Blindspot recap: 'This Profound Legacy'
Two weeks ago Blindspot dropped one of its typical bombshells. We’re used to the massive swerves at this point, making it clear that there’s really no plot twist that the show won’t consider using. So, yes, we found out that Jane has a kid. She gave birth at some point in her past, and now she knows about it thanks to someone who used to work with Shepherd. Of course, Roman loves having this information out there because it continues to push forward his plan of creating chaos within the ranks of the FBI. The question thus becomes: Is what’s good for Roman ultimately good for Blindspot, or is this one twist too many? How many secrets can the show handle before it starts to buckle under the weight of everything?
We’ll get to that in a moment, but first we have some Russians to deal with. Specifically, a woman and a young man are in what seems to be a gas station bathroom. The young man is cutting his hair, and the woman is frantically destroying his phone. She’s also bleeding all over the place, a gunshot wound visible in her abdomen. We don’t know anything about these two, but they’re clearly on the run.
Back at the FBI headquarters, Patterson has confirmed the birth records given to Jane. She has a daughter somewhere in the world, there’s no doubt about it. Jane responds with stubbornness and denial, telling Patterson to keep digging just in case it isn’t true. But Jane, somewhere deep down, knows it’s true. She’s just not ready to accept it, and that’s a line of thinking that kicks off the episode’s rather faulty arc for Jane.
Essentially, the emotional impact of “This Profound Legacy” hinges on Jane’s feelings about having a daughter that she’s never met, and one she doesn’t even remember giving birth too. We’re meant to be in her headspace as she struggles with the notion that she didn’t fight to keep her child, even though her memory has been wiped and she can’t possibly know the truth of the situation. If you buy into Jane’s pain, then “This Profound Legacy” works for you. If, like me, you find it jarring to have Jane suddenly get all maternal and emotionally distraught, especially after everything she’s been through, then this week’s story can be tough to engage with.
With that said, there’s still plenty of crime solving driving the narrative, and for the most part it’s a compelling case. This week the show does a better job of balancing its tattoo case with the ongoing mystery of Stuart’s murder. The tattoo case is a fascinating one: 33 numbers and letters on Jane’s spine correspond with a tracking number for a box of evidence from the ’90s. When Jane and Weller go to the NYPD warehouse to retrieve the box and find out what’s inside, they’re attacked by two Russians who attempt to burn the place down.
Why? Because the boxes are filled with untested rape kits, meaning that someone powerful is trying to cover their tracks. It’s an interesting case not only because it ends up tying in all sorts of crazy geopolitical tensions with the monarchy of Kazarus — as far as I can tell that’s not a real place, so is NBC just afraid to say Russia? I mean, they end up tracking the bad guys because they make transactions in Rubles, so who knows — but also because it touches on a real-life issue. A number of articles over the years have addressed the United States’ problem with not only failing to test rape kits in a timely manner, but also neglecting those cases and then destroying the kits years later.
Everyone on the team is disgusted by the miscarriage of justice, and that motivates them to track down whoever’s trying to cover up their crime. (Recap continues on next page)
While the team questions one of the Russians (or Kazarussians?) caught at the warehouse, and determines that there are two rape victims that could be tied to the attempt at destroying evidence, news comes in about Stuart’s murder. The Coast Guard found his phone washed up on the shore of the Hudson. Patterson isn’t sure if she can get something off the phone, but it’s still a huge lead, which is why Reade’s directions to not let it distract her is so puzzling. Something is up, and both Patterson and Zapata know it.
When they don’t find anything on the phone, they come up with a plan. They can pretend that they found some sort of evidence on the phone, log it, and then track any potential tampering, therefore revealing the mole they’ve been looking for. It isn’t long before Patterson notices a log-in from Reade, which leads to the deletion of evidence under the guise of a “system corruption.” What is Reade hiding, and what more does he know about Stuart’s death? Remember, Zapata saw him with Jonathan West of the State Department, the same guy who conveniently lost their perp in the previous episode. Something doesn’t smell right.
As for the tattoo case and the untested rape kits, the team determines that Kazarus’ King Ivan, the reigning monarch in 1997, raped someone named Yasmine. She was impregnated, had a son named Vanya, and now Ivan’s brother Cyrus, who’s now the King, wants the proper heir to the throne dead. Now that’s quite the turn of events! All of this could have been avoided had King Ivan not suddenly decided that revealing he has an heir would make for a great death bed confession. Cyrus could have ruled in peace, and Vanya and Yasmine could have avoided hiding out in gas station washrooms.
After Vanya sends a message to his girlfriend from a burner phone, Patterson is able to track his location to a hotel. Weller and Jane show up and after some initial tension, convince Vanya that they’re here to help. They get Yasmine to a hospital, and everything seems to be under control. As we know, when it comes to Blindspot that’s exactly when things aren’t under control.
King Cyrus’ hired hitmen storm the hospital, and Weller and Jane shoot a few of them down. There’s too many to handle alone though, so they use some necessary misdirection over the comms to get out of the building and on the road. They call for backup but it’s too late. The hitmen get their car off the road using a spike strip and a shootout is underway. A few bullets and Molotov cocktails later and the hitmen are down, and Yasmine and her son are safe.
The only problem, as new Congressman Matthew Weisz points out, is that King Cyrus is dead now, and the country is calling for Vanya to return home and lead. The team tells him he doesn’t have to uproot his life and do this, but he says it’s the right thing to do. He wants to change things from the inside, make life better for the people in the country that his mother fled. It’s a hopeful message, but that’s not exactly what Jane takes away from it.
Instead, she sees how Vanya’s life has been turned upside down ever since he found out his father’s identity. This makes Jane question whether she truly wants to find her daughter and become a part of her life. She decides it’s for the best to leave the whole thing alone, and instead try to move on with her life with Weller. That’s easier said than done though, because Weller is hiding a big secret.
In the episode’s final moments, after we’ve heard Patterson and Zapata prove that Hirst was using Reade’s login, and that they could be working together to cover something up, Weller listens to Jane’s reasoning for not wanting to find her daughter. He says he supports her no matter what. But then we flash back to six months ago. We’re in Berlin, that place Roman mentioned in the premiere; when he confronted Weller at the end of the premiere, he threatened to tell Jane “what happened in Berlin.”
So what did happen in Berlin? Well, it turns out that Weller wasn’t the only one looking for Jane there. In fact, he runs into a girl named Avery who’s also looking for her. “How do you know Jane?” he says. “She’s my mother,” she replies. In other words, Weller has known all along, and he’s kept it a secret. Before long, that information will get out, and there’s no telling the damage it will do to Weller, Jane, and the entire FBI team.