Blindspot s3 ep 2

*SPOILERS*

After last week’s euphoria of reunion, it’s time to get down to the business of re-integration as a team, which proves more of a challenge for the members of the Joint Task Force Mark II than any of them – except Mary Stuart Masterson – had anticipated. Reade and Weller’s “What do you got?” in stereo is hilarious, perfect shorthand for everyone’s problem: the people who left the team think they can just slot back into their old roles again, but the people who stayed – and Stuart, Poor Stuart – have already filled them. What to do?

Season two of Blindspot would have made an endless angstapalooza out of this, but the new, improved, season three somehow makes it a comedy instead, and a wildly entertaining one at that. Sure, Kurt’s a bit sulky when he finds out that Jane’s life on the run didn’t entirely revolve around missing him, but they solve it by actually talking to each other instead of just moping like they usually do, which is REVOLUTIONARY for this pair; Zapata and Reade struggle a bit but they work it out too (I wouldn’t bet on hanging around for too long, Divya), and Patterson is pretty awful to Poor Stuart but, just as it starts to feel really uncomfortable, she remembers she’s fundamentally lovely and decides to go make it up to him. Aw. Shame it’s too late. Poor, POOR Stuart.

No Rich Dotcom this week – I’m guessing three experts fighting over who gets first dibs on the techno-triumphs might have been a bit much – but his influence lingers throughout this gleeful, witty ep. The Tat of the Week story is both genuinely exciting – mercenaries, a crashing satellite, and the possibility of nuclear war? WHOA – and very, very funny, with the people from the DOD proving great comedy value, and Jane getting to dropkick the last baddie full on the chest in supremely cool fashion. You GO, GIRL. Of course, brother Roman has to let the side down somewhat by reverting to whining mode for a while: as he shares his feelings at a meeting of Supervillains Anonymous (possibly not its official title), I share my feelings by yelling insults at my television. But it all turns out to be a trap, which, while not making it ok for the well-meaning, formerly-living, now not-so-much fellow with a passing resemblance to Roman and boatloads of cash, does make it a whole lot better story-wise than any more moaning. Two for two for the new season so far, then. Long may it continue.

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Blindspot s3 ep 1

*SPOILERS*

Flowers. Sunshine. Happiness? Hang about….is this really Blindspot?

I can’t be the only one who wondered if the beginning of the season three premiere was some sort of dream. I mean, Kurt Weller smiling? Kurt Weller getting married! Jane Doe heading down the aisle to join him! Patterson officiating! Zapata hugging people instead of scowling at them! WHAT THE…? And then Kurt and Jane moving to Colorado to coo and co-parent Bethany and her little fat face? Who are these blissfully content people and what is happening?

Oh, wait… there’s a bunch of black-clad ninja-types storming Casa Good Cheer and a big old hand-to-knife fight. Heh. It is Blindspot after all!

But what a Blindspot it is. Skipping back to the future and the magic mirror/under-18 disco light tattoos, Mr and Mrs Weller are reunited after eighteen months of off-screen, old-style Blindspot loneliness and self-sacrifice, but there’s still the small matter of getting rid of the bounty on Jane’s head before they can go rescue their friends and get the band back together again. This means some cheerful nonsense in gorgeous, sunny Venice involving a green syringe and a red one, and I am so down for the scene when Kurt Weller plunges a hypodermic needle into a black zip-up hold-all, and Ms Jane Doe, in a joyous call-back to the very first time we met her, unzips it, and unwinds herself out, but, unlike that first time, emerges fully-clothed, fully in control and fully fabulous. YEAH! The smiles on both their faces when they stride out, having despatched the Duke of Death (HEE) and everyone stupid enough to try and get in their way, match the giant beaming one on my face for most of the episode, because this is a different type of Blindspot and all the better for it.

Let’s be honest, much as I love the show, it’s had a tendency to lean too much on the miserable side too often, but there is nothing miserable about “Back to the Grind,” because every single moment is a delight. The Venice scenes. The Venezuela reunion. The TANK. Even Roman is used properly, as a mwah-ha-ha villain instead of a whining albatross weighing the rest of the show down, but why waste time talking about Roman when I could talk about Patterson cracking the safe and making a flash grenade out of Mexican-style chicken stew? Or Reade invoking the magic words: “Joint Task Force”? Or Jane’s secret passports? Or what happened in Berlin? Or PAT DOTCOM? You guys. We’ve said before that Rich Dotcom makes everything better and yet again, this episode proves it. He’s not even in that many scenes, but this Blindspot still seems lighter, cheerier and downright hilarious. “Six best friends and Stuart” is my new favourite show. “Backstreet’s back, ALL RIGHT!”

Blindspot s2 ep 22

*SPOILERS*

A show which began with a naked woman climbing out of a hold-all and, over the course of two seasons, has managed to incorporate magic memory-wipe serum, barcoded babies, a giant radioactive Chair of Truth and a massive anti-corruption investigation based entirely on TATTOOS is not a show afraid of a little nuttiness. So God bless Blindspot for this super-fast season finale which not only embraces the show’s innate craziness but kicks it up several notches by going into space. Yes, you guys. SPACE.

I love Blindspot so much, I can’t even tell you.

Anyway, earth-based storylines first: now the plot is clear to Weller at least, he and Keaton manage to break out of the COGS Bunker a lot quicker than I expected, and dash back to Tat HQ where Team Tat greets them with somewhat mixed emotions. By which I mean Jane throws herself into Kurt’s arms, does a double-take, then very nearly throws something less welcoming at Keaton. Which is completely understandable, but we don’t have time for grudges right now, Jane. We have to go to SPACE Washington and save the Government, the White House and the entire Eastern seaboard from Phase 2 which, after weeks of speculation, turns out to be a nuclear – or nukular as everyone insists on calling it – attack on the White House via satellite. In SPACE.

As Jane and Weller shoot it out with Shepherd in Washington and Roman gets away again (JUST KILL HIM ALREADY FGS), Reade is as bewildered, but possibly not as secretly delighted, as the rest of us by this talk of the final frontier; “are we supposed to just shoot you up there?” he wonders. I laughed out loud at that point, but although we’re not blessed with Patterson in a space suit, what we do get is just as much of a joy as Patterson gets NASA in and tells them exactly how she is going to save the planet, impressing the boffins and earning new boss Mary Stuart Masterson’s undying love and admiration. Join the club, MSM. Patterson takes over the space station, Patterson drives a space I-don’t-know-let’s-go-with-buggy, Patterson spoofs a signal(?) – Patterson does ALL THE JOBS. Except driving (and crashing) the ambulance o’nuclear material which falls to Jane, and repeatedly defibrillating a fully conscious Shepherd who does not have a heart problem but does have the homing device for the nuclear bomb INSIDE HER, which falls to Kurt.

This show is the BEST.

There’s a lot more going on in between, of course, but the gist of it is that the world is saved, Shepherd is sentenced to a long spell of Chairtime, the worst character on television is somehow STILL NOT DEAD, and Kurt and Jane – thanks to Patterson, again, like I said: ALL THE JOBS – finally declare and, er, demonstrate their love for each other, because it’s about freaking time. SQUEEEEEEE!!!!!!!!!

All of which would have been a deliriously happy way to end the season, but oh no, we’re not done yet; no sooner have Jeller got out of their own heads and into one of their beds, than we jump two years ahead to Jane (new hairdo, nice) climbing a mountain, communing with her spiritual side and being tracked down by Kurt because she’s run away again, the rest of Team Tat have been kidnapped, and a magic mini-mirror that lights up her tattoos like an under-18s disco might be the key to finding them. A magic mini-mirror…… *dies of happiness*

I am a little disappointed that, two years later, Jeller are still having relationship angst and a little surprised that Tasha still works for the FBI rather than Keaton’s more-flexible-on-the-torture-thing CIA black site squad, but no matter. It’s been an up and down season, not helped by a completely baffling reliance on the appalling Roman, but there was still a lot of fun to be had on Blindspot this year (especially when Rich Dotcom visited) and happily the show managed to ditch the doldrums and finish this run in as cheerfully, wonderfully wacky a way as I could have wished. I don’t know what Disco-light Doe will bring next season, but it has to be mad, right? And hopefully as great a ride as this was. Woo hoo!

Blindspot s2 ep 21

*SPOILERS*

The penultimate episode of the season doesn’t get off to the best of starts. Jane, having just about managed to stop Roman from killing her with a kitchen knife – no thanks to the security detail who wait till after the fight’s over to rush in – is still trying to blame anyone but him (FFS, Girlfriend!) while Ranty McWhingerson, er, rants and mcwhinges, adding a large serving of self-righteousness to his usual mix of self-pity and complaint. My. God. Why is he not dead already?

Happily, Director Pellington has had enough of this asshat and Jane’s excuses for him as well. “Your brother stopped being useful the second he tried to kill you,” he points out, so “Roman… will be in a black site by the end of the day!” Which is a terrific idea except that, before anyone can even organise a taxi, all hell breaks loose – Jane and Weller suddenly realise, too late, that Sandstorm are “about to take down the New York office of the FBI” and suddenly it’s ON.

Never mind Roman, then, and never mind Reade’s transfer that won’t happen, or where Rhonda Rousey finally ends up (after all that, is her plane still circling?), this very quickly turns into an absolute stormer of an episode. Shocking, thrilling, high-stakes stuff with the entire team – even Dylan Baker’s Pellington, who stunned me by NOT being evil and would have stunned me for another reason had I not been spoiled for it – at their very best in the face of overwhelming odds. Patterson is even more awesome at saving the planet than usual, Zapata and Reade are unusually great together, and Weller and Jane are not only ace but (now they’ve got Roman temporarily out of their hair) finally get to kiss again. Yes. KISS AGAIN. SQUEEEEEEE!

Not that it lasts very long – this time it’s the Secret Service who rudely interrupt the moment I’ve been waiting for since FOREVER (thanks for that guys), carting Weller off to some sort of bunker full of other upstanding folk we’ve seen in previous episodes, none of whose names I remember. Apart from that Keaton guy, although he’s not exactly upstanding. This is something of a Eureka moment for our Kurt, though, as suddenly the entire story – the tats, the COGS, Phase 2 – is crystal clear to him. I wish I could say the same, but it doesn’t really matter at all. This was tremendous.

Blindspot s2 ep 20

*SPOILERS*

Oh, FFS. Everybody was clearly having too much fun without him last week and Miseryguts McPersonalitybypass – or, as some people like to call him, “Roman” – couldn’t be having that. So back he is to demand that Jane, now that she and Weller are smiling at each other again, stop THAT immediately and ruin things with the man once more. Which Jane duly does, either because this ship is a magnet for storms and icebergs, or because the writers hate me.

Either way, at her appalling brother’s insistence, Jane tells Kurt about Emma Shaw, and Jeller grinds to a halt yet again. Sigh. I suppose at least the temporary resumption of hostilities means Weller gets to attack Roman with a dumbbell (TEAM WELLER) as opposed to making him Thai chicken, so there’s a silver lining of sorts, even if our hothead hero calms down to some degree by the end of the ep. Unlike Mr Totally-Not-a-Murdering-Psychopath-Anymore-No, who… Well, that would be telling but, once Kurt finds out, I’d say Roman’s chances of making it to the newly-announced season 3 a live man let alone a free one are looking considerably more slim.

But you don’t hire Ronda Rousey for a guest spot and waste your entire episode on a guy with a frown for a face. The main plot of the week, then, has Zapata in jail with Ronda to get close to her Sandstorm boyfriend, soon followed by Zapata out of jail with Ronda and getting close to her Sandstorm boyfriend’s fists and bomb collection. As you’d expect, most of the story’s built around women fighting each other – a lot of it – and since Blindspot has a decent track record in that area anyway, nobody appears to, er, pull any punches. The action is solid, well-choreographed and exciting, for the most part, although I’m finding Zapata’s sudden overwhelming need to go even more maverick than usual a bit odd. Of all the people on Team Tat with cause to take Sandstorm personally, Tasha seems waaaay down the list. Unlike Patterson, for instance, who is struggling so much with what Borden did that even Dr Sun – a character usually so cold that she could turn a hot dog into an ice lolly – is sympathetic. Too late to help poor Stuart, but sympathetic nonetheless. And probably right about Roman, but we’ll see about that next week.

Blindspot s2 ep 19

*SPOILERS*

Blindspot has been trying my patience a little recently; it’s been so bogged down with characters’ angst and whinging that I’ve been wondering if cancellation (which isn’t looking likely) might be such a bad thing after all. But now look what’s happened – the first episode in weeks without Rowan dragging the story down like a ten-ton weight and Kalinda playing gooseberry, and all of a sudden Blindspot is fun again!

It’s crucial, of course, that the Tattoo of the Week story is a cheerfully ridiculous, enjoyably outlandish one about a hacker scavenger hunt, with Jane, Weller and a bunch of folk in silly outfits competing to take over a not-even-thinly-disguised Wikileaks-style website. Although it’s not Rich Dotcom levels of hilariousness (how can it be?), it’s lighthearted and funny, replacing the whining of the past couple of weeks with jokes, you guys. Jokes!

Even the Sandstorm side of things is streamlined. It’s still not exactly chipper but it’s leaner and wittier than usual, with the juxtaposition of Shepherd’s demented odyssey across Bangkok with Weller’s quietly disappointed “that’s pretty anti-climactic” displaying a lightness of touch and humour that’s been almost entirely absent from Shepherd’s scenes in the past.

Which is not to say that the episode is entirely angst-free. Tasha is obviously in big trouble and although Reade has massively improved (his scene with Kurt is quite sweet), he’s still struggling to claw his way back to fitness for duty, with Dr Sun – always in favour of the most extreme solution to everything – immediately advising him to consider chucking it in, before even really bothering with counselling or treatment.

But for all that, every plot strand is at least moving now, with the show feeling like it’s broken out of a rut and started sprinting towards the (season) finish line. That’s every plot strand including the Jeller OTP, by the way – I know you saw that almost-kiss, you guys. The Kurt and Jane of mid-season would have got all agitated and upset about it, but this pair smiled. SMILED! Hurrah for that. And squee!

Blindspot s2 ep 18

*SPOILERS*

It’s not easy being maverick law enforcement.

Fighting for the people, working for the Man when the Man just doesn’t understand…. FFS, at least once a season on every crime procedural, or once a month if it’s Blindspot, some suit who doesn’t get it will actually try and break up the band. The temerity! Although, given this particular group’s inexplicable leniency towards mass-murdering lunatic and constant WHINER Roman, and their frankly insane adoption of him into the team, there’s definitely an argument that maybe the band should be broken up. Or at least be told to get a grip of themselves and their competency-based interviewing procedures.

Not only is Irate McMoanathon not in a four-by-four CIA cell with barbed wire round the door handles, but he’s now free of even his IKEA-furnished FBI cubbyhole, living at Jane’s apartment with minimal security and trotting along on this week’s non-Sandstorm-related mission as some sort of expert on fear, feelings and foster care. And yet he’s STILL GRIPING ABOUT HOW HARD HIS DEAL IS. Dude. If I had my way, Zapata would strangle you to death with her ponytail, so I suggest you accept your unbelievable luck with good grace and SHUT IT.

Anyway. This is a very roundabout way of saying it’s “spurious investigation designed to destroy the team” week again on Blindspot as Matthew Weitz – something of a maverick himself, given the apparently unlimited time and public funding he’s invested in pursuing a grudge against one guy and his tattooed pal in perpetuity – is back yet again to try and destroy Weller and Team Tat because, who knows, maybe Kurt turned him down at a party or something.

Much like the unhappy wife/family and the jurisdictional turf war, the unfair, rude and really annoying (but not always as off-the-mark as we’re supposed to think) “investigation” is one of those tiresome TV tropes that writers love to trot out, despite nobody loving to watch them. So, regardless of whether, if he wasn’t such a jerk about it, Weitz might have something of a point about the disastrous Sandstorm raid and the way Team Tat keeps RECRUITING FELONS, he’s too busy sneering to make it properly, and his asshattery just gets on everyone’s nerves (especially mine) and takes time away from the first solid/ only Tat of the Week story we’ve had in ages. As if having Roman be the hero and save the children isn’t galling enough. Sigh.

Weitz and Roman aside, though, the episode is just about redeemed by the decent Tat story, Reade finally getting a hold of himself, and Kalinda gracefully leaving the building. I’ve never warmed to her, and I’m not particularly sad to see her follow Oliver Kind out of the door, both now having served their purpose of keeping Jane and Weller in a romantic holding pattern for most of the season. However, I can’t help but notice that, given Kalinda’s (permanent?) and Reade’s (temporary?) exits from the Tat task force, and Borden’s ignominious end, Blindspot is suddenly losing team members of colour on an alarming basis. And since Kalinda’s departure takes place in an episode where a hitherto reasonably inclusive group of people suddenly, unaccountably, decide it’s time to start making jokes about pronunciation of “foreign” names like it’s somehow funny – as someone who regularly has to spell my own “foreign” name out to individuals who think that their not having heard it before somehow makes it a joke, I can assure you it’s not – it left a somewhat unpleasant taste in my mouth.

On the bright side, though, as a general rule, season 1 of Blindspot was much more fun last season without Kalinda so hopefully it’ll be more fun again now/if she’s gone. Although possibly not, if Roman the Anti-Fun has anything to do it. Maybe Shepherd can shoot him and join the team instead.