After last week’s Rich-related hijinks, Blindspot snaps back into serious – as serious as you can be when your entire show is based on fighting crime one tattoo at a time, that is – mode this week, with Team Tat heading back to school to investigate potential corruption in the sports program. “Doesn’t seem that tattoo-worthy,” muses Reade, wearing an inexplicably stupid bow tie for no reason other than his tailor (a low-level government employee with a tailor? Really?) hates him. “Scholarship fraud isn’t that big of a deal.” “Which means it’s probably more than scholarship fraud,” replies Zapata, fresh from the triumph of identifying the tattoo in the first place and determined that it’s going to lead to something worth the ink.
Zapata is, of course, right, and, as luck would have it, Team Tat have no sooner arrived on campus than the comms are jammed and the shooting starts. It’s a classic set-up which practically all procedurals have used at one point or another, but – presumably in a bid to do something different, but not that different with the format – Blindspot decides to shake things up a bit by going back and forth in the timeline, and showing us different people’s perspectives of the action.
This technique might have been revolutionary 30 years ago, but it’s not particularly startling any more, so all it does in this instance is undercut the tension in a perfectly serviceable story that would have been a lot tighter and more compelling without it. Which is not to say the episode isn’t entertaining, just that it could have been even more so if they hadn’t tried to be so smart with it. And if they’d skipped Zapata’s GA scenes, because really, NOBODY CARES.
Having said that, there’s still plenty of Blindspot fun to be had throughout. I could have done without Mayfair’s whining parasite of a girlfriend coming back from the dead, or Tree Tat Man continuing to play Jane like a baby piano – this week he’s pretending to be noble and selfless by threatening to cut his amnesiac, distraught girlfriend off entirely – but Kurt throwing a mini-fridge out of a window and trying to be Spider-man is a bizarre, if welcome, highlight, as is Jane schooling the world’s most nervous security guard. Unusually, however, the best scenes belong to Reade, who has a great time and some great lines with a bomb behind a door and a sweet girl called Valerie helping him out, and who ends the episode with something of a renewed sense of purpose. I suspect it’ll only last as long as Kurt’s bottle of Scotch, but it’s a better look on the man than that stupid bow-tie, at any rate.