When Sandstorm alerts Jane to a time-sensitive tattoo, the FBI team must figure out how to work as a cohesive unit to stop a missile strike. Meanwhile, Reade builds a case against his former coach and unlocks a secret about his own past. Here is a recap, followed by a review of the Blindspot episode “Heave Fiery Knot.”
Afghanistan, 2013. Riding outside a helicopter, Jane and her fellow soldiers arrive to their hostile target, but explosions kill them all… or so the CIA thought. Now, Shepherd tips Jane off to an urgent tattoo case that’ll bring Sandstorm closer to saving America from itself by completely resetting the country. Reade visits Freddy, a childhood friend from football camp, and urges him to testify if he wants Coach Jones brought to justice. Unfortunately, the District Attorney then tells Reade this isn’t enough for a conviction. The tattoo leads to a DEA program where Agents sell guns and track them to the bigwigs, only it’s being used to actually sell weapons. DEA Agent Valentine Barker will sell to the Juarez Cartel today. On the way to intercept, Nas assures Jane that the team needs time before they accept her again. As a Pakistani-born woman who’s climbed her way up the NSA ladder, Nas knows a thing or two about receiving hateful, suspicious looks. The FBI surrounds Valentine just in time to save her from a cartel hit.
Borden gives Patterson a floppy disk version of Oregon Trail and awkwardly invites her to dinner. She accepts. In interrogation, Valentine learns that Kingston, her boss who runs the program, ordered the hit, so she convinces the FBI to let her help bring him to justice. While the FBI raids Kingston’s warehouse, Valentine spots him driving away and receives two slugs in the stomach. She’ll survive.
Despite Roman’s pleas, Shepherd refuses to allow him to shadow Jane, so Roman attempts to sneak out, but a couple of Shepherd’s men surround him. He beats them until Shepherd intervenes. She later learns that Cade’s been sighted.
Back at HQ, Zapata objects to Jane going into the field, and Patterson grows peeved with Nas’ unshared wealth of information. Weller takes the floor and tells everyone to stop keeping score. They all have the same goal. Focus on that. While Zapata reassures Reade that he’s done his best regarding Coach Jones, Nas reminds a self-doubting Jane that she has no option but to cooperate. Nas adds that Tom Carter oversaw Orion, a group that conducted illegal, unsanctioned missions. He was one piece of the puzzle. Doesn’t she was to stick around and learn more? Patterson traces Kingston’s truck of missiles to Brooklyn, where everything bad happens on this show, and discovers the target is a plane full of politicians. With a missile flying toward the plane, Jane seizes control and diverts it into the water.
Finally tossing his father’s last possessions, Weller runs into Allie in the hallway. She’s three months pregnant. Getting back together is the last thing she wants, but she invites Weller to co-parent, if he’d like. Reade pays another visit to Freddy, who asks Reade if he’s testifying. What? Reade doesn’t remember being in that basement, but Freddy swears he was. At the Orion memorial, Roman sticks a syringe in Jane’s neck, and she passes out.
With “Heave Fiery Knot,” Blindspot shifted focus back to their regular case-of-the-week format, but managed to sprinkle in the personal tension and emotional stakes that were featured so prominently last week. The case of a DEA Agent turned arms dealer packed a few punches, but overall it was an average antagonist for the team to chase down. However, this case unlocked a vital piece of the Sandstorm mythology, so its importance in the grand scheme of the series cannot be overlooked. Although “Heave Fiery Knot” stands in second to “In Night So Ransomed Rogue,” it proves that Blindspot is still going strong.
Blindspot seems to have a propensity for telling stories where mentees learn that their mentors or bosses aren’t the kind of people they believed them to be. In a series where everyone has more than one side to himself/herself, this concept works well. What worked less well about this particular situation was the lack of development for Kingston’s character. He had barely any dialogue, a fuzzy motivation, and no chance to explain himself. When his end goal was only built up at the last minute, his takedown was underwhelming. But, the saving grace of this episode was that it didn’t hinge on Kingston alone.
We knew the Sandstorm plan was rather involved given the density and vastness of Jane’s tattoos, but we now know that their plan is also incredibly smart and devious. It throws the FBI into a lose-lose situation. Either solve the tattoo cases and create harmful repercussions for America. Or allow who knows how many to die by not solving the cases. I’d like to see the FBI and NSA seize the chance to establish preventative measure for the repercussions, and then explore the repercussions when the preventative measures fail. I’d like to see what the CIA becomes under new leadership (but given their eagerness to torture Jane, it doesn’t seem to have changed all that much). If (or once) the FBI takes down Sandstorm, what does this mean for the future of the tattoo cases? The FBI can’t just ignore corruption and injustice. Now that the FBI knows there are individuals in the public and private sectors who fed Sandstorm the information used to create the tattoos, the FBI can’t ignore these people either. Having this wealth of cases to be solved and informants to be unmasked bodes well for the future of the series, but I’m torn between wanting to see Sandstorm eliminated and wanting to see them succeed.
What Oscar said with his phoenix metaphor in last season’s finale was reaffirmed by Shepherd and Roman: Sandstorm intends to rebuild America from the ground up. I’m deeply curious to see how the process of rebuilding works and how America functions in the time between destruction and the new system’s success. Does America descend into chaos? Or is the average person blissfully unaware? Does Sandstorm intend to completely rework the structure of our government? Or keep the structure and just replace everyone in a position of power?
As lovely as it was to see Dr. Borden back this week, his scenes did not dilute the feelings of mistrust amongst the team or disprove the idea that he’s the mole. He attempted to push Jane closer to Weller by suggesting she confide in someone who’s feeling just as alone as she is, perhaps testing her commitment to him and the FBI. While it’s not concrete evidence, it cannot be overlooked. What stuck out more during his therapy scene with Jane was his delivery on “The team’s the closest thing to family you’ve got.” It came across as him knowing more than he was willing to say, perhaps testing whether she would divulge her newfound relationship to Roman and Shepherd with someone outside her immediate FBI team. Nas also exhibited behavior worthy of mistrust. Right after she promised Jane that she can be trusted, Nas returned to eavesdropping on Borden’s therapy sessions. Rather than assigning a malicious agenda to her actions, I think we can file this under an occupational hazard – the NSA has a knack for wanting to know everyone’s secrets.
This episode gave us the chance to see a couple new character team ups. As amusing as Patterson’s snarky and bitter comebacks are, it was a joy to see her and Nas pause their squabbling and start to use their collective intelligence toward the same goal. I’d love to see Nas unlock a whole world of new programs for Patterson to use and grow more relaxed within the team. On another note, the relationship between Shepherd and Roman was less fun and more peculiar, although still intriguing to watch. They seem to have an uncomfortably codependent relationship, but Luke Mitchell and Michelle Hurd contrast one another and work so well together that I’m on board for as many scenes between these two as I can get.
So… Allie’s pregnant. Not a complete shock given this series’ tendency to embrace family drama, but still surprising enough that I didn’t see this being the way they brought her back into the fold. I’m a little hesitant to accept or reject this storyline so early in its run because it has the potential to take a few different routes. It could become a soapy mess that causes drama just for the sake of causing drama and driving a wedge between certain characters. I doubt it will happen, but it’s possible. More than likely it will be a fascinating story of growth and acceptance for Weller. This gives him the opportunity to get out from under his father’s shadow and to realize that maybe his mother was wrong when she said he was just like his father. This gives him the opportunity to make his own choices, be his own man, and be the kind of father that he wants to be. And that’s a beautiful thing.
What’s also been surprising about Allie as a character is how she’s been more of a foil than an antagonist for Jane. Sure, there’s been a little tension and a little awkwardness between them. They’re not friends, but they’re certainly not enemies, and they haven’t been pitted against one another by actively competing for Weller’s attention. In fact, it’s been the opposite. There were moments in season one where both Jane and Allie expressed approval and understanding at Weller’s interest in the other. This is a rare occurrence on television that deserves its moment of recognition. It’ll be interesting to see how Jane takes to the news of Weller’s impending fatherhood and whether she still believes he has what it takes to be a good father after he left her to be tortured for three months. In addition, I’m looking forward to seeing how Jane’s own reconnection with her adoptive mother influences her interactions with a pregnant Allie.
ODDS AND ENDS:
– This title’s anagram is “they invoke fear.”
– Weller and Nas discussing Valentine’s desire to go into the field was reminiscent of Weller and Mayfair discussing Jane’s desire to go into the field in the pilot.
– Borden: Sometimes the best we can do is to try to feel alone together.
– Patterson (to Nas): Can’t you just use your magic phone?
– Jane: I understand you not wanting to be in the same room with me, because if I were you, I would hate me too.
Weller: I don’t hate you, Jane. I just don’t know who you are anymore.
Jane: Yeah, well that makes two of us.
– Nas: We actually did it.
Patterson: We always do. I mean, you know, so far.
– Zapata: Sorry I shot you.
Jane: I did ask for it.
Zapata: Yeah, you kind of did.