Monday, November 5, 2018

Blindspot 4x04 Review: "Sous-Vide" (Isolation) [Contributor: Jen]

Original Airdate: November 2, 2018

A bio weapon forces Team Blindspot into a lock down in "Sous-Vide."  However, the quarantine is not the only isolation these characters are battling.


The brief respite we received last week from complicated tattoo explanation is over. We twist and turn ourselves every which way to solve the tattoo in "Sous-Vide." First, we begin with a recipe. No this is not Cupcake Wars. You are on the right channel. Kurt arrives home after spying on his wife only to find Rich Dotcom cooking in his kitchen. Rich discovered a clue in the Tokoyo cache to solve another tattoo. The clue is a recipe, which means the Blindspot writers are just brainstorming ways to get Rich into Kurt's apartment and wear an apron. I fully support this endeavor.

I am way more interested in Kurt Weller giving Rich Dotcom cooking lessons than solving a tattoo, but this is still Blindspot. Rich's recipe is a stew and stews don't require cream, so that's the ingredient to unlock the tattoo. The solved tattoo spits out an address to an abandoned psychiatric hospital. (Rich: "How bad does an asylum need to be to get shut down in the 50s?")

Kurt, Reade, and Remi investigate the asylum and we are in every scary Halloween movie I've ever seen — complete with flickering lights. Someone starts shooting at them through a wall but the team takes him out. The dead gunman was protecting some super creepy doll collection hiding behind the wall. I think I hate creepy dolls even more than I hate asylums.

The gunman is a well-known drug smuggler named The Carpathian. Rich explains drugs can be starched and shaped into objects like dolls for smuggling. I believe him because there were cocaine dolls in Traffic. Feel free to fact check me on that, but I'm pretty sure.

Patterson brings in Laurel Chadwick — an expert in heroin starching from the DEA Chemical Analysis Division — to inspect the dolls. The dolls are not made of cocaine or heroin. Normally, this would be a good thing, but the dolls contain something much worse. They release dust spores containing an unknown pathogen. Patterson suspects it's hemorrhagic fever and puts the entire FBI headquarters in a quarantine lock-down. Woo! It's been a while since we've done an episode about a communicable disease threatening the lives of all we know and love.

Colonel Beck of the U.S. Army Biological and Chemical Response Unit begins administering a reaction serum that will slow down the symptoms. Beck looks official enough, so he's allowed to immediately start injecting people. The team will regret this decision later on. It'd be super nifty someone on Team Blindspot remembered that Roman and Remi's tattoos expose corrupt government agencies and officials. When a government agent they've never met before shows up on a crime scene maaaaaybe they should do a double-check before he's allowed to start sticking needles in people.

Patterson discovers hemorrhagic fever requires a live host to be transmissible so it's more likely anthrax in the dolls. But anthrax is not communicable person to person. Laurel is presenting with highly contagious symptoms, so it's a contagious disease that spreads through spores and hosts. This does not exists in nature, and Patterson suspects Laurel has been infected with an engineered bio-weapon. Laurel dies about five seconds later, so whatever this is... it ain't good.

Patterson discovers that Laurel was not killed by viral infection and not a bacteria. She explains to us non-science people eating chips at home while watching the show that viruses and bacteria are like apples and dolphins. Super rad. Carry on. Patterson says, "It was as if Laurel was killed by an entirely different agent once she was in quarantine."

If you aren't saying a lot of DUN DUN DUNNNN in this episode, you are really missing out.

Kurt realizes they used the wrong key to solve the tattoo. He looks at an army patch or something and it suddenly dawns on him, I guess? He instructs Patterson to change the key to "Rosemary" and, after some additional fiddling with clues from the recipe, the tattoo spells out "Beck BCRU."

"Cream" unlocked the smuggler part of the tattoo, but "rosemary" points to the bio engineer — Colonel Beck. The agent he administered to Laurel actually sped her symptoms up to kill her faster and masked the original pathogen. The quarantine is essentially a lab test for Beck.

Beck injects the serum into "Jane" and sends Weller into full "protect wife" mode. Remi must decide whether to trust Kurt or Beck. She chooses Kurt, so we know she's evil but not stupid evil. Unfortunately, Remi is outnumbered so Kurt orders Patterson to open the door. Yes, Kurt Weller ran into a quarantined area without a HAZMAT suit to save his woman. It was hot.

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Kurt injects Beck with the same serum so he's forced to reveal the cure. Yes, there's a cure; they aren't going to kill Jane.


Remi has a little side-plot while all this quarantine excitement is going on. She's determined to find Shepherd, so she tricks Boston into hacking the black site intelligence. He hands over an Ethernet cable which can be used to hack the FBI from the inside.

The lockdown makes it nearly impossible to use the Ethernet cable because there are so many people around. Remi whips a bunch of FBI employees into a frenzy and they hack open a SIOC door. Honestly, Remi's ability to make federal employees freak out on such a ridiculous level is extremely hard to believe. Bio hazard lockdowns are probably just another Tuesday for most FBI employees, but whatever.

Unfortunately, this army unit is walking around with guns. They are prepared to kill anyone who tries to escape the quarantine. Rich stops the door from opening, but the ruse still gives Remi enough time to plug in the Ethernet cable to the FBI servers. Boston hands over the extracted information at the end of the episode, and Remi is on her way to a reunion with Mama Shepherd.


It feels like Zapata is on an entirely different show these days. She's completely isolated from everyone and everything she cares about. It's hard to feel sorry for her though because Tasha is the maker of her own prison.

Zapata is running from someone. She was unable to steal the personnel files Burke wanted from Bradley Dynamics. Since Zapata failed, Madeleine hires a new player — Claudia Murphy — to get the information. Bradley has billions of dollars in contracts with the U.S. government. This means the FBI will have done extensive background checks on their employees. Claudia and Burke simply need an FBI agent with high enough clearance to hand over the information: Edgar Reade. Their plan is to torture Reade for the information and that is when we can actually see Zapata internally screaming.

This is the real reason why Burke brought in Claudia; she lacks confidence in Zapata because of her emotional connection to Reade. There is no line Claudia is unwilling to cross.

Tasha plays it cool by suggesting they break into Reade's apartment and skip the torture. He has a hard line into the FBI's office that by passes the firewall. Does this seem like something the assistant director of the FBI should have in their apartment? No, it does not. If Hilary Clinton can't answer emails over an unsecured network, then Reade's set-up is a massive security risk.

Patterson's lockdown has initiated an additional security measure on Reade's computer. Tasha needs an extra PIN code to unlock it. Seriously, why isn't that required all the time? Keeping your FBI computer at home is a terrible idea, Edgar. Unfortunately, Zapata doesn't have the number, so now Claudia gets to torture Reade.

To make matters worse, Claudia knows Zapata left the little girl from last episode alive. How she knows and why she hasn't told Burke yet remains to be seen, but now this psychopath has something to hold over Tasha. I have yet to see how Tasha is in control in any of these situations. How exactly is she ridding the world of all evil?

As for Reade, he just lays in bed every night and wonders if Tasha ever loved him.

Patterson assures Reade she does, but it's understandable why Reade is uncertain. The next time he sees Tasha, she's broken into his apartment and is pointing a gun at his face. Sometimes I wonder if the Jeller endgame eliminates a Rapata endgame because this is why we can't have nice things. It does make the show more interesting if a happy ending for one of these couples is uncertain (and it sure isn't going to be Jeller).

In more Team Blindspot news: we even peek into the mysterious life of Rich Dotcom this episode. We don't actually know that much about Rich's life when you think about it, and neither does Team Blindspot. Rich does a wonderful job of keeping Laurel's mind off her suffering that Reade asks, "So who were they — the person in the hospital you spent so much time with? Was it a parent or sibling? It's clear you've done this before."

Reade's FBI agent skills are on point, but Rich never answers the question. Instead, he turns the tables and convinces Reade to talk with Patterson about his feelings regarding Tasha. Rich is a really compassionate person with an ability to see through the walls people put up.

However, Rich isolates himself by keeping the focus on others so no one focuses on him. It's clear Rich wants to be part of the Blindspot family, but struggles with feeling completely accepted. Maybe Rich didn't answer Reade's question because it's been so long since he's been around anyone who cared enough to ask. The team reaching out in little ways like this is so important because it shows Rich he's one of them. He's not alone; Rich is part of the family.


Kurt calls Allie after spying on his wife and she rushes to New York because KURT IS SPYING ON HIS WIFE. Unfortunately, Kurt has not figured out Jane is Remi and has gone completely 'round the bend. I knew he wouldn't figure it out this soon. Oh, Kurt... you are such a big, dumb oak tree sometimes.

Kurt is worried Jane is getting ready to run because she wants to spare him the pain of watching her die. In terms of reasonable conclusions Kurt would come to, this absolutely fits with Jane's past behavior. Some assassins came after her while they lived in Colorado. Her response? Jane hightailed it to the Himalayas or some nonsense like that. Kurt's warning bells going off is completely understandable.

I don't know how Allie became the Jeller marriage counselor. I have lots of questions regarding their life together in Colorado; but regardless, she is pretty great at it. Allie says, "Do you know what destroys a marriage? Paranoia. Distrust."

Seriously, where was this woman during seasons one through three? Oh, that's right — she slept with Kurt and had his baby. I think "marriage counselor" is a much better use of her character. Allie poo-poos Kurt's worries for the most part... until he runs into a quarantined area to save his wife. "Jane" didn't try to stop him. Allie is right — our Jane would have moved heaven and earth to stop Kurt from risking his life for her. There would have been a very prolonged argument about who is going to die for whom because that's the Jeller way. Heck, Jane would have argued with Kurt for so long Allie probably would've had time to get a HAZMAT suit for him.

But this Jane didn't bat an eye. That's right, kids, because she's evil. DO YOU SEE THE HAIR?! So now Allie and Kurt are teaming up to figure out what's going on with Jane, and it's so fantastic I can't even.

How evil really is Remi though? Hallucination Roman keeps giving her a hard time about killing Kurt. Remi always finds an excuse to avoid murdering her husband. Roman says, "You know you can't just hug him every time he gets suspicious." But... it works. It's more than hugs between Remi and Kurt though. She even goes as far as trusting Kurt over Beck when it's her life on the line. Why? Because Remi is in loooooove. Jane falls in love with Kurt. Remi falls in love with Kurt. There is no version of this woman that is not in love with Kurt Weller. That's it. That's the show.

Maybe Jane's emotions and memories are fighting through to Remi's subconscious. Maybe Remi can see what a good man Kurt is and — despite her protests to the contrary — has fallen in love with him on her own. Perhaps it's a little bit of both. Regardless of the reason, it's clear the key to Jane/Remi's salvation is Kurt. Her love for Kurt has always been Jane's light in the dark. Of course Kurt is her way home now that she's more lost than ever.

And Remi is lost. Boston hits on something when explaining his narwhal obsession to Remi: "The biggest threat to their survival isn't predators; it's isolation."

The deeper Remi goes into this zip madness, the more isolated she becomes. She is slowly but surely cutting herself off from the people who love and want to help her. Remi's worst enemy isn't Kurt or the FBI. It's herself.

Stray Thoughts:

  • I have a spin-off idea: Kurt and Rich living in an apartment. That's all I got and I think it's pretty great.
  • How does Kurt have a recipe like that memorized? I feel there are hidden levels to this man we have yet to explore.
  • OMG, BETHANY VISITS EVERY COUPLE OF WEEKS. The greatest Blindspot mystery of all — "Where is Kurt Weller's daughter?" — has finally been solved.
  • Allie is in contention for the number one #Jeller shipper. Watch your backs, Patterson and Rich.
  • I loved Patterson's yellow jacket.
  • Kurt is rocking a very disheveled "my wife might be dying and crazy" kind of look lately. *fans self*
  • Remi's evil is kind of campy. I keep waiting for her to twirl a mustache.
  • I did not know the monkey from Outbreak is the same one from Friends.
  • I have no problem hating Ross Geller's, "we were on a break!" excuse.
  • "You're going to single-handedly take out this whole unit with your bare hands?" Of course he is, Allie. He's Kurt Weller. Know your subject, girl.
  • What was Patterson's major in college? She knows everything about everything.
  • I learned more biology in the last half hour of Blindspot than I ever did in school. This is probably not true, but it feels true.
  • I'm worried Remi telling hallucination!Roman to shut it means no more Luke Mitchell.
  • Reade is emotionally shutting down and refusing to talk about his relationship with Tasha. Zapata is pretending she is willing to torture Reade. They really are Jeller 2.0.
  • Kurt snaps his fingers at Rich to get his attention like you would a puppy. Rich is officially Kurt's pet.
  • Weller, Reade, and Patterson need to form a "My Lover Went Evil" support group.


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