Blindspot s4 ep 9

*SPOILERS*

Blindspot returns this week, with a very high concept but sadly fairly low entertainment value episode set mostly inside Jane’s head. (Once she and Kurt have given each other a really brutal beat-down, that is.) Only just surviving the fight, he manages to dose her with the magic blah formula so Patterson, Rich and Dr Agent Whose Name I’ve Forgotten can administer the magic blah brain treatment which might kill her or destroy her higher cognitive functions, but seems unlikely to do either since this is a network procedural and she’s the female lead.

Anyway, this magic fix is very simple: you strap a comical-looking brain helmet/ swimming cap with electrodes onto Jane’s head and you stand around freaking Kurt the hell out by continually telling him that when the treatment works it’s very, very good, and when it doesn’t, it’s horrid. And you look sympathetic and worried while most of the “real” action – I use this term very loosely, since it’s not only not “real” because it’s a tv show, it’s not actually “real” on that tv show either – happens in her brain.

As Jane and Remi duke it out for control, Jaime Alexander and her stunt double put in a load of work, a few familiar faces (some less welcome than others) pop in to visit and there are some nice callbacks to more fun times (The Big Chair of Truth! The painting with the bullets!), but it’s just not enough to redeem an “experimental” episode which probably seemed like a great idea on the page but comes across as a load of slightly tedious psychobabble on screen. And is far too heavy on the Doe family therapy for me at least. I’m glad Jane’s back, and I’m glad Blindspot’s back too, but I’d really like the rest of the season to be set in the physical world as opposed to the mental one, even if that means we’re now swapping the “Is Jane Really Evil Now?” story for the “Is Zapata?!” one.

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Public Service Announcement 12 of 2019: Blindspot, The Great British Sewing Bee

I’ve been in a bit of a weird mood with tv recently – there are thousands of things I could watch, and hundreds of things people keep telling me are excellent (*cough* Russian Doll *cough*), but very little that’s floating my boat. I keep trying shows that everyone else loves and either shrugging my shoulders or outright hating them. What is WRONG with me? (Don’t answer that.) To take my mind off this existential crisis/most first world problem ever, then, I’m very relieved to see the return of the reliably, unapologetically bonkers Blindspot, which probably has more than its fair share of flaws but also has the Patterson and Rich Dotcom dream team I so desperately need to perk my viewing back up again. Team Tat are back on Sky Witness at 10pm tomorrow (Monday) with the second half of season 4, and I’m on review duties as usual.

At the other end of the sanity spectrum meanwhile, I’m also delighted to see The Great British Sewing Bee has finally made it back out of tv limbo and back onto U.K. screens. Season 4 was shown in 2016, but then the BBC and Love Productions fell out over the Bake Off and there were rumours buzzing (sorry) that the poor Bee got caught in the middle. Who knows? Either way, it’s back on BBC 2 on Tuesday night at 9pm, with Joe Lycett replacing Claudia Winkleman as host. It’s not my usual type of show, and I really don’t have a craftsy bone in my body – I can sew an errant button back on, but that’s about it – but there’s something weirdly comforting about the Bee, and I have a sizeable crush on super-handsome judge Patrick Grant, so bring on the pins and the patterns, woo hoo!

Blindspot s4 ep 8

*SPOILERS*

It’s the mid-season finale, so the stakes are astronomical but, on Blindspot, when are they not? “A ballistic missile is inbound to New York!” Patterson announces. “Er… again?” I wonder. Team Tat is trying to stop a nuclear attack, you guys, so it must be … Monday.

In fairness though, they do an excellent job of making this one seem even more apocalyptic than usual, with lots of chat about evacuation (though, really, how far is anyone going to get in 37 minutes?) and staying till the end and calling our respective soulmates even though they might be in a mood with us or maybe even threatening to kill us and bring down global civilisation as we know it. Relationships go through rough patches, y’know, and this is a nuclear weapon we’re dealing with.

Except – hurrah! – it’s not! Since Weller very sensibly fills PatDotcom in on the whole Dr Jane/Ms Hyde Remi situation early doors, Team Tat’s axis of awesomeness works out it’s a trick pretty quickly, but the CIA and their extremely half-hearted black site evacuation protocols – 2 agents in a van? That’s it? Really? – are unmoved. So Remi and Fauxman spring Shepherd (albeit a significantly older and keener-on-a-quiet-life Shepherd) and it is ON. By which I mean, Operation Save Jane Whether She Likes It or Not is ON: Weller is in charge of driving very fast and getting shot at, and Rich and Patterson handle the snazzy tech, with a significant assist from one Boston Arliss Crabb who is very sorry he accidentally caused international nuclear panic, and hopes very much that you won’t make him go back to Supermax because of it, please.

Luckily for Boston, nobody will. I struggle to believe he’d get off quite that easily, but plausibility has always been a rare commodity on Blindspot and since I’m momentarily furious when it looks like he’s actually going to take the fall for NotJane, I’m quite pleased that realism ends up taking the hit instead.

With Boston taken care of then, the plan is for Patterson and Rich (who, lest we forget, are not actually doctors) to attempt some completely experimental, possibly fatal and definitely crazy brain surgery to try and get Kurt’s best girl back. Weitz and “Ed”, meanwhile, are in Mexico trying to get Reade’s best girl back, which means that this half-season really is all about rough patches in relationships, huh?

Of course, it’s a tad too much of a coincidence that Madeleine dashes off just in time for Team Zap to corner their erstwhile colleague alone – did Madeleine know they were coming? If so, I hope it’s not because Weitz is on her payroll. He’s been one of the surprise pleasures of the season so far and I want him to hang around but I don’t think secretly working for Ms Burke is going to help with that. Who knows, though? Team Tat and the show obviously think even actual murderers Remi and Zapata can eventually be welcomed back into the fold, so maybe taking a little coin from this year’s global supervillain doesn’t have to be a dealbreaker, after all.

Anyway. The show’s winter run has had some terrific eps and some not-so-terrific eps, and we end this pretty good one with half of the team trying to corral rogue agent no.1, the other half trying to corral rogue agent no.2 and Remi and Kurt running right at each other, which is a great final scene, even if the supervillain in me wonders why Remi doesn’t just shoot him. I guess Kurt’s right and there’s a lot more Jane left in the lady after all.

Blindspot s4 ep 7

*SPOILERS*

Continuing the recurring Blindspot theme of wonderfully, completely demented cold opens, Weller and NotJane’s long-delayed, impressively nasty confrontation is interrupted by perhaps the maddest one yet this week. While Weitz and “Ed” hang out, and Patterson somehow finds Roman’s next cache using turtles in a 3D movie made by Rich Dotcom (yes, I know), a woman posing as a neighbour’s mild-mannered babysitter and an entire team of operatives crash into Casa Weller, looking for the money NotJane stole from the bad people’s bank a few weeks ago. Disgruntled customer Eve would like at least some of her cash back please, and a little free gift to compensate the Dabbur Zam for their trouble too. So of course the solution is to force the Warring Wellers to steal it from an FBI evidence storage facility, which, if you don’t mind me saying, has significantly less security than I would have expected. I mean, sure, there are the two guards at the front gate, and maybe a hidden camera or two, but really, that’s it?! Too. Easy.

Anyway, the Wellers manage to fit saving each other’s lives in between jibes, and it all works out, if by works out you mean only the baddies die, the other baddies don’t get the McGuffin they wanted (good job it wasn’t a nuke, hey, Kurt? Or blowing it up might have backfired somewhat), Weller vows to rescue Real Jane from inside NotJane, and NotJane is outta here, so everybody’s happy. Sort of.

At Tat HQ, meanwhile, PatDotcom have a mildly amusing time with the filler plot but it must not be as good as their times usually are because I’m distracted by the fact that this hidden caches story arc makes even less sense than even the whole Tats on Jane’s body as Communication thing did. I mean FFS, why would you travel the planet hiding SD cards or memory sticks or whatever the eff everywhere if you actually want to pass this info on? Have you heard of Dropbox?! Argh. And in really-stretching-this-storyline-out-now-land, Zapata does whatever she’s doing yet again (this week in a pink satin camisole which is an odd choice for daywear if you ask me, but I’m not exactly an authority on what well-dressed, disgraced/ former/ secret/ double agents are wearing these days). And “looks like we’re going to Mexico” next week. Ok. Spectacular cold open aside, the rest of this was fine to pass the time, but that’s about it.

Blindspot s4 ep 6

Welcome Matthew Weitz! The new Director of FBI NY HQ hasn’t exactly endeared himself to Team Tat in the past, but he comes into his own this week when the murder of a Congressman leads our heroes to a conspiracy that’s infiltrated the highest levels of government. At this point, anyone who’s watched Blindspot before will be asking “Is there any other kind?” and, in fairness, the plot’s not new but this fun, likeable Weitz is. Still a bit slimy, but in a good way: he’s LeBron entertaining, funny and the reason why the ep works as well as it does. Well, that part of it, anyway. The NotJane stuff also heats up with Fauxman out of the picture for now (Hurrah!) and Kurt turning out to be significantly brighter than he looks, but as for Zapata and her acting out/ double-agenting/ just plain breaking bad – never mind the CIA wanting to bring her in “dead”, I’m ready to shoot her myself.

Blindspot s4 ep 4

*SPOILERS*

Although Blindspot as a show is about as realistic as the possibility of me suddenly finding out I’m the secret heir to the throne of a small European monarchy (yes, this is the plot of both the romance novel I’m currently reading and The Princess Diaries), I suppose we need to be realistic in our expectations of it and accept that few, if any, episodes are ever going to measure up to last week’s Quantico Affair. So although a fair chunk of this week’s is set in Patterson’s lab, it’s not the same. Having said that, I do enjoy a mystery contagion / lockdown episode and this was a good, solid, eminently watchable one, made significantly better by my beloved PatDotCom, as usual. Rich even gets a bit of character development, bless him; not only is he very sweet to both poor doomed Laurel and heartsick Reade, but he even contracts a Secret Pain which, ordinarily, would make me a bit wary – the last thing Blindspot needs is more angst – but the wonderful Ennis Esmer brings the lightest, rightest touch to it, as ever, so if it means more screen time for him, bring it on.

Outside the lab meanwhile, Allie’s back and kind and supportive of Kurt in a refreshingly non-tv-ex-like kind of way (unless you’re watching 911 which also has a kind, supportive ex/ new love set-up l really like – if all this niceness and generosity is going to be the new normal for tv exes, l’m all for it). NotJane is running her own secret op, causing a stampede and fighting with Imaginary Roman (Fauxman?) because even death cannot stop that guy from being a complete pain in the everything. And Zapata has competition for Madeleine’s affections in the form of the singularly, startlingly charmless Claudia, who seems unlikely to hang about for long, but then effing Roman’s still here, so what do I know? Anyway, I’m losing patience with whatever the hell Zapata thinks she’s up to, and after this week’s ending, I would think Reade is too. We’ll see what next week brings.

Blindspot s4 ep 3

This utter delight of an episode begins with a neat little sidestep away from last week’s cliffhanger: we know the Remy/ Kurt confrontation is coming eventually, but not today. Today’s all about Patterson, Rich and the Quantico recruits back at the office, and it is just glorious.

Patterson’s love life shenanigans. Rich’s super-speedy briefings. “Little Face-timesy” videos. Team Tat covered in paint and feathers (“He also had chickens.”) – if there was any part of “The Quantico Affair” that wasn’t ace, I don’t remember it. And at the centre of it all, the unpopcult dream team of PatDotcom (“Ride or die”, you guys!) and a riotously funny, joyously entertaining script delivered with so much fun and flair it made my month. “Eh, they just wanna kick down doors, they don’t care about the stuff we do in here”- au contraire, Rich, mon frère. I love Ennis Esmer. I love Ashley Johnson. And I absolutely loved this. Magnificent.