Saturday, February 3, 2018

Blindspot 3x12 Review: "Two Legendary Chums" (Stay) [Contributor: Jen]

"Two Legendary Chums"
Original Airdate: February 2, 2018

"Two Legendary Chums" is the first time in a long time that Blindspot actually seemed like Blindspot. It does not, in any way, fix the disastrous Jeller storyline, but at least I didn't want to claw my eyes out at the end of it. So... progress!


Kurt figures out the "Build the Ship" tattoo is pointing to his first partner at the FBI — Don Shipley. It's nice Weller finally solves a tattoo. He's always the brawn, but seldom the brain.

Weller and Shipley had a falling out. Don left a six month undercover assignment for a job at a private weapons firm called Elyria Technologies. I guess Kurt felt he was a sell-out? Or perhaps Shipley leaving screwed up the undercover work? Blindspot never gets into the details much, which is frustrating because we're supposed to believe this relationship we've never heard Kurt speak of in three years had a profound impact on him. Seriously, Jane essentially says: "Oh yeah I remember when you told me about him," and that's about it for background information.

Shipley amassed a huge load of debt that suddenly disappeared, so Team Blindspot assumes he's being bribed for access to Elyria Technologies. When Kurt interrupts Shipley's meet with a nefarious-looking buyer, he learns the truth: Homeland Security recruited him to take down Nils Bresdan. Bresdan is a former green beret, dishonorably discharged for punching a superior. He used his military connects to form an underground militia to over throw the government.

They are purchasing an EMP from Shipley. If you watched Ocean's Eleven then you know what an EMP is. If you haven't, an EMP is then it's a bomb without all the destruction. It can knock out a city's electrical grid. Kurt and Shipley believe Bresdan is targeting New York City. So, yes technically this is another bomb in New York City episode. Until...

Kurt and Don realize NYC was all a ruse! The target is not a power plant, but a secret bunker operated by the U.S. Treasury Department that monitors every financial transaction Americans make globally. The EMP will blast fry their servers and terrorists will be able to move money internationally undetected. I'm not sure if this is an actual thing. The concept of the U.S. Treasury Department having an underground bunker anywhere is a big fantasy pill to swallow, but hey maybe they do. Maybe Area 51 is real too. What do I know?

Kurt pretends he can put together an EMP after only practicing once, but he actually can build an EMP after only practicing once because he's Kurt Weller. However, the blast destroys their bugs, so Weller and Shipley are on their own to stop the militia.

They manage to take down several militia and get the Treasury employees safely in the vault. Things get a little dicey when Shipley is shot and Kurt runs low on ammo. Don is ready to say his goodbyes — complete with "we had a good run," which I think is standard you're-my-bro-I'm-sorry-we-are-gonna-die-but-I-love-you-man talk for law enforcement. Kurt decides he doesn't need bullets because he's Kurt Weller. He goes Rambo on the rest of the militia, complete with an underwater move that we'll just call "The Alligator."

It looks like they are going to die, despite Kurt's impressive moves, but then the wife arrives and blows everything up. As far as Jane Doe entrances go, this was a fantastic one. Don apologizes to Weller for bailing on him in the hospital. He didn't feel like he measured up to the other agents, particularly Kurt, got scared, and took the cushy job at Elyria. It does lead to this moment of introspection by Agent Weller: "I still struggle to work with people sometimes. I try to do things by myself. I guess it's a trust thing."


Shipley tells Kurt not to let the people who screwed him over in the past influence his relationships with the people who are there for him now. Hmm... it's like this has relevance with someone else. Gee, I wonder who it could be?


"Two Legendary Chums" does a nice job of threading the separate storylines into the main Case of the Week. Zapata interrogates Hirst in whatever hole the CIA is keeping her in in an effort to dig up more information on Crawford. Hirst is impervious to torture it seems, so Zapata convinces her to use a truth serum. This makes very little sense to me. Hirst resisted torture, so if she takes the truth serum... isn't she just agreeing to tell the truth? So why doesn't she just tell the truth and skip the drug?

Crawford wanted the man Guy Loewe paid to sabotage the train to stay out of prison, so Hirst buried the case. The man Hirst protected was Nils Bresdan. For all the Hirst build-up, this felt like a bit of a ho-hum connection, so I'm hoping there's more information she'll deliver later on. That said, it does connect A to B to C nicely and I love when Blindspot threads stories together like that.

This brings us to Roman, who yes — I know — is not technically Team Blindspot. But he kind of is? When he's not trying to destroy their lives, I suppose their objectives match up. Everyone wants to get Crawford. Roman helps Team Blindspot solve the ship tattoo because he needs Nils Bresdan stopped. Crawford is attempting to buy some land, but needs the financial transaction off the grid. He's waiting on Bresdan to shut down the Treasury Department's computers before he completes the sale. The rare coin Roman acquired a few weeks ago is payment to the man selling Crawford the land. The coin is a rare family heirloom.

However Kurt, Jane, and Shipley stop Bresdan so Crawford is unable to complete the deal. The seller gets spooked and leaves. Crawford is furious and knows an employee is also working with the FBI. It's either Victor or Roman. Victor is a shining example of stupidity because he's found out Roman is not the real Tom Jakeman. Someone from the therapy group remembers both Roman and Tom Jakeman. Victor mouths off to Roman all episode about how he's going to take him down by sharing this information with Crawford. The guy cannot stop monologuing — classic villain error.

I know Roman is always ten steps ahead, but I truly did not know how he was going to wiggle out of this one. Roman stole Victor's phone while Victor was focused on taking the glass with Roman's fingerprints on it. All the calls Roman made made to Kurt, Jane, the FBI, and the video files he's sent have all happened on Victor's phone. Victor doesn't have a chance to even say the words "imposter" before Crawford kills him.

It's one of those great, super spy, slick moves straight out of James Bond that just make you cackle with glee. Roman has become the most entertaining part of most of these episodes this season. Someone give Luke Mitchell a spin-off!


Jeller is very Avery focused in ""Two Legendary Chums." We get a lot of background on Avery and how all this ridiculousness started. Roman promised Avery he would help find the man who killed her father: Crawford. He told Avery about Jane zipping his memories and said she was not worth looking for — Avery was better off focusing her energy on the man who drove her father to suicide. Roman said he would help Avery avenge her father's death, which is why she agreed to work with him and screw with Kurt.

Uhhhh, okay? You'd think a few more alarm bells would go off in Avery's mind about a man who is asking her to fake her death to mess with her birth mother's marriage. I certainly understand why Roman is ticked about the zipping, but I feel Avery's anger about it is misplaced. This feels like Avery transferring her abandonment anger to Roman's zipping anger. It's just a little odd Avery chose to believe her uncle, a man she's never met, over her mother — a woman she's never met. Is this just a question of who got there first and Roman won? Her age is supposed to explain how Roman so easily manipulated her, but yeesh. Still feels like a leap to me.

Maybe I would be more understanding of Avery throwing in with Uncle Roman if she wasn't so freaking annoying.

Please do not let this kid be another Dawn Summers. One was more than enough, thank you. Avery is furious Jane insists on a polygraph. Gee honey, why would mommy have trust issues with you? Let's see: you made Kurt believe he killed you, pretended to be dead for months, worked willingly with Jane's arch nemesis, and held a gun to your mother's face. Sit down, strap up, and answer the questions, kid.

Jane worries she's showing the same distrust to her daughter that the FBI showed to her. Did Jane forget about seasons one and two? The FBI had every reason to distrust you, Jane. You came out of a duffel bag — in the middle of Times Square — naked, with tattoos everywhere and no memories. You were working with a terrorist organization who wanted to bring down the government. I'm glad you fell in love somewhere in the middle and found your conscience, but the FBI was right to treat you how they did. Maybe if there was a little more mistrust, Mayfair would be alive.

Jane's seasons one and two memories eventually kick back in because she comes home to Kurt. She understands why Kurt goes it alone. He has a history of people letting him down — his father, his old partner, and Jane. Kurt's father is worth 60 years of therapy alone, so I give Weller credit he's so high-functioning. The partner is a little sandwiched in there. I think Blindspot has more than covered the root of Kurt's trust issues with his father and Jane. It's difficult to get too emotionally invested in a character we just met, but whatever. The writers must have decided a list of three sounded better.

At least Jane is finally self-aware enough to put herself on that list. The good parts of Remi combined with her relationship with Kurt Weller is what ultimately formed Jane Doe. However, that doesn't erase the bad that Remi inflicted. Choices she walked into with her eyes wide open. Not only did Kurt find a way to forgive Jane for her colossal lies and Mayfair's death, but he fell in love with her to boot. So, yes sorry Kurt thought he killed your kid and lied about it, Jane. But your uppity moral superiority, immediate bailing on the marriage, and casual affair were way over the line.

The line that really struck a chord with me were the opening ones when Jane came home:
Kurt:  Is everything all right?  
Jane: No. And it might not be for awhile. 

NOW THIS SOUNDS LIKE A MARRIAGE. Newsflash: marriage is not sunshine, rainbows, snuggles and smooches all the time. Sometimes you really don't like who you married. You may even question if you made a huge mistake. That's part of fighting, hurt and disappointment. The key to marriage is finding a way through all of that. And it's not always easy.

Love, however, is a choice. Maybe in the beginning it feels like you are being pulled by some invisible inertia. I'll even say we can't always help who we fall in love with. However, marriage and the decision to be together is exactly that — a decision. It is a choice you make every day. They aren't kidding around with "in good times and bad." Those vows are legit. Sometimes you need to dig in and exist in the unhappiness before you can find your way to forgiveness. And forgiveness is a massive part of marriage. Kurt was wrong to lie, but Jane was wrong to walk.
Jane: Knowing why you lied about Avery doesn't make me feel any less betrayed. And that hurt may never go away. But all of this has made me feel so lonely, afraid to trust the people I should believe in the most — you and Avery. And that is exactly what Roman wants. I'm not going to give it to him. Because I wanna trust Avery. I want to work this out with you. I want love back in my life. 
Kurt: So do I.
Hello Jeller! Nice to see you again. That was a long and horrific extended vacation to Out of Character Land, the place where good television shows go to die. If Blindspot had simply gone from Kurt's confession in episode nine to THIS it might have salvaged this trainwreck of a storyline. Instead, they doubled down on ridiculousness, cliche affairs and love triangles. Maybe it would have made more sense if Kurt and Jane had been married within a year of meeting, but not now. Not when we know they have the foundation to know better and do better.

Sometimes the people you love most in the world betray you. And Jane is right: sometimes that pain never goes away. It always hurts you when you think about it, but you don't have to live in that space forever. Anger and bitterness is isolating. Forgiveness is the way out. My favorite Buffy the Vampire Slayer quote will always be: "To forgive is an act of compassion, Buffy. It's not done because people deserve it. It's done because they need it."

Forgiveness doesn't always mean the relationship survives after. Freedom from the isolation of anger doesn't automatically equate to "together." No two marriages are exactly alike and every situation is different. However, making that choice requires some digging in. It requires work. Maybe you'll split up. Maybe you'll find your way back to one another. The point is to try to figure it out. Bailing at the first sign of trouble like Jane did isn't what she promised Kurt on their wedding day. Kurt carries more than his fair share of the blame for all of this, but he is also deserving of a chance. Whether the marriage survives or crumbles remains to be seen. Jeller is either going to fight their way through it or find their way out. But Jane needs to stay to find out.

Stray Thoughts:

  • "You wiped Roman's memory and locked him in a cage. Are you going to do the same to me if I don't cooperate?" I'm on your side here Jane, but that's a legitimate question.
  • "The man who actually raised me. Not the someone who knocked you up." We are so meeting Baby Daddy someday. Maybe if they get a season four.
  • Avery's father is 100% alive. No body equals alive. Show rules. Heck, even when they have a body, you can't trust the person is dead.
  • "We have to question everything she says." YES, ZAPATA IS WITH ME.
  • "Will you settle for a brisk limp?"
  • Kurt is real chatty when he's undercover. He whispers like my grandfather, which is not a whisper of any kind but hoarse talking.
  • "The line isn't fixed. The more you push it, the more it moves." Sometimes Blindspot is too deep for a Friday night. Poetic line, but my synapses don't fire post 40 hour work weeks.
  • Doesn't the guy have to give the coin back? He kept the coin and didn't sell the land!
  • "Are you still listening to Matchbox 20?" They are true artists. I love my Matchbox 20. Kurt Weller has excellent taste in music.


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