Shepherd puts Jane to the test while Weller and his team chase down a bomber. Here is a recap, followed by a review of the Blindspot episode “Hero Fears Imminent Rot.”
Jane wakes in a panic and is brought before Shepherd and Roman. Shepherd questions her story about Cade, but Jane diffuses the situation. Roman leads Jane into Sandstorm’s storage room that contains enough firepower for an army. He briefs her on Jeffrey Kantor, an asset she recruited. Jeffrey missed a meet, and now they don’t know if they can trust him. But they also don’t know if they can trust Jane, so they give her a test: kill Jeffrey.
En route, Roman reminds Jane that their orphanage caretakers gave them all rabbits to raise. One day, they were ordered to kill their rabbits. Jane snapped its neck quicker than anyone, but Roman couldn’t. Upon their arrival, Jeffrey locks himself in his panic room. Jane coaxes him out and argues that Jeffrey’s too valuable to kill. Roman agrees, but this is a test, and Jane failed, so Roman shoots Jeffrey.
Zapata invites Patterson to game night, but Patterson has a “friend meeting,” a.k.a. her date with Borden. A recent bombing and dedicated Tweets match a tattoo that exposes navy testing in Vieques, even though it supposedly ended. Jane joins the team as they head to the next bomb’s location. Reade spots it, but there’s no time to clear the area. Nas suggests disrupting the bomb’s energy, so Reade and Zapata shoot it to pieces. It works. As Jane chases one suspect, Weller must shoot the second to protect Jane, which allows the first to escape. Benched by Weller, Jane pays a visit to Borden, who assures her that her moral compass will overpower her instinct to kill. The escaped bomber now has hostages, a suicide vest, and a live feed from a military office that Weller enters at his own risk. Before he can talk the bomber down, Nas shoots the bomber.
Patterson cancels her friend meeting with Borden. She’s really busy with work and all. Looking into Jeffrey Kantor, Patterson suspects Sandstorm hired him to build a super dangerous weapon. If he’s dead, Sandstorm has another asset to fill his shoes. Following Zapata’s nudge, Patterson finds Borden with takeout for two. She plants one on him and admits she’s terrible at friend meetings. No worries; so is he. After dealing with Reade’s evasive attitude all day, Zapata demands answers about Freddie. Reade admits he can’t remember that portion of his life the same way he remembers the rest. He never thought much about it until now, and it scares him.
Upon receiving a 911 on her Sandstorm pager, Jane worries her cover is blow, but she either returns to Sandstorm or the CIA. Shepherd welcomes Jane back into the group since she passed the test. Around a campfire, Jane says a few words about Oscar as Weller and his team raise a glass to Mayfair. Jane thanks Roman for covering for her. He reminds Jane that when he couldn’t kill his own rabbit, the caretakers cut it and let it bleed out all night. If Jane doesn’t find her way back to Sandstorm quick enough, Roman will find her rabbit and make him bleed.
“Hero Fears Imminent Rot” gave us the best of both worlds with a solid, high-stakes case of the week and a closer look at the personal lives of the main team. Episodes in which Jane and Weller have separate missions, or at least start out doing their own thing, have been amongst the series’ best episodes, and this was no exception. It was wonderfully exciting to see Jane navigate a dangerous relationship with both her brother and mother. While the fallout from Allie’s shocking news was practically nonexistent, the struggle that Reade was going through after last episode’s revelation more than made up for it. Overall, “Hero Fears Imminent Rot” kept me entertained and excited me for what’s to come.
In contrast to last episode’s antagonist, we received quite a bit of explanation as to why the bomber was carrying out his mission, including a social media shout out and a monologue. Although the monologue gave the one-off antagonist a tad too much focus, at least they took advantage of their guest star’s talents and allowed the audience to understand his motivations with the personal, universal desire to do anything for your family – a lesson Jane is also learning. We’ll see if this week’s episode can strike a balance between too little and too much justification.
The idea of a bomber avenging the wrongful deaths of his family due to illegal government testing provided all sorts of moral implications that were barely explored. I’m assuming it was in the interest of time, but it would have been worth seeing if or how other factions of the government attempted to justify their own actions.
Once you get past Roman threatening to make Jane’s “rabbit” bleed (and all those innocent people he’s killed), he’s actually not a terrible guy. He truly cares about Jane or he wouldn’t have covered for her with Shepherd, and it was refreshing to see a softer side to the character. His actions this episode create an interesting dynamic between the blood relatives and the adoptive relatives. I’m hoping Shepherd not being their mother by blood doesn’t lessen the validity of her choosing to become their mother, but I’m curious to see how maternal she was with them when they were kids. From everything she’s done so far, I could see Shepherd treating little Remi and Roman similarly to the way they were treated in the orphanage – as soldiers instead of children. If that’s the case, it’s no wonder that Roman doesn’t hesitate to defy her when Jane’s life is at risk, and this doesn’t bode well for Shepherd’s ultimate survival.
Last season, Jane had nothing but her instincts to rely on and spent so much time verbally questioning who she was, who did this to her, and why. Now she has all of those answers, but she finds herself questioning her own instincts this time around. What makes her uncertainty all the more fascinating is how she comes across as a foil for Roman. Where Remi could kill without hesitation, Roman couldn’t. Now, where Roman can kill without hesitation, Jane doesn’t. The nature versus nurture debate gets rather complicated here, and I’m excited to see how it plays out further.
Another dynamic that this episode explored was the one between Weller as Nas. After last week, it seemed like Weller and Nas would be working well together, but it still appears they have some hurdles to overcome, especially when it comes to Jane. Where he’s determined to do what’s right, Nas is willing to do what’s necessary even if that means compromising Jane’s mental stability. Even though Weller and Jane aren’t on the best of terms, he was still correct when he told Nas he knows Jane’s strengths and weaknesses – her tendency to not follow orders and never stay put when she’s supposed to. Rather than Weller and Nas pulling Jane in opposite directions, it’d be in both their best interests to stop trying to handle Jane and let Jane be her own FBI handler. Jane’s been a soldier for so long that she deserves the chance to lead the most important mission of her life.
It was great to see the team toasting to Mayfair alongside Jane giving a speech that as equally applied to Oscar as it did the FBI’s former assistant director. With Weller not fully embracing her old position, she may be gone, but she’s certainly not forgotten.
ODDS AND ENDS:
– This title’s anagram is either “for their moment is near” or “their former name is not…” Since this week’s “If Beth” unscrambles to “the FBI” (or “the fib,” this is getting complicated) my vote is on the latter.
– I think the real question of this season is when is Jane getting a haircut? I realize she was in a dark hole for three months and she’s had a lot on her plate since escaping, but it’s looking a little subpar.
– Jane: What happened to me?
Roman: I drugged you. You can’t know where we’re located.
Jane: Ever heard of a blindfold?
– Jane: This still doesn’t feel real. It feels like yesterday that we found each other again. After so much time apart, I finally felt whole. Now I’m alone again. You were my protector, my rock, but I couldn’t protect you. I failed you, and I will never forgive myself. You were a good soldier. You made mistakes, but you didn’t deserve to die. Now that you’re gone, it’s up to us to make sure that your death wasn’t in vain. We owe that to you, to each other, and to our country.