Blindspot s3 ep 22

*MASSIVE BIG SPOILERS*

The first half of this finale does nothing for me. While Team Tat uncover various clues stemming from an incredibly laboured, dull metaphor/plot device involving a French first edition of The Count of Monte Cristo, whiny Roman whines his way to a final confrontation “back where it all began”, somehow establishing Crawford as the fiendish mastermind behind all his troubles ever. Blergh. The defeated Crawford, rather than wanting to slap him about the head, sacrifices himself instead, committing suicide by Jane so Roman can live another day and reunite with wet blanket Blake. So far, so season three, but, just as I’m getting seriously annoyed at the prospect of Roman getting away yet again and having to endure another season of his self-righteousness, he doesn’t. Yes, he reunites with Blake but – not something I ever expected to say in connection with Blake – that’s when things start to get interesting: in the first of three major shocks to end the season and the first sign of any actual resemblance to her father, she suddenly produces a spine and a gun, tells Roman what’s what and shoots him in the stomach! OMG!

Is it wrong that I shouted at her to “Shoot him again!”?

She doesn’t though, so, at this point, having left him bleeding but alive, I’m once again resigned to the idea that Roman and the chip on his shoulder will make it to season four, but lo! Jane turns up! Does she shoot him? Well, no. Instead they have an emotional reunion which might have meant something had this storyline not gone on far too long already and he not been insufferable, but no mater. This time, at last, having first dutifully made a telephone call to set someone else up as yet ANOTHER big bad behind him, Roman really does die, in his sister’s arms, on a stunning South African clifftop, as the sun begins to set in the distance. It’s a strikingly beautiful shot of nature at its most lovely – this show has never skimped on location work and it’s the better for it – and a startling contrast with the next one: the dark, sleek, futuristic cityscape of night-time New York, where Kurt is being kind to Jane, and Patterson and Rich are working on the elaborately-decorated USB that was Roman’s dying gift. A lexicon of the tattoos if you will, it won’t entirely solve them all right away – perish the thought – but it’ll get them there, eventually. Or will it? Because, if Roman’s death presses the sorely-needed Reset button on the show, there are then a couple more shocks which thump the poor Reset button so hard it’s obliterated.

First up, while it’s no surprise that Blake didn’t get a clue all on her own, Zapata gave it to her? ZAPATA? We all knew last week’s “firing” was a cover for something, but if you guessed it was for going undercover (for the CIA still, presumably?) as part of Team Blake, you’re way cleverer than I am.

On the off-chance we’re not already reeling from that particular twist, though, the show’s not done yet. Kurt may be bleeding out between surgeries and “not looking good”, but I think we all know he’ll be fine. The bigger problem, although Team Tat don’t know it yet, is that Jane, suffering from ZIP poisoning – the science/timeline behind this suddenly manifesting itself being somewhat irregular – isn’t actually Jane any more….

The deliciously nasty little smile on Remi’s face as she sits holding Kurt’s hand is a terrifically-unsettling way to end a season which started brilliantly and joyously, before getting itself bogged down yet again in angst and Doe family woes. I’m really not sure if I’ll enjoy the return of Remi or not, but Blindspot was in desperate need of re-tooling – Rich Dotcom and a sense of humour made a massive difference to at least the first half of the season, even if he was under-used in the second, and Patterson is always a joy, but it was time for a shake-up and this is certainly that. We’ll see how it works out in season four.

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Blindspot s3 ep 21

*SPOILERS*

The EPG for this week’s episode says “Jane is forced to recruit someone from her past to help take down a dangerous alliance,” which makes my heart sink; not because of the “dangerous alliance” part but because the “someone from Jane’s past” well is one Blindspot is far too fond of dipping into, and those “someones”, with the rare exception, tend to be somewhat annoying. My fears are realised as this week, we get the mother lode, both literally and figuratively, with a double-does of the intensely irritating Shepherd, appearing first in time-wasting flashback before being shuffled in to Tat HQ to wind everyone, especially me, right up.

Months of black-site living mean Mama Doe’s a bit twitchier and slightly more subdued than she was, but she’s still very much herself, which means we go from “No way will you be seeing Jane!” to “Here’s Jane here, carry on!” within seconds, and all for naught except that she and son Roman are both dropping giant “whatever mysterious malady ails him is going to ail Jane pretty soon too” hints all over the place. That’s a problem for another day, though; today’s task is to identify which particular nefarious scheme little bro has cooked up now and stop him.

Rich Dotcom, sporting a delightfully brash shirt and planning a charming, strangely familiar graphic novel/ tv series(?), is back to offer tech support, but is regrettably under-used – when you have a crew of miserable Does around, why bother with laughter or joy? – and even Patterson isn’t as well-deployed as she usually is, though she does have a couple of triumphant moments. The wickedness of the week is quite clever, though: Roman is planning to sort-of-blow-up-the-UN-but-not-really, just enough to get the squabbling leaders of two made-up countries evacuated to a not-so-safe house so he can kill them some more. To be honest, it’s probably too clever – the whole plan has something of the “sharks and laser beams” about it, but no matter – Blindspot, with its naked amnesiac lady in a bag/tattoo-palooza of mystery has sharks toting laser beams in its very DNA. This week’s particular silliness is worth it for the revelation that Kurt apparently has an encyclopaedic knowledge of fictional world leaders: “We need to find King Almasi and President Bottros!” he barks, without missing a beat. Impressive. More so than the UN’s own security chief who insists on sending the said King and President to the unsafe-house, because “protocol.” Oh, girlfriend.

Unsurprisingly, “protocol” gets a bunch of Ms Chief’s security staff gunned down in a hotel hallway – goodbye, guards, we never knew you – and Jane and Kurt playing international mediators before sending the King and the President to safety out of the window down a garbage chute. Hurrah! (The garbage chute is then summarily dispensed with, of course, so we can get an unencumbered action-movie shot of Kurt and Jane leaping out the window together instead. It’s very cliched, but I like it.)

It’s not all rejoicing and secret shipping of bickering world leaders (no? just me?), though. For reasons that make no sense and that nobody need trouble ourselves with, Keaton “fires” Zapata, putting a slight wrinkle in my Zeaton/Kapata hopes. And then Zapata and Reade give in to their feelings for each other, which turns the wrinkle into a giant crease. *Shrugs.* It doesn’t really bode well for the main characters that I’m more interested in a possible Keaton romantic angle than theirs, but never mind that for now. Plot-wise, the big news is the set-up for next week’s season finale: Roman challenging big sis to “one last game”. Is it too much to hope that “last” is the operative part, and season 4 brings some fresh villains? Come on, guys. Enough Doe vs Doe. End it.

Blindspot s3 ep 20

Not so much a game of two halves as a game of one delightful quarter and three somewhat uninspiring ones this week, as Bill Nye the Science Guy guest stars, playing himself, himself being Patterson’s dad. I can’t quite articulate why this is so much more awesome than Bill Nye playing A.N Other Non-Nye fellow who is Patterson’s dad, but it really is and Kurt Weller being Bill Nye’s biggest fan somehow makes it even better. Heh. The Science Guy and the Geek Gal Patterson are a perfect, joyous match, obviously, and while Sullivan Stapleton might not often get to flex his comedy muscles as opposed to his action man ones all that often on Blindspot, he certainly makes the most of it in weeks like this when he does. Heh again.

All of that stuff is ace, then, but the rest of the episode never gets much above all right. Because the show can’t get enough of Roman, he spends the week in his shed/lair arguing with the Jane and Roman in his head, which is exactly as pointless as it sounds. The almost fanatically unlikeable Avery is back to whine some more, find out her dad was murdered and almost get murdered (again) herself. And Meg – someone I’d really like to be kinder about because the time spent on her undocumented status is a symbol of the show’s commendable commitment to inclusion and tolerance this season, but I’m really struggling to because she has absolutely nothing else going for her as an actual character; she’s utterly boring – ends her engagement with Reade almost as abruptly as it began, clearing the decks for Rapata in the very near future, I should think.

The difference Bill Nye makes, however, like the difference Ennis Esmer’s Rich makes every time he’s in it and even the difference Christopher Fitzgerald’s Dash made last week, does seem to suggest that Blindspot needs guest stars like these to lift every episode – fond as I am of the show, it’s becoming apparent that, the wonderful Patterson aside, the core team/format (and their grumpy family members) is becoming somewhat stale without your Bills or Ennises around – or without the odd wacky change of pace like the Groundhog Day ep – to liven things up. Since the show has just been renewed for season 4, this is a little bit of a worry: I’m just hoping the writers are as aware of it as I am and we get more of Ennis, more of Bill and more of anyone we can get who can make us laugh next season, as opposed to more of Jane’s grumpy, self-righteous family members arguing all the time. Blindspot might be a procedural drama/thriller but it really doesn’t have to be such a po-faced one.

Blindspot s3 ep 19

A visit from Rich-lite Dark Web aficionado/ conspiracy theorist Dash livens up an otherwise uninspiring, perfunctory episode this week; there’s no “attack on New York happening tonight!!!!”, but there’s another race to get a McGuffin/weapon-to-end-all-weapons, another endless scene of Jane and Roman not killing each other, and a lot of whining from the increasingly tiresome Blake as she follows “Tom” around the country, bleating about how much she needs him to talk to her. Dash is fun, his and Patterson’s scenes together are very funny, and Blake suddenly, fleetingly growing a spine, giving the whinging a rest and REDACTING REDACTED in the REDACTED instead is great while it lasts, even if it only lasts a few seconds. Other than that, though, “Galaxy of Minds” is kind of dull.

Blindspot s3 ep 18

*SPOILERS*

The disingenuous Millicent is back, pretending not to love her job to bits – “I don’t mean to make people uncomfortable… I hate it” is either terrible writing or one of the biggest whoppers I’ve seen anyone tell on this show – and cheerfully trying to end Reade’s career. A knife-happy ninja-type hitman would like to end Reade’s life first, though, and before Reade can neutralise him (which he does pretty efficiently) Millicent is violently and unceremoniously dispatched. Bye-bye!

While Reade is under attack, however, so is everyone else on Team Tat, Roman having hired a bunch of apparently top-flight (or possibly not since none of them are successful – Roman might want to change suppliers) assassins to bump them off. Jane and Weller are on a rare dinner date at a trendy Rich-recommended restaurant and delighted to truncate their meal in favour of a good counter-op, albeit things go slightly wrong when Jane is kidnapped so Roman can do some more moaning at her. (Would you give it a REST, Roman, FFS?) Zapata’s making her ex-boyfriend’s memorial service all about her, before she’s shot at in church. And Patterson is on a terrible date with that cute, attractive fellow Jack, who gets progressively less cute and way less attractive as the date wears on, to the extent that the assassin crashing the party might be something of a blessing.

It’s a fast-moving, action-tastic episode, with some impressive stunts – Jane breaking out of the van and Patterson blowing up the cooking school in particular – and some fun playing around with different perspectives and nice dramatic camera filters (my notes say things like “Patterson is violet!”) to change things up a bit. All while our beloved Rich Dotcom eats pizza, offers life advice and either saves Reade’s job or puts it in worse danger than it was before. (I’m not sure yet.) I wouldn’t say it was vintage Blindspot but I enjoyed it.

Blindspot s3 ep 17

I’m not sure how anyone thought adding a sulky teenager with a chip the size of a small country on her shoulder would be a good thing for Blindspot, but we seem to be stuck with the determinedly cheerless Avery and her stroppy attitude for now. Having agreed to help Team Tat (again, for now) she demands quid pro quo: she wants to go on the gala mission too and only just refrains from stamping her feet and screaming ”I hate you, Mummy” when Jane – entirely reasonably – says no.

Bizarrely, Kurt takes Girl Wonder’s side: “Jane, do you remember when I used to try to bench you for your own safety…. And how that made you feel?” Well, yes, Kurt. But Jane’s a trained operative, expert in martial arts and weaponry, and could kill a man with a false eyelash. Avery’s a teenager with a grudge. NOT. THE. SAME.

But since this is Blindspot, events overtake everyone, and Avery gets to go to the ball gala. With her, Jane and Roman all fighting over who’s the most hard-done by, Kurt and Zapata struggling to raise a smile between them, and even the normally sunny Patterson in a bit of a funk (finding out your murderous ex is still alive and your best pal kept it from you will do that to you), Rich Dotcom is sorely missed: without him to cheer things up, the only fun thing about the week is the wigs. Blonde Jane and redhead Zapata look great although I have my doubts about the likelihood of Crawford (or indeed anyone else who’s studied their files and ordered a hit on them) really being fooled. Still, at least the ladies put in a bit more effort than Kurt, who does the full Clark Kent and “disguises” himself with a pair of glasses. Dude, come on.

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.