"Heave Firery Knot"
Original Airdate: September 21, 2016
After their wild premiere, Blindspot has to settle in and get down to the business of being Blindspot again in this week’s episode "Heave Firery Knot." How can they do that when everybody hates each other though? Well... things either have to thaw out or they will explode. Literally.
CASE OF THE WEEK
It's really easy to understand why Remi didn't like the government. Her parents were murdered by the South African government and the United States tried to kill her. In Remi's world, the government is the Big Bad.
Orion was the dark side of Seal Team 6. When the NSA and CIA couldn't bother with due process, sanctions or any law of any kind, they called in Team Orion to carry out their assassinations and whatnot. When a whistleblower threatened to blow the lid off the illegal intel the NSA was feeding the CIA for their pet project, the CIA decided the best course of action was to kill all Orion team members. So the CIA blew Jane and the rest of her team up.
Unfortunately for Carter, Jane is Jane and she cannot be blown up. She was the lone survivor. These new memories lead Jane with some serious internal conflict. From where Jane sits, she's not entirely sure Sandstorm are the bad guys. The FBI handed her over to the CIA without charge or trial, the CIA tortured her, the government has repeatedly tried to kill her, everybody on Team Blindspot hates her, and the only people being nice to her at all are her mama and little bro. So in Jane’s mind, what's the problem, then, with a little terrorism? Is it really that big of a deal?
YES, JANE. YES IT IS.
Mama Sandstorm (I like that name better than Shepherd) wants Jane to continue to solve the tattoos for two reasons: 1) so the FBI doesn't think anything is up, and 2) because those tattoos all play into Sandstorm's chess match. They even give her a little clue — the pillars in the building tattoos are shaped like bullet holes. Hey! That's Patterson's job!
The tattoo is a similar to the architecture of building shot up during the wedding of a Mexico City narcotics officer. He was murdered with guns sold by the DEA. It's called the Gun Waltzing program. DEA agents pose as arms dealers and sell the guns to cartels. Then they trace them back to the big players for big busts. The problem is, a bunch of guns are getting lost and law enforcement officials are dying.
All the guns seem to be disappearing while under DEA Agent Valentine's watch. She, however, is innocent because her mentor set her up. What a jerk. Everybody notice those side glances Team Blindspot was giving one another when Valentine was lamenting her betrayal? Subtlety is not always Blindspot's strong suit.
The drug cartel intends to shoot down an airplane carrying narcotic agents and government officials with a missile. The missile accidentally fires during the gun fight with Reade and Zappata (nice job, you two), but Jane is able to reroute the missile into the water with the remote before it hurts anyone. DO YOU SEE WHY YOU NEED HER, PEOPLE? Honestly, planes and New York never thrill me, so I found the whole scene unsettling. It was too close to home.
While Jane celebrates stopping the drug cartel, (i.e. Sandstorm can't be so bad), Nas accurately points out that they really don't know why Sandstorm wanted this tattoo — or any of the tattoos — solved. There were a million ripple effects from this cartel being brought down and they weren't all good. Nas tells Jane she can't trust Sandstorm.
The problem is that Jane doesn't feel like she can trust Team Blindspot either, and they certainly don't trust her. However, the problem isn't just the team and Jane. It's Weller and Nas. It's Patterson and Nas. Nobody is really jelling and it's putting lives at risk.
Weller gives everybody the scolding they so desperately need. Yes, even Patterson gets yelled at which feels a bit like yelling at a puppy, but it was necessary. Every time Nas comes up with information Patterson can't access, there's a snide remark from The Unicorn. If Patterson asked one more time, "Why can't I access that?" I was going to put my head through a wall. Because it's the NSA, Patterson. Get over it.
The same thing could be said between Nas and Weller. Quite frankly, I'm still not sure who's quarterbacking here. Obviously, it should be Weller, but Nas likes to run rough shod over him. This makes Kurt look like a pot ready to boil. So Kurt tells everybody (including himself) to get over the issues, work together, and play nice. Otherwise a whole bunch of people are going to die.
Thus commences the thaw. Nas and Patterson work together to crack some code stuff. (Yes, that's the technical description of what they’re doing.) However, the most telling "thaw" was between Zappata and Jane. Zappata has been the angriest with Jane by far. She defines "if looks could kill" every time Jane walks into a room. Zappata throws yet another hissy fit this week about Jane being on the team. If you're keeping score I think this rounds us up to four. She's the lead of the show, Zappata. She's not going anywhere. Get over it.
And... she does. Kind of. Huh. Zappata listened to me? That's a first. She offers Jane some ointment for her bullet wound. You know, the bullet wound from when Zappata shot her. She even APOLOGIZES to Jane for shooting her, to which Jane winsomely responds, "I kind of asked for it." Ha! Hug it out, ladies. You know you're going to be bridesmaids in one another's weddings someday.
Reade's thaw is still coming, but boy oh boy, is it a doozy. Reade is going after his pedophile ex-football coach by trying to drum up witnesses to testify against him. He finds one in his friend Freddy, but unfortunately Freddy is a recovering drug addict. It doesn't make for a great character witness, so the DA passes. There is a huge bomb dropped between Reade and Freddy when he gets the news he won't be testifying. Freddy, drunk and upset, asks why Reade isn't testifying.
Whoa. Wait. WHAT?
That's pretty much Reade's response too. Freddy realizes the reason why Coach Jones hasn't destroyed Reade like the rest of them is... because he doesn't remember.
Holy freaking frack! Remember what? WHAT DOESN'T HE REMEMBER? Of course we all know what he probably doesn't remember, so let’s not dwell on it. Reade is sufficiently freaked (right there with you, buddy) and basically stumble-runs away.
So why am I calling this a thaw with Jane? From the get-go, Reade has been the most distrustful and the most reticent with Jane. He also has the least connection to her. If Reade is struggling with a traumatic repressed memory, there is only ONE person who is going to know exactly what he is going through: Jane.
Could it be, at the end of the day, the rebuild of Team Blindspot will start with Reade and Jane? If so, wow.
Roman is one loose cannon, and I kind of love it. He's absolutely terrified something could happen to Jane and wants to track her. Mama Sandstorm refuses and it leads to this chilling exchange: “It should be me out there. If I die, what does it matter? If something happens to her...” “You're so sweet Roman, but you can never do what she does.”
Dang, that is COLD. I realize these two children grew up in hell, so Mama Sandstorm passes as maternal to them, but this is like cozying up to a barracuda. Mama Sandstorm is a master manipulator. She gives and takes of her love so effortlessly. She simultaneously comforts and debases Roman.
If Roman believes he is less, then he will always be fighting to be seen as more. It makes him more controllable. More obedient. This woman is scary good.
Yet she highlights the road for Jane to save Roman, too. There is sweetness in this loose cannon. There is love in this killer. That's what Jane has to tap into. It'll override everything else and deep down, Mama Sandstorm knows that. It's why she's working so hard to program Roman against it.
KURT AND JANE
Kurt is still calling Jane “Jane,” so that's what we're going to do as well, folks. Where Weller goes, so goes my nation. I actually think this is vitally important. As I said last week, the reveal of Jane's real name as "Remi" doesn't actually tell us who she is. It tells us who she was. Remi doesn't answer "Who is Jane Doe?" any more than Taylor Shaw does. Jane is still figuring out who she is. That's the whole point.
Unfortunately, Jane heard Kurt venting about how he doesn't want to work with her or even be in the same room as her. Ouch. Jane decides honesty is the best policy going forward (THY NAME IS CHARACTER GROWTH) and she confronts him. She tells Kurt that even though he hates her, they have to work together. His response?
"I don't hat— I don't hate you, Jane. I just don't know who you are anymore."
He can't even say the word "hate" at first. He stumbles over it, almost like it's choking him. That's how unfathomable it is for Kurt to ever feel that way about Jane, even after everything she's done. Kurt doesn't hate you, Jane. He loves you. That's why he doesn't want to work with you. That's why he doesn't want to be in the same room with you. It hurts too much. Kurt Weller has no idea who he's in love with and it's driving him to the brink.
Jane comes back with a poignant and completely honest response: "Yeah, well that makes two of us."
This is an important statement to make to Kurt. Just because she's found her mother and brother doesn't suddenly give Jane all the answers. "Remi" doesn't tell her who she is. Jane misses being Taylor Shaw. Translation: She misses being the woman Kurt wanted her to be. Jane misses being loved by Kurt, and she's desperate to find her way back.
Ugh. These two dummies.
As she stands at the grave of her fallen Orion soldiers, Jane remembers when she told Kurt that he's her starting point. Jane is questioning now if Kurt still is her starting point. She's wondering if her starting point is really Roman and Mama Sandstorm.
No, Jane. It's Kurt. Get a grip, girl.
Unfortunately, Jane can't dwell on much of anything after her little bro shows up and sticks a needle in her neck. This family just gets warmer and fuzzier by the second. They've spotted Cade, so Jane's escape story has one massive hole in it. Gulp.
Turns out, Jane isn't the only one in crisis. Kurt is too for a couple reasons. He's not dealing so well with the fact that his father was a pedophile murderer who killed his childhood best friend. Quite frankly, I don't know how Kurt Weller gets out of bed every day while living with that horrific nightmare.
His choice to not bring the truth to light in any justice system was an interesting one, especially for a man like Kurt Weller. Kurt lives to find justice — to make those who commit evil pay for their crimes. Yet, Kurt cannot do that with his father. He's dead. Justice slipped through Kurt's fingers the moment his father died.
It's one of the many reasons he can't destroy the box of his father's things. Borden believes it's because of Kurt's emotional attachment to his father. I believe it's because throwing out that box means Kurt has to accept his father got away with it. It feels like letting him off the hook again.
Pursuit of anything now just feels like opening Pandora's Box to the world. Kurt just wants it dead and buried, just like his father. Just like Taylor. The problem is, this isn't going away and Dr. Borden is right about that. Kurt has to deal with what happened to Taylor Shaw. He has to deal with who his father was.
Which brings us to the baby bomb. Allison is back and she's pregnant. Sigh. She wants Kurt to be part of the child's life, even though she has no desire to get back together with him. You and me both, honey. Let’s just keep this at co-parenting okay? Everybody stay in their lane and I'll be fine with this storyline.
Kurt says something chilling. He tells Allison that right before his mother split, she said, "You're just like your father." My impression was Kurt isn't interested in taking an active role in the baby's life and leaves Allison with, "you'll be a great mom."
Translation: “I won't be a great dad. Stay away.”
This is heartbreaking. Allison doesn't know the truth about Kurt's father, so this reference he made to what his mother said to him is really dark. Kurt is terrified there is something of his father, even the smallest part, inside of him. Of course, this is INSANE. Kurt is nothing like his dad, but that fear is burying him right now. Kurt is sinking deeper and deeper into the darkness with every single drink.
Did you notice the drinking? I hope so, because buckle up — we are headed toward an alcoholism storyline with Kurt Weller. Dr. Border told Kurt that he needs to face his emotions, but he's not doing that. He's drinking them away. Kurt has always been the one to hold everyone and everything together, but he's coming apart at the seams. What he needs is for someone to reach into the darkness and pull him out. Kurt needs a starting point.
He needs Jane.
- "This team is the closest thing to family you've got." There's a whole lot that Dr. Borden doesn't get to know. Check.
- Here are my notes on the Dr. Borden/Patterson scene: HE BOUGHT HER OREGON TRAIL, OH MY GOD I LOVE THEM SO MUCH. HAVE ALL THE BABIES. Don't be the mole. Don't be the mole. Don't be the mole.
- Nas is potentially shady. She's spying on Jane. Imagine how surprised I'm not.
- Is anyone else thinking there could be a Nas/Weller romance in the works at some point down the road? God, I hope I'm wrong.