When this week’s Blindspot kicks off, we’re not immediately situated in the FBI headquarters, or getting another peek at how Weller and Jane are adapting to being back together after so long apart. We don’t immediately get back to the cliffhanger from last week, where Patterson was starting to put some clues together about why Stuart was murdered. Rather, the episode puts us in 1994. Three kids are hanging out on the street playing Pogs, because it’s 1994, guys! The kids, who were probably enjoying Crystal Pepsi not all that long ago, have their game interrupted when a bomb goes off. A sketchy looking longhaired dude walks past them, gets in a van, drives off, and then the van explodes off screen. A mysterious way to begin the episode.
After that, we’re back on familiar ground, as “Gunplay Ricochet” begins to build around the idea of Jane and Weller’s relationship being tested not only by their recent absence, but also by Roman and his sadistic plans. At this point everyone knows that Roman’s plan involves revealing secrets so that the team will turn on each other, but after so much time away from Weller, Jane isn’t about to let that happen.
So, she tells Weller that Roman called her the night before. She wants to keep everything out in the open so that neither of them can be surprised, and so that Roman loses that specific advantage he has over them. Weller agrees, but only in theory, because he’s still hiding something. He hasn’t told Jane about Roman’s visit from a few weeks back, and neither us nor Jane know what Roman means by “what happened in Berlin.” That card remains hidden, for Roman to play at a particularly devastating time.
For now, the team is focused not on those secrets, but on deciphering another tattoo. After a typically convoluted explanation about how Patterson managed to figure how out to map a certain tattoo with satellite imagery, which in turn reveals a footprint for a long-term parking lot in Brooklyn that points to one specific parking spot, the team dispatches to the lot under the assumption that there’s a bomb in the van in that parking spot. Based on past attacks from someone called the PennTech Bomber, who killed himself years ago, the team assumes a copycat has popped up again.
Weller suits up in full bomb squad gear and gets into the van. There’s no bomb though, just a note. But who that note is directed to is important: Claire Dunn, the daughter of the PennTech Bomber, Marcus Dunn, a.k.a. the guy who ruined a Pog game in 1994. When the team brings Claire in for questioning, she can’t offer up much. She says that her father is still alive, and that they’ve been trading letters for a while through a middleman. That means she has no idea where he is. But, she does have a spot where she’s supposed to go if there’s an emergency and she needs to contact her father: a bench in Saratoga Park.
The team sends Claire to that bench and scopes out the scene, looking for any sign of Marcus or the middleman. Sure enough, Jane sees someone leaving a nearby house in a rush. That’s when things get really trippy: the guy gets the drop on Jane and calls her “Remi,” clearly recognizing her from some past interaction. Remember, “Remi” was Jane’s name way back when, back in her childhood with Roman.
Of course, nobody gets the drop on Jane for long. She quickly takes the man down, and the team brings him in for questioning. He’s not giving up anything though, saying that he doesn’t rat out his clients because, you know, they paid him to fake their deaths. It’s bad for business if you start talking about those people not being dead.
All that the man, who’s identified as Rosamand “Rossi” Ott, reveals is that he knew Shepherd back in the day and helped set up Jane’s adoption. Rossi isn’t going to give them much more though, especially when the State Department pulls rank and says they’re extraditing him to France for other crimes. That doesn’t leave the team much time to figure out where Marcus Dunn is and what his next target might be. (Recap continues on next page)
Even though Rossi doesn’t give up Dunn’s location, the team manages to track down the location of a house he’s been using in the middle of nowhere. Patterson cracks the code in Rossi’s book of transactions, determining that everyone is given the name of a bug, and eventually solving more clues to give the team an address in Ithaca, New York. When the team shows up at the house though, Dunn isn’t there. Instead, he’s planted a decoy bomb, which the local police manage to set off. Seriously, every local law enforcement division in Blindspot is incredibly incompetent. In fact, everyone outside of the FBI team seems incompetent.
Anyway, while Weller, Jane, and everyone else try to figure out Dunn’s next move, Roman is making his own. He’s attending a charity auction for children displaced by war, hosted by a woman (No Tomorrow‘s Tori Anderson) who he can’t stop flirting with. Roman is still in his role of “Thomas Jakeman” — I’d chastise Roman for picking such a clearly made-up name if we hadn’t seen him literally steal the man’s identity — and he makes his mark on the auction by bidding on a wish bracelet made by a refugee.
The bid also makes a mark on the host. Introducing herself as Blake Crawford, she’s clearly smitten with the way “Thomas” so graciously gives away his money, especially after she learns about his past in Afghanistan. She’s even more touched when “Thomas” gifts her the bracelet, putting it on her wrist and reminding her that taking it off will lead to her wish not coming true.
This is all part of Roman’s plan, but just what that plan entails isn’t clear. We know that he’s put a tracker on the bracelet that will allow him to follow Blake’s every move, but what could he possibly want with her? How can she be used to exploit the team he’s so desperate to make feel his pain? For now, those answers remain elusive.
Also going on at the same time is Operation Cuddlefish, which is Patterson’s attempt at an adorable code name for her and Zapata looking into Stuart’s murder. Patterson determines that Stuart’s cell phone data was likely messed with, and she also discovers that anonymous tips called into the FBI have been changed. She concludes that it’s likely there’s somebody within a high-ranking organization — she names the FBI, the DOJ, and the State Department — who’s a mole helping cover up whoever murdered Stuart. She suspects Assistant Secretary West, the State Department employee who not only takes Rossi away from the FBI, but also ends up losing him while in custody.
But there’s not much that either Zapata or Patterson can do at the moment, so it’s back to tracking down Dunn. When Dunn releases yet another manifesto detailing his plans, Patterson once again cracks the code and determines that he’s planting a bomb in the basement of New York Metro University’s hospital. Director Hirst is worried that Roman has something to do with all of this, but there’s no time to waste.
When the team gets to the hospital, and both Reade and Zapata take down Dunn, the dismantling of the bomb comes down to Jane and Weller. After every commercial break, “Gunplay Richochet” boasts a new wedding video testimonial from the day Jane and Weller got married. Everybody talks about what a good team they’ll make, through the good and the bad, and it’s all building to this moment. They have to work together to dismantle the bomb, which I guess proves their true love.
I’m joking around, but it’s also kind of true. When Jane and Weller dismantle the bomb just as the countdown clock hits zero, Jane only has one thing to say: “That was kind of hot.” These two love almost dying, and they especially love almost dying together. It’s adorable in its own twisted way.
I can’t say that “Gunplay Ricochet” is the most exciting episode of Blindspot, as the tattoo case lacks a certain intrigue. With that said, the show is setting itself up nicely for future episodes, slowly revealing new information about characters we thought we knew everything about.
Thus, the episode ends on two big cliffhangers: Rossi delivers medical documents to Jane that apparently prove she has a daughter, and Zapata sees Reade getting into a car with the guy from the State Department, Assistant Secretary West, who Patterson believes could be the mole they’re looking for.
All of this is to say: WHAT? If Jane does indeed have a daughter somewhere, that’s a game changer, and yet another piece that Roman could exploit for his own gain. Then there’s Reade. He nearly went off the rails last season, but when we came back for season 3 he was Assistant Director of the FBI. Is it all a front though? Has he turned his back on his team and is now secretly siding with people with insidious motives? By forcing us to question everything we see, Blindspot is putting together a rather promising mystery.