Was this the best episode so far of Blindspot? Executive producer Martin Gero teased that episodes 7 and 8 would be huge for the show — and tonight proved that to be true. We start off with a flashback from six months prior: The mystery hottie with the tree tattoo is burying a box in an unknown location with another man we haven’t seen before. They’re concerned with the right people finding their treasure, but the tatted mystery man is desperately hopeful that their plan will follow through — is he concerned for Jane/Taylor?
Then we’re back to present day at the FBI office, where Weller confronts Bethany about the case on Jane’s back she’s been avoiding. Bethany spills a little about it, saying that it involves a man name Guerrero (Lou Diamond Phillips). Guerrero was an FBI informant for over a decade, but his shady ways caused him to cross the line. Bethany says she was his handler, and after he got wind of an indictment, he went dark — they haven’t heard from him in over two years. Because this was apparently “a huge embarrassment” for the FBI, Bethany doesn’t want to cause any riffs and look into it.
Weller isn’t an idiot, and he knows there’s more to the story. This is the only FBI case on Jane’s body, so its significance has to be astronomical to whatever cause Jane’s purpose serves. Before he can pry further, Patterson discovers another clue from Jane’s tattoos. The black-box tattoo that proved to be holding more clues than what’s appeared to the naked eye is a design of a Petoskey stone, which is the official stone of Michigan.
Through Patterson’s fancy decoding skills, she uncovers an address from the design that lives in Alpena County, in an area called Drackland. Apparently this area is a seriously dangerous spot. It sits on an old pipeline border that was going bankrupt, then there was a huge flood of cash that came in and saved it. The FBI always suspected that it was illegal arms dealing, but they could never prove it. The town coincidentally has strong ties to anti-government groups, making it even harder to go in without being on the defense. Weller decides that they’ll go in pretending to be covering a cold case, and they hop on a plane to Michigan. It’s worth noting that Jane has an extreme fear of flying — turbulence, rather — and almost has a full-on panic attack on the flight.
When the team arrives, they are greeted by the county sheriff, who doesn’t at all believe that they are there to investigate a cold case. He calls them out for wanting to go into the “dead zone” and even admits that he doesn’t go in there unless he absolutely has to. Weller and Co. ignore his warnings and head to the address that Patterson discovered. When they pull up to the house, they see the back of a man tending to his garden. When he turns around, the team is surprised to see that it’s Guerrero. Jane’s clue has led them to the second most-wanted person on the FBI’s list: 19 murders and a slew of other federal offenses. Could the person (or group) behind Jane’s tattoos really being trying to help the FBI, or is it all a revenge conspiracy tied to “Operation Daylight”?
The team realizes that it was too easy to catch Guerrero, and before they can decide what to do next they find that their truck has been raided and the tires have been slashed. They leave with Guerrero and are attacked with guns on the street back into town. They find a clearing, and Jane spots something over the tree line: three oil derricks. The same skyline image is tattooed on Jane’s back — right above where Kurt’s name is. Since the tattoos haven’t been wrong yet and they’re cornered, they follow the lead to the derricks.
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Back in New York, Patterson continues to play Scooby with her boyfriend. They have lined the walls of her apartment with photos of Jane’s tattoos (highly illegal, by the way), and he’s taken it upon himself to take one of the photos out in public and try to crack the puzzle himself. He calls Patterson to tell her he’s gotten a lead, and she seems more infatuated than pissed. She meets him in front of the Brooklyn Historical Society, which has an arch that matches one of Jane’s tattoos.
There’s another clue hidden within the arch, and the two figure out that it’s an ISBN. They head to the library and discover that the number they found holds two clues: the name of the book and the page to turn to. The book is called Faculty Decisions, and on the page number they see what appears to be a code, with the messenger circling random letters.
Patterson’s boyfriend is ecstatic, more excited than Ron Swanson at the opportunity to solve a mystery. Patterson suggests that she head back to her office to use her super-secret FBI software to finish cracking the code, but he offers that they try to do it together in the old library. How very National Treasure of him; I was half expecting Nicolas Cage to pop out for a cameo.
Patterson decides that a better idea would be to remotely log in into her FBI computer so they can play with it in the library. Is she really that reckless that she would tote around classified photos and login to highly confidential software in a public library? Apparently so, because Bethany goes to see Patterson at the office, notices she’s missing, then sees her remote login on her computer screen. She tracks her to the library and sees her sharing confidential FBI information with her boyfriend. Whoops.
NEXT: This time, Kurt holds the key.
Back in Michigan, the group makes it to the oil derricks and notice that some of the floorboards inside look newer than others. After digging beneath them, they find a box (the one that was buried in the flashback) filled with a map, water, bullet-proof vests, and guns — a.k.a. their way out. Even more convenient, Kurt’s name was the key to unlocking the box. Guerrero knows that the risk of him actually getting taken with the FBI is increasing, so he leaves a clue for his lackeys that they’re heading to an old ranger station nearby.
The team splits up, with Weller and Zapata taking the tracking device they found on Guerrero in one direction and Jane, Reade, and Guerrero going in another. While in the ranger station, Jane notices a map that identically matches a tattoo on her back calf. She takes the map and has Reade place it over her tattoo, and her calf has something the actual map does not: a big red “x.” The trio take off to the location where the marker indicates, and they find a helicopter. We saw earlier how Jane was afraid of flying, but Reade seems to think she might be able to pull it off.
This dynamic was surprising to me — Reade and Jane are actually great on screen together. Reade has had his reservations about Jane, but as executive producer Martin Gero said, “Reade never has a bad point. A really nice moment for them in episode 4 was him saying, ‘It’s not that I don’t think you’re competent; I’m just worried, because you unbalance the team, and that’s dangerous.’ That’s something that’s explored in episode 7, when he and Jane get some time alone together.”
In their alone time this episode, Reade is forced to work together with Jane, and we see him realize that while she may be working with them for unconventional reasons (and not to mention is currently putting their team lead on an emotional roller coaster), she puts the team first. Jane insists on going back to the ranger station to meet Weller and Zapata; she refuses to leave them behind. Reade agrees, and while at the ranger station, they fall under attack — Guerrero’s clue led his lackeys there. Jane risks her life to go outside and try to clear off some of the shooters, and Reade seems more than willing to trust her and cover her.
Weller and Zapata make it back to the station, and Zapata is almost compromised by one of the enemy shooters before the county sheriff shows up to save the day. He has some choice words for Guerrero, telling him he won’t live under his watch anymore. It’s understandable that a sheriff would hate being forced to follow the orders of a criminal, so his willingness to help wasn’t that unbelievable.
With the sheriff’s help holding the rest of the bad guys back, Weller and Co. (with Guerrero in tow) make it to the helicopter, which Jane (of course) discovers she can fly. Apparently, her fear of flying stems from lack of control. Flying a doorless helicopter in the middle of a war zone doesn’t fall into that category.
Back at the FBI office, Patterson gets a slap on the hand from Bethany and learns that this was her only allowed mess-up. Her boytoy is stuck in holding, where Bethany is having his threat level assessed. When Patterson goes to release him (he didn’t get into further trouble), he suggests they go home and drink off the day. Patterson tells him that she loves her job more than anything and tat she can’t have any distractions — meaning him. Ah, now we see why Patterson’s relationships have always been doomed to fail. It’s the classic issue of obtaining a work-life balance: Will women ever be able to have it all?
When the team brings Guerrero into the office, Bethany pushes for Weller to be the one to question him. He pushes back, saying that because she was his “FBI contact,” it’s her duty to do so. He watches their exchange inside of the interrogation room and notices that something’s off. Bethany doesn’t try to force anything out of Guerrero, and Guerrero is way too quiet. He was throwing zingers left and right earlier, trying to get his way, and his reservation is way too obvious to ignore now that something else is going on.
Weller walks back to Bethany’s office and demands she be straight with him — he even calls her out and says it’s obvious that she had never even met Guerrero before. In a desperate effort to save the trust with her lead agent (and probably cover her ass), she reveals to him something that only “three people in the world know”: Operation Daylight. Of course, we’ll have to wait until next week to find out what it is.
- The Da Vinci Code: Who’s responsible for the eraser marks in the book Patterson and her (ex) boyfriend found at the library?
- Will we actually find out what Operation Daylight is? Or will Bethany spill more lies?
- How did Guerrero know to play along with Bethany?
- How long will tree-tattoo guy stay in the shadows?
- Kurt’s name was the code to unlocking the box they found with weapons to escape — what’s his involvement with the tattoos and mysteries? His father has to be tied to it somehow.