Friday, April 19, 2019

Blindspot 4x19 Review: "Everybody Hates Kathy" (A Mother's Love) [Contributor: Jen]

"Everybody Hates Kathy"
Original Airdate: April 19, 2019

"Everybody Hates Kathy" vacillates between Kurt's heavy mama drama and very odd Patterson/Rich Dotcom hijinks that eventually wind their way back into the larger story arc for the season. It's not Blindspot's best endeavor, but it has killer guest stars and the actors, particularly Ashley Johnson and Ennis Esmer, elevate the material.


More nukes. There is a data breach at EVC, a company that builds robotic space craft. One of the stolen files links to a tattoo. It is a series of numbers that connects to a classified government project.  EVC has weaponized a satellite that is equipped with live missiles, which can be launched from space. Unfortunately, Team Blindspot cannot locate the device which has the stolen files or the person who took them.

The prime suspect is Evan Myers. He was supposed to give a presentation at EVC, but he never showed up. He leaves with his son Thomas, who is a diabetic with an extremely high-tech insulin pump. Patterson believes it can store data and is the hard drive they are looking for. Evan knew security wouldn't confiscate a medical device once the data breach was discovered. The plan is to sell the launch code to the Russians. It's always the Russians in this show.

And you don't hire Juliette from Lost, Elizabeth Mitchell, to play just the spouse. Evan is obviously not the culprit here. He took his son to protect him from his mother and the Russian mob. What I don't understand is why Evan didn't call the FBI once he figured out his wife was evil. Instead, he goes on the run. You literally had an FBI agent in your house. Pick up the phone, point them in the right direction, and say hello to full custody.

Evan is shot at a gas station when a Russian operative catches up with him and his son. Thomas calls his mother and they meet at the place where they watched the fireworks. Team Blindspot has to wake up Evan from anesthesia to find out where that is.

It all ends up in a standoff between Kurt, Zapata, and Reade against Scarlett Myers. She uses her son as a shield while simultaneously arguing that she only wants what's best for him. I can assure you that working with Russian mobsters is not what is best for him. Criminals, I'm telling ya; they have some wonky logic. Thomas talks his mother down, and she releases him. This kid has a future at the FBI.

This all dovetails into Kurt's storyline with his mother. His takeaway is that mothers are the worst, whereas Jane wants to give Scarlett credit for not continuing to use her son as a human shield. It proves she really wanted what was best for him in the end. Sigh, Jane. What am I going to do with you?

 Jane's parents were murdered and she grew up with a terrorist for a mother. So her parameters for "good" parenting are broad to say the least. I'm Team Kurt on this one.


Onto the weird Patterson and Rich subplot: Remember when Rich and Patterson were part of a hacker team called the Three Blind Mice and they exposed corruption? Yeah me neither, but Blindspot's incessant use of flashbacks proved helpful. Kathy, the third mouse, turned out to be nutty, held Rich and Patterson hostage, and then Reade saved them. Reade agreed to overlook their criminal hacker behavior as long as the Three Blind Mice were over.

Well... Kathy's back! She was let out of prison on good behavior. There's a cyber attack on the New England National bank. Every member of the bank was alerted that their bank was committing fraud and it was signed by the Three Blind Mice. Rich and Patterson are concerned Kathy is going to rat them out, so they track her down based on a clue she left in Three Blind Mice signature. Then... it just gets weird.

Kathy is planning a wedding and she wants Rich and Patterson to be bridesmaids. There's a whole scene of Rich and Patterson trying on formal clothes (they really did look nice). Patterson essentially agrees to pay Kathy off to the tune of $400,000 by making a donation to her wedding fund.

O...kay. It's always enjoyable to watch Rich and Patterson's work spouse banter, but this whole subplot felt oddly placed given the gravity of what Kurt is dealing with. I guess that was the point, but it just didn't really flow for me. It also didn't have anything to do with the larger plot. Until it did.
Dominic is Kathy's fiance, and Patterson just gave $400,000 to Project Helios. Yeah, that's gonna come up in a court document someday.


Time for the good stuff. Kurt and Jane have gone back to Philadelphia to track down his mother, who is now a waitress in a diner. Jane promises she had no idea Kurt was one of Shepherd's information; and by that she means that Remi had no idea. I am really glad the writers decided to make Jane aloof about this particularly clue. I am so over the secrets between these two.

Kurt's mom, Linda, is an addict. She refused to go to treatment, and Kurt cut off contact years ago. What he doesn't tell us is that his mother is played by Lisa Emery! She plays Darlene Snell on Ozark and is fan-freaking-tastic. Watch Ozark. You can thank me later.

Needless to say, Kurt is standoffish, whereas Jane fully embraces her "good cop" role. Linda admits to knowing Shepherd, but she knows her as Ellen. She met "Ellen" five years ago, and they had been friends ever since. She received an envelope from Ellen's lawyer with a key in it telling her to go to a building (Sandstorm hideout) and pick up some money Ellen left in her will.

Kurt and Jane break the news that "Ellen" was a terrorist trying to gain information on her son. Unfortunately, making friends with a terrorist is not the only problem Linda has. She's in debt to her Oxycontin dealer to the tune of $100,000. HOLY CRAP, LINDA!

Linda agreed to be a drug mule to clear the debt, but she chickened out at the last minute and now her dealer is a little ticked at her. Kurt and Jane bring her back to their apartment where Jane and Linda have a few heart-to-hearts while Kurt tries to stop a nuclear attack and figure out what to do about the drug kingpin his mother is in debt to.

The backstory on Linda doesn't exactly fill me with overwhelming warmth and understanding. Linda knew Kurt's father was a monster and once she found out Taylor Shaw was missing, she left with the kids. She didn't tell Kurt why they were leaving, so when they arrived at the women's shelter, he called his father. Kurt was 10 years old and scared. Bill threatened to kill Linda and the kids if she ever tried to take them from him again.

So Linda left Kurt and his sister, Sarah, with a man she knew to be a pedophile and murderer. She left because she thought it was the best way to protect the kids, but Linda stayed away because of her addiction.

There was an active police investigation into Taylor Shaw's disappearance. Bill was the prime suspect for years but the police couldn't charge him because they couldn't locate a body. Couldn't Linda have shared her suspicions? Maybe she could've connected some missing dots. Maybe they could have located Taylor's body sooner if she had agreed to help. At the very least, she could have got on record that she feared her husband and thought he was a murderer. The community shunned Bill for years because of their suspicions. The police looked at him for YEARS. Surely, someone could've helped Linda.

I understand Linda was afraid of Bill. She probably didn't say anything to the police because of his threats, which were terrifying. The show really didn't get into whether or not he was emotionally or physically abusive toward her, but it's not a tough leap to say he was. And no, the police cannot always protect women from their abusers. We see cases like that every day. I am not saying this was an easy decision by any means, but nobody can help if they don't know.

The thing I have the most trouble with is leaving Kurt and Sarah behind. I cannot understand leaving her children with a man she knows is a pedophile and murderer. How is that what's best for them? How is that SAFE? And she never went back for them. Linda left her small children alone with a monster. Did Bill abuse the kids? No, but you can't WIN Russian roulette. You just get lucky.

Kurt spent the rest of his childhood, and most of his adulthood, convinced his father was a murderer WHICH HE WAS while Bill played father-of-the-year with Sarah. Kurt didn't cut off contact with his mother until years later due to her drug addiction. Linda couldn't have said to Kurt at some point, "Hey kiddo. You're on the right track about Dad." And I thought Jane's family was messed up.

Linda acknowledges she missed Kurt's whole life as she stares at Kurt and Jane's wedding picture. Jane being likened to Christmas morning to Kurt feels like the most accurate thing this show has ever said. God bless Jane with her infinite goodness and compassion. She's made a lot of mistakes too; both women acknowledge their fight with personal demons. But one thing Jane Doe is not is a hypocrite. She listens patiently to Linda, offers her a lot of tea, and genuinely tries to help repair the damage with her relationship to Kurt.

We've sat through a lot of really bad plots on Blindspot because Kurt and Jane wouldn't be honest with each other. We call this period in the show "The Bad Place." We don't want to go to The Bad Place again, so Jane giving Kurt the 411 on your little talks, Linda, is a GOOD THING and you just need to deal.

As for Kurt, he's just mad. Kurt tells Linda that he used to think he became an FBI agent to stop people like his father, but now he realizes he became one because of her. She couldn't protect them from Bill, so Kurt became someone who could protect himself and others. He's not saying it to be mean. Kurt is saying it because it's true. The minute Linda left, Kurt became responsible for Sarah. He became responsible for Bill in many ways too. Kurt was the only one left to fight for Taylor Shaw. The minute Linda left, Kurt stopped being a little boy.

That said, Linda is still his mother and he's not going to let a drug dealer murder her. Kurt agrees to pay off her debt even though it probably means wiping out most of his and Jane's savings, but those two never cared about money. Jane would be the first person to sign the check. Kurt also pays for his mother to go to rehab.

This is where Kurt and Jane's stories with their parents diverge. Jane's biological parents are dead. Her adoptive mother was a zealot and a terrorist. Shepherd was a monster like Bill. And Roman... Jane made mistakes with her brother, but he didn't want her help until it was too late. So Jane is on the other end where there is no possibility anymore. There's no hope things can ever be fixed.

Kurt still has that with Linda. She could get better and maybe they can repair their broken relationship over time. Jane wants that for Kurt more than anything. So she offers compassion and hope when Kurt can't do it for himself. It's not his mother's love which made all the difference in Kurt's life, but Jane's. And vice versa. Kurt offers to help his mother  not because he trusts Linda, but because he trusts Jane.

Shepherd was right, in some strange and awful way: Remi was the perfect person to infiltrate Kurt's life. They have a lot in common. Kurt and Jane's terrible luck with parents is one more thing that binds them. It will be one of the many reasons Kurt and Jane will be wonderful parents to their own children. Their romance may have been born from darkness, but Jeller's love turns everything to light.

Stray Thoughts:

  • "Why did they arrest her?" Patterson is no fan of Linda.
  • Did you see all the flirting between Reade and Tasha? Because it happened. There was all the flirting. They argue like an old married couple.
  • "I just have so much money." Patterson's blase attitude about her wealth is so Patterson. I love it.


Post a Comment