The very beginning of season 2 of Blindspot represents a bit of a reset. The season premiere revealed to us that Jane was in fact part of a former military group called Orion, and that the previously unseen Shepherd is her adoptive mother, and that she also has a brother named Roman. Those two are heading up Sandstorm now, trying to “help America fix itself,” which is their way of saying that they’re going to blow some things up. That means that season 2 is tasked with pivoting the story away from Jane’s identity and toward something more complex.
So “Heave Fiery Knot” begins with a memory, which is a way of telling us not only more about Jane’s past, but about Orion and how Sandstorm was formed. The memory sees Jane and other Orion members in Afghanistan in 2013. A helicopter descends on a small house in the hills, and while Jane subdues the woman who comes running out of the house, the rest of the team goes in. Seconds later the building blows up, then so does the helicopter. Jane is barely alive, the last surviving member of Orion.
As Shepherd explains, Orion was a CIA-sanctioned group for illegal operations, the ones they really had to keep off the books. When everything in that memory went down, the program obviously went south, so the government had to try and wipe all the evidence. Jane is nothing if not evidence, from her tattoos to her memories, hence why her brain was wiped. As we know though, those memories are still in there somewhere, and Shepherd seems to be trying to get them out of Jane. The question is: Why? Something’s telling me not to trust these Sandstorm people (and that something is the fact that they kill a lot of innocent people).
Playing the double agent role, Jane heads back to the FBI headquarters, where she informs the team that Shepherd has told her to keep going after the tattoo cases, and specifically one involving a coliseum. Everybody is hesitant about moving forward with a tip from Sandstorm, but they have no real choice but to play along. Plus, they could actually find something important by chasing down the secrets hidden in Jane’s tattoos.
There’s a lot going on in “Heave Fiery Knot,” as subplots swirl all around. Reade visits an old football buddy of his, but this isn’t for a friendly catch-up. Reade wants his friend Freddy to testify against Coach Jones, the man who ran a camp for young boys and used it to sexually abuse them. Then there’s Weller, who’s failing to deal with his daddy issues represented by a box of stuff still sitting in his house, and Zapata, who’s failing to deal with her Jane issues. “Heave Fiery Knot” feels overstuffed, especially once it gets into the details of the Coliseum tattoo case. Character development is good, but the show could do a better job of balancing it with the action, or spreading it across more episodes.
Anyway, after Jane tips off Patterson about the columns of the coliseum looking like bullets, Patterson finds a case where the same bullets were used to shoot up the wedding of a Mexico City narcotics officer. The bullets are traced back to the DEA and the Juarez cartel. But how does that happen? Well, as Weller explains, through a program called “gun waltzing.” Essentially, the DEA sells guns back to the cartels in order to then track them and, ideally, take down the cartels. Shockingly, it’s not a foolproof program, and now the Juarez cartel is about to get their hands on some Stinger missiles.
The lesson here: Everybody is bad at their jobs or corrupt, and Weller and company are left to clean up the mess.
NEXT: Shadow Sister[pagebreak]
After Jane overhears Zapata and Weller arguing about the fact that they have to work with her, the team is forced to band together and follow a lead. They’ve discovered that all the “lost” guns from the program have been signed out by Valentine Barker, a field agent in the program. Nas tracks Barker to a bank, where she’s trying to empty out her accounts and run. That means the team has to get over their issues and get out there.
Everything’s not exactly as it seems when they get to the bank though. Jane and Weller spot cartel members outside the branch, and assume they are there to protect Barker. Yeah, not so much. Weller understands, in the knick of time, that they’re going to kill Barker. A shootout ensues, and Jane not only saves Reade’s life, but also subdues Barker so that the FBI can bring her in for questioning. Really, there should be no question of where Jane’s loyalties lie.
Back at the FBI headquarters, it’s revealed that Barker isn’t exactly the threat they think she is. She pleads ignorance to the missing guns and the Juarez cartel, and that’s when Nas turns up an important piece of evidence. It was Robert Kingston, Barker’s boss and mentor, who called in the hit on Barker, and who’s also been dealing arms to the cartel. Oh Blindspot, you just love shattering what people think they know about the people they love and respect.
Thankfully, Blindspot isn’t all devastating news and earth-shattering reveals. There’s also the moment where a ‘ship is born, as Borden, the FBI’s resident psychiatrist, approaches Patterson and gives her a gift: a floppy disk of the classic game Oregon Trail. Oh, you adorable, adorable man. After he fumbles through an invitation to dinner, Patterson agrees, and all of us sit here as our hearts melt. They really are the cutest characters on the show, so it makes sense that they’d dig each other.
Anyways, back to the shooting and chasing!
The team tracks Kingston to a storage unit where he’s loading up the Stingers to sell to the Juarez cartel. They all head out to take him down, but as the team heads inside, it’s too late. He’s already leaving, and rather than waiting for Weller and the rest of the team to find their way outside, Barker engages him. She’s too emotionally wrecked to really do anything about Kingston though, so she ends up shot and bleeding out, as Kingston makes his escape.
Clearly, there’s an issue within the team. Nobody is working together, and Weller’s had enough of it. He points out that they’re all in this together, and that if they can lean on each other’s strengths they’ll have a better chance of not only tracking down these Stingers, but also taking down Sandstorm in the long term. It’s the kind of tough love these people need — for all of their qualifications, Zapata, Reade, Patterson, and Jane can be awfully childish at times — before taking down Kingston and the cartel.
NEXT: Where’s my remote control?[pagebreak]
Before the final showdown though, Blindspot continues to give us more information that just makes us put our heads in our hands and go, huh? First, Shepherd tells Roman that Cade’s been sighted, then Nas, after telling Jane that Tom Carter was most likely the head of Orion, is seen listening to the audio of Jane’s therapy session with Borden! Why would she do that? Does she have insidious intentions, too? Does everyone on this show have insidious intentions?
That’s to discuss another time though. Right now, the East Side of Manhattan is about to be blown to smithereens. Or at least that’s what the team initially thinks. Kingston is downtown handing over the missiles to the Juarez cartel, and they assume that’s the target. Then they realize the location is also directly below a heavy flow of flight traffic. A quick search from Patterson reveals that there’s a plane loaded with Mexican politicians and officials coming into the airport right now, the perfect target for the Juarez cartel.
The threat doesn’t last long — unfortunately, another instance of Blindspot being too overstuffed is the occasionally hurried action sequences that leads to climaxes feeling rather anti-climactic — as Weller and Jane manage to take down the men and steer the missile into the water. It’s just that easy, right?
Really, “Heave Fiery Knot” is about taking a bit of a step back from the premiere and trying to establish the larger mystery. So, the FBI manages to track down another member of Sandstorm — Keith Manning in the Department of Justice, who was feeding the gun-waltzing information to Sandstorm — but as Nas points out to Jane, they can’t see the whole picture. Why did Shepherd and Sandstorm want the Juarez cartel stopped? There’s the fallout, as stocks fall and other cartels grow stronger. What’s Sandstorm’s endgame here, and how does Jane play into it?
“Heave Fiery Knot” is also about adding a little more mystery and depth to the characters. So, Weller gets a visit from his ex and she reveals she’s pregnant, and that he can be a part of the baby’s life if he chooses to be. Judging by his reaction, he doesn’t think he’d be the best father. Daddy issues, remember? Then there’s Reade, who, while informing Freddy that the ADA won’t prosecute Coach Jones because they don’t have enough evidence and credible witness testimony, is confronted with the idea that he was abused too, or was at least witness to it, and has just denied that fact his whole life.
But the episode doesn’t end on these character denouements. Instead, we see Roman, who’s been going off the rails the entire episode, injecting Jane with something and kidnapping her. Like I said: Does everyone here have insidious intentions?
Guess we’ll find out next week.