Thursday, December 13, 2018

Blindspot 4x08 Review: "Screech, Thwack, Pow" (Diversions) [Contributor: Jen]

"Screech, Thwack, Pow"
Original Airdate: December 7, 2018

Blindspot delivers a tepid mid season finale and truly makes me wonder how much gas is left in this tank.


"Screech, Thwack, Pow" is just a series of diversions. The writers make us think they are turning left when they are really turning right. This is a technique Blindspot uses often. Once an episode is fine. Three or four diversions gets to be excessive.

The case of the week is about a nuclear missile launch from a submarine; it's headed straight for Manhattan. If you are wondering how many times we've done a nuke storyline this season, I think it's either once or twice already. The fact we know we'll have multiple nuclear attacks shows you how many times Blindspot repeats the same threats on New York.

The missile launch is all diversion of course. It's Boston hacking NORAD for Remi so the FBI is too busy stopping a nuclear attack to pay attention to what she's doing. However, her hack of NORAD ultimately gives her plan away. During a nuclear attack, the CIA moves their blacksite prisoners out of the country to a secure location. Is that really the CIA protocol? Doubtful. I feel like there are other CIA priorities happening during a nuclear attach other than getting their blacksite prisoners a first-class ticket to Maldives.

I really thought Boston was toast this week, but he convinces Remi to keep him alive so he can assist her while she's on the run with Shepherd. Meanwhile, after he turns all the stoplights green for Remi, he leaves them yellow for Rich Dotcom to find like a yellow brick road. Boston's favorite movie is The Wizard of Oz. This was Boston's cutest and coolest trick. The fact the yellow lights are thrilling me should be a signal (pun intended) this episode wasn't a real barnstormer.

Remi snatches her mother in transit, but Kurt catches up to them. Remi fires on Kurt and he swerves his car — excessively in my opinion — and it flips. This is how the episode opened, so we're meant to believe Remi kills Kurt. I yawned my way through it because there's no way Blindspot kills off Kurt Weller. We still have half a season. Diversion number two.

Kurt arrests Boston and he explains how Remi tricked him into helping her. He tips Kurt off to Remi's increasingly alarming and lucid Roman hallucinations. Rich uses a program he created which can impersonate people. It looks like the person is saying words they never said. Rich used it on Patterson earlier in the episode. Rich sends a message to Remi "from Roman" to meet at a certain location. Lame? Yes, but if it gets us closer to arresting Remi, sticking whatever cure for this zip nonsense in her arm, and getting back Jane, then I'm for it.

Remi tells her mother to stay put and she arrives at the location. Of course, Weller is there as diversion number three. "Screech, Thwack, Pow" ends with Kurt and Remi running at each other WWE-style to punch it out. No, I am not kidding. Yes, it is as stupid as it sounds.


This episode is focused on catching up all our characters on what the other characters have been up to. Reade and Weitz tell Patterson they are on their way to Mexico to catch Zapata. Weller tells Rich and Patterson his wife is taking a ride on the crazy train. Rich: "It's like her brain is trying to reboot the system to factory settings. Only, in her case, it reset to Remi."

I really love how Rich can boil down overly-complicated plot points into simple, accurate, yet hilarious, explanations. I also love how plans aren't plans until Patterson signs off on them. Patterson in charge of everything is the realest thing about this show right now.

Down in Mexico, there's some bartering with the Mexican drug lord in exchange for his hacker. For a second, I thought Madeline was going to trade Zapata for the hacker. Tasha working for the Mexican drug cartel sounds a heck of a lot more interesting than this plane nonsense. But alas, nope. Tasha talks her way out of it, like a stone-cold killer: "I know where all the bodies are buried. And where to put the new ones. Do yourself a favor and take the money."

Why is she suddenly scarier when she speaks Spanish? After she makes the deal with the cartel for the hacker, Tasha separates from Madeline and Reade literally runs into her on the street. That's right, kids! Reade lands in Mexico, the very large country, and walks directly into the person he's searching for. Diversion number four. Sigh. I'm trying to hang in there, but do the turns in plot have to be so ludicrous?

Whatever, I shouldn't be complaining. Maybe if Reade arrests Tasha we can be done with this plane storyline too. We end with Tasha squaring off with Reade and Weitz. She's outgunned so I'm not sure what her play is. We're supposed to be worried Tasha and Reade are going to shoot one another, but mostly I don't care. I just want Zapata to go home and stop pretending she's the mistress of all evil (because she isn't). If not, then Blindspot should go all-in and actually let her become the mistress of all evil by running a drug cartel. Just do something other than the nothing I've been watching for weeks on end.


There was a nuclear threat and Kurt left Jane a goodbye message because he didn't want their last conversation to be about threatening to kill one another. Kurt says: "Jane, I don't know if you'll ever hear this but, uh... you're the love of my life, and I never stopped fighting for you. I love you. Goodbye."

HERE ENDETH THE SHOW. Just kidding, but it was a sweet moment. Consider it the highlight, because we don't get much Jeller other than the two of them going all Fight Club on each other.

Here's one of my slight frustrations with the whole Remi plot: she hasn't done anything all that awful yet. Maybe if she killed Boston, there might be some ramifications. But honestly... once they cure her, I'm not sure what consequences — if any — there will be for Jane. Not that I want Jane to be punished for something that's not her fault. Of course I don't want that.

However, the stakes aren't all that high. We know Remi will get cured eventually, so it's about the damage she does in the meantime. Kurt isn't telling the FBI or CIA about what happened, so even Jane's job will be waiting for her when she gets back. Kudos to Kurt for not sending the love of his life to CIA blacksite to be tortured again. That was a real low point in their relationship. Let's not revisit it.

This is the midseason finale, but nothing feels very exciting to me. It all unfolded relatively predictably, despite the multiple diversions Blindspot had going. The whole "Remi and Zapata are evil" storylines have grown stale. I'm ready to move on. Last week was wonderful because it allowed Kurt and Remi to hash things out, but that's done now; so let's cure her and move on.

My general restlessness and boredom mean I'm ready for this show to be done. There just doesn't seem to be a lot of story left to tell. It's time to wrap Blindspot up after this season. Cure Jane, kill Shepherd, hook up Reade and Zapata, give me Jeller babies, and Patterson can rule the world and get a spin-off with Rich Dotcom.

The end. Roll credits.

Stray Thoughts:

  • Rich leaves a goodbye voicemail to Boston, but then tricks him into saying "I love you" by allowing him to think he's going to spend the rest of his life in supermax. They are so horribly dysfunctional and hilarious. This is also diversion number five, I believe.
  • A PSA for Remi: You can't just yell someone out of their PTSD.
  • How many "Cure Remi" subplots do we have going now? Four? Oy. Pick one and move it along.
  • Her mother knew the zip was poison and yet Remi still wants to work with Shepherd. If that doesn't sum up their highly toxic and dysfunctional relationship, then I don't know what does. But sure Remi, WELLER is the problem here.


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