Friday, April 5, 2019

Blindspot 4x17 Review: "The Night of the Dying Breath" (Where Is My Wife?) [Contributor: Jen]

"The Night of the Dying Breath"
Original Airdate: April 5, 2019

Dominic kidnapped Jane at the end of "The One Where Jane Visits an Old Friend" and I feared he "zipped" her again. The good news is Jane still has her memories. The bad news is she's FREAKING BURIED ALIVE! I am officially stressed out.

In the interest of brevity, I'm going to do away with sections for "The Night of the Dying Breath." It's all one big mangled pile of goodness. Blindspot does well with these kind of high stake plots, which can be handled within an episode. It's the long game where this show struggles.

Poor Jane. She's buried underground, trapped in a wooden coffin with only a flashlight and a cell phone. Dominic has disabled her outgoing calls and it's an encrypted VPN. However, Patterson and Rich trace the call based on the phones which pinged at the same cell tower during the proof of life call. It doesn't give them Jane's location, but it does provide a search radius. This feels like Blindspot science.

Once the team tracks down the cell phone number they are able to call Jane freely. Jane says: "I'm in a box under the ground. I've got a flashlight and a phone. Scramble the jets."

Jane made a funny, guys! This is one of Jaimie Alexander's best episodes in a long time. We run the gamut of emotions with Jane and Jaimie Alexander nails each one. I was either tearing up, freaking out or laughing out loud right along with our heroine. Blindspot has become more of an ensemble over the last few seasons and all the actors are wonderful, but I wish they'd give the ball to their quarterback a little more often.

Dominic kidnapping Jane is Madeline Burke's "get out of jail free" card. She wants a plane and trip to Moscow in exchange for Jane's location. Kurt vacillates between giving Madeline everything she wants to ripping her face off, so it's probably good he's not in charge right now. 

That job falls on Reade who seems to grow calmer as Weller grows more panicked. Kurt wants Reade to ground all air traffic and while I am a big fan of Jane, that feels kind of nuts. And expensive. Can you imagine if they shut down airports every time there's a missing person? Yikes. Of course, if it was my person missing, I'd be screaming at the FAA too.

If you're wondering how Jane figured out she was buried underground, it's because she punched a hole in her coffin and dirt fell through it. I'm pretty confident I could not punch a hole through wood, so this was pretty awesome. At least, until the tiny coffin started filling with dirt. Then it was just scary. 

Things go from bad to worse for Jane. A nasty bug bites her (EWWW BUGS), Rich and Patterson make her eat dirt for clues (EWWW DIRT), and then her cell phone dies. I don't ever want to be buried alive. I really wouldn't do well.

The Jeller in "The Night of the Dying Breath" is top-notch. Kurt and Jane make sure their last words are "I love you" every time they speak on the phone. That's goals. Kurt is very soothing with Jane, promising to find her, while Jane cries because well she's buried alive. What would you do? I'd cry A LOT.  Kurt spends the rest of his time beating his chest like a gorilla, threatening everyone, agreeing to make deals with anyone, and yelling, "Where is my wife?" a lot. It's hot.

Patterson and Rich are desperately trying to locate Jane, but her cell phone goes dead. Why does the cell phone always die when characters are in crisis? It's maddening! 
Patterson: "We can set up an auto dial that will keep trying Jane's phone and connect us the second she gets it back up and running." 
Rich: "You just said her battery died. What do you expect her to do? Lick her finger and plug it into the dirt?" 
Patterson: "She'll think of something. She's Jane!"
Jane does think of something. She hot wires her phone battery to the flashlight battery using only the underwire from her bra. Thus making the only pro argument for underwire bras. Is this something that would actually work? I don't know. I was a Mass Communications major. Whatever. SHE'S IN A HOLE, PEOPLE! WE DON'T CARE ABOUT REAL SCIENCE ANYMORE!

Madeline Burke's attorney Richard Shirley is all Texas twang and summer shorts, which is meant to charm people into believing he's a good guy. How can he not be if he just took his kids to Wizarding World? I'm sure the shtick works well in the courtroom. His opponents probably underestimate him, but Team Blindspot does not make that mistake. 

This really boils down to a head to head between Madeline and Zapata. Madeline Burke is responsible for a lot of heinous criminal activity which includes the murder of her husband. Something her beloved sons don't know about. Zapata threatens to expose her and recharge Madeline's younger son with the DUI she had wiped from his record. It's family versus family. Tasha is ready to do anything to save hers, but can Madeline say the same?

The answer is yes. She discloses the location of Dominic's cabin right, but unfortunately he's gone and they are no closer to finding Jane. Team Blindspot is ready to ride or die. Everyone tells Reade to make the deal with Madeline even if doing so sends them all to jail. Jane, ever our heroine, made Reade promise not to let Madeline go on her account. Kurt also reminds Reade he promised him they'd get Jane back. THE FEELS, Y'ALL.

Reade's promise to Kurt wins out. Sorry Jane! You don't get to selflessly die for the greater good today. Maybe next episode. 

Reade agrees to the plane right around the time Jane gets her phone back up and running. Ah, the convenience of television. I love you. Patterson is able to triangulate her location through the magic of FBI triangulation just as Jane is running out of air. Did we know this would happen? Yes. Does it make it any less thrilling? No.

Kurt Weller, massive oak tree of a man, practically digs Jane out of the ground with his bare hands. All right, he has a shovel. But it's little and no one else helps dig. What the frack? The FBI couldn't have brought more than one shovel?

I don't fully understand what Madeline provided the team once this plane deal was made. Kurt was already at Dominic's cabin and the phone triangulation led the team to her location. It doesn't matter because Reade reneges on the deal once Jane is safe. Madeline and Shirley insisted on being in a conference room with no recording devices. They didn't want any record of Madeline admitting to criminal activity. Since there's no legal record of the deal, Reade and Zapata pretend it never existed. Ha, I love it.

The last time we saw Kurt Weller digging in the ground it was for the body of Taylor Shaw. It was the moment he realized his father was guilty for her murder all along and Jane had been lying to him about her identity. It is one of the most disturbing scenes in the series, so this moment felt very full circle to me. 

Kurt is no longer chasing after the dead. Jane knows who she is. There are no more lies between them. He finds Jane, performs mouth-to-mouth, and breathes life into her again. It was an inherently hopeful moment and a reminder of how far Kurt and Jane have come.

The team celebrates with booze (I fully support this decision) and Tasha tells Reade she wants to rejoin the team. The CIA is done going after her. Keaton is in the clear and can do whatever the heck he wants. This feels like a sloppy and rushed resolution to Tasha's rogue storyline, but if it helps move her romance with Reade along a little faster then I'll ignore it. I'm so over their obstinate refusal to say all the things.

Despite Madeline's arrest, Shirley informs Dominic that Helios is still a go. Eh, whatever. We can worry about that another time. For now, I'm just going to bask in all the Jeller goodness. Excellent episode!

Stray Thoughts:

  • "The last one went to voicemail, and I doubt Jane is screening her calls." It was Rich versus Jane for the best lines. Rich gets the award every episode, so I'm giving this one to Jane. This one was A+ from Rich, however.
  • "It looks like dirt, Patterson." Buried alive Jane is THE BEST. 
  • Since Doe isn't actually Jane's last name I wonder if she's ever considered taking Kurt's? Jane Weller has a nice ring to it. 
  • From my notes: What did Jane tell Reade? IS SHE PREGNANT? No, why would she tell Reade that? That's stupid, Jennifer. Get a grip.
  • Man, Jane is going to need so much therapy after this and she already needed all the therapy.
  • Only Jane Doe would memorize her serial numbers on her phone. 


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