When Hirst tries to frame Patterson for Stuart's murder, the rest of the team must find evidence of the Director's corruption.
Blindspot - Season 3
Credit: Barbara Nitke/NBC
Blindspot - Season 3

If there’s one thing that Blindspot understands, it’s that you go into the holiday break on a high note and leave your viewers wanting more. “City Folks Under Wraps” does just that. It’s a thrilling, fast-paced, tense hour of television that expertly plays with our understanding of the events from the season, constructing a prison break, cat-and-mouse style episode that concludes the dominant arc of the season’s first half. Last week the team was running out of time to find evidence that Hirst killed Stuart. This week, they’re on the run from the Director herself.

“City Folks Under Wraps” takes us back to the final moments of last week’s episode, but rather than witnessing “van Gogh” get killed from the perspective of Weller, and the subsequent devastation on the faces of the team, we see it from Hirst’s perspective. She sits in her office, in the dark, like some sort of Bond villain. Hr phone rings. “It’s done,” says the voice.

With that complete, Hirst makes a call to a secret contact on her phone. Suddenly, she’s not the composed, menacing Hirst we’ve seen, but rather someone desperate and uncertain. She’s clearly talking to the man highest up on the food chain, the one she’s taking orders from. She says the heat is on and that she might need protection if things go south. The man on the other end of the call (David Morse, bringing his usual gruff gravitas to the guest spot) makes it clear that no such thing will happen. If Hirst loses control of the situation, she better run because he’ll be hunting her down. This is a man who doesn’t like loose ends.

The murder of “van Gogh” leaves everyone in a tricky position. The team now has nothing substantial on Hirst, and their panic is only compounded by the fact that Hirst knows they’re on to her. The Director herself needs to find a way to clean up the mess and pin Stuart’s murder on someone else. Then there’s Reade, the one caught in the middle. Hirst still trusts him, so he has to play a long game, telling her that he believes his team is compromised, a lie that will keep him close to her.

Things really start to pick up when Hirst puts her plan in motion. She tells Rich to break into a laptop that the FBI just confiscated from “a hitman,” and when he does he finds evidence pointing to Patterson as Stuart’s killer. Knowing that isn’t true, he takes it straight to the team. With Hirst tracking the system, the planted evidence will be out there in no time. Rich does everything he can to give the team a head start on getting Patterson out of the building, sending a virus out to the surveillance system. Patterson uses that time to get to a safe spot, a Faraday Cage within the building, but with the entire FBI now looking for her the team doesn’t have much time to prove her innocence.

While the rest of the team tries to figure out a way to link Hirst to Stuart’s murder, Rich attempts to help Patterson escape. It turns out that he has his own escape routes planned out just in case the FBI ever decides to turn their back on him and toss him back in jail. So, he sends Patterson into the vents for a quick escape. Rich is forever the lovable criminal hacker, and it’s been good to see him getting substantial screen time this season.

Rich’s plan, which involves dressing Patterson in a life-like old man mask that he says he uses when he needs to make a quick getaway, initially works, and Zapata gets Patterson back to Weller and Jane’s apartment. It’s not long though before Hirst and some agents search the Faraday Cage and find Rich’s fingerprints on the entrance to the vents. Hirst arrests him, and questions him along with Reade, who’s still playing his part. Rich buys as much time as possible by being ridiculous, concocting stories about how he and Patterson have been sleeping together for months now, doing it in the vents and every other room in the FBI headquarters.

Rich has to reconsider where his loyalties lie though when Hirst offers him a deal: In exchange for Patterson, he not only gets complete freedom, but also the location of his true love, Boston. Hirst hands him the deal. Reade watches him, completely unsure if Rich will betray the team. Rich signs the deal with two words: “Suck it.” Hey, the lovable criminal hacker hasn’t always been the classiest guy.

With Rich arrested and no way to hack into Hirst’s phone, which is the team’s last hope for obtaining concrete evidence, Weller and Jane have to go the old-fashioned route and simply steal it from her office. Patterson calls in a bomb threat, essentially giving herself up, in order to cause a lockdown, which allows Weller and Jane to break into Hirst’s office. They learn that she’s installed an electromagnetic doorframe, which means if they walk out with the phone all potential evidence will be erased. So, Weller throws the phone through the vents—the inner-workings of the FBI’s ventilation system gets a lot of play in this episode—and gives himself up as a distraction so that Jane can snag the phone. Getting into it won’t be so easy though. (Recap continues on next page)

“City Folks Under Wraps” is separated into two geographically separated but purposely interwoven stories. There’s the team trying to take down Hirst, and then there’s the season’s less interesting storyline involving Roman getting close to Blake. Roman’s arc this season hasn’t been all that interesting — the various interactions between him and Blake add little to the show — but at least here it leads to the reveal that Blake’s father, Hank Crawford, is the man from the cold open who’s been controlling Hirst. The development isn’t surprising, but at least it moves Roman into a more interesting place.

Back to the FBI though. With Weller now under arrest — after getting stunned he wakes up handcuffed to Rich, who of course says “this is not how I pictured you waking up next to me” — it’s up to Jane to get the phone’s data to Patterson and Zapata. She uploads the data to a server as the FBI closes in on Patterson after she called in the bomb threat. Patterson finds the hidden contact list and notices one for Kinga, the company that the FBI questioned about the Bluetooth personal assistant they found in Stuart’s home.

With the FBI knocking down the door though, there’s no time to waste. Patterson gives herself up for arrest while Zapata goes looking for Sam, the woman they questioned at Kinga, at her apartment. When Zapata gets there, the place is tossed. Hirst’s people came looking for her. Then Zapata gets a text from Sam: “I recognize you. I need help.” Sam is somewhere safe, watching her through a hidden camera. Zapata says she can help, but that she needs the evidence they’ve been looking for. “Bleach bottle,” says the next text, and Zapata finds a chip in the bottle cap.

All of this comes to a head back at the FBI headquarters. With Jane being held at gunpoint by Hirst and all the other agents, Zapata puts in a call to someone she trusts at the FBI. She tells her to patch her into the PA system. Seconds later, the recording pulled from the Kinga on the night of Stuart’s murder begins to play. Hirst’s voice can be heard before a struggle ensues, she kills him, and asks for a cleanup crew. It’s an excruciating scene because Jane and the rest of the team have to listen to their friend die. It’s painful, but now Hirst is in custody.

For me, that would have been a good end to the hunt for Hirst, but Blindspot pulls out one more twist. Zapata somehow gets captured — seriously, it just kind of happens and I’m not sure it makes much sense — and two agents working for Hirst hold Reade at gunpoint and release the Director. She calls in an exchange: Zapata for her freedom. The exchange goes down at an abandoned warehouse, like it always does, but Jane and Weller show up just in time to save Reade and Zapata, finally putting the cuffs on Hirst.

With Hirst behind them, it would seem the team can finally take a breath. Zapata can focus on sorting out her feelings for Reade, Patterson and Rich can get back to their tech stuff, and Jane and Weller can enjoy some time together before Roman, and another tattoo case, comes calling again.

Even Roman seems okay with letting them breathe for a bit, with this part of his plan executed. He calls Weller and says that he won’t tell Jane about Berlin, at least for now. Weller hangs up. This should be good news, but he’s sick of the secrets. He can’t stand that Roman has this leverage over him, and feels telling Jane the truth would be better than Roman doing it, no matter how painful it may be.

So we sit there with the assumption that Weller is going to tell Jane that he accidentally found her daughter in Berlin, and that he’s been keeping that secret this whole time. Then, we watch as Weller completely nukes our assumptions. “You won’t find her,” he says, “because I killed your daughter.”

Blindspot has always been a fan of its bombshell endings, but this one might be the most shocking yet.

Episode Recaps

Blindspot - Season 3
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