Public Service Announcement 10 of 2018: Blindspot

Mid-season break over, Blindspot returns to Sky Living tonight (Monday) at 10pm, with Kurt in the somewhat awkward position of having just confessed to his wife that he REDACTED her REDACTED. Um….

Since this is Weller we’re talking about, presumably there’s much more to it than that and Jane will (eventually) forgive him but, in the meantime, this may not bode too well for season 3’s initially super-fun vibe; with a little help from joy-in-human-form Rich Dotcom and a renewed delight in its own inherent craziness, the first few episodes of this run were some of the funniest and the best the show has ever produced and I really hope the writers don’t lose sight of that and drag us all down into Kurt’s big black hole of misery without throwing some Rich and Patterson hi-jinx into the mix to lighten the mood. I mean, just because Kurt is distraught, doesn’t mean we all have to be. And, since I’m on weekly review duty, I really don’t fancy another three months of estrangement of the show’s OTP – does this need to happen every year? – if we can avoid it, so if there’s any chance the big guy could be mistaken about what he thinks he’s done, let’s find out sooner rather than later, eh? PLEASE.

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Blindspot s3 ep 8

*SPOILERS*

Well, slap me sideways, what a stormer of an episode this is.

After last week’s Van Gogh setback, our heroes are feeling understandably dejected. “How the hell are we supposed to catch this woman when she keeps murdering all the people who can help put her away?”, frets Jane. Rather than dwell on this for too long though, Mary Stuart Masterson herself decides to speed up proceedings and gives them a hint by dragging Rich Dotcom into proceedings and using him to try and frame Patterson for absolutely everything. The nerve of the woman!

Of course, Rich, who I am straight up in love with at this point, is having none of this and not only goes straight to Team Tat but sorts out a whole multi-stage, multi-felony escape plan for her – those of us shipping PatDotcom (ie ME) might have got a little bit excited at this point and maybe lost our minds later on at the “Suck it” bit, don’t even pretend – which involves vents, security log-ins, an old man suit and a joyously, brazenly ridiculous game of Marco Polo. And so the final round of Hirst vs Team Tat is ON.

With Reade playing double agent and Hirst grabbing players off the board one by one, it’s not long before the interrogation room starts to get a little crowded; if it’s not exactly protocol to just keep adding chairs and prisoners, it’s still very funny, and as the stakes get higher and higher, everyone and their efforts get better and better, whether they’re handcuffed to each other or not. Everybody in Team Tat (and one or two of their colleagues too – go Briana!) gets to be awesome, Rich and Patterson are THE BEST, and everything is deftly-plotted, and very, very clever, making “City of Folk Under Wraps” both utterly thrilling and completely hilarious.

Even Roman’s sub-plot works; I mean, it’s a little bit annoying that it keeps interrupting the rest of the REALLY GREAT STUFF but, by the end, it’s clear why and it makes sense in a mad, potentially exciting kind of way, even if “would it be so terrible to guard my body?” is a line that should never, ever be uttered again in anyone’s lifetime. Of course, that line has nothing on what poor brooding Kurt has to say at the end of the episode, though. My God. I mean, it has to have been an accident or self-defence or something, but how he and Jane are supposed to come back from “I killed your daughter!” I have no idea. Although I’m very invested in finding out. No word quite yet on when Blindspot will be back on Sky Living in the UK, but the show returns to US screens on 12th January so I’m hoping we won’t have to wait too long. Either way, what a season this has been so far with the show completely rejuvenated and knocking out some of its best episodes ever, and what a way to finish up for the holidays. Woo hoo!

Blindspot s3 ep 7

*SPOILERS*

The mission to bring down Mary Stuart Masterson hots up, with the team calling in outside help in the form of…. Allie and Bethany? Only on tv would it be perfectly normal for an FBI agent’s ex and their toddler daughter to form an integral part of his top-secret investigation into his boss’s boss, but, three seasons of utter madness in, it’s a bit late to worry about Blindspot stretching the boundaries of plausibility now.

Anyway, thanks to Uncle Roman’s Christmas gift to his little step-niece, the team work out what happened to Poor Stuart, track down “Van Gogh” even if that’s not exactly what they call him (throughout the episode, all I could think of was what Jed would think of “Van Go”) and, just by the by, manage to prevent the instantaneous murder of millions of people by way of lethal virus. And all this on a random Saturday, when Reade and Zapata manage to fit in brunch with the boss as well. Way to multi-task, you guys! And way to bring the possibility of Rapata (Zeade) back to the forefront again, too – not only do they make up, but there’s a point when both Zapata and I think they’re going to make out (they are about to be caught somewhere they shouldn’t be after all) and girlfriend starts to pucker up…. But if Zapata’s thinking maybe knocking him back last season wasn’t such a good idea after all, Reade is too busy worrying about life, liberty and livelihood – and whether a food processor is a good birthday present or not – to go there. This week, at any rate.

Which is just as well because there’s already plenty going on with the main stories of the week, as well as Kurt fretting about the Berlin Secret and finding a kindred spirit in the similarly tortured but well-meaning Van Gogh, before the latter becomes a cautionary tale and yet another illustration of the basic tv principle that a “safe house” is always anything but. Poor Van Gogh. Again, it’s a serious episode rather than a funny one, which is a little bit disappointing given the fun we had last week and in the first few episodes of the season, but it’s a decent, pacy one that avoids getting too bogged down in angst, and reasonably entertaining as a result.

Blindspot s3 ep 6

After a couple of weeks of taking itself a little too seriously, Blindspot is back on track this week with the team going undercover in the showbiz world to bring down an international crime group who have been using a movie production company to do bad, international crime group things. This is obviously fertile ground for some cheeky, cheery meta jokes, with our beloved Rich “Former King of the Dark Web, FBI Secret Weapon” Dotcom at the forefront of the fun stuff and everyone getting pulled out of the darkness and into the comedy sun as a result; we already know Rich bounces brilliantly off Kurt, but it’s a particular delight to see him work closely with Jane this week too, significantly lightening her mood in the process. Hi-fives in particular for the joyous scene where Rich and Jane pretend to pitch a movie – “Butterscotch! It’s my personal mantra and now it’s yours!” Heh.

On the long-term arc side of things, I still detest Roman but at least he’s just being straightforwardly evil this week instead of whining about it being someone else’s fault, and Reade rocking up at Team Tat’s off-site HQ is a great moment for the entire crew. But who am I kidding? Nothing, NOTHING, compares to the magnificent sight of an ecstatic Rich Dotcom wielding a flamethrower. “Oh My God. This is so much better than a gun.” Damn right it is. HEE.

Blindspot s3 ep 5

*SPOILERS*

After a delightfully cheery start to the season, Blindspot swings back into default angst mode again this week, with Jane drowning in denial and self-loathing over the whole “secret daughter she gave up and forgot about” situation, Kurt struggling to support her while also keeping schtum about the whole “secretly met the secret daughter” situation and Patterson and Zapata working out that boss Mary Stuart Masterson has “been manipulating the tattoo cases because some of them point to her” which sounds a lot like the whole “previous boss who did that and didn’t survive the season” situation to me.

Reads is either complicit or an idiot, Tasha’s new haircut is very unhappy about it, and the guy who brought Kalinda down is back just to wind everyone up for good measure: with all this fretting and fighting going on, nobody has a lot of time for the Tat of the Week, so it’s all dealt with at lightning speed. Somebody’s firebombing NYPD evidence warehouses! They’re after an ancient, untested rape kit! (Cue quick Law and Order: SVU-style PSA about the appalling rape kit backlog.) It shows that an unassuming NYU student is the secret heir to the throne of a made-up cross between Kazakhstan and Russia! Kurt says something about how the hospital His Majesty and his mum are in is “completely secure” which obviously means an unstoppable hit squad is going to burst in and take it over within seconds! And… that’s about it. Since somebody had to have told the baddies where Weller and co were headed in their getaway car, I’m guessing Weitz sold the team out and we’ll find out about that and whatever Mary Stuart Masterson is really up to later in the season, but for this week, we’ll have to be content with firefights, Molotov cocktails, and Jane over-identifying with and over-emoting at His Majesty who is having none of it. “I know exactly who I am,” he says, “I’m my mother’s son.” And also King of Kazharus (?), but yep, good for you, kid. We’ll see if Avery Doe is as well-adjusted in due course, I’m sure, but in the meantime, can we get back to the jokes, please? I mean, this was fine and Jane and Kurt were indeed badass, but it wasn’t funny. Rich, dude, you out there? Come on back and lighten the mood.

Blindspot s3 ep 4

*SPOILERS*

Time for a little dip in the hilarity and high jinks: the Tat of the Week “points to a bomber who’s been dead for twenty years,” except that he isn’t, of course, and he’s also about to strike again. Uh-oh. Luckily(?), Roman has spent the last couple of years working out this fellow’s code and communication system and all sorts, which I’m sure is both helpful for Team Tat and totes entertaining for Roman, but does make me feel that this show is now beginning to treat Roman as both omnipotent and omnipresent – dude has not only amassed decades worth of long-buried, explosive information, but he’s also acquired the smarts to design all these fiendishly complicated new tattoos to hint towards them, while simultaneously working out everyone’s deepest, darkest secrets AND crashing Kurt and Jane’s wedding video booth? Um….really? I know we met him last year when he wasn’t at his best but, frankly, dude has never seemed quite that bright.

Anyway, never mind the logistics, feel the stakes. With the bomber’s daughter and Jack Malone’s old boss a figure from Jane’s past (and another BIG SECRET) located, a very near-miss with a decoy bomb – although did anyone really think Jane was going to die mid-episode? – and a slimy suit from State combine to utterly exhaust Mary Stuart Masterson’s patience. Already the butt of some sports joke which goes right over my head – no need to fill me in, I’m good – she has had more than enough of the shadowy hints and cryptic clues. “We need something to chase and we need it fast!” MSM announces and Patterson, of course, obliges. Ta-da! The bomber is done for, the bomb is disarmed (although “Down to zero. We’re not dead.” is cutting it a little fine, guys) and the day is saved, once again. Hurrah! Albeit nobody should relax quite yet, because putting together the slimy suit, a prisoner escape and a missing text message from Poor Stuart means that “The task force is compromised!” What, again? FFS. Has the task force ever been anything but?

Oh, well. No season of Blindspot would be complete without a mole of some sort, hey? And although this episode isn’t quite as funny or fabulous as the previous three (and Rich isn’t in it) it still has plenty of humour and excitement to keep things trucking along nicely, while setting up some potentially MASSIVE stuff for the rest of the season. I enjoyed it a lot.

Blindspot s3 ep 3

*Spoilers*

Kurt and Jane can get super-flirty on missions, and Zapata can pretend to be super-pally with Reade’s girlfriend to deflect all she likes, but we all know there’s only one pairing that really matters this week: ladies and gentlemen, I give you PATDOTCOM.

Not, alas, in the romantic sense – Yet. But we can hope, right? – but in the “used to be in a secret super-hacktivism collective with a lunatic nutbar who took it a bit too far” and the “uh-oh, how are we going to avoid felony charges this time?” ones, instead. Which, when the episode is this hilarious, is more than fine by me.

Of course, losing yet another gentleman friend/partner to evil conspiracy-type shenanigans – after Pushy, Borden and Stuart, I’m now terrified for Rich – means Patterson is already having a difficult time, so the arrest of Krazy Kathy, the third member of their (un)happy hacker trio, sends her storming down to Rich’s basement office/cupboard with a scrambler and a virulent case of PANIC STATIONS. To confess or not to confess? Well not, obviously, since nobody wants the two best characters on the show, and very possibly on the planet, to spend the rest of the series off-screen and in jail. But the alternative plan isn’t without its pitfalls, either, since they accidentally out themselves to Krazy, who is desperate to get the old gang back together and isn’t going to let little things like the law, the FBI or any form of sanity get in the way.

Because season three of Blindspot is an absolute joy, this means an exuberantly funny, fast-paced episode incorporating a sort of spoof-Tarantino kidnapping, Patterson and Rich in shock collars in a dungeon (“And not the good kind of dungeon,” either) – AND a cheerful, unapologetic tribute to unpopcult favourite Chuck, which I am all for. (Fly that Nerd Herd, flag, you guys. Fly it HIGH.) This would all be fabulous enough, but we also get – wait for it – Rich Dotcom winking and the PatDotcom fist-bump?! OMG. Too often, tv has me threatening my long-suffering television with violence, but today I just want to hug it. Rich Dotcom winking and the PatDotcom fist-bump! Sure, Reade being all kick-ass at Kinga and all “I know what you did last summer year” at the de-briefing was great, and I am delighted by the one-eared painter/ one-eared criminal craziness it looks like the show is about to embark on, but…Rich Dotcom winking and the PatDotcom fist-bump! “Huge Rich Dotcom fangirls” are totally a thing. I LOVE THIS SHOW.