Sandstorm begins Phase 2, and the FBI is the target.

By Kyle Fowle
May 10, 2017 at 09:00 PM EDT
David Giesbrecht/NBC


S2 E21
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Blindspot is known for its unwieldy episode titles. Tongue twisters, anagrams, and just straight-up nonsense have been inherent to the show since the series premiere; as someone who recaps the show and has to type out the episode titles multiple times, I loathe the trend. This week, there’s no anagram in sight, and no nonsense. Blindspot gets right to the heart of the matter with its episode title: “Mom.” It’s a reference to Shepherd, the mother of both Jane and Roman, and it signals that finally, after weeks and weeks of build, she’d be in the presence of her children once again.

Before we get to that though, there’s the business of last week’s cliffhanger to deal with. Back in Jane’s apartment she’s still under attack from Roman, whose flood of memories has him viewing Jane as the enemy, as she’s the one who wiped his memory. After he takes quite a few swipes at her with a kitchen knife, Jane gets the upper hand and Roman is brought back to his cell in the basement of the FBI headquarters. Roman still gets off one final stab, this one verbal rather than of the knife variety: “The more I remember, the more I hate you.” Ouch.

Back at the headquarters there’s quite a bit going on. FBI Director Pellington is in the house and, as always, he doesn’t come with any good news. In fact, considering Roman’s attack on Jane, he’s ready to declassify the entire Jane Doe/Sandstorm case and put the faces of Shepherd and Roman out into the public. When Jane mentions that Roman’s memories are coming back, that stops Pellington from making that happen. Instead, he’ll put Shepherd’s face out there and send Roman to a CIA Black Site to “speed up” his memory recovery. Not exactly a more wholesome plan, as Jane knows from experience.

On the plus side, Weller believes they have a new plan to get Parker to talk. They let him know that Devon is five weeks pregnant and that they can make some sort of deal happen so that his kid isn’t born in a prison. So, Parker tells them that if they put her on a plane to London where she has some family, he’ll give them the location of a server warehouse that holds everything related to Sandstorm.

When the FBI goes looking though, they don’t exactly come across a server warehouse, but rather an exact replica of their own FBI office. The only explanation is that Sandstorm is planning an attack on the FBI, so the team sends out a distress signal that leads to an evacuation. When everyone but the show’s main cast makes it out, you know something is up. Sure enough, the evacuation was all part of the plan. Sandstorm, with Shepherd there in-person, manages to break into the system and run a video feed that makes it look like they’re storming the building. Then, once everyone evacuates except all the important agents, they make their move.

Once inside, and after a shootout with Pellington leads to Patterson locking down the building, Shepherd’s plan begins to take shape. She wants Weller’s override code to call off the lockdown, leaving avenues open for escape and attack. When Pellington refuses, she starts to execute agents one by one. Pellington does his best to stand strong and not negotiate with terrorists, but another agent who brings Weller the code every morning cracks in an attempt to save Pellington’s life along with her own.

That’s not how Shepherd operates though. She takes the code, removes the lockdown, and shoots Pellington in the chest. Not the first casualty, and certainly not the last.

With the lockdown disengaged, it’s up to Weller and Jane to get back inside the headquarters and help everyone out. With Patterson putting her system into Boot Mode, they’ve bought themselves some time, as Shepherd won’t risk stopping the boot for fear of corrupting the Department of Homeland Security files that she’s after.

Accessing those files is a threat, but not the immediate threat. When Weller and Jane break back into the FBI headquarters, they find a bomb. Jane’s put to the task of dismantling it, with Weller walking her through the process, and despite some shakiness she gets the job done. Thinking back to the FBI replica, she determines there must be one more bomb: in the gym. One down, one to go.

While they look for the second bomb, and while Shepherd tries to talk Roman into fighting by her side again, Reade and Zapata hold down the fort in the basement while Patterson creates an electrical surge that fries everything in the lab. It’s a win, and a big one at that, possibly preventing Shepherd from executing attacks on DHS-related sites across the country.

That’s when things take a turn for the worse. As Zapata and Reade breathe a sigh of relief after holding off the wave of Sandstorm operatives, Parker proves to not be dead yet. He shoots Zapata, seemingly in the neck, and she begins to bleed out instantly. It’s a devastating moment that comes on the heels of her trying to convince Reade to rethink his transfer to Quantico and instead stay with the team. It’s truly heartbreaking stuff, and I will be so mad if, after all the nonsense Zapata has put up with when it comes to Reade this season, she dies just so he can learn a lesson.

Throughout all of this, Jane is still holding onto hope that Roman is on the FBI’s side, and that he won’t be lured back into Shepherd’s plan. All of that quickly falls away when Roman and Shepherd fire on her and Weller before holing up in Borden’s office. Just when they think they have them where they want them, they bust down the door and see that Shepherd and Roman have escaped through a hole in the wall that Borden had been hiding all along.

With the immediate threat over, Patterson brings the news. Sandstorm bombed two other bases, one in Boston and one in San Francisco, but four other attacks were stopped, and there were no civilian casualties. It’s a win that saved thousands of lives, but it hardly feels like one when you consider all the dead agents.

One big emotional casualty is Jane’s loss of Roman. Now that her brother is back to being who he was before his mind was wiped, she’s worried that the same could happen to her. She breaks down, but Weller is there to comfort her and tell her that he knows what’s in her heart, and that she’ll never be like Roman. Then, finally, they kiss, that drawn-out romantic tension finally resolved in a genuinely sweet moment. Of course that moment has to be stopped short by the Secret Service needing Weller for something top secret, but hey, it’s still a moment.

As the episode moves on to its closing montage, everything is up in the air. Zapata is recovering in a hospital, but we have no idea what her condition is. Shepherd is recording a video taking responsibility for the attacks. Patterson and the rest of the team look lost, as if they can’t comprehend what just happened. But what’s next? Some would say that the worst is over, but Weller isn’t so sure. When he’s brought into a super secret bunker along with many other heads of government departments, like the CDC and CIA, he’s welcomed into COGS, that elusive program that’s referenced alongside the Truman Protocol by Nas.

They’re basically a team that would become the new government in the wake of a massive attack, and as much as everyone seems to think Sandstorm’s Phase 2 has been stopped, Weller believes it’s just beginning. He thinks this is all part of Shepherd’s plan. Phase 2 might just now be getting underway, which means there’s a lot more carnage to come in next week’s season finale.

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