Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Blindspot 1x22 Review: "If Love a Rebel, Death Will Render" (Boom) [Contributor: Jen]

"If Love a Rebel, Death Will Render"
Original Airdate: May 16, 2016

I can't even think of a pithy opening line because what just happened on Blindspot? WHAT JUST HAPPENED? The powder keg officially went KABOOM in "If Love a Rebel, Death Will Render," but in all kinds of unexpected ways.

There! I thought of a pithy opening line!


A baby, hidden inside a duffel bag, is placed underneath a bench. When the baby is discovered, a bar code is tattooed on the wrist. Is this sounding familiar? I know Blindspot lives for its case of the week to relate to Jane, but this one might take the cake. Did they test the baby for a memory wipe? Kidding. (Sort of.)

The child is the genetic match to Bryce Warren, the son of a former presidential candidate. Neither Bryce nor his wife are aware of the child's existence. And it’s evident Bryce's wife has not given birth recently. They are caring nearly 24/7 for their only son who is dying of Acute Myeloid Leukemia. The only way to prolong the child's life? Lifelong bone marrow transplants given by an exact genetic match.

In the wake of Mayfair's arrest, the head of the FBI inexplicably decides that this is the case to finally kick Jane off the team. Huh? I assume it’s because of the lack of similarities. Jane being Jane, of course, doesn't take it lying down. She tracks the baby to Social Services where it is promptly kidnapped!

Bryce Warren and his wife gave DNA samples to a research company in hopes their research could lead to cure for their son. However, the research company illegally creates genetically-designed babies instead. Bryce's father is one of the primary financial backers, and is in this up to his neck. The science behind this, by the way, isn't really explained at all. I’m not quite sure how they went from tissue samples to BABY, but this is Blindspot after all, not Bill Nye the Science Guy. Jane ends up saving the day, plus a couple of babies, and the research company is shut down.


If you think I flew through the Case of the Week you'd be right. The real Case of the Week is MAYFAIR.

Bethany Mayfair is dead.

The fact that Blindspot killed one of the cast members isn’t much of a surprise. If Jane is going to face any real consequences for her secrets (and thoroughly blow up the Jeller ship) then a Team Blindspot member has to die as a result of those secrets. So it wasn't a question of “if” the show would kill a character off, but who. Personally, my money was on Reade or Zappata. After they had confessional time with one another in "If Love a Rebel, Death Will Render," I figured one of them would probably fall.

Meanwhile, I completely ignored the fact that Bethany was hot on Jane's case. In this episode, she manages to slip out of her house arrest bracelet (dogs are so handy sometimes) after she realizes the meeting with Alexandra was all a set-up. Yes, duh Bethany. I sort of thought you picked up on that after you found out Alexander/Donna was a con artist last week. I'm willing to forgive the momentary lapse because this was a rough episode for you.

It turns out Sophia Varma is working with Oscar and Jane. Dun dun dunnnn! I was not expecting that. Jane reached out to Sophia Varma just before her suicide attempt and told her she could make up for Daylight by helping take Bethany Mayfair down.

Essentially, the plan is to remove Bethany from power — hence the murder charge. Jane logically argues, "How about Bethany pays for the things she ACTUALLY did?" Sophia counters back that she begged Bethany to leave the FBI twice, but she refused. TWICE. Yeah, that's true.

Did Bethany break the law? Yes. She took a shortcut and hundreds of convictions that shouldn't have stood did. Does she deserve to go to prison for MURDER because of it? No. The logic of Team Oscar is absolutely baffling. Bethany abused the system, so let's abuse the system to punish her. Huh? What is the goal here? If they want to stop corruption at the highest levels of government and law enforcement, being corrupt doesn't seem the best way to accomplish that. No, Oscar, I don't particularly care that this is just "Phase One." Ugh, I hate this guy.

After confronting Alexandra's partner, Bethany tracks Sophia Varga via her favorite French cigarettes which can only be purchased from one store. (Yeah, just... go with it.) Bethany's contact finally matches the Mystery Man in the photo. It's Oscar. So as it turns out, Oscar is not only threatening to kill Weller; he's also threatening to kill Reade, Sara, and Sara's little boy Sawyer. But who cares right? He knows Jane's favorite tea!

Yes. I am bitter.

Reade and Zappata help Bethany track Sophia Varga's phone number that the cigar store owner gave her. They both have touching conversations with her. Reade is honored that Bethany reached out to him first, but it is Zappata who calls her back. She wants Bethany to know she can trust her, too. Zappata asks Bethany not to give up on her and Bethany, ever the matriarch of Team Blindspot, tenderly responds, "Never."

Yes, I realize I missed all the cues, but I was SURE it was Zappta, you guys.

Reade and Zappata's "help" leads to Mayfair's doom. She tracks Sophia to Jane and Oscar's meeting place. Just as Jane arrives yelling at Oscar that it's over, Bethany shows up with a gun. Watching Bethany realize the sickening betrayal that Jane has been working against them all this time is heartbreaking. Jane, to her credit, is desperate to explain (word of advice honey, leave out the fact that you’re sleeping around with Oscar), but before she can even begin... Oscar shoots Bethany IN THE BACK.

Both Jane and I are absolutely horrified. Jane refuses to leave Bethany, but this act of kindness has little effect on Bethany. Nor should it. She refuses to let Jane destroy her team and tries to shoot her as she's bleeding out. Jane, of course, easily blocks her.

Death often reveals our truest selves. Bethany Mayfair wasn’t a perfect person. None of us are. She made mistakes. But in the end, protecting her team was all that mattered to her. Love and loyalty are ultimately what define Bethany Mayfair. My belief that she was a flawed, but good person, is rewarded in the end. While her crimes are grave, Bethany didn't deserve to die for them, and nobody knows this more than Jane Doe.


As Bethany dies, her chilling final words to Jane are, "I wish I could be there to see his face when he finds out what you really are."


It's a heartbreaking line because Bethany not only acknowledges that she is dying, but she knows she's dying because she trusted the wrong person. It's interesting she says, “what you really are” and not “who you really are.” Who Jane is has always been secondary to what she does. Our names, our identities, they doesn't define us. Our actions do. While Jane is desperate to know WHO she is, she's allowed that desperation to twist her actions. And no, she can't use the "Oscar was going to kill Kurt" excuse with me. Jane slept with Oscar because she felt that he held the keys to the “who” question, while completely ignoring HIS actions. The “who” mattered more than the “what.”  It's a fatal choice that Bethany Mayfair pays the price for. So her final words are a judgment on Jane's actions. What Jane has done can never be undone — no matter who she is.

Of course, this will have disastrous consequences for Jane and Kurt. Kurt Weller believes in truth. It's the core of who is. The reason he could forgive Bethany for her actions with Daylight is because she told him the truth. Kurt can understand that everyone makes mistakes. Bethany offered Kurt honesty and ultimately, that's how he held onto his belief in Mayfair.

Honesty is not something Jane has offered to Kurt. Now that Bethany is dead, I fear it's truly too late. If she had only told Kurt about Oscar. If she had only come to him. If she had only treated Kurt like the partner he truly is. Yes, Oscar threatened Kurt's life, but how is that different from what Kurt faces every day? The truth is, what has motivated Jane are ANSWERS. She sacrificed her relationship with Kurt to get them and now... this is the price for her choices.

So, of course, Blindspot brings Kurt and Jane together just as the show is about to destroy them. After Jane is fired, Kurt tells her she was never a case to him. Psst, everybody knows that Kurt. Your super secret bunny feels aren't so super secret, Spy Boy.

Since they no longer work together, Kurt decides to just go for it. He kisses her and boy, it is hot. It reminds me of a scene between Jess and Nick on New Girl when Jess demands Nick “kiss her like a man.” Kurt kisses Jane like a man. He just takes her and Jane is left absolutely breathless. Me too, girl.

However, Jane's secrets are not the only powder keg blowing up in "If Love a Rebel, Death Will Render." Kurt's father is in his final moments and, with his last breath, Bill Weller confesses the truth: He killed Taylor Shaw all those years ago.


"It's under the fort, Kurt," may be one of the most chilling television lines I've ever heard.

But wait. WHAT? The phrase "I did not see that coming" fall impossibly short in this case. Watching Bill and Kurt rebuild their relationship has been one of the highlights of season. Bill's emotional attempted suicide confession, finally explaining where he was the night Taylor went missing, and Kurt's forgiveness are some of the most powerful scenes of the show.

And it was all a lie?

Whether Bill's claim that it was an accident is true or not (although given his track record, I'm leaning toward “not”) there is some serious sociopathic behavior in the lies he told Kurt. Bill's need for Kurt to believe in his innocence, even though he was guilty, outweighed everything. Bill went to great lengths to convince Kurt of his innocence and to secure his forgiveness, only to snatch it away in his final moments. That's psychological torture. There's no other way to describe it.

Death reveals who Bill Weller truly is, just like it did with Mayfair. Unfortunately, the results are not so honorable. Bill Weller is selfish, manipulative, and a liar. He is also, quite possibly, a murderer.

The depth of Kurt's confusion and horror knows no bounds. Sullivan Stapleton does an exemplary job. Kurt Weller is the backbone of this show. He is resilient, honorable, truthful and strong. But Kurt's reaction to his father's confession is like watching a building fall. In seconds, the man is gone. Kurt Weller is a little boy once more, and he's lost Taylor all over again.

If Bill is telling the truth, then who is Jane Doe? Did Taylor Shaw know she wasn't Taylor Shaw when she began her “mission”? Is this all a ruse to infiltrate the FBI? How deep do the lies go? And how much is Jane Doe, before the memory wipe, a part of it?

Does this change Kurt's feelings for Jane? Does Kurt only love Jane because of who he believes she is? Does Kurt love Jane Doe or Taylor Shaw? Both? Or maybe neither once he learns of her betrayal. All I can say is the emotional wreckage will be catastrophic. Kurt and Jane will have a long road back to one another.

Yes, even after all of this, I still believe they are meant to be together. Jane’s identity is secondary to what Kurt and Jane share. There is an intrinsic connection between these two. Perhaps, we attributed it to Jane being Taylor Shaw, but maybe it's even simpler than that.  Identity is defined by our actions. Jane and Kurt are the best versions of themselves when they are together, which is the most you can hope for when you fall in love. Taylor Shaw is secondary. You don't have to share a past with someone to have a future. Jane's instinct is to trust Kurt. Kurt's instinct is to trust Jane. Whenever they ignore what is innate to them, they become lost. The memory wipe, murder, lies, and betrayal are all huge problems that Jane and Kurt must face.

But, in the end, they are each other's starting point for a reason. This story begins with them, and it will end with them. If they hold to what is true, Kurt and Jane will find each other through the darkness.


  1. So much hope in your words that will help us in this hiatus that's going to be very very long and tough to bare.

    Just, in Jane's defense, I think Oscar and 'the others' planned that Jane needed to trust Oscar in a different level, that he could lose him, hence her answers. That happened in the episode in which she goes AWOL. I firmly believe that the threat from Cade (Tom Lipinski's character) was part of the plan, so she believed that could lose Oscar. Remember how she run towards Oscar thinking that he was dead.
    I think it's been all in pre-memory wipe Jane's plan. To manipulate her into trusting Oscar enough to keep all the clues into Mayfair's accusation of murder.
    But yeah, Jane should never have trusted Oscar. Altho I get why she did for a while eventually.

  2. Blindspot is pretty good at delivering the twists. However,it's ratings have been declining steadily after the promising start they had last year. I believe they should have made a better choice of actor for the main male character. This drastically reduces my investment in the show.