Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Blindspot 2x20 Review: "In Words, Drown I" (About Time) [Contributor: Jen]

"In Words, Drown I"
Original Airdate: May 3, 2017

Sorry folks! I forgot there was a new Blindspot this week. "In Words, Drown I" is high on action (Ronda Rousey, yaaaaaaaas), and is basically set-up for the final two episodes. But we also finally got moving on some of the dangling Kurt/Jane and Jane/Roman plots. About time.

Also, fair warning: I'm in a GIF-y mood.


I'm merging sections because the Case of the Week is Team Blindspot. It turns out Zappata wasn't arrested for taking Coach Jones' murder weapon. She's going undercover!

"This operation isn't worth risking your life."

Yeah, okay Gero. You got me. Blindspot inserts a flashback that's actually necessary this time. While the team is out boozing together, Patterson's team sends her a name: Devon Penberthy (isn't that a great name?), played by UFC Champ Ronda Rousey. She's been arrested for transporting weapon across state lines for Sandstorm which means she might know what they are using them for. Initially, Jane volunteers to go undercover to the women's prison where Devon is being held, but Kurt rightly points out that she's too easily recognizable to anyone involved with Sandstorm. So Zappata steps up.

The MVP of "In Words, Drown I" is Zappata and if anything, this episode showcases the wildly talented and sadly underused Audrey Esparza. Zappata is cool, calm, and collected as she heads into the women's prison with a solid plan. Zappata defends Devon against an attack from fellow inmates by putting three women — about twice her size — down hard. Yup, that'll break the ice. Devon eventually reveals that her boyfriend is Parker, the rising-up-the-ranks Sandstorm operative (now that Roman and Borden are gone). Capturing him would be a major break in the case.

Zappata is 100% done with playing defense and goes on offense to beat Sandstorm. I'm really fed up with Team Blindspot always losing and it's nice to see Zappata is too. She decides the only way Devon will lead them to Parker is to break her out of prison. Kurt is wildly frustrating most of the episode, basically coddling his seasoned FBI operative instead of letting her do her job. His concern is sweet, but also a little sexist and a lot annoying. Zappata agrees and orders Kurt to back her play or she's doing it alone. Well.. since she put it that way.

It leads to a pretty fun and action-filled prison break scene, which puts Ronda Rousey to good use. Lots of scenes with her kicking butt, but not a lot of dialogue. Unfortunately, Team Sandstorm is well-briefed on everyone on Team Blindspot. Once Zappata comes face-to-face with Parker, he recognizes her immediately. Devon and Parker kidnap Zappata in an attempt to trade her for Weller.
They strap her to a pressure activated bomb.

It's Kurt and Jane to the rescue, of course, and leads to a hilarious exchange between Kurt and Zappata as Weller tries to use a refrigerator to free Zappata from the pressure-sensitive bomb.
Zappata: You think I weigh as much as a fridge? 
Weller: You see a mini fridge around here? It’ll do.
Zappata strapped to a bomb and still annoyed Kurt correlates her weight to a fridge is why she is my spirit animal this episode. The fridge works, naturally, and Zappata admits, "Okay. I guess I do weigh as much as a fridge." USE AUDREY ESPARAZA MORE, BLINDSPOT. PLEASE.

It finally leads to Jane and Devon facing off — which is the Ronda Rousey versus Jamie Alexander fight Blindspot promoted. Listen, I love you Jamie and I absolutely understand it's your show and Jane is going to win, but we all know the truth. Ronda could put you on the ground while she did her nails.

Parker is a trained Sandstorm operative, so not shockingly, he doesn't just spill the beans because Kurt asks. Zappata — having just been strapped to a bomb — is understandably irritated. She wants five minutes in the room with the guy and the ever noble Kurt reminds her they play by their rules, not Sandstorm's. Zappata isn't interested. She informs Kurt, just in case he missed it, that they are getting their butts handed to them every week because Sandstorm doesn't play by the rules.

I mean... she's not wrong.

Kurt holds the moral line and Zappata storms off to vent to Reade (yeah!). Zappata has a history of breaking the rules when necessary and it seems like this won't be any different. She's not prepared to play it the FBI's way, which is equally concerning and entertaining. I'm game.


Runner-up MVP is Roman because he flat-out asks Jane when she's going to tell Weller about Roman killing Emma Shaw — Taylor Shaw's mother. YEAH, JANE. WHEN ARE YOU?

Jane does the same song and dance about Weller needing time, she's protecting Roman, Kurt worked so hard to get Roman out of prison... blah blah blah. To which Roman responds: "Which is why we owe him the truth."

I'm keeping Roman.

The scene in which Kurt confronts Roman is pretty emotionally charged. It's hard to not feel bad for both men. Roman isn't the same man who killed Emma Shaw and Kurt is reeling from grief. Also, Roman can bench a serious amount of weight plus Kurt Weller. Is it warm in here? Roman says sorry. Kurt tells him to eat it, and that's where we land folks. The bromance is on a pause. The even bigger development is that Roman has one of his extremely convenient memory recalls and remembers Jane is the one who zipped his memories. It doesn't go well. We end the episode with Roman swinging a knife at Jane.

Well... next week should be fun!


Jane finally coughs up the truth to Weller.

This dangling plot is one of the most repetitive, unnecessary, and silliest parts of Blindspot's second half of the season and I was beyond done with it. It just makes Jane look BAD and gives her zero character growth because she's literally repeating the same behavior as season one — which ripped her relationship with Kurt apart.

The scene, however, in which Kurt is told the truth is more emotionally charged than I expected. Kudos to Sullivan Stapleton. The look in Kurt's eyes when Jane revealed she knew this information several weeks ago was heartbreaking. I didn't know Kurt's eyes could well with tears that fast. Kurt so desperately wants to trust Jane. He desperately wants to be with her. Yet every time she does something like this, she chips away at the hard-fought foundation these two characters established, and that is the beating heart of the freaking show.

So can we just NOT do this anymore? I'm over the lying plots, Blindspot. Time to find a new theme.

The good news is that Kurt manages to hold on to the lessons he's learned this year. His anger is justified, but he also recognizes that Jane never does anything without a good intention. Before they head in to save Tasha, Weller asks Jane to be his second in command because: "You’re the only one I trust out there." So, we're not throwing the baby out with the bath water this time around, which is something.

The single best part of Kurt Weller is his compassion. Blindspot hardened him this year in regards to Jane. Between that and Jane's lying, neither character has been particularly likable this season. That is wildly problematic when you're two main protagonists aren't all that much fun to watch. We're headed toward the final two episodes, so it's time to kick it up a notch, Blindspot. I would have liked to have seen a little more softening on Kurt's part in the locker room scene. I also need Jane's apologies to be a lot less about HER and a lot more about the pain she inflicted on Kurt.

The upside is this episode did do a nice job of setting the stage for that softening and eventual reunion. I don't like to make demands on stories, but Blindspot needs to follow through on these two. Jeller fans have done our waiting.

Stray Thoughts:
  • Patterson is having some trust issues. And by trust issues I mean slamming a tech up against the wall for screwing up.
  • Kurt said Jane compromised the mission because they could have been following up on Emma’s case and the cover-up. That... is an extremely good point. I never thought about that.
  • "No no no. This is not ideal!" Said everyone about every Blindspot mission ever.
  • "Can anyone really talk to Weller besides Jane?" Accurate statement is accurate, Zappata.

1 comment:

  1. Thank you for hitting on all the best and most compelling points of this episode! I agree with your evaluations 100% and more! Definitely need JELLER to move beyond their trust issues now that the truths have all been exposed! JELLER needs to concentrate on JELLER even as the Sandstorm and tattoo cases are faced by Kurt, Jane and The Team.