Saturday, February 18, 2017

Blindspot 2x14 Review: "Borrow or Rob" (Rich in Humor, Poor in Love) [Contributor: Jen]

"Borrow or Rob"
Original Airdate: February 15, 2017

"Borrow or Rob" brings us Blindspot's best Rich Dotcom episode yet. Jeller, however, is another story. Let's dive in.


Rich Dotcom is back and he's just a ball of sunshine. He's the perfect funny man to Weller's straight man. Pun intended, because Blindspot paired them off as a couple in this week's episode, which causes me a fit of giggles even typing it.

Gord Enver's — a.k.a. Rich Dotcom — collegiate secret society Daedalus has a risk/reward algorithm. It would calculate if the risk (like cheating on a test) was actually worth the reward. Some of the alumni have used the formula to justify some shady business dealings. The formula is, of course, tattoo on Jane's body. It essentially solved itself when the price of lithium hit an all-time high. Lithium is the main component in all modern high-capacity batteries. It powers... everything. Essentially, it's the new oil. See? You learn stuff on Blindspot. It's like Sesame Street for grown ups. ... Or maybe it's more like Blue's Clues.

The team brings in Rich to find out what he knows about the algorithm. He figures out that the permutation of the formula on Jane's body determines the optimal time to start an armed conflict, which just happens to be today. The formula was tweaked to determine when the price of lithium becomes so expensive that it actually makes more sense to invade a country and take theirs. As Rich Dotcom says, "All you need to do is force the government's hand with a large enough attack."

So Team Blindspot has to stop Daedalus from starting a war for profit. The FBI needs Rich's connections to the secret society in order to infiltrate and stop them. Rich points them to a suspect: Zack Riley. His company Riley Motors makes electric cars. Electric cards are powered by lithium. Riley Motors is one of the largest buyers on lithium on the planet. If the US invades the right country, Zack Riley would save billions.

Conveniently, there's a party for Daedalus members at Jameson College. The FBI brings in Rich's ex-boyfriend Boston — also a Daedalus member and currently serving a prison term. They divide into teams. Rich brings Weller as his date, and Boston brings Patterson. Classic. What results is a particularly hilarious thirty minutes filled with zippy, snark-filled dialogue and frequent references to Weller being a hooker. Did I mention that Kurt and Rich dance? Because they do, and it's fantastic.
Kurt: "This better not be a sex thing." 
Rich: "If it is, we probably should go along with it. Wouldn't want to blow our cover."
Can we have Rich Dotcom all the time? Please?

In the end, it's not Zach Riley who's trying to instigate the attack, but another Daedalus member named Thad Munson, who just acquired Riley's company. He forces Rich to set off a dirty bomb on campus, while a Bolivian national lays unconscious next to them (Bolivia is rich in lithium). To save Rich, Weller goes straight-up Keanu, pulling a move right out of Speed, and shoots the hostage.

The case of the week may have been a little overly complicated and convoluted, but honestly, I don't care. If it results in fun-filled episodes like this? I'll take it. Gladly.


Reade confesses to to Tasha that he's been dating Freddie's ex-girlfriend. She flips out. Tasha isn't the least bit jealous. Nope. Not at all. I live-tweeted the episode and received this fun exchange from the Blindspot writers:

(This ship is totally happening.)

Jane is conspicuously absent from most of the action this week, which is a little frustrating. Nas takes Jane and Roman to all of Shepherd's old residences to see if any of them triggers a memory. Yes, it's a literal walk down memory lane. She brings them to their childhood home, which triggers a rather violent and rage filled outburst from Roman.

"She did this to you too," Roman yells at Jane. "Where's your anger? Where's your hate?"

Yeah... so that's awkward. The reason why Jane isn't fueled with the same anger Roman is? Because, unlike you, she chose to be zipped. Seeing Roman's hatred toward Shepherd for stealing his life gives Jane a little glimpse of what's to come for their relationship when Roman finally learns that it's Jane — not their mother — who wiped his memories. It's a sobering moment for Jane and about the time I started yelling at the TV, "THIS IS WHAT YOU SHOULD HAVE THOUGHT OF BEFORE YOU JAMMED A SYRINGE IN YOUR BROTHER, JANE."

She needs to listen to me more, clearly.

The big memory bomb isn't related to Roman and Remi's childhood though. Instead, Roman remembers killing Emma Shaw — Taylor Shaw's mother. Jane tells Roman not to say anything to Nas. Kurt was very close to Emma Shaw, and he'll take the news better from her.


... Which brings us to Kurt and Jane. Does Jane tell Kurt about Emma Shaw? NOPE. Because apparently Blindspot hasn't done the "Jane lies to Kurt" plot enough. I mean, seriously. Can we have just a LITTLE character growth from her? This just makes Jane unlikable, and it is always a spectacular mistake to make your main character unlikable.

Kurt and Jane's relationship is the core of Blindspot. If the characters don't ever learn from their mistakes and continually repeat them, then your core relationship isn't believable anymore. This connection has to mean something and it doesn't if Jane and Kurt continually think it's okay to lie to one another. No matter how much Rich Dotcom you have, Blindspot, you are essentially house poor because you are treating the building blocks of the show like they're made out of straw.

I understand Blindspot is on a permanent stall tactic because they are a television show and all television shows are afraid that the minute they get their fan-favorite couple together, people will stop watching. THE MOONLIGHTING CURSE IS NOT REAL.

I digress. If the writers are going to keep trumping up reasons to keep Jane and Kurt apart, can they at least be new reasons? Or at least plots we haven't exhaustively explored like... lying. Blindspot, you are barely two years old and you've done lying to death. Move on, please.

Speaking of exhaustively-explored plots, Blindspot continues to hammer the old go-to "love triangle" storyline. Jane is going on a date with Oliver. He calls mid-conversation with Kurt. Jane stammers an explanation and Kurt... smiles. He tells Jane that he'll see her tomorrow. This is about the time I start yelling at the TV, "ARE YOU FREAKING KIDDING ME, KURT WELLER? JANE IS NOT GOING TO BE ON THE MARKET FOREVER. GET IN THE GAME, FELLA!"

He needs to listen to me more, clearly.

I'm seriously exhausted of this stuff. Not even Rich Dotcom can stave off my irritation. Either come up with new and interesting ways to keep Jane and Kurt apart, or freaking call a spade a spade, Blindspot, and put them together. Your ratings could use the bump.

Stray Thoughts:
  • "Don't waste your life on missions. You grab Jane now, before somebody else does." Rich Dotcom, captain of the Jeller ship, gets it. Enough already.
  • This week notwithstanding, does anyone else want Blindspot to drop the case of the week format? I do. Invariably, this is my least favorite aspect of the show. But I am not a procedural fan. I get easily bored by them, so it's not a total shock that I am getting disinterested with the weekly tattoos. I'm just more interested in Jane's backstory and the increasingly complicated Sandstorm. The tattoos are starting to feel like busywork.
  • Anyone think it's odd how much Blindspot relies on sense memory? It'd be nice if they got into the science of the zip drug a little to explain why that works.
  • Rich embracing all religions is so in-character because he's a religion unto himself.
  • I loved Boston and Patterson venting about their love lives.
  • Boston, Patterson, and Weller equally kicked butt. It was like an episode of Charlie's Angels. (Rich is Charlie, if you were wondering.)
  • Blindspot finally recognized that not revealing Patterson's first name is a thing. Let the games begin!
  • Kurt calling Rich "honey" gives me life. Can it continue forever?
  • Seriously, Reade. Just say no.
  • And now for a list of all my favorite quotes from this extremely hilarious episode:
    • "Stop looking at me like that when I know things."
    • "Me go with Rich? Uh. No, just give me the death penalty."
    • "Feeling a little high-strung? Go join a quartet."
    • "What is wrong with rich people?" "We get bored."
    • "We came in here to have sex with each other." "Oh..."
    • "It's not exactly Comic-Con for me either, dude." Patterson, being my spirit animal.

1 comment:

  1. I always enjoy the ride when Rich DotCom and the ever delightful Boston Arlis Crab visit the FBI! Weller and Rich's date night was the most fun highlight of the whole episode!!! Actually, Patterson and Crab make a pretty good twosome! Loved their banter and the thumbs-up they gave each other after the beat down they gave the baddies!
    I was disappointed in Jane and hope that by holding back on Roman's memory, she doesn't ruin the trust and friendship she and Kurt now have. How long do we have to wait until Jane and Kurt finally admit that they are stupidly in love with each other?!! And get on with it...!!! Jeller is the engine that drives this show and if it keeps stuttering like it's out of gas, folks will surely get off the bus!!!