Blindspot recap: Rules in Defiance
In the most intense episode yet, Jane is given another impossible choice
This is one of the first episodes that is mainly dedicated to the rest of the team and not so much Jane. Jane takes a “sick day” to deal with her impossible decisions while the rest of the crew works a case from an anonymous tip received that morning. The tip is obviously from Oscar, who told Jane at their last meeting that he had a time-sensitive case he needed her to prioritize. Jane blew him off, and it looks like he took matters into his own hands.
After some very complicated math and geo-location puzzle solving, Patterson figures out that two of Jane’s tattoos are connected. After connecting the dots, the team is led to a location. They first think the location and the anonymous tip are supposed to lead them to a house, but when they knock on the door a massive shootout ensues. The NYPD is parked near the house and gets in on the action, informing our crew that they just ruined a three-month operation of theirs. Whoops.
Weller and Co. figure out what they were really supposed to be led to is a mural across the street from the house. The mural is of Paloma Diaz, a young woman killed seven years prior. On the mural is an image that is also one of Jane’s tattoos, confirming the lead. Patterson looks into the case, and it appears that Paloma’s boyfriend was convicted of killing her and given the death sentence. The time-sensitive piece? The next day he is scheduled to receive lethal injection — hence the tip from Oscar.
The gang visits the convicted boyfriend, Ronnie, and he’s stubborn about refusing their help. He’s made peace with “what he’s done”, and he asks them to leave. Weller, of course, isn’t buying it. They discover that Ronnie was very much defending his innocence when first convicted, but shortly after his sister’s house was set on fire — with her two kids inside — he pleads guilty. Someone framed and blackmailed him.
They track down the cop who was going to serve as the witness to get him off at the trial and find out that he was going to be slapped with a faux sexual assault charge and lose his job if he testified. He knew that Paloma (who was set to be deported before she died) boarded the deportation bus, but she never actually made it Mexico, so something must have happened to her on the bus taking her to the border. What was his boss hiding?
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Patterson notices that Paloma’s birthdate on her deportation sheet was marked 1885 instead of 1985, made to look like a typo. When they take a deeper look at other women in the system, they find hundreds with the same mistake. What does this mean? Paloma was a victim of trafficking, and her boyfriend was framed for her murder.
Another girl in the system that had the same 1885 flag was scheduled to leave that day, and she looked similar to Zapata. Zapata volunteers to go undercover, with the hopes of catching the kingpin behind the trafficking ring and freeing Ronnie. Patterson gives her a necklace that’s actually a tracking device, and Weller and Reade promise to trail her the entire time.
Zapata boards the bus and tells Weller and Reade where she’ll be sitting exactly, so they can get a visual on her if need be. As anticipated, the bus makes an unscheduled bathroom break, and while Zapata walks into the restroom, the bus driver injects her with something to knock her out, and she’s taken out back and loaded into another van. Weller and Reade would have been able to see this right away, but the driver took Zapata’s tracker-necklace off and heads back to the bus.
The boys follow the bus, thinking Zapata is inside, but decide to drive next to it to get a visual since they didn’t see her get on. After they realize she’s not on the bus, they turn around and call Patterson to try and look at surveillance cameras to see where she might be. You’d think the kidnappers would have checked the back of the building for cameras before parking their van right in front of them, capturing their faces and criminal activity. Fortunately, they’re idiots. Patterson sees Zapata being loaded into the van and starts searching for clues.
NEXT: So, what’s Jane been up to?
While all of this is going on, Jane is taking a “sick day” to deal with the impossible choices she’s being forced to make. She gets cabin fever at the safe house and decides to go into the office to meet with Dr. Borden. She starts to tell him she that she’s questioning herself and that she should leave the FBI. He knows there’s something she is keeping from him, and he’s stern in telling her that he can’t help her or advise her if he doesn’t have the entire story. Knowing she can’t tell him anything without severe consequences, she barges out and finds out about Zapata. Wanting to help her friend in trouble, she starts to help Patterson, and they figure out that the women might not be trafficked, but kept in one place. Narrowing down a location, they send Weller, Reade, and backup to save her — and hopefully others.
Meanwhile, Zapata is stuck in a basement of what appears to be a house. A women tells her she has an hour to “get ready” and heads upstairs. Another girl, Natalie, is down there with her. Natalie appears beaten but tries to comfort Zapata, who is still undercover. She learns that the girls are sent upstairs each night to be raped and abused by guests of a man named Tate, who runs the entire operation. When a man comes downstairs to punish Natalie for telling Zapata about the house’s operations, Zapata fights back. The girls try to fight off the man, but others (with guns) come downstairs to break it up. They tie up Zapata and tell her they know she’s a fed and immediately rush upstairs to break up the party. Tate’s men advise that he leave immediately, and Tate instructs they torch the house — with all of the girls inside of it.
It’s worth noting that this entire story line was a level up from previous episodes as far as intensity, leaving viewers anxious. It was also redeeming for Zapata, who is dealing with the aftermath of giving the papers about Jane to Carter and her gambling debts. While she may have done some shady things, she always chooses the right side in the end, and she wasn’t going to let these innocent girls be abused — or killed — any longer.
Tate and his men pour gasoline all over the house and light it on fire at the same time Weller and Co. arrive. There’s a shootout, and Zapata starts looking for ways to escape the basement. She sees that the bars on the window are screwed in and MacGyvers a screwdriver out of a nail clipper. This gets the bars off, and all of the girls escape, except for her (of course), and she’s left in the fiery basement. Natalie runs up to Reade and Weller and tells them that “the girl that saved them” is stuck in the basement, and they know it’s Zapata. They get her out of the house right before it explodes, and it’s another successful case for Weller and Co.
Back at the station, they question Camila, the “manager of the girls,” who was once a sex slave like them. She identifies Paloma and says they were friends and that a client “accidentally killed her,” and she was told to take care of the body. After that, she started working with the criminals so she would no longer have to serve as a sex slave. It turns out that the man that killed Paloma was a two-term senator, and the FBI is going after him and the others involved. Plus, they proved Ronnie’s innocence, and he was set free.
Jane comforts Zapata and is surprised to hear that she would do it all again if it meant saving lives like those girls. Zapata tells her that their work “is bigger than us,” and this resonates with Jane. She decides to stop wallowing in self-pity at what she/Taylor started and do what she believes to be the right thing, which is end communication with Oscar and truly become a member of the FBI. Unfortunately, her past life won’t let her get off that easy.
Reade and Mayfair are still secretly working together to learn more about Jane, following their instincts that something sketchy is going on. Reade gets a warrant and starts to look at the traffic lights near where Carter’s car was found to try and figure out where he was the night he went missing. He’s able to spot his car — but with someone else driving it. After texting Mayfair that he’d found something, he’s attacked and knocked out.
When Jane meets with Oscar to tell him she’s going full-blown FBI and ending everything with him, he informs her that “Taylor” put measures in place in case this happened. If she refuses to cooperate, they’ll kill Weller. Oscar assures her that he is always on her side no matter what and will protect anyone she cares about, but this may be out of his hands, adding this to the pile of impossible choices Jane has to deal with.
Questions and Notables:
- Reade told Weller that he loves Sarah and that he won’t leave her, to which Weller argued that he can’t have his personal life affecting the job. Reade snarkily replied that Weller’s judgment is affected everyday by the presence of Jane, and no one would even know about his relationship with Sarah had he not said anything. Truth, Reade.
- In the beginning of the episode, Weller woke up after a drinking binder and night of wild sex with Ali, confirming that the two are back on. He even takes her her out for a second date and is distancing himself romantically from Jane. Ali and Weller have way more chemistry than he and Jane at this point, and I’d like to see Jane spend more time with Oscar. From the look of next week’s promo, we’ll get just that.
- Zapata met with Matthew Weitz, Assistant U.S. Attorney, at the beginning of the episode. He’s the person bugging her apartment, trying to find out why Carter had such an interest in Jane. If Zapata doesn’t cooperate with him, he’ll turn her in for her crimes and let her crawl her way to debt in legal fees before she heads to prison. I have a feeling her recent rescue mission won’t even save her there.
- Dr. Borden, we still need your significance. Here’s a wild theory: What if he secretly is working with Jane but she hasn’t remembered it yet? It would make sense that “Taylor” would put someone in place like that to keep her in check.
Tell me your predictions in the comments below!