If you were at all worried Blindspot might not be the same show considering its new night and timeslot — a fear exacerbated by reports of dialed-back violence — tonight’s premiere does a lot to assuage those concerns. “In Night So Ransomed Rogued” is a blistering start to the show’s sophomore season. There’s brutal fights, a new name for an old threat, and a whole lot of truth packed into one episode. To say Blindspot resumes where last season left off would be an understatement. We’re rocketing towards something even more fun.
We pick up three months after Jane was forced into CIA custody during last season’s finale. She’s being held at a black site in Oregon and undergoing horrible daily torture. Flashbacks show us she’s prepared for this, though. Thanks to her training, there’s a part of her brain nobody can access. She’s biding her time until she can make an escape.
Soon enough, Jane executes an elaborate — the show’s modus operandi — plan to break away. She attempts to drown herself, forcing the operatives to try resuscitating her with an injection. She then attacks them and is quickly put back in her cell. As it turns out, that was her goal: She’s still got the needle lodged in her arm, and she uses it later to pick her handcuffs and make a daring escape from the black site. Yep, Blindspot is back, baby!
Really, it’s a smart move on the show’s part. Keeping Jane in custody could only be engaging for so long, and honestly, Blindspot works best when it’s flying through plot at breakneck speed. Having Jane escape captivity in the opening scene assures us that yes, this is still the crazy, ambitious, ridiculous Blindspot we all know and love.
Two weeks pass and we see Weller, Reade, Zapata, and the rest of the team missing their old “tattoo” cases. Sure, Weller gets to chase down criminals on dirt bikes, but it just doesn’t have quite the same thrill, you know? Thankfully, there’s a new player in town ready to return them to the tattoo-case loop.
Back at the FBI headquarters, Weller and his team are greeted by Nas Kamal (Archie Panjabi), a high-ranking member of an NSA subdivision called Zero Division. They’ve been working for years on tracking connected terrorist attacks made to look like “Lone Wolf” incidents. The group responsible is known as Sandstorm, and Zero Division’s intel points to an “inciting incident in Times Square.” Well, that sounds damn familiar to the FBI.
The theory is Jane once worked for Sandstorm. Before she was unwillingly turned over to the CIA, she was about to turn on her employer after establishing a connection with the FBI team. In other words, Nas wants her back. They track Jane to a motel in Camden, New Jersey, and Weller offers to try brokering some sort of peace with her.
If only it were that easy.
NEXT: Fist, meet face
After a hard-hitting tussle in the motel hallway, the FBI manages to bring in Jane for questioning. They hook her up to some fancy (and extremely illegal) MRI/lie-detector contraption, and Nas starts the process. Jane tells them Carter kidnapped her and Oscar saved her, and she didn’t know their true intentions with framing Mayfair. Then, she drops the bomb Weller, Reade, and Zapata have been fearing: Mayfair is dead, murdered by Oscar before she murdered him.
Obviously, Weller isn’t feeling too trusting of Jane right now. But as Nas points out, Jane is the first substantial lead Zero Division has had on Sandstorm in years, so they need her to help stop what’s essentially the most dangerous organization in the world. In case there was any doubt, the episode’s final shot confirms Sandstorm means business. Deadly business, that is.
After Jane and Weller mostly make up and reveal they had the best intentions before the whole torture-and-murder stuff happened, the next part of the plan is put into place. Nas needs Jane to infiltrate Sandstorm, so she’s to call the “Joey’s Pizza” cover number and set up a meeting. But how should Jane explain her three-month absence? Easy: Say Cade held her captive and tortured her the whole time, and she only managed to escape now. This means someone has to shoot her —Zapata gladly volunteers — to really make it look like she struggled to escape. See how simple that is? (It’s totally not simple).
For the most part, the plan works. Some guy named Roman — well, he’s not just some guy, but more on that in a bit *cue dramatic music* — shows up at the meeting place and, seeing she’s been shot, brings her to a hospital. That’s only after going all Jason Bourne on some cops, because this is Blindspot, after all.
Back at the FBI headquarters, we get a little more insight into how this season will progress in terms of the Big Bad. Sure, there’s Sandstorm, but there’s also the encrypted Orion and M7G677 files on the drive Mayfair left behind. We don’t get much new information, but we do learn Nas will give Patterson access to some software in order to hopefully decode the Orion files. It’s also revealed that inside the M7G677 folder is a single image of a black hole. Well, that’s a big old mystery to ponder this season, don’t you think?
NEXT: Orphans and rockets
Okay, now it’s time for the BIG reveals. Deep breath, folks.
After Roman stitches up Jane at the hospital, he does what Jane’s demanded and takes her to meet Shepherd. The first words out of Shepherd’s mouth — after scanning Jane for any devices, which Patterson has disabled at just the right moment — are “I’m Shepherd, and I’m your mother.” Excuse me?!?!
Okay, so she’s not exactly her mother, but damn, the following story is insane. And this time, it might actually be true… We might finally know who Jane really is. Shepherd tells Jane she was born in South Africa to anti-apartheid parents and that her name was Alice Kruger. When apartheid soldiers killed her mother and father, she was brought to an orphanage to be trained as a child soldier. But she wasn’t brought there alone — she was captured along with her brother, now known as Roman! Seriously, “In Night So Ransomed Rogued” drops one bomb after another. Yes, that’s a pun about the end of the episode, too.
Anyway, Shepherd was apparently — I say “apparently” because you can’t trust anything anyone says on this show — a member of the U.S. military who freed the child soldiers. Because Roman and Alice were so dangerous, she took them into her care and they chose new names. That’s where “Roman” comes from, and Alice/Jane apparently chose “Remy.” Got that straight? Okay, good.
These revelations set up an intriguing conflict that will surely play out over the rest of the season. You see, Shepherd sends Jane/Alice/Remy back to the FBI to try and salvage its Phase Two mission (whatever that is), while the FBI has Jane/Alice/Remy working to spy on Sandstorm. Jane is now a double agent, which will certainly cause some bloody, entertaining problems down the road. That’s especially true when the final shot makes us privy to something very few characters know about: Sandstorm has a gigantic missile stashed away somewhere, and who the hell knows what the group intends to do with it.
Welcome back, Blindspot. We missed your antics, even if they make our hearts skip a few beats every week.