Blindspot s3 ep 16

*SPOILERS*

Blindspot is not wasting any time this season. A couple of weeks ago, we found out REDACTED was alive, this week – thanks to Rich Dotcom and the dragonfly tattoo – Team Tat does too. Except for Zapata, who already knew, and isn’t massively popular as a result. To their credit, though, the team set their anger aside and get on with stopping the imminent attack – in an exciting twist, it’s not “today”, it’s, uh, “tomorrow” – but it’s touch and go for the devastated Patterson, who will (and should) be looking to appoint a new best friend pronto. The choice is obvious, of course: Rich’s Room of Requirement remedy is very sweet, the pair of them together are adorable and I need more PATDOTCOM in my life. (That smarmy Puritan from OPR can get knotted.)

In other news, Roman and Crawford bond over their sucky childhoods and the latter’s grandiose plan to end all violence other than that committed or authorised by himself; Roman may have something badly wrong with him other than chronic self- righteousness; and Zapata tells Reade how she feels about him two years too late for Reade and one week too late for me: I’ve only just bought my season ticket for the Zeaton train and I’m not getting off any time soon. I’m guessing Reade will come around and Rapata will get all loved up ere too long, but I really wish they wouldn’t.

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Blindspot s3 ep 15

*SPOILERS*

A CIA transport plane crashes in the river. To make matters worse, it turns out that the plane was carrying some highly unsavoury folk planning to mount “an attack in New York… and it’s happening tonight.” So that’ll be business as usual for Blindspot, then, except that this time Roman is busy elsewhere so it’s another of Jane’s old buddies who tips Team Tat off to the imminent danger instead: step forward, Cade, the exact details of whose backstory I can never remember no matter how many times the show brings him back because one angry ex-Sandstorm guy with a chip on his shoulder really is much the same as another. No matter – all we need to know (delivered via a couple of helpful if uninspiring flashbacks) is that he previously made a deal with Team Tat, exchanging info for his freedom, and they honoured it but Keaton didn’t, so now somebody’s given him a different deal instead and Keaton really would’ve been better sticking to the first one.

l guess Cade didn’t get the memo about insanity and doing the same thing repeatedly while expecting different results – the deal thing’s really not going to work out any better this time around, dude – but still, thanks to his help, a number of gravity-defying leaps of logic for the rest of the team and, of course, a giant gunfight, once again the baddies are beaten in the nick of time and at least the fella gets to see his kid one last time, distressing though that is for all concerned, before anyone welches on anything. In the scheme of things, Cade’s demise may not be the best way to go, but it may just be better than the far slower death which awaited him back at Chez Keaton.

As Team Crawford makes a big fuss over Blake’s kidnapping in Rio, and Team Tat save the CIA (sort of) in New York, meanwhile, Jane and Kurt gently introduce Avery to the idea that her adoptive dad may not have been a totally stand-up guy. The episode’s fine (if not a patch on last week’s because Patterson is fantastic and Cade… isn’t), but I think my favourite thing about it is when Little Doe starts to whine “Home? Where is that?” Not because I like whining or I like Avery – that’s a hard no on both counts – but because the “Here we go….This is gonna take a while” resigned look on Kurt’s face is both perfect and hilarious: dude is married to Avery’s mother, he knows this type of conversation very well. My second-favourite thing is that, although Zapata’s supposed to be in love with Reade, there’s an intriguing vibe between her and Keaton which l’m not sure was quite so shippy before but definitely suggests she’s more than a little bit in love with him too, and weirdly, despite the fact that individually neither of them are my favourite people, I think l could really be into Zeaton as a doomed love affair pair. And my third-favourite thing is, after the kidnap carry-on is resolved – unnecessarily violently, if you ask me, Roman – Crawford pranks Roman, before doing what can only be described as a supervillain LOL. Heh.

Blindspot s3 ep 14

*SPOILERS*

The Groundhog Day theme being more a staple of fantasy (romantic or otherwise) and science-fiction, I didn’t expect to see it in an episode of Blindspot; after all, the show might not worry too much about realism or plausibility, but it does generally tend to abide, if somewhat loosely, by the basic rules of linear time and space. So this week’s episode was not only a surprise, but a risky one: time loops tend not to feature too much in procedural drama for a reason. I needn’t have worried though – “Everlasting” was an innovative, inventive delight.

Ok, “a medically-induced coma” as an explanation is really just a glorified dream sequence but I have no problem with either when they’re as imaginatively and entertainingly done as this. The quick, clever script kept things moving but the real joy was in the many fantastic, hilarious little details: Patterson’s “offline” face-mask, the “Peterson” on her coffee cup, Jaimie Alexander’s pitch-perfect Ally Sheedy in the Breakfast Club sequence, Jane and Kurt’s swap of clothes, lines and personalities – building an episode like that around Ashley Johnson’s glorious Patterson (Ashley Johnson is tremendous all the time, by the way, in case we haven’t already made it clear) was a terrific idea and made for such a lot of fun, while still managing to make some serious points along the way. As well as properly introducing Ami Sheth’s Afreen which gets the show some serious points from me too. We’ve seen her hanging out at Team Tat HQ before but I think this is the first time Afreen’s had a name and a proper, meaty part in the plot and, in contrast to Quantico or Homeland or other procedurals which have introduced a hijab-wearing character, her religion or choice of headgear were neither mentioned nor relevant. I already loved this episode, but that just gave me another reason to be glad about it.

Blindspot s3 ep 13

*Spoilers*

“You’re undocumented and you decided to date the Assistant Director of the FBI?”

Maybe not the most likely of scenarios, I know. But good for Blindspot for raising an important issue it didn’t need to and picking the side of compassion and common sense. If only it had picked a different character to do it with, though. Megan is very, very dull and, as little more than a speed bump on the Road to Rapata, extremely unlikely to make it on to next season’s call sheet. The attempt to give her some characterisation in her own right, rather than have her be solely defined as Reade’s girlfriend, oh, excuse me, fiancée, is praiseworthy but I can’t help feeling that if they’d made Zapata or Reade himself the undocumented one, we might have ourselves a storyline and a character I could get invested in. This one, not so much.

While we wait for Meg’s secret to be exposed (by West? Zapata? Roman?) however, we still have the Tat of the Week to keep us busy, this week brought to you not by Roman for a change, but by old pal Kalinda: long story short, a big bad computer virus has been stolen from the NSA (whose security seems significantly more lax than you’d expect from the secretive government organisation with the actual word “Security” in its name) and Team Tat need to help her get it back. Oh, please. Next time, come back with a real challenge, huh, Kalinda? The dream team of PATDOTCOM takes about 5 seconds to work out who has the thing and how they’re going to get it, with – Bonus ball! – Rich’s plan happily involving the big Dark Web Party Reade had only just banned him from attending. Heh. Gladrags on, Cinderella Dotcom, you shall go to the ball!

As shall Kurt, Kalinda and “Lady Dour of Dourton Abbey” or, as you might know her, “Jane.” In between various stunts, shenanigans, and a surprise appearance by Sho Akhtar -“There’s no business like Sho business!” – Rich and Kalinda both give Jane a spot of real talk, the big bad virus thing is recovered and yay! Team Tat triumph once again! Even if Kalinda gets the credit.

In estranged family member/ “I don’t care, but looks like we’re stuck with these people” news, meantime, Avery lures Kurt away from work to “apologise” to him, which is not cute since his job is kinda important and time-sensitive, girlfriend. Jane then meets up with her awful daughter for coffee which would ordinarily lose the episode points but since even Avery can’t understand why someone would drink something called a “hemp milk latte,” maybe there’s hope for her yet. And Blake and Roman get involved in some business that a) results in her getting kidnapped and b) suggests that maybe he’s no longer playing at having feelings for her. Whatevs. It’s not the best Blindspot, but Rich Dotcom always means it’s a fun one – I enjoyed it.

Blindspot s3 ep 12

We know the basic season 3 drill by now: Roman tells Team Tat to investigate something, they look annoyed but do it anyway, and then they have to stop an attack in or near New York from happening TODAY, while he swans about somewhere sunny – Morocco again this week, lovely – getting his Machiavelli on vis-a-vis the big picture bringing-down of Crawford Corps. This week: yup, all that again.

So instead of going into it in any great detail this week, I have some questions. No.1 – with all this very important questioning of very secret assets that nobody really trusts going on, why hasn’t anyone broken out the big radioactive Chair of Truth again? Truth serum and lie-detectors are a bit uninspiring when you have giant infallible interrogation furniture which LIGHTS UP. No.2 – why is nobody prosecuting or at the very least yelling very loudly at the appalling Avery for conspiring with an international criminal/terrorist/ super-bad-dude and doing what she did to Kurt and her mother? And No.3 – did science ever resolve the question of nature vs nurture? Because if not, I would like to offer up the Family Doe as a potential subject for further study.

Roman and Jane have both been astonishingly annoying at various points – Roman more so last season, although his tremendous power to irritate is always simmering just under the surface, waiting to be activated by removing his “Tom Jakeman” glasses like a furious, entitled Superman with abandonment issues. Jane’s abilities in that regard, meanwhile, have really mushroomed over the past few weeks, giving her horrendous sibling some real competition in the self-righteousness stakes. They’re obviously related, but hang about: Shepherd, who raised them both was biologically unconnected to them and yet completely unlikeable, too. Which might have led me to come down on the side of nurture as the dominant force, except that now Avery, who grew up nowhere near any of them, has appeared and the writers have outdone themselves with how insanely infuriating she is. So maybe it’s genetic after all. Either way, Jane may be showing signs of getting a long-overdue grip on herself at last, but if her unspeakable offspring doesn’t shut up at some point soon, I’m going to have to start using the fast-forward button and maybe take up meditation or something because ARGH.

Blindspot s3 ep 11

*SPOILERS*

It’s something of a miracle that the New York branch of the FBI managed not to set themselves and the Five Boroughs on fire the whole time Patterson was in California not working for them, given that nobody on Blindspot would be able to save the world/breathe without her sorting everything out for them every week. This week is no different, either: instead of letting the “Avery’s dead, you killed her, I hate you!’ business drag on for the rest of what could have been an interminably long season, Patterson is on it like the proverbial car bonnet. Thanks to her, we now know it was all a set-up: Avery has been working with Roman and the Max/Diedrich gangster guy Kurt fell foul of in Berlin and, surprise, surprise, she’s NOT DEAD.

Jane’s reaction to this is Jane’s reaction to everything at the moment, though, which is to blame Kurt because apparently everythingglobal warming, third world debt, the change in the Irn-Bru recipe – is Kurt’s fault. FFS, Jane. She stamps her feet and wants to take her fancy man Clem to Germany to spring Avery instead, but Reade – who is genuinely having a great season so far, well done, Reade – insists that Jane, Clem and Kurt all go together, which is so excruciatingly awkward I’m not altogether sure it doesn’t breach the Eighth Amendment prohibition of cruel and unusual punishment. To their credit, however, Kurt and Clem refrain from beating each other to death, choosing instead to channel Kurt’s aggression and Clem’s discomfort into a bit of posturing and an atmosphere so frosty you could store liquid nitrogen in it. We’ve seen worse.

There’s some exciting stuff about a secret East/West Berlin tunnel network, Princess Avery is saved and everyone has no issue at all with her because teaming up with gangsters and framing her step-father in order to destroy her mother’s marriage and life is no big. Kurt, however, who hasn’t actually done anything Jane hasn’t done (many times over) is not yet forgiven and, at this point, I’m beginning to think both he and Clem deserve better than Jane. And Avery and Roman deserve each other.

A whole episode of Doe Clan dynamics and Jane glaring at Kurt while simpering at Clem might have been a little much, though, so happily “Technology Wizards” gives us another, much more fun plot to keep the rest of the team busy and the audience from despair. Yes, our beloved Rich Dotcom is back – WOO HOO! – to help “All-beef Patty” with a teeny-weeny problem: someone is using the back door in her Wizardville app to blackmail a bunch of people and possibly cause a terrorist attack in NYC. Otherwise known as your usual day at Tat HQ.

Rich is awesome, obviously, Rich and Patterson together are even more awesome, and ex-boyfriend Boston’s return adds an unexpected touch of feeling to proceedings since Jealous Rich is very funny, but he’s also a little bit heartsore, as is Boston himself. Everybody’s human. Despite me wanting to brain Jane for most of it, then, the combination of the two main plotlines, some decent action scenes and some zingy lines means this is a highly entertaining way to spend 40ish minutes, with shipper-ish stuff going on everywhere if you want it to be. Good stuff.

Blindspot s3 ep 10

*SPOILERS*

Sauce for the goose is definitely not sauce for the gander this week, as Kurt mopes about in full sad sack mode – “you shouldn’t be the one staying in a hotel, Jane” – while Jane finds, um, other ways to console herself. As I said last week, Kurt’s not the only one who’s been keeping secrets, huh? And (as I also said last week) he did what he did by accident (albeit actually not at all). Jane with the admittedly hot, kind and probably ideally-suited to her Clem? Not so much.

All hope is not quite lost for Jeller, yet, though; despite Patterson’s reluctance to get involved, she obviously can’t help herself and manages to confirm our suspicion that Kurt’s initial meeting, at the very least, with Avery was a set-up, Roman presumably having taken a break from tattooing and threatening his sister in order to rustle up a Plan B to finish off her marriage too. FFS, Roman. Get a hobby. (By which I mean something other than acrobatics in the green room with Blake.)

While the rest of Team Tat’s love lives might be on shaky ground, Reade and Megan are apparently going strong, despite Megan being really, really annoying. I’d like to give her credit for leading the team to this week’s mission but since she ignores the group of refugees seeking her help till Reade insists otherwise, she almost gets them killed by ignoring his advice in the middle of a great big action set-piece, and she then tells them not to tell Team Tat anything about the plot to frame and blow Akol and his friends up, I’m struggling.

In fairness, though, given what’s been happening in real life, Megan has a point. As does Patterson, who reminds us that refugees admitted to the US have to go through a very long, very thorough vetting process, no matter what irresponsible reporting, race-baiting and the steady stream of bile coming from certain politicians and right-wing rags might suggest. Well done to Blindspot for not shying away from saying something that needs to be said.

As well as  compassionate and socially responsible, though, the bonus is that the episode’s tremendously exciting as well. Reade’s brilliant throughout, and the big climactic sequence where the team race to find two bombs and save another group of refugees is absolutely terrific. That freezer moment, in particular? Wow.