"Draw O Caesar, Erase a Coward"
Original Airdate: February 22, 2017
This week was a far better effort from Blindspot, and they focus a little less on the tattoos and a little more on the relationships of the team — by spinning the partner board. Huzzah! Let's mix it up!
CASE OF THE WEEK
We're going to do this quick and dirty, mostly because the focus isn't so much on the case of the week as the opportunity it presents to pair up different characters. It's like Blindspot's version of a square dance, and it's freaking fantastic.
Jane's coin tattoo leads to four suspects that are all interconnected in some way, but the team can't figure out how — or what — these people are into. The first suspect comes from a tip from Rich Dotcom. Jane's coin tattoo matches the tattoo of another man called Lelantos. He's a courier, the dark web's version of Fed-Ex. Then, Jane's rare coin tattoo also leads to a second suspect — Marjorie Ellis. The team discovers she's laundering millions out her auction house. The third suspect is Pablo Estebez. His family sponsors dozens of work visas for Mexican nationals. The fourth suspect is Dr. Katz who runs a body, mind, and spirit medi-spa.
The team splits up. Tasha and Jane take Marjorie Ellis. Patterson and Reade find Pablo. Kurt and Roman go undercover at Dr. Katz's clinic, and Nas works her secret contact at Sandstorm.
The team compiles the evidence from their separate investigations and piece it all together. Dozens of Katz's patients are on donor registrations lists. Dr. Katz is bypassing the list and performing black market transplants for his rich patients. Marjorie obtains the organs by kidnapping Mexican nationals provided by Pablo and Lelantos, the courier, transports the victims.
Roman and Weller end up getting kidnapped and thrown into Lelantos' truck transport as Marjorie Ellis tries to unload the kidnapped Mexican nationals onto some unsavory Ukrainians. Team Blindspot is there to save the day, and all the suspects end up dead in the end. Patterson shoots Pablo as he pulls a concealed weapon on a distracted Reade. Marjorie kills Dr. Katz. Reade shoots Marjorie after she shoots Tasha. Weller kills Lelantos just as he's about to kill Roman.
Nice teamwork, crew.
Alright, now we can get to the meat and potatoes of the episode which is the new dynamics Blindspot explores by changing who partners with whom. At first glance, it seems like none of these characters have anything in common. However, each character has an emotional connection with their new partner that Blindspot wants to explore.
Jane and Tasha talk relationships. Kurt warns Jane to be wary of Oliver. He's worried Oliver could be a Sandstorm plant. Jane opens up to Tasha about her concerns. There's been a long-standing distance between Tasha and Jane ever since the events of season one. Remember, the last time Tasha and Jane really interacted was when she shot Jane. Uh... yeah. They have work to do.
So, the thaw between them is nice. Tasha understands where Kurt is coming from, but she also laments to Jane that she's single. Tasha has trust issues. Underneath all of this, of course, are Tasha's burgeoning feelings for Reade. Even though Tasha never comes out and says it, helping Jane process the pros and cons of dating Oliver subtly outlines the reason why Tasha is falling in love with Reade. She trusts him. Tasha finds a reason to push every guy away. She realizes she'll always be alone, never finding the happiness her grandparents found in one another, if she continues to do that. Reade, for all his faults and problems, is the one guy Tasha can never push away. In fact, she goes all-in with him no matter the circumstance. No matter how many red flags Reade has, Tasha just can't stay away.
The big red flag right now, of course, is Reade's drug use. Tasha is covering for Reade and our perceptive Jane immediately picks up on the fact that there's something more going on with him. She pushes Tasha, but Tasha doesn't tell Jane what's going on. Things haven't thawed that much. Still, Tasha provides excellent advice to Jane. She encourages her to date Oliver, but not be stupid. Jane takes Tasha up on her offer and they do a background check on Oliver, which leads to some unsettling new information.
As for Reade, he's paired with Patterson — primarily because he overslept due to his excessive drug use. Patterson is currently seeing a therapist about her Borden trauma. Despite some reticence about the process, Patterson does tell Reade that opening up about her feelings seems to be helping her cope with what happened. Reade balks at the idea. He tells Patterson that she needs to not think about her problems and blow off steam instead.
It's like he's a bad after-school special right now. Yeah, you're that guy, Reade. Snap out of it.
When they confront Pablo, he laments his life — how he was just trying to survive, but can't live with what's happened to him. He just wants to die. It's almost like Reade is in a trance, because Pablo's words are hitting very close to home. Patterson puts Pablo down just as he pulls a gun on Reade — granting the man his dying wish, essentially.
Patterson, like Jane, is incredibly perceptive. Also she's a genius, so she puts two and two together pretty quickly. She confronts Reade in the locker room after the case is finished. She lists off every physical symptom of addiction Reade is exhibiting, and tells Reade he almost died because he was distracted. When Reade pushes back, Patterson drops a personal bomb: she has a brother who's an addict and... he's still not well. Patterson tells Reade that he needs to get help.
Of course, Reade doesn't listen to her and tells Patterson to mind her own business. This is a hugely important step in helping Reade, however. Tasha cannot save him. Nobody can, but the more people realize what's really going on with Reade, the more he will be forced to face it.
Reade has an impact on Patterson as well. She's been struggling with the idea of therapy for some time, but seeing how Reade is coping with his problems seems to snap her out of that. She knows she's not anywhere near healed, but she's fairing far better than Reade. Out of everyone on Team Blindspot, it's probably Patterson who understands Reade's trauma the best right now, given what she just experienced with Borden.
Which brings us to Weller and Roman. Roman isn't triggering any helpful memories, and the FBI is thisclose to handing him over to the CIA. So, Weller decides to take him out into the field because it worked for Jane. It would seem like Weller and Roman are a mismatch. Weller is so controlled and Roman is so volatile, but they work. It's like a super violent version of Perfect Strangers.
Roman is supposed to pose as Weller's bodyguard. He flips out on Dr. Katz though, because that's what Roman does, and Weller is furious because he almost blows the op. ... Except he didn't. Roman created a diversion to swipe the super secret key card that gives Weller access to everything on Katz and his operation. Weller almost gives Roman his "for Jane only" heart eyes, he's so impressed by his improvising. I think Kurt gives Roman a confidence that he can do this work in a way that not even Jane can. Weller has that kind of impact on the Sandstorm babies.
As for Weller, working with Roman gives him the chance to see him in a new light. He realizes they aren't so different. They both had terrible parents. They both constantly in survival mode, always feeling like they have to go it alone and handle everything themselves. Their lives were both manipulated by the same woman. From Kurt's perspective... it wouldn't take much for him to be on the other side of the glass where Roman is. A few more left or right turns. A few more unlucky breaks.
It's legitimate bonding. So much so that Weller admits to Jane that he likes Roman. Her response? "Just play it cool. You don’t want to come on too strong."
Ah, Jane, you made a little joke! She turns into an adorable little cupcake when her two favorite men are getting along.
Spinning the cast board is an enormous success for Blindspot. We've been getting a lot of the same scenes with the same characters, so mixing up the interactions gives the interpersonal relationships the kick start they need. Blindspot has a deep bench — they need to shift the actors more often, because when they do, it's a wonderful success.
KURT AND JANE
Of course, all of this bonding is dampened by the fact that JANE IS STILL LYING TO KURT. Even Roman calls her out on it. Roman is giving Jane morality advice AND HE'S RIGHT. That's how bad this has gotten. Still, we did get a nice moment: Kurt feels bad for telling Jane to back off Oliver.
"You always look for the best in people," he says. "I wouldn’t want to change that. It’s one of my favorite things about you."
Commence heart eyes. It's been so long since we've had a scene like this I almost didn't know how to handle it. Then, of course, I instinctively squealed and all was right with the world. But, seriously, STOP LYING, JANE. Then I can actually enjoy these scenes on a deeper level.
Jane does blow up her relationship with Oliver at the end and I hope it sticks because I am just super done with other love interests. Tasha finds out Oliver changed his name 12 years ago, which is a red flag. Jane decides honest is the best policy with a guy she barely knows (insert eyeroll here), and confronts him about it. Oliver is ticked Jane went digging into his past when she refuses to tell him anything about her. We can look at this one of two ways: either Oliver is a regular guy and has a legitimate reason to be mad at Jane, or he's a Sandstorm operative who flipped out because he's a spy.
This ties back to what Zapata is realizing about Reade though. There's a trust between them. They understand each other. They know the risks of their work. It's the same with Weller — Jane is searching for something she already has with Kurt. Sometimes it's not about looking for someone new. It's seeing the person who's right in front of you. Tasha has realized this, and now Jane has to as well.
She, however, is further than along than Kurt. Jane is immediately frustrated that Kurt's concern about Oliver is professional and not personal. Kurt, Jane would like you to be more jealous. So, his comment about what he likes best about Jane goes a long way. But Kurt doesn't have a blindspot for Jane anymore. There are trust issues here and given that she's lying to him again, Kurt is right to be hesitating about initiating a personal relationship.
Jane should attempt a new dynamic with Kurt — honesty.
- Kurt and Roman fighting is an atheistic I didn't know I needed. There was a lot of male testosterone happening. Thanks, Blindspot, for that unexpected gift.
- "You speak Spanish?" "I guess so."
- Jane diving under the truck was super cool. She has reflexes like a cheetah.
- Tasha’s high ponytail really works for me.
- Nas looks like she's being choked to death. I admit I gasped, but there's no way they kill off Archie Panjabi, right?
- Jane is closer to realizing what's right in front of than Weller is. Her frustration over Weller being so cool with Oliver was pretty obvious. Be more jealous, Kurt. Jane would like that very much.