Sunday, October 14, 2018

Blindspot 4x01 Review: "Hella Duplicitous" (Love Always Wins) [Contributor: Jen]

"Hella Duplicitous"
Original Airdate: October 12, 2018

Blindspot kicks off season four with sword fights, lies, hallucinations, betrayals, heartbreak, loving Jeller (even though it's fake), and twists we never saw coming. It's your standard awesome Blindspot premiere!


The case is Jane — except nobody knows it because she's Remi now and evil. (We know she's evil because her hair is long again.) I'm calling her "Remi" because I'm a big believer that Jane and Remi are very different and the differentiation is important.

It's a little difficult to understand how nobody on Team Blindspot realizes something is seriously wrong with Jane. Mostly because of the hair, but also Remi is so cranky. Her voice is about three octaves lower than Jane's too. I kept waiting for Patterson to ask her if she took up smoking.

Remi knows Sandstorm's master plan to infiltrate the FBI and take over the world was an epic fail, but that's not going to stop this terrorist from trying again! The team is searching the world for Roman's 12 data caches. He's hidden them with the most dangerous criminals. They find the fourth in Japan, and Remi has a samurai sword fight with a crime boss to get it. It's cheesy, but Rich Dotcom's commentary is hilarious.

Roman's data supposedly contains information about the ZIP poisoning, which Remi desperately needs. The data does not disappoint. The ZIP has never fully left Jane's system and it's working its way toward her brain stem. It's slowly killing her; but before it does, "Jane's" symptoms are going to get worse. A lot worse. 

Unfortunately, the team doesn't know we are already there. It's such a bizarre situation — technically, Jane has regained her memories. something she wanted for a very long time. Yet in the process, she's become Remi again and lost all her Jane memories. That's what I call a predicament, folks.

The memory loss/gain isn't the only symptom Remi is dealing with. As Patterson promised, she begins to hallucinate... ROMAN. That's right! Luke Mitchell is back on my television screen, and I screamed with joy. 

I'll take Roman any way I can get him — even as the crazy voice in Remi's head. Even though Remi doesn't need a devil on her shoulder since she's plenty devil enough, it's fun to see the Roman/Remi relationship before the ZIP. 

Remi decides to start rebuilding Sandstorm and reaches out to the only operative left remaining: Dolan. We've never met Dolan before, but it doesn't matter because he's not sticking around. Remi triggers an old tattoo (awww, season one memories), so she can steal a bunch of money. She wants to hire mercenaries and get their terrorist organization off the ground. 

Unfortunately for Remi, Dolan is kind of an idiot and Patterson easily tracks him down. This leads to a high-speed chase where Reade tries to Dolan down and Remi tries to save him. Reade wins, but not before Remi tries running him off the road. Reade rebounds, smashes into Dolan's car, and kills him.

Remi's interactions with Dolan have alerted Team Blindspot that there's another active Sandstorm operative out there. They don't know it yet, but they are hunting for her. Game on.


Zapata is off in Zurich with Blake, who is trying to gain control over her father's company (and his terrorist organization). She needs board approval before her position as CEO is permanent. Zapata coaches Blake through winning over the skeptics, and she does. The board votes her in as CEO. Zapata's plan to fight fire with fire is a go.

That is, until board member Madeline Burke (played by Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio) poisons the entire board during the champagne toast — including Blake! WHAT?!?!  

Sometimes Blindspot twists make sense and sometimes they don't. For  now, I'm coming down on "don't" for this one. I'm not quite sure what the point of building up the Blake and Zapata alliance was if the writers simply intended to kill Blake in the premiere. Mostly I'm just cranky because I like Blake — even if she did kill Roman. So now I'll pretend they are reunited in heaven together. Yes, I know this makes absolutely no sense given the trajectory of their romance, but leave me to my dream.

Now the alliance is with Zapata and Burke. Well, it's not really an alliance; it's Zapata thinking fast so she's not murdered as well. She convinces Burke to crash Blake's plane so all the bodies are burned and any evidence of the poisoning is non-existent. The plane crash plan also protects Burke from investigation as the lone surviving member of the board. 

Burke thinks Zapata is brilliant, which is why she keeps her around; she'll be a useful tool. Not to take anything away from Zapata, but Burke's plan was idiotic and Zapata's wasn't brilliant as much as it was just common sense. I'm not wow'd with Burke thus far, but I'm also still cranky over Blake so we'll see where this goes. Unfortunately for Zapata, she has to manipulate and control a murdering psychopath instead of a naive, but reasonably nice and sane, person. Good luck with that, honey.

Zapata also insists she "dies" in the plane crash as well, so Team Blindspot thinks she's dead. This is really about Reade believing Tasha is dead because he keeps calling. Zapata can't destroy all the world's evil if she's constantly tempted to go running back to the man she loves. She is madly in love with Reade though, that much is clear, so she'll go back eventually. If there are any real hard and fast truths on Blindspot it's that love always wins — even over stupid and pointless storylines.


Kurt is on the road to recovery after being shot, although he's still not field ready. Remi spends most of the episode pretending to care about Kurt. She fakes frustration over Kurt pushing his rehab and, in general, does a spot-on impression of Jane Doe, a.k.a. Mrs. Kurt Weller.

It's painful, primarily because Kurt is so clueless. He's also terrified "Jane" is going to die and spends most of the episode hovering. He tries desperately to get his wife to open up about her fears and lean on him, but our beloved Jane is gone. We're dealing with Remi now, and she hates Kurt. She ices him out, but then hastily has to cover it up because Jane Doe wouldn't do that. Well season four Jane Doe wouldn't. Seasons one and two are a different story.

Remi tells Kurt he can't watch her all the time because it makes her feel sicker. Translation: "Leave me alone, FBI man, so I can terrorist." It's effective emotional manipulation — something we are rapidly discovering Remi is extremely good at. Kurt feels guilty and promises to back off. The hilariousness of the situation is that it's clear Remi hasn't watched Blindspot seasons one through three. Kurt Weller watching Jane, staring at her longingly, worrying about her, and — in general — being a big mushy pile of fuzzy bunny feelings is the show. That ain't changing, girlfriend.

This "Kurt doesn't know" storyline will only play for so long with me. The constant manipulation and double-crossing will get old; but for now, it's fun. This roadblock for Jeller works. For one, nobody is cheating so we're already lightyears ahead of last season. Secondly, Jane isn't willingly lying to Kurt. Remi is someone else entirely, so when Jane does come back — and she will — there's nothing to hold against her. This is the ZIP's fault, not Jane's.

Finally, the loss of Jane — and even Remi's hatred of Kurt — reinforces the show's central love story and premise: Kurt Weller is the best thing to ever happen to Remi. His love helped form Jane Doe. Erasing all the pain and evil mother programming allowed another self to be born. Someone who is honorable, selfless, loving and kind. Jane is the best parts of Remi — the pieces she forgot, pushed away, or willingly chose to ignore. But Kurt's love was Jane's starting point. 

Their love informs and shapes her decisions too. Whenever Jane was presented with the option of being Remi, she always said no; she always chose Jane Doe. Yes, it's the person our heroine wants to be, but choosing Jane Doe is always and equally about choosing Kurt Weller too. And Jane always chooses Kurt. Love will always win.

I absolutely believe Blindspot has every intention of curing Jane. First, they couldn't mention Jane dying without also mentioning the "theoretical" cure. Patterson likened the theory to Santa, but if you don't realize Patterson and Rich Dotcom will be curing Jane with Santa magic this season, then I have taught you nothing.

This is like Elena on The Vampire Diaries. The writers made Elena a vampire with every intention of curing her. It took a couple seasons to get there, but we did. Elena got what she always wanted — a happy, human life. Jane Doe is this show's heroine. She is where we began and where we will end. 

Ultimately, Jane Doe/Remi is an examination of the effect of memory on identity. Remi had to be erased for Jane's identity to be born. Now Jane had to be erased for Remi to return. If the goal is to cure the ZIP, then the logical conclusion is that all of Jane's memories will return — both hers and Remi's. Instead of this split identity, both women will merge into one persona. Jane will choose to be Jane, but she will remember everything about Remi. That is the ultimate climax for this character —for her to choose her identity with full memory of both. That is real redemption. That is real freedom. 

How Blindspot goes about this will be the interesting part. Will parts of Jane's psyche start to break through the ZIP poisoning? Can Kurt's love impact Remi like it did Jane? Will Remi remember what it's like to love him? Will we see the two selves struggle against each other (not unlike what we saw in the first two seasons)? Or will this be like Angel/Angelus from Buffy The Vampire Slayer and we need the cure for Jane's soul to return? 

I know where we are headed, but I'm just not sure how we'll get there. All roads lead back to Kurt and Jane. Jane will find herself again and therein find Kurt. They will achieve some level of peace and hopefully babies. It's what our heroes want more than anything and, despite all the lies and betrayals, still what I feel they deserve. 

If you think I sound over confident then allow me to say Martin Gero has hinted at this type of ending not so subtly. My confidence is bolstered when he continually likes my tweets begging for Jeller babies and when he confirms his intended endgame for the series in interviews like these.

If you think I'm talking like this is Blindspot's final season, you'd be right. I do believe this is Blindspot's final season and I think it should be. I'm not quite sure where the show has left to go and this Remi twist may be the last big card Blindspot has to play. I certainly could be wrong, but the season four premiere has set it up perfectly if it is the last season.

Stray Thoughts:

  • Remi can fight with samurai swords. Who knew? A list of her skills would be great.
  • Avery is off to Brown. Ugh, thank goodness. Jane's daughter storyline needed to go.
  • When does Kurt ever see his kid? That questions should get answered, Blindspot.
  • Was anyone else enjoying how Jane looked all murder-y whenever someone mentioned that Roman was dead? Same, girl. Except that I'm just sad Luke Mitchell isn't on the show (this episode notwithstanding).
  • (Re: The Vampire Diaries, I should note that when Elena was cured, I still didn't get the ending I wanted because she ended up with Damon and not Stefan. So a Jane cure that results in Jeller happily ever after would be very therapeutic for me. Yes, I expect writers to fix the damage other writers inflict on me.)
  • Remi squeezed Kurt just a little too hard. Haha, that was great. Kudos to Jaimie Alexander for finding new ways to differentiate between Jane and Remi.
  • Two Sandstorm operatives is more like a club than a terrorist organization, Remi, but I guess you have to start somewhere.
  • There's no way they are killing Jane. The writers aren't that mean. Also, she's the star. You can't kill Buffy. Wait... Whedon did that. Bad example.


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