Original Airdate: October 5, 2016
We all need something or someone to hold onto in life — to help us get out of bed and face life's adversities. We all need something to live for. Jane Doe is searching for her something — her someone — and in Blindspot's "If Beth," Sandstorm takes the lead.
CASE OF THE WEEK
Blindspot finally addresses one of Jane's more noticeable tattoos — the honeycomb on her hand. Patterson translates the pattern into ones and zeros and comes up with two clues: a Homeland Security ID badge number of a Bo Kaier, and the name SHDWCAT (ShadowCat). ShadowCat is an online hacker for the dark web. He's hacked White House servers, naval intelligence, and the Pentagon. He's basically Patterson, but evil. Bo Kaier is ShadowCat.
ShadowCat is evil because he's been selling modified video games to simulate secure buildings, so criminals can break into them and steal things. Several people have been murdered in these heists. Team Blindspot believes they've found another potential heist at a museum gala, which means yes — they get to dress up. I love it when that happens.
It turns out the so called "assassin" named Elizabeth is actually CIA. Don't get me wrong, she was killing people at that gala, but she had a seriously good motive. Her handler burned her with the CIA and essentially, they erased her life. They also murdered her husband and daughter... or so she thought. Her handler, Charles, actually is the child's father and let Elizabeth believe she was dead. Elizabeth was going after everyone who was involved. In the end, Charles is killed in a shoot-out with Team Blindspot and Elizabeth is reunited with her daughter, but she'll be facing major jail time because assassinations are still illegal even with a strong motive.
Jane, of course, strongly identifies with Elizabeth. Jane's suspicion of anything government grows with every passing week. Elizabeth's entire life was wiped, and there was no record of her. Jane notes that there's no record of her imprisonment and torture (yeah... she's really not going to get over that one anytime soon), or her association with Orion. So it doesn't take much to convince Jane that the CIA is really the bad guy in this scenario. Quite frankly, it was a little ridiculous how long it took Weller and Nas to jump on board.
Jane also identifies with the daughter, Meridia, because everything she's been told is a lie. She doesn't know who to trust. Blindspot's case-of-the-weeks are always strongest when there's an emotional connection for Jane. She's able to stop Meridia from shooting them all, and getting herself killed in the process, because Jane knows the emotional turmoil the child was feeling. Jane feels it every day.
"If Beth" zeroes in on Reade and the emotional turmoil he's feeling. His anger is reaching an uncontrolled level and he injures two suspects while arresting them. Nas accurately points out to Weller that Reade is obviously going through some stuff and to get a handle on him. If Nas said the sky was blue, Weller would figure out a way to disagree with her because that's just how these two are. But after Reade loses it on the second suspect, even Weller can't ignore it.
Weller pushes for Reade to open up to him, but Reade's having none of it. Truthfully, I understood why Reade has clammed up to Weller as opposed to Zappata. First, Kurt is his boss and Reade is trying to protect his career. While I'm sure Kurt would do everything to help Reade, I think most law enforcement officials feel like they have to be okay no matter what. Second, given the sensitivity of what Reade is potentially dealing with, I think he's just more comfortable with Zappata because she's his partner.
Dr. Borden is different. He's a professional therapist and probably one of the only people who can help Reade attempt to recover his memories. Even though they've barely scratched the surface, I think Dr. Borden and Reade's scenes could become some of the best of the series if handled correctly.
As for Nas and Weller, I was feeling some chemistry while they drank that scotch. I'm all for Nas and Weller working together, but I'd prefer if Blindspot kept these two just professional. Kurt Weller doesn't need yet another potential love interest. His plate is pretty full.
Also, I'm enjoying Nas as an authoritative equal to Weller. I like their push/pull dynamic in the office and they don't need a romance to make it more dramatic. Nas is plenty interesting all by herself. Quite frankly, I'm still trying to figure out if she's working with Sandstorm.
(My allegiance to Jeller in no way is a bias against Nas and Weller. Nope. Not at all.)
Roman knows Jane failed Mama Sandstorm's loyalty test in "Hero Fears Imminent Rot," and he knows Team Blindspot has a powerful hold on her — especially Weller. So Roman decides the only way to fight Fuzzy Bunny Feelings is with... Fuzzy Bunny Feelings. He wants Jane to understand where she came from and why Sandstorm is doing what they are doing. Although... we still don't know what that is yet.
He brings her to Lake Aurora. It was contaminated by a nearby chemical company for over fifty years. Hundreds of people died from related cancers, but the government did nothing to stop it. The chemical company simply increased their political campaign donations and nothing was ever done. This is exactly the type of corruption Sandstorm is trying to stop.
Roman: We're not attacking this country. We're defending it.Roman urges Mama Sandstorm to tell Jane the whole story and, surprisingly, she does. The agreement was to only tell Jane what was operationally necessary, but nobody was expecting the power of the Kurt Weller's Fuzzy Bunny Feelings. So, Mama doubles down and opens up. She grew up near Lake Aurora — swam in it every summer with her family. Sadly, her entire family died from cancerous tumors related to the contamination. Mama Sandstorm was affected — she had her ovaries taken out — but she survived. She tells Jane that when she found them in South Africa, she thought she was saving them. But the truth is... they were saving her.
This does finally provide some insight into Mama Sandstorm. Villains are always much more complex and interesting if the audience can connect to them emotionally or at least sympathize. While I sympathized for the injustice and tragedy her family has suffered, the story didn't quite get me to "missile drop moment," ya know? Quite frankly, I don't think there is any justification for that which ultimately leads me to my original conclusion. Mama Sandstorm is a few paper plates short of a picnic.
Her delivery was another issue. I found it lukewarm at best. I'm sure that for Mama Sandstorm, that was emoting, but there's such a coldness to this woman it's hard to see the maternal side for Roman and Remi. Still, something is better than nothing and the story had its intended effect on Jane.
And that's the problem.
At her core, Jane is an intensely compassionate person. In a lot of ways, she operates on pure emotion because that's all she has to go on. Jane doesn't have any memories to dictate or restrict those emotions. So, when someone taps into her emotions she is easily swayed. Jane is desperate to belong somewhere. She's desperate to belong to SOMEONE.
Roman: How do you expect her to claw her way back here if she has nothing to hold on to?Right now, Team Sandstorm is the only ones vying for the job. The lukewarm affection she receives from Mama Sandstorm is small, but Jane accepts it wholeheartedly because she is starving for it. She will take any scrap, no matter how small. Jane is trying to claw her way out of a dark hole and Team Sandstorm just gave her a foothold.
KURT AND JANE
First, Weller is all in on the baby because he's not a jerk. So thanks for clearing that up, Blindspot. It was necessary. However, he's still keeping Jane at arm's length even though absolutely everything in his body is telling him to do the direct opposite.
The gala means Jane Doe has to wear a black evening gown, which is Kurt Weller kryptonite. We even get a flirty, "Do you need a hand?" from Weller as he zips up the back of Jane's dress. He's just being helpful. No feelings there at all. Uh-huh. Sure thing, buddy. By the by, make sure the zipper is going up and not down. It can get confusing, I'm sure.
Jane: Are we playing a married couple again?It was like a knife in heart at that moment because she sounded so hopeful! My poor baby. Kurt shuts her down hard with a firm "no," and I thought Jane was going to burst into tears right there. Also, it was super awkward and I wanted to smack Kurt upside the head. It's called an opening, you dummy. TAKE IT.
Jane decides to veer off course a bit and speaks to Oliver Kind, the man holding the gala, about Lake Aurora. Kurt wants Jane to stay focused on the mission, but she blows him off. Kurt decides to interrupt Jane and this had absolutely nothing to do with the fact that she was talking to a very handsome man. Nope! Absolutely nothing. Kurt was pretty rude if we want to be frank, so Jane covers for him by referring to him as her brother. HA! The look on Kurt's face when she said it... I had to pause for five minutes of pure giggling. I would characterize it as dismay and horror. Well played, Stapleton.
After Jane is knocked out by a flash bang post-sword fight, Kurt rushes to her side and helps her off the ground. He's always just a little too concerned, isn't he? If we're suppose to buy this whole "I don't trust her and we'll never ever be together" shtick, I'm not. (Also, Kurt was pretty handsy helping Jane to her feet. Just saying.)
But then the knucklehead offers up some passive aggressive dig at Jane about trust post-case, and she rightfully gets ticked off because she's sick of Kurt telling her all the time that he doesn't trust her. Then Jane heads on over to Crazy Town with little brother and mama cobra, and they use the opening to their advantage.
Here's my beef with Kurt: yes, he has every reason not to trust Jane. But the problem is... HE DOES TRUST JANE. All of the rest is just huffing and puffing. Kurt told Jane last week to trust her instincts. Kurt's instincts are telling him Jane is trustworthy, but he's ignoring them because he's hurt. The problem is, his instincts override everything else when Jane is in danger or there's an emotional moment between them. Then, his intellectual "I'm supposed to be mad at you" side gums it up. Jane ends up feeling like a yo-yo and I don't blame the woman.
What Jane truly wants is for Kurt to be her someone to hold on to, but she's not going to hold on all by herself. She needs Kurt to reach back. If he doesn't — and soon — Sandstorm is going to get an even stronger hold on Jane, and Kurt may lose her forever.
- Girls Who Code is a real thing! Check it out.
- The massive lettering on "two days later" needed to get shrunk about four sizes. Cool it, graphics department. We don't need to see it from space.
- Patterson was smoking in that dress. Where's Dr. Borden when you need him?
- Oh, and Patterson had the actual Penny — from Inspector Gadget — purse. Patterson is my fashion idol.
- The sword fight was a little cheesy, if I'm being honest. And the slow motion knife throw didn't help the cheese factor either.