Saturday, December 16, 2017

Blindspot 3x07 Review: "Fix My Present Havoc" (Lying is Bad) [Contributer: Jen]

"Fix My Present Havoc"
Original Airdate: December 15, 2017

The team closes in on Hirst in Blindspot's "Fix My Present Havoc" while Kurt weighs the pros and cons of lying to Jane. Spoiler alert: LYING IS BAD!


Roman has a schedule to keep and decides to move things along by giving Team Blindspot the key to one of Jane's tattoos. Right now, Roman and Team Blindspot are united in their desire to get rid of Hirst. It serves as a good reminder that Roman's goals aren't the same as Mama Shepherd. He's not interested in watching the world burn. He wants to expose corruption and watch Team Blindspot burn. It's a slight, but important distinction. Can you be morally evil? If yes, Roman checks off that box.

Hirst killed Stuart because he connected one of Jane's tattoos to a list of everyone who's owned the Van Gogh self-portrait. Unfortunately for Stuart, he had no idea why this was significant and Hirst slices his throat before he's able to dig into the details.

Roman's clues — in the form of baby blocks for Bethany (which is super creepy by the way) — fills in some of the holes. The letters form a molecule, which then leads to a new cancer treatment and clinical trial run by Dr. Palmeri. Two employees (a nurse and an intern) have already died. So Kurt and Jane decide to go "unofficially" undercover. (Yes, I am readily aware I skipped over some of the "connect the dots" with the tattoo. I'm okay with it.)

Dr. Palmeri is being bribed by families of patients to give them the cancer drug instead of the placebo. This is a big no-no in the world of clinical trials and basically any kind of scientific experiment. Palmeri is accepting the bribes because she's broke. She invented a cure for a deadly new disease, but instead of becoming an epidemic, it was a blip on the radar.

Jane and Kurt speak to one of the patients in the trial. It's clear he's receiving the drug because he's getting better. Lo and behold, he's married to a man with one ear. Hello Van Gogh! Eric Vance is a former U.S. Marshall nicknamed Van Gogh after he lost one of his ears the first year on the job. Several years ago, he worked a security detail for Eleanor Hirst when she was a federal prosecutor. Vance left the U.S. Marshalls to work for Hirst full time as her "fixer."

Hirst knew about the bribes Dr. Palmeri was accepting, but instead of prosecuting her like a good Director of the FBI should, she used the information to blackmail Palmeri into giving Vance's husband the drug. At first, Vance thought it was out of the kindness of her heart, but then she began to ask him to do things like dig up dirt on her competition/enemies and blackmail them, beat people up, threaten their families, and cover up Stuart's murder. If Vance didn't comply then Hirst would take the drug away.

Hirst made Vance dig up dirt on everyone vying for the Assistant Director so she could hire someone she could manipulate. Reade, with his drug addiction past, was the easiest target. Jane makes a point of saying Hirst could have targeted any one of Team Blindspot, which is true. This is a team very adept at making terrible life choices and then keeping them secret *coughWellercough,* but Edgar's pride had to take a hit. Weller got the job because he earned it. Reade got the job because of his horrible coping skills. It has to hurt.

The good news is that Team Blindspot finally has someone willing to testify against Hirst and all her criminal activity. Vance is willing to go into protective custody as long as his husband continues receiving treatment and is kept safe. The team practically falls over themselves agreeing and I can't blame them. They have absolutely nothing concrete on this woman.

Meanwhile, Dr. Palmeri is busy creating her own House of Horrors. She's determined to make her billions and decides to release the rats carrying the deadly virus into a water treatment plant. This is the real head-scratcher. This is spectacularly dumb of a seemingly intelligent — albeit evil — woman. She's already being investigated for the death of one of her employees. (The nurse found out about the bribery.) Palmer's history with this virus isn't exactly a secret, and she's BROKE. All of a sudden the virus pops up in New York City and the police aren't going to suspect she had anything to do with it? The villains on Scooby-Doo were more logical than this.

But nobody listens to me, and away the rats go. Of course there's a fail safe to shut the plant down because Blindspot isn't about to kill millions of New Yorkers. Watching Patterson figure out how to shut down the ancient system via YouTube video was pretty funny though.

Of course, Eleanor Hirst is one step ahead of the team because she's Mary Stuart Masterson and that's how she do. A sniper takes out Vance in the safe house and the team loses their only witness to testify against Hirst. Not to pour salt on an open wound, but allowing their witness to stand right next to a window was not Team Blindspot's brightest move.


Hirst is still trying to manipulate Reade throughout the episode and it's interesting who her primary target is: Zapata. She invites Reade and Zapata to brunch and asks them about the first time they met. Hirst may be evil, but she totally ships it. Reade and Zapata retell the story of how their competitiveness morphed into genuine friendship, like an old married couple. If you haven't accepted Blindspot is totally going there with these two, now would be an excellent time to reconcile that with yourself.

Hirst not-so-subtly accuses Zapata of leaving the FBI because she's still competitive with Reade and didn't like that he was promoted ahead of her. No, silly rabbit. Zapata left the FBI because she is totally in love with Reade, he's totally in love with her, and these big huge dummies refuse to admit it. They are Jeller 2.0.

Hirst doesn't trust Zapata and believes her loyalties are with the CIA, so she wants Reade to revoke her credentials and kick her off the team. Translation: Hirst knows Zapata is the person Reade cares most about and if there's anyone who can get in the way of her influence over Edgar, it's Tasha.

She's not wrong. Luckily, Reade got on board last week with the "Hirst Is the Source of All Evil" plan and tells Tasha exactly what he's been instructed to do. Unfortunately, Reade has to kick Tasha off the team to maintain his cover with Hirst as her only trusted ally. However, I have a feeling this will ultimately work in the team's favor next week.

Blindspot has been focusing a lot on Tasha's perspective on her relationship with Reade and her realization that she's in love with him (re: flipping through photos and staring lovingly at them), but we haven't heard much from Edgar. It's understandable — he was already shot down once and he has a girlfriend. A girlfriend he's giving a food processor for Christmas. I think that tells us all we need to know about Reade's investment in this relationship.

However, this is Blindspot and they want us to be really clear on the fact that Reade and Zapata are totally happening. So while undercover at the clinic, they have to hide under a table together or be discovered by security. They are snuggled together in a tight and dark space. There are longing looks. If they gave it another minute, I feel extremely confident they would have made out.

We were robbed.


The reason why Blindspot is starting back up with Reade and Zapata is so we have something to distract us from the pain when they blow up Kurt and Jane... AGAIN. Sorry to all those who are not fans of the Reade and Zapata coupling. I offer you cookies for your distraction instead:

I still don't think we are headed to divorce with Jeller, but I am expecting some highly emotional, extremely angsty and unpleasant moments coming our way. Kurt Weller is running full throttle into this lie because he's a big dumb oak tree. Honeymoon is over, kids.

It starts out nice enough: Kurt and Jane play with Bethany while Allie looks on — a blended family celebrating Christmas together — and my ovaries exploded. Unfortunately, Kurt isn't heart-eyeing his way at Jane through the warm, fuzzy family moment like he normally would. Allie picks up on it because everyone ships Jeller. She wants the heart eyes just like us.

Kurt makes some excuse about not sleeping well, which is sort of true. He's having nightmares about Berlin and Jane staring at an empty baby crib. It's all very cryptic. It does, however, give us shirtless Kurt Weller waking up in a cold sweat. This is the content I am here for. Yeah, I know it was a nightmare and he's under duress, but I don't care. I take my shirtless Kurt however I can get it.

Vance and Julian are supposed to serve as the "Why Lying is Bad" cautionary tale for Kurt — not that I understand why he needs one. The 1,500 other times Kurt has lied to Jane and Jane has lied to Kurt should be more than enough history to suffice not repeating it, but whatever. Of course Julian finds out Vance has been doing terrible things to save his life. It doesn't matter much to Julian that Vance's intentions were good. People are dead and his husband was a part of it. Also, betrayal just feels like betrayal no matter the motivations behind it.

This is exactly what Allie tries to tell Kurt. She's my MVP of the episode. Not only for her ride or die attitude (she was 100% ready to steal U.S. Marshall files and go to jail with Team Blindspot. It was awesome), but for laying a truth bomb down on Kurt Weller.
Kurt: He kept this from  him to protect him. That's not such a bad thing. 
Allison: That's such a Kurt Weller response — you always think you have to protect everyone, but shielding someone from the truth isn't heroic, it's just dishonest. People can handle more than you give them credit for.

I am not denying that Kurt loves Jane. He loves her more than life itself. Kurt would die for Jane; he'd do anything to keep away pain. These are all incredibly wonderful characteristics and are what make Kurt a good man — it's why Jane loves him. However, our strengths can be rapidly become our greatest weaknesses if we aren't careful.

Kurt's protective love can rapidly turn into infantilizing. Jane is a grown woman who is perfectly capable of making decisions for herself. She also deserves the truth and the right to process the emotions that come with it. Kurt has built an illusion of happiness with his lies and no marriage can survive in that. Reality may be more painful, but at least it is real. And real is what Kurt and Jane spent their life searching for and found in one another.

Jane also doesn't need Kurt to shield her from the pain of life. That's impossible because that's life. Pain exists. Loss happens. It is unavoidable, which is why it is so important to face it together. What Jane needs is Kurt to walk through that pain with her. And he can't do that if he's lying to her.

Of course, whatever happened in Berlin is making Kurt terrified he's going to lose Jane. And that's understandable. We all make mistakes — terrible ones sometimes — and fear we will lose the person we love most if they find out the truth. And you know? Sometimes that happens. Sometimes truth does break a relationship apart, but I've never heard of one being saved by a lie either.

If Kurt tries to hold on to Jane with his lies then he's already lost her; she's already gone. That's not love — that's control.

This foundation of trust Kurt and Jane spent years building is a fragile one. Trust is so difficult to build, but it can be ruined with one lie, one mistake. The only way to have a chance at repairing whatever Kurt broke is to be honest with Jane. Forgiveness is part of marriage too. But before Jane can even get to forgiveness, she needs to hear the truth from the man she loves. She needs to be allowed to process her anger and grief. Jane may even walk away, but WHEN she comes back at least Kurt will know it was her decision. Vance said: "If lying to the person I love means sparing them horrible pain, I'll lie."

Unfortunately, the person Kurt chooses to listen to isn't Allie but Vance. Vance believes the lie is worth it. The problem is that Vance is lying to himself. Yes, his lies spared Julian's life, but it didn't spare him horrible pain. The pain of losing Vance is just as difficult. Maybe even more so.

That's the lie Kurt is telling himself. He's not sparing Jane anymore pain; he's just compounding it.

Stray Thoughts:

  • If Roman wasn't super evil, crossing out the from and writing love on the card for Bethany would be super sweet.
  • How did Zapata know to just transfer a whole bunch of data? *insert CIA training here as plausible excuse*
  • Are bagels brunch? That feels more breakfast to me, but you do you, Hirst.
  • Kurt being freaked out by rats is the most I've related to him.


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