Saturday, March 17, 2018

Blindspot 3x15 Review: "Deductions" (Accountability) [Contributor: Jen]

Original Airdate: March 16, 2018

Blindspot wants to wax poetic about love in "Deductions" but I'm more interested in accountability.


Cade is back! Remember Cade, y'all? Actually, I couldn't remember his name until I looked it up on IMDb. Anyway, Blindspot flashes back to a year ago and Cade is shopping for organic cloth nighttime diapers somewhere in Mexico. Dude, I'm all for protecting the environment, but that's a hard no to organic cloth diapers. Not only does organic sound insanely expensive, but washing cloth diapers is not the fun-filled activity one would expect. Huggies are just fine.

Cade has been out of the game for a while it seems — and it shows. He's easily jumped in the baby aisle and a syringe is plunged into his neck. Then we flash-forward to present day and a CIA transport has crashed in the East River. This is always the fun part of Blindspot's Case of the Week. How are two wildly separate events going to cohesively mesh into a singular hot mess?

Tasha and Keaton (yeah he's back too) meet up with the CIA New York Station Chief Rob Donnelly and it's freaking RON RIFKIN. I am having all of the Alias feels. Tasha notices a company logo on the plane wreckage — Valkyrie International Cargo. The musical notes on Jane's lower back are from Wagner's "Flight of the Valkyries." Meanwhile, how do these characters remember these tattoos? There's a ton of them.

Valkyrie International Cargo is a CIA front. The plane is part of a fleet of jets manufactured exclusively by a subsidiary of HCI Global — Crawford's company. So Crawford built these planes and sold them to the CIA. The CIA being in business with Blindspot's Big Bad is not really a shock. Blindspot's CIA is pretty dark and twisty, while the FBI gets to be the "good guys."

Tasha wants to share the intel with Team Blindspot, but Keaton disagrees. Jane's tattoos tend to not be good for the CIA, and he's not wrong about that. Tasha explains it's going to be difficult to keep a lid on a plane crash, so Keaton relents.

Tasha's intel syncs up with Cade's, who broke into Kurt and Jane's apartment looking for help. The FBI agreed to leave Cade alone in exchange for his help on Sandstorm. However, the CIA kidnapped Cade and put him on the plane that crashed with three other prisoners.

Cade is the only one who knows what's going on, but he wants full immunity, millions in reparations, and witness protection for his family. Otherwise, he says nothing. The other escapees are "forever prisoners." They are so evil that the CIA keeps them under lock and key by classifying them as military combatants without due process. These are the criminals who should never see the light of day, but now they are loose in New York City. Do you think one of them will have a bomb? Just kidding. I'm sorry. It was too easy. I couldn't help myself.

Patterson believes the plane was crashed on purpose and, of course, she is right.  The pilot is a CIA operative named Quinn (played by Carly Pope because this episode is chalk full of guest stars.) Quinn's husband was also CIA, but when he was captured, the agency disavowed him and he was publicly beheaded. Quinn has dedicated her career to stopping those who were responsible.

Jane says, "Raise your hand if you've been held and tortured at a CIA black site." Too soon, Jane. Too soon. Jane's own experience with the CIA leads her to believe Quinn blames the agency for her husband's death as much, if not more, than his murderers. Team Blindspot determines the plan is to attack a CIA outpost.

Quinn takes Keaton and Donnelly hostage, along with several other operatives at the outpost. Donnelly sent Quinn's husband on an unsanctioned op and then abandoned him when he was captured. She plans to behead Donnelly just like her husband was.

Grief can certainly lead us down a dark and twisty path. Luckily for Keaton and Donnelly, Team Blindspot arrives just in time to stop Quinn's revenge. Color me relieved. I am not okay with any kind of beheading, even if it is fictional. No thanks.

Cade is still a loose end for the CIA. Keaton is determined to tear up the immunity deal and put Cade away for many years. Zapata doesn't want to double-cross Cade because he gave good intel. Keaton is adamant that any Sandstorm operative deserves jail. Tasha says, "By that logic, Jane should be locked up too."

Tasha is not wrong! Even more worrisome is Keaton's response. He agrees Jane should be locked up, but she had powerful friends in high places. Marrying the Assistant Director of the FBI does have its perks I guess. Unfortunately, Cade figures out that the CIA is going to screw him over because... well, he's Cade. He takes Tasha hostage, and can I just say that Reade looks extra worried? Jane takes Cade down by shooting him in the shoulder. Guess it was a good thing she wasn't locked up eh, Keaton?

"Deductions" has four notable guest stars: Carly Pope, Ron Rifkin, Bruce Davison, and Tom Lipinski. They all survive, so I would plan on seeing all of these characters again and soon. There's not many episodes of season three left.


Roman awkwardly belongs in the Team Blindspot section once again. When he's not trying to emotionally eviscerate the team he is working towards a common goal with them — taking down Crawford. This time Roman is singularly focused one goal: saving Blake.

Crawford is acting bizarre from minute one. Instead of calling the shots like he normally does, Crawford is deferring to Jean-Paul Bruyere, Junior's father. Crawford blames Roman for losing Blake and is only keeping him close because Jean-Paul is a dangerous man. Crawford doesn't know how he's going to react to his son being kidnapped. Jean-Paul: "I'll have this man skinned and hanged from a bridge as a warning to others that it never happens again."

Bruyere doesn't want to pay the ransom and is interested in a much more violent option. It's an option Roman is strongly against because it puts Blake's life in even more risk. He says: "Send someone from our side with them. Someone who will choose Blake... So I'll get her back or I'll die trying."

SWOON. Roman you are so in love, you can't seen how in love you are. You need to stop pretending that you're pretending.

Rescuing Blake is easier than Roman anticipated. The kidnappers aren't even there. Roman turns on Bruyere's men in a split second and shoots them all. It stunned me to be honest, but then I remembered that this is Roman and he's always twelve moves ahead. When he returns with Blake and Junior, he tells Crawford what really happened after they are alone. Again, Roman rarely shows his hand and especially not to Crawford, so I assumed he had a really good reason for this.

Roman says: "I know what you did."

Crawford had Blake kidnapped, so he could use it to get close to Jean-Paul. However, all of Roman's arguments about Blake's safety gave Crawford cold feet, so he called it off. Jean-Paul's men wouldn't have stopped until they found the people responsible — Crawford. Roman killed them to protect Crawford. It's another move in this long chess game that puts Roman even closer to the man he's trying to take down.

Except... Roman is no longer a lone wolf. He's clearly in love with Blake. It means he's accountable to someone other than himself. Burning Crawford to the ground is much easier when Roman is a sociopath. It's been a long time since we've seen legitimate sparks of humanity in Roman and this week, he was chalk full of feels. Love may save Roman's soul, but it could make taking down the devil more difficult. For the first time in a long time, Roman has something to lose.

Blindspot has been teasing Tasha's split loyalties between Team Blindspot and the CIA. She debates heatedly with Keaton behind closed doors, but when Reade questions her reasons for being at the CIA, Zapata defends him. She believes Keaton makes the hard calls. Reade believes they are bad calls, but Tasha sees justice differently. She always has. Zapata doesn't mind crossing a line or two, keeping secrets from her friends, or even torture if it serves the greater good. She may refer to the CIA as the dark side, but Tasha doesn't believe in a black and white world. She lives in the grey. Reade and Team Blindspot may have Zapata's heart, but she feels at home with the CIA.

It's not like Team Blindspot is constantly on the up and up. There's plenty of grey in the FBI world too. However, most of those questionable actions were done to help someone on the team. It's difficult to listen to Reade argue the moral high ground to Tasha when she was the one who protected him from a murder charge using those "dark side" methods.

Also, Reade was trying to bend the rules for his fiance a couple weeks ago. Reade doesn't mind playing in the grey as long as it is serving himself or someone he loves. He simply balks at applying it to the broader population (or Jane). It's one of the reasons I don't get upset with Zapata. I may not always agree with Tasha's methods, but at least she's honest about who she is. There's not a lot of hypocrisy with Tasha Zapata, which is refreshing.


Kurt, Jane, and Avery have worked their way up to dinner. It starts out cute enough, with Kurt refusing to let Avery drink a glass of wine... even though she grew up in Europe (and partnered with a Blindspot supervillain to mess with Jeller).

Jeller co-parenting is something I could get used to. Unfortunately, they didn't invite Avery over just to disagree about the drinking age. Kurt and Jane have decided to be honest about who Avery's birth father is. Kurt and Jane learned something?! Kurt and Jane are applying that lesson to a new problem so they don't make the same mistake again?! This might be one of the seventh signs of the apocalypse. Prepare your souls!

As they stall, Avery asks: "Can you just tell me whatever you're going to tell me?"

I've never related to Avery more. Honesty is new to Kurt and Jane, so they drag out the reveal forever. Avery gets fed up and tells them to rip off the Band-Aid. My husband does this to me every time he has bad news — I always tell him to just spit it out. I feel you, girl. Avery continues her very best impression of Dawn Summers from Buffy the Vampire Slayer and tosses aside the folder filled with evidence and storms out. Any time you want to make Avery the least bit likable would be fine with me, Blindspot.

Eventually, Avery comes around and apologizes. So there's hope for her yet. She's ready to hear the truth about her father. Crappy fathers are actually something Kurt can relate to quite a lot. Was your father a murdering pedophile, Avery? No? Well, pull up a chair, sweetheart. Kurt Weller has a story for you. Kurt tells her: "All we have is the truth. Even when it hurts."

Let's see if all this wisdom sticks until the end of the season. Then I'll get more excited about Kurt and Jane's character growth. Avery at least is willing to listen and admit her father may not be the beacon of morality she believed he was. Jane tries to comfort her daughter by saying, "Families can do terrible, selfish things and still love each other."

I feel like this is one of those statements that sounds really good on paper, but when applied to Blindspot and their problematic storylines (especially this season) falls apart. Essentially Jane is arguing unconditional love. We all make mistakes. We are all capable of doing terrible things. We cannot throw bricks at glass houses. However, it doesn't mean we are terrible people who cannot love. More often than not those actions are justified in our minds because of our love for our families. The point is to forgive because what matters most is how much the family loves one another.

Here's the problem with that statement: It basically excuses terrible and selfish behavior because of love. It's like a get out of jail free card, which is often employed by Blindspot to wiggle out of really messy and problematic storylines. Kurt and Jane constantly lie to one another because they love each other. Except... neither of them ever stops doing terrible and selfish things to one another. Yet forgiveness is simply expected because of all the love?

That's not how it works. You have to actually LEARN something from your terrible and selfish behavior. You can't continually repeat the same mistakes over and over. It shows a lack of interest in becoming a better person and a complete disregard for your family member's feelings. Our loved ones are not our permanent punching bags simply because we love them and they us in return. That's a pretty unhealthy relationship — which is exactly what Blindspot has portrayed with Kurt and Jane this season. They continually repeat the cycle of lie, forgive, lie, forgive, lie, forgive. They aren't building anything they won't tear down with the same mistake.

We have to stop hurtful behavior. We have to take responsibility for our mistakes by trying not to repeat them. Forgiveness is hugely important in families, but so is accountability. That's what is missing from Kurt and Jane's relationship this season. Blindspot excusing repeated reprehensible behavior with love sends an awful message about what relationships are supposed to be. This line would play better if we could go ONE SEASON without Jane and Kurt lying to one another. More than anything, this dialogue reveals the show's blindspot — the writers lack any real awareness of the unhealthy cycle their characters are in, but I'm going to hold them accountable for it.

Stray Thoughts:

  • "It's bad. It's all just very bad." That sums up every tattoo ever.
  • "He's my husband now." Well, this week he is.
  • "Well that's how we operate Kurt. That's our whole thing. We hide stuff." Keaton had A+ zingers.
  • "Well luckily for us, I find stuff." But nobody gets better zingers than Patterson.
  • I still have irrational anger over Susan Williams on Arrow, so Carly Pope as a bad guy really worked for me.
  • Don't ever joke about killing Roman, show. He's the best thing about it.
  • Tasha is still telling herself she left the FBI because she believed in the CIA and not because she's in love with Reade. Sure thing, cupcake.
  • Crawford can outspend the United States of America? This does not sound remotely plausible. The USA is extremely good at spending obscene amounts of money.


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