After a months-long hiatus spent wondering how and why Jane Doe actually did this to herself, Blindspot returns Monday to answer a few of those questions.
In the fall finale, Jane (Jaimie Alexander) was kidnapped and tortured by Carter (Michael Gaston) in a bid to learn who she is. But Jane’s mysterious ex, Oscar (François Arnaud), came to her rescue, killed Carter, and showed Jane a video of her past self revealing she was to blame for the tattoos and her memory loss. What’s next for Jane? EW caught up with executive producer Martin Gero to find out:
ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: Let’s get into Jane’s mindset. How much does knowing she played a role in what happened to her affect her moving forward?
MARTIN GERO: I think it changes everything inside of her. It just brings into doubt everything she knows about herself. It makes her put some emotional distance between herself and Weller [Sullivan Stapleton], not because she’s not into Weller anymore, but just because she feels like she’s suddenly dangerous. For everyone’s safety, she’s going to take an emotional step back a bit — or she’s going to try. It’s an easier thing to say than do. It really turns her upside down.
Oscar showed Jane a video of herself saying she was the one who decided to do this, but were there others involved in what happened?
Oh yeah, it’s a whole organization. Oscar is Jane’s handler. But it is a much bigger group.
Is this group named Orion?
Jane and Weller kissed, but how does the discovery that she planned this change their dynamic?
It’s hard for her. Her feelings for Weller are genuine and really strong. But suddenly, she doesn’t trust herself anymore. She doesn’t know who she was. She doesn’t know why she was sent to Weller. Just to protect him, she tries to create some space, which is so hard for her, because really he’s the only person she trusts.
Where are we picking up with the rest of the team?
Just for the Jane of it all for two seconds, what’s interesting for the first 10 episodes, for a show that’s about secrets, deceptions and paranoia, Jane had nothing to hide. She had some flashbacks that she sorted through on her own, but there was nothing she ever kept from Weller. Suddenly, she’s going to have a pretty giant secret. It changes the dynamic of the team a little bit.
The other characters, we’ve left them all in pretty precarious places. Zapata [Audrey Esparza] is about to resign because of her dealings with Carter. Obviously, Carter is dead now, so she might be off the hook, but she’s not going to be able to get away too clean. Mayfair [Marianne Jean-Baptiste] is certainly dealing with a lot of stuff, like the fallout of Daylight and why so much information about Daylight is on Jane’s body. That’s a big deal. Weller is still trying to figure out the whole Taylor Shaw of it all. That’s one of the pieces, but where has she been the past 25 years? What has she been doing? There’s a lot on the go.
Are you going to delve into who actually took Taylor Shaw?
Yeah. You’ll know who took Taylor Shaw by the end of the year.
What’s in store for Weller in the back half?
Jordana Spiro is back as Weller’s sister. Weller’s home life gets a lot more attention in the back half of the season as he tries to mend the fence with his dad. There’s some scenes in episode 12 that are pretty incredible and I’m really proud of Sully and Jay O. Sanders, who plays Weller’s dad. He’s dying of cancer. He was on his last legs really at the beginning of the season. He didn’t have that much to live. I’ve said from the beginning that I think what TV shows like this need to do is have endings as part of their stories. Bill’s not in great shape. Weller trying to mend his relationship with his father before his father dies is going to be a really powerful part of our story.
Does that spur the push to find who actually took Taylor Shaw?
Yeah, that is part of it. But I think mostly it’s about just recognizing that Bill didn’t do it, and stopping the inertia of all that rage and anger that Weller has, which takes a second to gear down from, and just be able to have the time that he has left with him.
What can you tease for the hunt for the mole and how that’s put the team at risk?
John Hodgman, first of all, we’re so lucky to have him on the show. I obviously got to know him when we were both working on Bored to Death. This character that he plays on our show, we wrote it for him. Essentially he sees that there’s some cracks in Mayfair’s armor and he’s going to try to come in and try to position himself as the new head of the NYO, but to do that, he’s got to disgrace Mayfair. At first, he tries to do that with the number of missteps that Patterson (Ashley Johnson) made that eventually ended in David’s (Joe Dinicol) death. At the same time, we’re doing a mole hunt in [episode] 13 that he obviously gets his hands in as well.
Patterson is back at work so soon after David’s death. How different is she now and will his death cause her to make some mistakes?
Absolutely, she will. She’s a little off in the first few episodes back. She’s back just because she deals with grief poorly, as many of us do. She just wants to dive back in and pretend like her life is totally going to be unaffected. How she deals with the David of it all is an organic thing that happens over the back half of the season. We have some great episodes coming up that are some bigger Patterson episodes. It was a balance for us, because she’s such a fun character. We didn’t want to lose that entirely, but we also didn’t want it to seem like David is an easy thing for her to get over. There’s an occasional misstep in the next few episodes because she’s got split focus.
I hear we’re also going to meet someone else who lost their memories like Jane. What can you tease about that?
She will meet somebody that has also had some memory stuff done to them with ZIP. Not as bad as hers, but it’ll awaken a lot of things. It’s an insight into how this organization she worked with works.
Possibly connected, possibly not connected, when are we going to learn more about Orion?
Not connected. We’re going to learn more about Orion throughout the season. Orion is a series-wide mystery, so we’ll get little bits of it as we go. That’s something to look forward to.
At some point, the team is going to find out that Zapata was working with Carter. That seems like a natural progression for the show. Can you preview how they may react to that betrayal?
This show doesn’t do natural progressions. [Laughs] Sometimes the twist is not the twist. No comment on that one.
Carter served as the big bad of the first half of the season. Who will be the new villain now?
Unfortunately, the villain of the second half of the season is a secret. I think it is up to the audience to decide who the bad guy is in the back half of the season, if that makes any sense. Depending on where your personal allegiances are to the characters, the big bad of the last 13 episodes can be a couple of people. I know that’s super vague, but who’s bad and who’s good and what that means is the crux of this back 13. It’s a difficult thing to answer because it’s a moving target.
In the first half of the season, you had a cipher in each episode title. Will you be doing something similar in the back half?
Yes. The titles are anagrams again. But unlike last year where the anagrams really were just an Easter egg fun thing, the anagrams this year lead somewhere really cool. They start you on your own Blindspot adventure.
Are there any other clues you are laying into the season that we should be paying attention to?
No! It’s not fun if I tell you what they are. I mean, the titles this year are a lot of fun, let me put it that way. If you really want to take the time, there’s a whole thing the titles will send you on. More about that later.
Blindspot returns Monday at 10 p.m. ET on NBC.