on Boston is a thing of beauty. Let's do that more often.
  • Weller holding Patterson back and saying "calm down," while being equally stunned and proud is also a winner. Let's do that more often too.
  • I know Blindspot doesn't control the promo department, but maybe drop them a line and ask them to stop using "the most shocking twist ever" for every promotion. Because... there weren't any shocking twists.

1 comment:

  1. I agree regarding Jane and Kurt. The writers need to reinforce the fact that Jane is lying to Kurt in order to protect him, because at the moment it seems like she's jumped onto Oscar's bandwagon (amongst other things). If the Jane and Weller relationship is going to have any kind of substance I think Jane needs to push back a little harder against Oscar.

    I still think Oscar is holding something back about the reason their relationship ended. I don't think it was the mission that led to their split, I think it had something to do with what went down with Marcus and Cade.