Friday, May 31, 2019

Blindspot 4x22 Review: "The Gang Gets Gone" (We Are Family) [Contributor: Jen]

"The Gang Get Gone"
Original Airdate: May 31, 2019

Madeline Burke is framing Team Blindspot in the season four finale, but their biggest problem isn't being fugitives. It's the anger, mistrust, and blame breaking apart the team. Is Team Blindspot a family? Or are they just coworkers on the run?


I'm not entirely sure why people are rioting in the streets just because the power in New York City has gone out for a couple hours, but maybe that's just the way y'all roll in New York. No judgement. Do what you gotta do to survive, people. A couple hours without my computer and I'd probably be ready to smash windows too.

Helios is wreaking all the havoc, but its real purpose is a little more twisty than just taking everyone back to the Stone Age. It's a frame job. Given the shady things Team Blindspot has done this year, and every other year for that matter, it wasn't too difficult for Madeline to make them look like criminals.

... Mostly because they are criminals. Not to be overly harsh, but it's true. Jane/Remi is a terrorist who tried to take out the government multiple times and has murdered people. Kurt protected her and by doing so probably violated at least 50 different federal laws. Rich is a convicted felon. Reade murdered someone and Tasha helped hide the body, not to mention his drug addiction. Tasha is, well, Tasha: take your pick from her criminal activities. Even our genius with the heart of an angel named Patterson was part of an illegal hacktivist network this season.

It's not complete madness then that the higher-ups at the FBI believe Madeline's nonsense about Team Blindspot trying to frame her and Helios being their Trojan horse. It doesn't hurt that Lucas Nash, Director of Intelligence, is on Madeline's payroll.

The only thing I audibly scoffed at was Madeline appointing herself chairperson of the Civilian Oversight Committee. First, that's not a thing. There is no civilian oversight of the FBI. That's what Congress is for. Second, why would the FBI ever allow someone who was investigated, charged, and apparently framed by them to head up the committee? She's literally the last person on Earth who would ever be appointed to this position.

Madeline, as chairperson, is now in charge of the FBI? Say what? She's literally sitting at Reade's desk and ordering Weitz out of "her office." Listen, I give the writers on this show plenty of rope. I put up with a whole bunch of nonsense... but this is plain ludicrous.

I'm drawing a line, Martin Gero. Can we please operate somewhere in the realm of reality? You aren't writing a superhero show. This isn't Star Wars. The FBI actually exists and has oversight committees in Congress. They don't ask random CEOs who were recently charged with murder, conspiracy, and terrorism to run the FBI. At the very least, they have to run for office first.

If anyone is wondering why Madeline is so hell-bent on destroying the FBI, it's because of her father. He had a big future ahead of him ⁠— maybe even a presidential run — but J. Edgar Hoover obliterated his political career. Yes, that's really the motive. No, it doesn't get any better when you type it out.

So, how does Madeline set the team up? Brianna steals Kurt's gun, which is the gun Dominic uses to kill pretty much everyone. Remi killed Hank Crawford (Yup, she sure did.) but Madeline also frames her for Blake and the HCI board members deaths.

She accuses Tasha of trying to oust Madeline by killing those closest to her (Kira Evans and Claudia Murphy). She also blames Tasha for the Air Force One attack, which I found most insulting because that storyline was just stupid. Tasha would have a much better plan for world destruction than that nonsense.

When Madeline wouldn't confess to these crimes they tried to coerce her. (This part is actually true.) Finally, the Three Blind Mice are the hackers behind the blackout and bank hacks, which frames Rich and Patterson nicely. Madeline also has Patterson's $400,000 bride to Kathy. None of this includes the run-of-the-mill team drama like failed drug tests, unsanctioned ops, and undocumented fiancees.

Yeah. It really doesn't look good.


Holy crap, y'all. The gloves came off. First, allow me to reference my 4x21 review: "Do they honestly think Reade would want to get Weitz at the expense of Jane's freedom? Or his own? Or the team? Come on."

It turns out I was wrong. I was VERY WRONG. Reade finds out about Weitz falsifying evidence and killing a suspect with a drone to cover it up. He's livid with Weller and Jane for hiding it from him, but he also has zero problem handing Jane over to authorities in order to get Weitz. Et tu, Brute?

Reade says: "All of us aren't married to a terrorist." This is pretty much when Kurt started throwing punches and I can't blame him. I am genuinely not a big Reade fan. Tasha makes him more tolerable, but the guy loves to climb on his moral high horse just plenty. If there's one thing I can't stand it is a hypocrite.

His relationship with Jane is tenuous at best most days, and that's before they became fugitives. Remember: Reade never trusted Jane when she first showed up in season one. He didn't like the changes in Kurt, the rules he bent for her sake, and his overall emotional investment in Jane. Reade always thought Kurt had a blindspot when it came to Jane and that it was dangerous.

I mean... Reade was right, but that's not the point. The point is now she's a good guy and those plots were so four years ago. You danced at her wedding, Reade! Where's the love man?

Reade feels the team has betrayed their oaths time and time again since Jane and the tattoos showed up. Well without the tattoos, Reade, you'd be unemployed and I'd be watching Dateline on Friday nights. It's a give and take, buddy. Also the whole point of the tattoos is to expose government corruption. Killing the monster from within is going to require cutting a few corners because those in power are corrupt. Duh.
Reade: "You just don't get it because you're not real FBI." 
Jane: "No, I just show up and save your life from time to time."
SHOTS FIRED! There are actually so many shots fired during this argument that I decided to hide behind my couch. Stray bullets everywhere, fandom! SAVE YOURSELVES.

First, Jane was a Navy Seal. I think she understands oaths, Reade. She was dodging bullets in Afghanistan while you sharpened your pencil at Quantico. Second, like the legendary Katherine Pierce, Jane can rip you to shreds while doing her nails. Sit down before you embarrass yourself. How does Reade not remember he murdered someone? Can someone remind him?
Reade: "You're gonna sit here and talk about team after everything you pulled?" 
Tasha: "I knew that you could never forgive and forget." 
Reade: "Forget you watching Madeline murder people while you covered it up for her?" 
Tasha: "Oh, just like I did for you?"
That's my girl, Tasha! High five. This finally shuts Reade up. I don't know if the writers wanted him to be the bad guy to instigate this fight or it was his episode to wear the jerk hat, but he's pretty unbearable and the hypocrisy is real.

There is no one, not even my perfect cupcake Patterson, who can stand on the moral high ground. All of these characters have lied, broken laws, and done terrible things — to each other and to other people. They may not be guilty of Helios, but they are guilty of plenty of other crimes.

What's sad is how quickly the team splinters. One of my chief complaints with this show is how easily all the characters lie and betray. There are seldom any real consequences. The team eventually welcomes whoever sinned back into the fold and then we're onto the next betrayal. This argument Team Blindspot is having, the accusations everyone is throwing around, feels like one of the first real conversations they've had in years. They are finally saying all the things they've wanted to say, but never did.

Reade says: "People don't change. They just become more like themselves." I don't think this is true. It's quite limiting for humanity if it was true. We do have the ability to change and be better, but Reade directed this comment at Jane. He is still holding on to all of that distrust from season one. It's really not about Jane deciding who she is; she's already done that. This is about Reade deciding who Jane is and she's given more than enough evidence to put her in the "good guy" column.

It's kind of freeing in a way.  If the foundation of Team Blindspot was shaky, then this fight can burn it to the ground. Hopefully they can build on a stronger and more honest foundation as we head into the final season.

The person who really proved they can change, who put the team first, and acted selflessly, is the only member of Team Blindspot who has a criminal record — Rich Dotcom. He facilitates their mission in Iceland and doesn't escape the FBI building when he can. Instead, Rich hides and continues to help his team and stop Madeline Burke.

When he is arrested, Rich refuses to take a deal or rat his friends out to save himself. This isn't the Rich Dotcom of old. He's changed and become a better man. He's chosen his team and, by doing so, shows Reade, Zapata, Kurt, Jane, and Patterson what it means to truly be family.

When everyone makes it back to the safe house post-mission in Iceland, there's a lot of hugging, which threw me for a loop. We're hugging? When did we get to hugging? Kurt acknowledges that everyone has made selfish choices but they truly are a family. When push comes to shove they have each other's backs when it matters.

Families fight too, and this was a fight the team needed to have. The writers put a quick band-aid over everything, so the final scene doesn't have the emotional resonance it really requires. It feels rushed, but that's how this show deals with problems. It ultimately gets swept under the run in some way.

They flip on some music and I swear I expected Sister Sledge to start playing. The reason why the writers pushed for a "we are family!" ending is apparent when Jane leaves the safe house to take first watch. Madeline Burke and Nash order a drone strike and Jane watches as her family is killed in an explosion.

As cliffhangers go, it's a pretty good one. I don't think they necessarily needed the warm and fuzzy resolution before hand to make it work. Jane can be horrified her team died before they repaired their friendships, which would be salt in an open wound. Surviving a drone strike would be ample encouragement to let bygones be bygones too. Plus, it lets the fight simmer for a little while longer.

I do not think they killed off the entire cast with 13 episodes left to go, but I don't know how they'll explain the team's survival. I am sure it will be based in Blindspot logic.


Kurt says: "We're not family. We work together. That's it. Jane is my family."

I love Kurt sticking it to Reade and his unbearable hypocrisy. Kurt is right; Jane is different. She is his wife. They are always going to choose each other. They are legally required to. They are a team within a team. Reade either needs to get onboard with it or maybe Kurt and Jane need to move back to Colorado sooner rather than later.

Of all the lies Kurt and Jane have told over the years, their reasoning for staying mum about Weitz is the most understandable motive. Kurt doesn't want his wife to go to prison. Heck, Kurt doesn't want to go to prison. And apparently he knows Reade waaaaay better than I do because he was ready serve them up on a plate just to get Weitz.

How many different ways has Weitz broken the law? Reade probably had a dozen times to go after him, but didn't. Now when it's Jane's life and freedom at risk they have to put the screws to him? Pfft. Team Jeller on this one all the way.

That said, I won't lie: I flinched when Kurt said they aren't family because of Patterson. Really Kurt? Patterson is the number one Jeller shipper. She's half the reason you have a wife, dude. Left to your own devices you'd be single, living in Colorado, and drinking a lot of beer. Patterson gets to stay.

Luckily, Kurt and Jane's affection for their eldest daughter is quickly demonstrated when they take the Perlan Museum hostage so Patterson can make it to the safe house. Sure, Patterson is the brains behind this operation and they're all screwed if she gets arrested. But Mr. and Mrs. Weller draw fire so she can escape. That's real love. Patterson is properly moved by their selfless sacrifice.

Luckily for Kurt and Jane, Reade and Tasha have their backs and arrange their escape by buying off a few Icelandic police offers. They really could have left them hanging, so this does a lot to soften the tension. Kurt and Jane are family, yes, but Team Blindspot is the family they've chosen too. It may not always be pretty. There will be disagreements. We hurt the ones we love the most, but you can't turn your back on family. The team didn't turned their backs on Kurt and Jane. Kurt and Jane didn't turn their backs on the team. That's all that really matters in the end.

And Jane Doe will be coming HARD for the person who messed with her family in season five.

Stray Thoughts:
  • Kurt ordering vegan cheese pizza for Jane as a hostage negotiation request will never stop being adorable.
  • Can you reuse parachutes?
  • The macro thing Kathy did so everything Patterson typed made Helios worse was pretty freaking genius. It's tough to get one over our girl, but that nut job did it.
  • According to Madeline, the team were paid $200,000 each for Helios. That's it? Feels low to destroy your whole life over.
  • What was Jane going to watch? They were in the middle of nowhere.
  • My notes: "Well... crap. everybody's dead"
  • According to the season five promo, one will not survive. If I am forced to choose then I'm going with Reade because he was a major jerk this episode.


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