Because the real world in 2016 apparently wasn’t offering up enough surreal political danger — along with a seemingly endless stream of heart-attack inducing twists and turns — Blindspot is back again in 2017 to keep us on the edge of our seats, at least until we pass out from watching Patterson get a needle shoved in her ear. Yeah, that happened, meaning that after a fairly lengthy hiatus, Blindspot returns with “Nor I, Nigel, AKA Leg In Iron,” an action-packed episode that lets us know the back half of the season isn’t going to be messing around. Sandstorm’s Phase 2 is on, and the danger is clear and present.
If you remember, Blindspot‘s midseason finale ended on a major cliffhanger, as Patterson showed up at Borden’s house and learned (some of) the truth about his work with Sandstorm, only to chase him through the house before the two struggled over a gun and a shot went off. “Nor I, Nigel, AKA Leg In Iron” isn’t interested in wasting any time, diving right back into this scene at the top of the episode. Borden and Patterson stare at each other in shock, until Patterson pulls her jacket away and reveals a bloody blouse. She’s been shot in the stomach.
Elsewhere, Roman is finally coming to in the getaway car while Jane drives them away from Shepherd’s recently exploded compound. Of course, Jane “zipped” his memory before they escaped, so he has no clue who she is. She says they’re brother and sister, and that he should trust her; however, his instincts and fear kick in and he starts to panic. He jumps out of the car, overpowers Jane, and takes off in the car alone. Nothing says “family reunion” quite like leaving your bloodied sister on the side of the road.
After checking in with Zapata and Reade, the latter of whom is recovering in the hospital, Blindspot moves back to the FBI headquarters, where Nas is feeling tremendous guilt over the botched operation. She led 12 agents to their death, and she knows it. One thing she doesn’t know, though, is why Shepherd wanted Weller alive. Shepherd fabricated the emergency with Allie to keep him away from the ambush, but why?
There’s no time to search for that answer once Jane comes back to the headquarters. Zapata still doesn’t trust Jane, thinking she may have known about the ambush and is perhaps still working with Sandstorm, but it’s pretty clear she’s just as distraught as everyone else. For now, though, everyone must put their emotions on the backburner as Jane reveals everything she knows about Borden working as a mole for Sandstorm — meaning the search for Patterson is on. The first step? Finding Roman, who may remember where Borden and Shepherd would be hiding out.
While there’s a general feeling of Blindspot repeating itself with the whole “Roman has his memory wiped” plot — we’ve seen Jane go through this, so it’s not exactly fresh storytelling — the show does wring a lot of tension out of the uneasy relationships between Jane, Roman, and the FBI. After all, Jane was, for all intents and purposes, innocent when she showed up in a duffel bag. She was a pawn in something bigger. Roman, however, has more blood on his hands. That’s an intriguing avenue to explore for the remainder of the season, and this episode does a good job of setting up all the pieces.
NEXT: The forgetful terrorist
Eventually, Roman calls the FBI and things start to get messy. He manages to piece together a location based on a diner’s slogan and a road marking, then goes inside the diner to wait for Jane and to load up on protein for all the fistfights that are about to happen. Before Jane and Weller can get there, Shepherd intercepts the call and send her lackeys to collect her mind-wiped son. Chaos ensues in the diner, with Weller and Jane showing up just in time to help Roman fight off the assailants from Sandstorm.
Things get messy once the FBI brings Roman back to home base. Zapata has had enough of this nonsense, calling Roman the “Forgetful Terrorist” while insisting he can’t help the team find Patterson. So, while she searches for her own leads, Nas and Jane run an image test with Roman and hope for the best. He doesn’t remember a thing, though, and when he lies about recognizing Borden, it only affirms what Nas and Zapata are thinking: Roman may be a useless tool in their search for Patterson. Jane finally has Roman back, but the FBI might just deem him disposable.
Luckily, Nas manages to get something off the phones of the Sandstorm lackeys who were killed in the diner. As is often the case with Blindspot, the discovery of key evidence is a little — okay, very — contrived, meaning we go from Nas having no clue how to crack a code to digitally searching the contents of Livy’s The History of Rome to decode an address that’s linked to an auto body shop. It’s the kind of narrative leap you just have to let Blindspot take every now and then, even if it is a little dizzying.
That leads to Weller, Jane, and Zapata tracking down Borden’s getaway car, but not before the FBI steps in and gets rid of Nas. Someone needs to be held responsible for the failed operation that left 12 agents dead, and she was in charge, so she’s out. That doesn’t stop the rest of the team from storming the compound where Patterson is being held. While Borden ends up escaping, fighting off Weller in the process but keeping him alive based on Shepherd’s orders, Patterson is found safe.
Back at the FBI headquarters, Weller threatens to walk away from his job when his boss suggests handing Roman over to the CIA. Weller says he needs both Nas and Roman to finally put an end to Sandstorm; the two of them, along with Jane, represent the closest connections to the terrorist organization.
Thus, for a moment, it looks like everything will turn out just fine. Sure, Reade kisses Zapata and it’s intensely awkward — leading to her laying down the law and insisting they’re “just friends” — but other than that, everything is looking up for the team. Patterson is healing and back to cracking codes after her horrific eardrum torture at the hands of Shepherd, and she even manages to find some information on Borden, formerly known as Dr. Nigel Thornton.
Of course, Blindspot never ends on a tidy note, so there’s still one more mystery for this week. Going through a Sandstorm phone with Weller, Patterson discovers a video that shows Jane undergoing a trial run with her tattoos. They’re all mapped out on her body, but something’s off. There’s a giant leopard on the side of her neck, and both Weller and Patterson know that Jane doesn’t have that tattoo now.
What does that tattoo mean, why did Sandstorm get rid of it, and why do they want Weller alive? Blindspot is finally back to answer all these questions in time, and “Nor I, Nigel, AKA Leg In Iron” is a great way to kick off the second half of season 2.