Rich Dotcom is back on Blindspot! And aside from featuring a ridiculously fun case-of-the week episode, “One Begets Techniques” slowly reveals more information about Bethany’s past and entangles Jane into a web of lies as Oscar asks her to continue getting closer to Weller. Your much more competent recapper is out this week, but I’ve got enough Rich Dotcom love to go around, so let’s get to it.
Rich begins the episode not-so-safely in prison as he cleans up in a poker game against fellow inmates. Despite his fast talking and sarcastic quips, they realize he’s been cheating and beat the ever-living crap out of him.
Oscar, meanwhile, continues to push Jane to use the photographs of Taylor’s youth to get closer to Weller, who is at the hospital dealing with his father’s diagnosis. Rather than get comfort from Allie, Weller immediately goes to Jane, who tells him she’d love to see him sometime soon.
Allie tells them both that Rich Dotcom, after his beat down, is finally read to talk. He claims he can give up Shohid Ahktar, whom Jane learns is No. 8 on the terrorist list and is essentially the bank for every major terrorist group in the world. The CIA confirms that Ahktar and Rich have had dealings in the past, but he will only talk to Weller and Jane.
The two meet with Rich, who shows off some of his grade-A sass. Weller, of course, has no time for his BS and demands to know how to get Ahktar. Rich obviously has a plan, and obviously it’s ridiculously difficult to achieve. He reveals that Ahktar has a “soft spot for unattainable art,” a.k.a. stolen stuff, and Rich states he has something Ahktar won’t be able to turn down: the Gardner paintings. In the ’90s, the Gardner museum in Boston was burglarized, and paintings worth half a billion dollars were never recovered.
But with Rich’s prison sentence plastered all over the news, he needs Weller and Jane to help him with a “prison break” in order to set up the drop with Ahktar in 72 hours in New York. After breaking him out of prison, he will get them Ahktar, and then he’ll return to prison, albeit in medium security this time around because he knows he won’t live much longer in maximum security. Weller agrees, but once Rich is out of prison he throws another curveball: The paintings need to be stolen from their current owner before they can hand them over to Ahktar as part of their plan.
Turns out the original thief of the paintings is Randall Turner, a leading art history professor whom Rich also considers one of the greatest burglars of this century. And unlike most of the jobs Turner just does for the money, the Gardner paintings are his most prized possession. The security system to break into the apartment itself is next to impossible:
Turner keeps the paintings in a windowless concrete room in the middle of his brownstone in Cobble Hill with these protections:
1. A smart watch on his wrist at all times with un-arms and re-arms every room as he walks through them. If they go down the wrong hallway without the watch, it triggers the alarm.
2. A 12-digit keypad lock
3. A heat-sensitive palm scan
4. Each painting has five wires behind it; tripping the wires while removing a painting will result in a shotgun blast that will blow a hole through the painting and kill the person taking it down.
5. If Turner senses anything amiss, he has a kill switch around his neck that when pressed will incinerate the entire gallery.
Of course Rich has all of this information because he’s been planning this heist for ages, only to get caught before achieving his goal. Rich says there’s no way to trick Ahktar into thinking they have the paintings when they really don’t because 12 hours prior to the meet, he is going to request one painting at random. If it checks out, he will reveal how and where the rest of the hand-off will occur. He’ll want to verify the paintings himself, as well, so it’s a guarantee that he will be in the city.
But first things first: Randall Turner needs to get robbed. The team clones his smart watch and retrieves the 12-digit keypad lock from the watch’s files. They then bring down all of the belongings in Rich’s storage locker from Yonkers so he can retrieve a glove he has been tirelessly crafting with Turner’s handprint.
Weller feels rightfully suspicious of Rich, but Allie’s not ready to shut anything down. Their tension about the case is strengthened by Rich’s constant efforts to make Weller and Jane see that they have an obvious attraction to one another, mostly in front of Allie’s face. Mayfair sides with Allie, and the heist is on during Turner’s lecture.
NEXT: The heist is on