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'Blindspot' recap: 'Why Let Cooler Pasture Deform'

Posted on

Virginia Sherwood/NBC


TV Show
Current Status:
In Season
run date:
Jaimie Alexander, Sullivan Stapleton
Drama, Mystery, Thriller

Jane’s conflicting allegiances had to come to a head at some point. Wondering whether or not Jane would stay loyal to her FBI team has been the biggest tease early on this season. It always seemed like she’d stick with the team that found her in Times Square oh so long ago, but there was always a wild card in the equation: her brother, Roman. He was the one keeping her connected to Sandstorm, giving her a reason to stay invested. As “Why Let Cooler Pasture Deform” begins, that struggle with Roman is front and center. He says that in 12 hours Phase Two will be underway, and the world will forever be changed.

That sends Jane into a panic; well, a carefully controlled panic at least. No matter what, Jane stays focused. So, when Roman brings her to the Sandstorm compound, Jane takes note of her surroundings, spotting a water tower in the distance before grabbing a phone from underneath the floorboards inside the house. If Phase Two is about to take place, she needs to get in contact with the FBI.

When Jane gets some brief alone time in a room, she takes advantage. She breaks into Shepherd’s filing cabinet and snaps photos of some blueprints and a map with multiple locations circled. Patterson, fresh from an adorable breakfast in bed with Borden, gets the files on her phone, then Jane gets in contact with Weller. With everyone in the room at the FBI headquarters, Jane relays Roman’s comments about Phase Two.

The team puts it all together. Based on the map and the schematics, Sandstorm is going to bomb a number of power generators, an act that would not only result in electrical fires all across the country, but a nationwide permanent blackout. Or, as Weller puts it, “Sandstorm is about to send America back into the Dark Ages.”

Since the team can’t stop the bombing of every generator, their only hope is to find the Sandstorm compound. Jane mentions the water tower, and the clanging of metal along with the smell of pennies and cleaning products to the team in the hopes that they can track her down. Patterson, being the absolute boss that she is, manages to use that information to pinpoint Jane, and Sandstorm’s, likely location: an isolated farm, located near a slaughterhouse, that’s registered to a man who isn’t even alive anymore.

So, the team deploys, with orders from Nas to take Shepherd, Roman, and Jane alive. Alas, plans are never that simple. Before the FBI can even get out the door, Weller gets a call from Allie’s boyfriend saying that she’s been in a serious car accident and that he needs to get to the hospital because “tough decisions will need to be made.” So, Weller’s a no-go for the mission. Then, as if potential mother-and-baby death wasn’t enough, as Jane prepares for Phase Two she accepts a sentimental piece of gum from Roman that just so happens to knock her out cold!

Oh, but that’s not all. Not even close. As Jane wakes up tied to a chair, alone in a room with Shepherd and Roman, Blindspot drops a huge reveal. Remember how Shepherd has been saying that Sandstorm has another mole inside the FBI? Well, it’s true, and it’s perhaps the person we least expected: Borden. That’s right, the charming psychologist with the dreamy accent has been keeping tabs on Jane for Sandstorm all along.

NEXT: Voices in the rubble[pagebreak]

That reveal takes us to one of Blindspot‘s better uses of a flashback. We get to see that Jane essentially recruited Borden for Sandstorm. You see, he was one half of a husband-and-wife team working with Doctors Without Border in Afghanistan. Borden’s wife, Kristen, found Jane after the U.S. Government tried to destroy all evidence of Orion. Nursing Jane back to health had its own consequences though: The US government bombed the village and medical facility, hoping to take out Jane. Alas, her and Borden were out for a physical therapy hike, and Kristen becomes the victim. So, in some ways, Jane was responsible for the death of Borden’s wife.

Sandstorm has been ahead of the game for a long time then, especially with Borden feeding them information. But they’re even more ahead of the game than anticipated. For instance, that call to Weller about Allie? A fake out from Sandstorm meant to draw him away from the action. “We have something special planned for him,” says Shepherd to a tied-up Jane. Oh, and the raid on the compound? Well Sandstorm wanted that to happen as well. Shepherd brings in video surveillance so Jane can watch as her team is blown to smithereens.

Thankfully, villains on TV shows are notoriously bad at executing their plans properly, and Shepherd’s doesn’t go off without a hitch. When she orders Roman to shoot Jane, he turns the gun on her. It’s empty though, as she once again predicted his move. Shepherd sets of the explosive anyways, trapping Reade and Nas under a ton of rubble, then sets about hand-to-hand combat with Roman and Jane. The brother and sister team get the upper hand, as Roman shoots Shepherd in the shoulder, and the two take off. This episode gets a lot right, but it’s the action that truly stands out. This is a tense, well-executed episode that feels like a finale, not the ninth episode of the season.

When Weller arrives on the scene, finding only rubble, fire, and a shell-shocked Zapata, he begins to dig for Nas and Reade. Eventually he comes upon a beam that he can feel vibrating, the result of Nas knocking against it down below. More rubble caves in, but before the gas lines explode, Weller manages to pull both Nas and Reade out.

For a while, it looks like everything is going to be fine. Phase Two has potentially been delayed — if there’s a criticism to be made with this otherwise action-packed episode, it’s that Sandstorm’s plan feel very unorganized considering they are supposed to be some sort of super terrorist group — and everyone on the FBI team is alive. Reade and Zapata even get an emotional moment in the hospital, where Reade unburdens himself by saying that he didn’t help Coach Jones when he found him dying on the floor.

But everything isn’t okay. When Patterson heads to Borden’s house to try and make up for not seeing him all day — potentially world-ending crises tend to take some time to sort out — she finds out his secret. She sees the ring he’s wearing, his wife’s wedding ring that Jane hazily remembered from her time recovering from the Orion attack. Patterson sees him packing his stuff, and a gun stuck into his waistband. She knows, and she pulls a gun on him, hoping to arrest him on behalf of the FBI.

Thus, the episode ends on two big cliffhangers. First, there’s Roman saying that he’ll never be able to trust Jane again, only for her to then turn around and (it seems) inject him with the same mind-wipe serum that, as she puts it, allowed her to start over. Then, there’s Patterson and Borden. As the two chase each other through the house and eventually come face-to-face, guns pointed at one another, a shot goes off and the episode cuts to the credits.

We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again: Blindspot sure does know how to execute a great cliffhanger.

Episode Grade: A-