In an attempt to take down Shepherd, Jane and Roman go undercover within a biker gang that Roman had previous dealings with. Here is a recap, followed by a review of the Blindspot episode “Devil Never Even Lived.”
A knock at the door wakes Reade from his slumber. It’s Nikki, who’s looking for her boyfriend, Freddy. Reade has no leads and heads to work. The FBI investigates the leopard tattoo left off Jane’s body. Perhaps it was removed because the corruption was already exposed. Or perhaps it can lead to Sandstorm. Since the tattoo connected Roman to Kat, an active member of the Viper Kings biker gang, Jane suggests putting Roman in the field. Weller okays the mission.
Flashback to Remi telling Roman that Shepherd thinks he’s getting too close to Kat. In the present, Jane and Roman walk into Kat’s bar, and she greets Roman with a punch in the face. Kat’s bitter he didn’t run away with her like he promised. Regardless, Kat leads them to the boss’ office, where he’s beating a guy to a pulp. Roman says he can acquire the HMX explosives that Shepherd wants. They just need Abel to initiate the sale. Deal. The Viper Kings assist Jane and Roman with carjacking the explosives and order Roman to kill the truckers, who just so happen to be Weller and Reade. Roman tries to worm his way out of it, but ultimately pops both in the chest and peels out of there. They’re saved by their vests.
Flashback to Roman and Kat talking about starting a new life together. Roman refuses to leave his sister – they protect one another. But Kat reminds him that Remi only loves Remi. Back in the present, Jane and Roman return to the bar. Kat’s noticed Roman’s lack of murderous instincts and accuses him of working with the cops. Roman admits it, but informs Kat they’re not after her. He coaxes her to their side and a brawl breaks out, leaving Kat dead in Roman’s arms. The FBI closes in on the HMX sale, but they’re too late.
Blaming herself and her lack of focus for Shepherd seizing the HMX, Nas breaks off her relationship with Weller. Nikki returns to Reade’s, and the two hit it off. Visiting Roman in his cell, Jane asks how he’s doing regarding Kat. He feels nothing. She assures him that feelings have to be earned back. They won’t return as quickly as memories. With Pennsylvania beer in hand, Jane pays Weller a visit to request that Roman be let out every once in a while. Or at least given a window. She then takes a peek at his military academy yearbook and spots Shepherd in the background of his basketball photo.
While “Devil Never Even Lived” was certainly entertaining to watch, as this series always is, it feels rather insignificant in the grand scheme of episodes this season. That’s not to say there weren’t any memorable or noteworthy moments because there certainly were, but for everything that’s been accomplished since the beginning of season two, it has become very “one step forward, two steps back.” Sure the FBI has ways to throw a wrench in Sandstorm’s plan here and there, but Jane is no longer a double agent. Roman has no memories of Shepherd’s agenda. The FBI just supplied Sandstorm with dangerous explosives, and now we’re back to where we were before the midseason finale: trying to figure out what Sandstorm plans to target and why Weller’s important to their whole mission.
“Devil Never Even Lived” ever so slowly and subtly upped the ante on the Sandstorm threat, but even so, this episode continued to make Sandstorm a very absent threat. One problem that Blindspot has been facing since the midseason finale is the lack of Shepherd. By taking both Jane and Roman out of Sandstorm’s inner circle and by taking Borden out of the FBI, the FBI, and thus the series, has lost that feeling of imminent danger. With the concept of moles being frequently mentioned this season, it’s surprising that we’ve reached a point where none are in play (other than Nas’ sandstorm contact who we have yet to receive any clues about his/her identity).
Speaking of Nas, as intelligent and capable as her character has proven to be, she lately seems to be struggling to re-solidify her place on the team. In the beginning, she brought information and resources the FBI did not have access to, making her a unique and valuable asset, but now she has largely lost that, along with her romantic subplot. While I don’t have strong feelings one way or the other regarding her relationship with Weller, it was nice to see them bring out a softer side of each other. I’m genuinely surprised that their “relationship” fizzled out as quickly as it began, especially without a concrete example of how he recently distracted her into making a critical mistake, as she so claimed. With the stakes sure to heat up in the near future, here’s hoping that Nas starts to shine more amongst a stellar cast of characters and doesn’t turn out to be a Sandstorm mole.
Patterson blaming Nas for not seeing that Borden was the mole despite her bugging his office was a lovely moment between the two. Their bonding over the shared experience of letting emotions cloud their judgment created a feeling of friendship and understanding between these two characters who started out with more feelings of opposition.
Even though taking Roman away from Sandstorm has created some problems as mentioned above, integrating Roman into the FBI team has been a worthwhile decision, on the show’s part, at least. His lack of memories and his past violent tendencies make him a wild card, more so than Jane was, which always creates an interesting dynamic, but what’s equally as interesting are his smarts and social deceptions. Echoing back to the season premier, Roman’s first instinct when faced with a hostile situation is to talk his way out with a story or expanded excuse. It establishes hope for his redemption because while he does have those violent tendencies and may not have the ability to regret the, he still has the smarts to be able to control them even without his memories in tact.
In addition, Roman and Jane provide an interesting look at the nature versus nurture debate. The more flashbacks of Remi that we’re privy to, the more it appears that Sandstorm nurtured her into a person who goes against her own nature and instinct to do good. The same somewhat also applies to roman, but with Roman, nature dealt him a different hand in preventing him from experiencing empathy. I’m curious to see the new, “better” Roman be put into situations in which he has to make character-defining decisions to further solidify how well Jane is able to “save” her brother.
It took a while, but Weller and Jane have finally reached a peaceful place in their relationship after the fallout of Jane’s betrayal. In a scene as simple as Jane understanding Weller’s emptiness, the two of them re-established the connection that gave this series life in the first place. With the promo for the next episode painting Weller as a potential double agent, Jane’s bond with him may be shaken once again. Although I doubt the series would actually make Weller a willing participant in Sandstorm’s plot (my vote is on him being an accidental accomplice) but who knows, stranger things have been known to happen. My hope is to see Weller grappling with his past connection to Shepherd in a way in which he feels a tinge of loyalty to her for some reason. Maybe he discovers she saved him once before. Maybe he discovers a familial tie. Or maybe Sandstorm is just using Weller to frame the head of the NYO again.
ODDS AND ENDS:
– Blindspot returns February 8th. Same time. Same place.
– Patterson: I’m sorry. Are we actually considering helping a bloodthirsty biker gang steal lethal explosives in order to sell them to a terrorist group?
– Jane: If you spend all your energy trying to dissect who you were, then you’ll never be free to live as the person you are now.