By Natalie Abrams
Updated November 16, 2015 at 12:00 PM EST
Paul Sarkis/NBC
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Warning: This story contains major spoilers from Monday’s episode of Blindspot. Read at your own risk!

Being around an amnesiac whose tattoos hold clues to some larger conspiracy never came with a safety guarantee.

The team learned that the hard way during Monday’s Blindspot when Patterson’s (Ashley Johnson) former flame David (Joe Dinicol) became the show’s first real casualty.

In case you’re not caught up, Patterson was forced to cut ties with David a while back after letting him get involved with Jane’s case. The team’s ace cryptologist told him she wanted to stay focused on unearthing the truth, an David believed that if he helped her solve the case on his own, maybe they could be together again. David returned to the library to track whoever was sending encoded messages in those books from a few episodes prior, but that proved deadly when the redhead he decided to follow slit his throat. How will Patterson handle the loss? EW turned to executive producer Martin Gero to get the scoop:

ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: Why did you decide to have David be your first real casualty of the show?

MARTIN GERO: Well, in a show like this, people have to die. You can’t have mortal jeopardy every week and not have people occasionally fall and perish. It seemed like a really good way to do our first casualty, as it’s somebody that we’re close to, but isn’t a part of the team. What’s great about it is the whole way David gets into it is the fun aspect. Both he and Patterson lost sight that these tattoos are extraordinarily dangerous. It’s not a Sunday crossword. It has some really great emotional repercussions for the rest of the season for the entire team. It was really tough, because I love that character a great deal. Joe Dinicol, who plays him, is obviously a friend, but from the beginning, this was probably going to be our first death.

How will Patterson handle David’s death?

It’s going to be an ongoing thing, certainly. It’s not something that she’s going to get over real quickly. In fact, it’s been tough because, as we wrote the subsequent episodes, Patterson is really the most joyous thing about the show. She brings so much levity, and so to have to meter that and be like, “Oh, yeah, she wouldn’t make a joke here. She’s got a lot going on.” She deals with it in a very Patterson way. She’s somewhat closed emotionally, so she tries to bury it a lot. Next week’s episode is a huge one and a very emotional one for a lot of reasons, but Patterson and David is a big part of it.

Is she the type to make some reckless moves in order to get vengeance?

No, she’s not reckless. She’s still a great agent. But the team is certainly extraordinarily motivated to find whoever did this.

Does Jane (Jaimie Alexander) feel somewhat at fault for this?

Oh, yeah, very much so. David’s death has a profound effect on Jane in the next episode. It’s something that she’s been anxious about since the beginning, is that these things on her body, that she has no control over, put people in extraordinary danger. And also in some emotional ways, seeing how Patterson’s feeling.

What can you tease the midseason finale?

It’s our most emotional episode. It’s one of our biggest episodes. What’s great about this show is that every case has personal stakes for our characters, but finding David’s killer is extraordinarily important to everyone. It’s kind of an old-fashioned spy story, in a lot of ways, which is a lot of fun. Some of the most exciting parts of this show happen in the last 10 minutes of episode 10, and it is our expressed intent to have people watch that and then go to all of their friends who aren’t watching and be like, “No, seriously, if you’re not watching, now is the time. Take Christmas, take Thanksgiving, catch up on the show.”

Will part of that final 10 minutes have to do with Carter’s desire to meet with Jane face-to-face?

Carter’s definitely very motivated.

Will we see Jane and Weller (Sullivan Stapleton) address their feelings for one another in the midseason finale?

It feels like it’s leading that way.

What has surprised you in writing the first half of the season?

This was a real touchstone episode for us, because I feel like this episode is the closest to my own personal voice, like with the whole Rich Dot Com of it all. To be able to have an episode that is a lot more fun, let’s say, than the episodes that we’ve done in the past, but not lose any of the stakes and jeopardy and danger, and then to have an ending like this, that really is insanely emotional and powerful — this is certainly an episode we look to a lot as we break the other half of the season. We want to do more like episode 9, not less like episode 9, if that makes any sense.

Basically, from now on, anytime you say an episode is really fun, I’m actually going to be very scared.

But it was a fun episode, wasn’t it? I mean, up until the end! [Laughs] What I love television to be is a whole kitchen sink experience, right? I want to laugh, I want to cry, I want to be thrilled, I want there to be amazing action. We have a whole helicopter shootout, there’s a great bad guy who’s a lot of fun, and played, of course, by Ennis Esmer from The L.A. Complex. It was a real L.A. Complex reunion show, actually, if you think about it. And then an incredibly emotional and totally satisfying ending. You can’t do episodes like this every week, but the great thing about the show expanding and us getting to know the characters more and more is that, certainly, the emotional stakes ratchet up every episode.

Blindspot airs Mondays at 10 p.m. ET on NBC.

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