The second season of Blindspot has been putting the pedal to the metal since the premiere. After Jane was captured and tortured by the CIA at the end of last season, the show has spent the beginning of this season pumping out intense episodes that are meant to get us back on track. “Back on track” in the world of Blindspot means getting back to not knowing who to trust and having the characters operate in a moral gray area. “If Beth” isn’t as high octane as the episodes before it, but it does do a great job of deepening the mystery of Sandstorm and challenging Jane’s allegiances.
A lot of “If Beth,” despite being largely focused on another tattoo crime, is about Jane’s confused allegiances to both Sandstorm and the FBI. So, when the episode opens, after we see a security guard choked out, we’re taken to a quiet lakefront. Roman has taken Jane there in order to stir up her memories, to, as he puts it, “get her angry again.” This lake is Lake Aurora, where a company knowingly dumped toxins years ago. It’s meant to be a symbol of what Sandstorm is fighting against, but the question is, is it enough to get Jane truly behind their cause?
That’s a question to be answered later though, as the FBI gang meets at the headquarters to get the lowdown on one of Jane’s tattoos. As Patterson has discovered, Jane’s honeycomb tattoo has two distinct shades to it. For one nerdy reason or another, she decides to translate the paths of the two shades into 1s and 0s, resulting in a corresponding code that in turn corresponds to the ID number for a Homeland Security employee named Bo Kaier. Oh Blindspot, never change your convoluted, ridiculous ways.
The second code coming from the other shaded line ends up spelling out SHDWCAT, the handle for a notorious dark net hacker who’s managed to get into all sorts of higher-up government agency systems. So, naturally, the FBI wants to question him. I love that circumstantial evidence like tattoos with vague, secret codes is a legitimate lead for the FBI in Blindspot. You can never fault this show for going all in on its premise.
Anyway, the team manages to catch Kaier before he fully destroys all his hard drives, but the moment is more about Reade and his mental health. When Kaier confronts him with a gun, Reade manages to take him down. But then he proceeds to keep beating the hell out of him until Weller has to step in and pull him off. Reade’s blurry memories of his past — the show’s theme, people! — are starting to effect his day-to-day operations, and the result is bouts of violence. Nas takes note and confronts Weller with her observation, but for now he’s reluctant to take Reade out of the field.
Back at the headquarters, Patterson goes through the hard drives and finds that Kaier has been building and selling what amounts to videogames that allow thieves to scope out buildings in significant detail and plan their robberies. Based on the dates and some other information, Patterson assumes the AEBLY Museum of Art is going to be hit next, which means it’s time for the team to put on their best formal wear and blend in to the fundraising gala.
At the fundraiser for some sort of clean water initiative, things get a little crazy. Patterson gets attacked in a basement after an assailant rises from an ancient tomb, and that sends Weller chasing after the culprit, who he identifies as a black female with short hair. Weller gets lost in the gallery though, as the woman escapes to the top floor through a dumbwaiter. But Jane finds her, and oh man does Blindspot decide to have some fun. The two get into a fist and sword fight (I know!), but the suspect gets away.
NEXT: From fighting to understanding