"Name Not One Man"
Original Airdate: February 8, 2017
Blindspot returns after a two-week hiatus with "Name Not One Man," a ho-hum episode that illuminates some backstory on Weller's connection to Shepherd, but provides very little concrete answers.
CASE OF THE WEEK
The case of the week was a bit of a bore. Patterson tracks down Jane's Genesis 3:25 tattoo to a farmer named Jared Wisnewski. He's using his farm as a domestic training center and building an ANFO bomb. The team thinks they have a handle on the case when Wisnewski shows up at FBI headquarters. Turns out, he's an informant with the FBI. The idea for the bombs and the attack came from the agent running the case — Boyd. Naturally, Weller is royally ticked off because entrapment doesn't generally lead to convictions.
The Boyd angle felt like Blindspot's attempt to comment on the political atmosphere, but unfortunately it just felt heavy-handed and sloppy. Weller is essentially forced to carry out the op in order to find out the target (Bureau of Land Development), but Wisnewski's cover is blown and he's killed.
Just as Tess — Wisnewski's partner in crime — is about to drive the truck into the building, Kurt steps into the street and shoots the tires out. Blindspot did their very best to dramatize this moment with Kurt yelling, "stop!" and then cutting to commercial break so it looks like he is going to get run over. Of course, if you were anything like me, you simply asked during commercial, "Why doesn't Kurt just shoot the tires out?" Then Kurt shot the tires out.
So uh... yeah. So much for that crisis.
Tess holds the detonator, threatening to blow everyone and everything sky high. Kurt and Jane give her their standard, "we understand your pain and rage. The government can be the worst, but please do the right thing" pep talk, and she hands over detonator. Works every time.
Quite frankly, I was confused. Tess had her finger on a red button. When she handed the detonator to Kurt, she took her finger off the button, but... nobody blew up. Why did they believe shooting her would set off the bomb? What was the trigger? How did that bomb explode exactly? I have so many questions.
Honestly, the case just felt like busy work — something for Team Blindspot to focus on while they peeled back Kurt's back story at a painfully slow pace.
The really interesting aspect of the case is the battle between Kurt and Patterson. After finding out about Boyd's off-the-books op, Weller decides to dig into other "off-the-book" areas. He asks Patterson how she decoded Jane's Genesis 3:25 tattoo, and she tells Kurt that she used illegal wire taps from the Omaha data cash Nas gave her.
Seriously, do Nas and Kurt not talk anymore? I know they are broken up, but I feel like this would be something she'd give him a heads up on. Meh. Whatever.
Kurt doesn't want Patterson to use Omaha because it's illegal. He wants to stop Sandstorm, but not if the cost is Patterson's integrity or the team's. Patterson believes Kurt is asking her to stop Sandstorm with one hand tied behind her back. So, now we're getting into some interesting moral ambiguity that feels far more natural than farmers building ANFO bombs.
Both Patterson and Kurt are right and wrong. It may be impossible to get ahead of Sandstorm without using NSA intelligence like Omaha. However, one cannot pursue justice if they are breaking the law to do it. My bet is that Patterson is so angry over Borden, she will defy Kurt's orders and continue using Omaha. If tonight was a preview, it should lead to some epic moral debates between the two characters.
That is... if Patterson is conscious enough to have the arguments. What is up with the collapsing? We just got Patterson back! Can I go one episode without having to worry that her life is in danger, Gero? Is that so much to ask? Hopefully it's just low blood sugar.
In other news, Reade is snorting cocaine now. So... there's that. I know Zappata said to be happy, but I'm pretty sure she was talking a more natural, less chemically-induced way. While this is quite the swerve for the straight and narrow Reade, this isn't uncommon behavior in sexual abuse victims. Often, their trauma leads to drug abuse. Reade isn't really dealing with his trauma; he's looking for ways to distract himself from it. Unfortunately, nothing is working, which means continued escalation.
KURT AND JANE
"Name Not One Man" served primarily as a backdrop for digging into Weller's connection to Shepherd. It means flashback to baby Weller! Yeah! Well, more like Cadet Weller, but he's a cutie pie no less. Kurt is desperate to be kicked out of military schools so he can return home and protect his sister against their monster of a father. To be fair, the kid has a point.
"To really protect people, you need power" is the sage advice Shepherd bestows on Kurt while visiting him at the military academy. True, but that doesn't really help his sister. She's still up a creek. I don't quite follow the logic that this would convince Kurt to stay in school, but I'll let it go. Kurt's father does go to jail, but I can't remember when that happens. (Sorry, off-topic.)
Shepherd's arrival at the academy is oddly placed and sticks out like a sore thumb, but Blindspot needed some kind of face-to-face meeting between Shepherd and Cadet Kurt, so present-day Kurt could remember who she is. This all leads back to the military academy where Kurt discovers his scholarship wasn't state funded. Instead, a woman named Ellen Riggs paid his tuition. Ellen Riggs is Shepherd. It's a little shocking that the head of the military academy just flat-out told Kurt who paid his tuition, but it never ceases to amaze what a badge can do. It certainly supports Shepherd's sage advice.
While Kurt visits with the commandant, Jane speaks with his secretary. Given Kurt's penchant for being a troublemaker, she's surprised he works for the FBI. Jane is completely adorable, grinning ear to ear as she brags about Kurt being the Assistant Director of the FBI. This woman is stupid for him. Can we please stop pretending otherwise, Blindspot? I'm getting tired.
Kurt's tuition isn't the only area in which Ellen Riggs intervened with in his life. They discover a connection to a man named Sean Clarke. Clarke was a training officer at Ford Meade, where Shepherd was stationed. They worked together for years. In fact, Ellen Riggs paying his medical bills, much like she paid for Kurt's tuition. When Kurt visits Clarke, his mind is gone. All he can talk about is baseball. He tells Kurt he's a Met but he was supposed to be a National. Patterson discovers through the Omaha wire taps that Mayfair put Kurt up for a promotion in Washington, D.C. (the Washington Nationals), but Clarke blocked it and insisted he stay in the New York field office (New York Mets).
Once Kurt is able to connect the dots, he's desperate to talk to Clarke again. Clarke mentions the "Truman Protocol" just before Shepherd shows up at the nursing home and kidnaps both men. Honestly, the scene between Weller and Shepherd is a lot of posturing, with Shepherd offering very little information. Then, she kills Clarke in front of Weller to keep "the plan" a secret.
Unfortunately, we still don't know what "the plan" is, nor are we really any closer to knowing Kurt's connection to Shepherd. This is a source of frustration with Blindspot. They tend to drag out reveals at a painfully slow pace. Then, a single episode will contain a massive information dump when it would have been better spread to spread it out over multiple episodes. My personal preference would be for Blindspot to start answering some of these questions sooner rather than later.
- Somehow Roman's remark about Jane always doing what the FBI tells her to do equated to, in her mind, going on a date with Water Boy. Umm... okay. Fine. Play your ski ball Jane, but we just finished with Nas and Weller. I'm not really up for more Jeller stall tactics in the form of other love interests.
- Deputy Director of the Defense Threat Reduction Agency sounded like a fake title to me. I was informed it is not. Leave it to the government to come up with a title like that.
- Zappata is 100% in love with Reade.