Blindspot is the type of show that benefits from leaning into its craziness while balancing out the action with more subtle character moments. There are times when the complexity and insanity of the subplots becomes too much, resulting in an episode like last week’s that feels completely overstuffed and unnecessarily complicated. There was no balance. This week, with “Condone Untidiest Thefts,” the show finds its balance again, presenting a more streamlined case-of-the-week while the season’s various subplots serve to flesh out the story.
It helps that “Condone Untidiest Thefts” boasts quite the cold open. We watch as a man working in a dimly lit workshop loads a handgun. Then, he places that handgun inside the body of a camera, one of those big TV news ones, before screwing on the lens around the barrel. He raises the camera to his eye and shoots the head off of a dummy in the distance. It’s quite the disguise for a hit, and Blindspot does a great job of letting us know exactly what’s going to happen, but refusing to give us the payoff until later on.
What I mean is that it takes awhile for the episode to get to the inciting incident. After we see the camera-gun assembled, the episode jumps to the FBI headquarters, leaving us waiting for that inevitable attack to happen. While Nas and Weller seem to be growing closer, finding some common respect for each other while also trying to figure out why Sandstorm has been watching Weller for so long, Zapata informs them that she’s figured out the secret behind the Black Hole picture from Mayfair’s USB drive.
Well, she hasn’t exactly figured it out. Rather, her visit with SHDWCAT at the end of last week’s episode was about getting him to decode it. Zapata presents his theory: The swirl in the picture is a laminar flow, meaning that if it can be “unwound,” in a sense, whatever it’s hiding will become clear. Nas compliments Zapata on her work, but also reprimands her for showing evidence to a convicted criminal. You win some, you lose some. Later, Patterson decodes the image, but that doesn’t mean anything is any clearer. All we know is that Mayfair was working with Douglas Winter, Blindspot‘s Edward Snowden-like whistleblower character.
Anyway, while we continue to wait for some horrible shooting to happen, and while Borden and Patterson test the waters by arriving to work together after spending the night with each other, Patterson uncovers more tattoo clues. She says this is one of the first tattoos she decoded, but it’s only become relevant recently. Essentially, some numbers on Janes’ body match up with an IP address for an app called Snapitz — it’s basically Snapchat, as the show’s exposition lays out. Some other numbers match up with five Snapitz accounts that belong to known members of the reigning Irish mob, the O’Malleys.
Those accounts recently posted new photos of chess boards, and while it took Patterson’s team awhile to figure out the pattern, there’s a message in the photos. The decoded message lists a time and place: “Adams Park Wednesday Noon.” Because Nas always seems to know what’s happening in and around the city, she tells the team there’s an immigration reform rally being held at Adams Park in one hour. What fortuitous (or terrible, depending on how you look at it) timing!
The team makes it to the rally on time, but they can’t stop the shooter because they can’t see him. With his camera, he blends into the crowd and he shoots a senator and two bystanders before fleeing. “Condone Untidiest Thefts” is off and running.
NEXT: Focus on the future