It’s change your partner, skip to Bulgaria week on Blindspot, as the writers continue to keep Kurt busy with alternative lady friends while Jane gets stuck with her sociopath – albeit now somewhat self-conscious about it – brother, and Patterson stays home to mix up her boyfriends. Uh-oh.
Turns out Bulgaria is quite the hotspot for reasonably high-ranking security agency employees, as the Assistant Director of the ClA points out to the Assistant Director of the FBI and “whatever fake title you have at the NSA” when they catch him tailing them, which makes me wonder what all the lesser-paid secret agents are doing with their time. Do they all really stay at home a la Reade and Zapata, while their bosses go out and get their hands dirty? If so, the intelligence agencies in Blindspot defy every rule of every hierarchical organisation ever, but then Blindspot already defies every rule of logic ever, so I suppose this should come as no surprise.
Anyway, Kalinda and Kurt are in Sofia posing as married tourists, Kalinda having insisted that Kurt’s previous fake-wife – the one who can actually speak Bulgarian, let’s not forget – heads off to steal a McGuffin with Roman instead. Jane is NOT happy about it, but three’s a crowd, as Kalinda correctly identifies but keeps to herself since chat about beating Sandstorm is more likely to get Ms Doe out of the way than “I want to see what’s under Weller’s bullet-proof vest, girlfriend, make yourself scarce, would you?”
The purported reason for the trip, meanwhile – some dude called Douglas Winter who has suddenly become super-important to the plot – turns out to be a very low-rent, Rich Dotcom-lite type in that he’s on joke duty while Kurt and Kalinda growl at him and stuff him in holdalls and such. Also, he has fun glasses. WANT.
Once D-dubs has been bundled into the “safe house,” poor Kurt has time for a wobble and because a) nobody on the team can resist a wobbly Weller or b) Kalinda has been working him like a pro from the start, she seizes the opportunity to provide the kind of comfort that requires everyone to take their clothes off. We’re spared any potential post-coital awkwardness/ tenderness, however, by some folk storming in with guns because, on tv, a “safe” house is never anything of the sort. Happily, as well as the obligatory bullet-fest, this also gives Kurt the chance to lightly rough up the man who tortured Jane, because Kalinda, Allie or whoever notwithstanding, the Jeller flame’s still burning in there somewhere. Yay!
While Kalinda gets Kurt on side, then, Jane is busy turning Roman in ways which are suspicously similar, if all fully-clothed: stick together on an intense, two-man mission, stop him from killing someone with his bare hands/ a letter-opener, get him all teary-eyed so you can cuddle the pain out of him…. Because this is CBS not GOT (and also because EWWWWW), Jane and Roman/Ian’s relationship remains entirely chaste, but the parallels with how Kalinda is working Kurt are so obvious they have to be intentional. As is the similarity between Kalinda’s “mission at all costs, even if you have to drop a few bodies along the way” attitude and Shepherd’s. Is Kalinda the Sandstorm mole after all?
Patterson finding the bug may suggest that – and really kill the Kurt/Kalinda mood – but since Borden spends the whole episode hanging about essentially going “Hey! I’m the mole!” it may be that Kalinda’s just another high-ranking security agency-type out for herself, like Carter and new dude NotCarter. Or maybe we have two moles, who knows? Either way, it’s a frenetic, thrilling episode filled with so many genuinely jaw-dropping moments I had to check to see if it was the mid-season finale (it isn’t). Or at least half of it is frenetic and thrilling, that part being greatly helped along by the complete exclusion of Reade and Zapata from it; they’re too busy playing Obstructing Justice With Friends to get involved in saving the country from total annihilation or any of that carry-on.
Bizarrely, the sub-plot which was about Reade’s childhood trauma has now turned into Zapata’s adult crusade, as, having bundled him out of the spotlight as quickly as she bundled him out of Coach Jones’s house, Tasha is now contaminating crime scenes, stealing incriminating evidence, leaning on witnesses and – bizarrely – stripping off so she and Edgar can argue in their underwear. This doesn’t lead to anything, er, Nurt-like – Reade is too busy maintaining his innocence to get up to anything else – but is a bit of an odd costume choice for that particular scene. Par for the course with Zapata this season, though; since the writers have correctly divined that she’s entirely superfluous to the main plot, they’re desperately throwing her into everyone else’s storylines in the hope that one will stick. She’s Coded with Patterson! She’s been Jealous of Jane! And now she’s Running Point for Reade! Whatevs. I have no doubt Reade (a character I quite like, unlike his sulky partner) will turn out to be innocent, which means this sub-plot will turn out to be a giant waste of time, but if it means the rest of the ep is as good as this one, carry on.