Blindspot recap: The truth about Zapata
The team learns the truth about Zapata's work with HCI
With last week’s episode finally settling the feud between Remi and Jane, allowing Jane to come back as herself but with all of Remi’s memories, this season of Blindspot can finally get back to the business of HCI Global continuing as a terrorist organization. Hank Crawford may be dead, but Madeline has kept the terrorist spirit alive and well at the company, planning to crash a plane full of innocent people in order to win a defense contract. The other concern for the FBI is curing Jane. Sure, she’s back to being Jane, but the ZIP poisoning is still doing its damage.
At the top of the episode we learn a little bit more about where the ZIP poisoning came from during a flashback. A company called Kearns Pharmaceutical was trying to create a drug that would help with neurological diseases like Alzheimer’s, but during the process they created something with fatal results. The doctor working on the project, Dr. Roga, called for it to be canceled. Two years prior to the events of this season, Roga storms her boss’ office with evidence that some ZIP had been sold despite her call for the program to be dismantled. He assures her that it was all in the past and that the criminal parties have been dealt with. When she leaves, he makes a call. He wants Roga and her assistant taken out.
Back in the present day, the team is working to find a cure for the ZIP poisoning. Jane remembers that Shepherd told Remi about someone by the name of Kallisto whom Roman was tracking down. Jane gives that information to Patterson and Rich, and they do their clue-solving thing to find a data cache that points to Dr. Roga. Unfortunately, they have to tell Jane and Weller the bad news that she died two years ago. There’s little hope for a cure here, but the team still wants to talk to her son Clay, who’s a professor working in a similar field.
When the team brings Clay in to ask him questions, Weller gets heated after the FBI learns he received a huge inheritance despite the fact that his mother was apparently struggling to make ends meet. He gets right in his face and promises to dig into every part of his life to find out the truth about what happened to Dr. Roga, and Jane has to pull him aside. Faced with the thought of losing Jane after just getting her back, Weller’s having trouble composing himself. So, it’s up to Jane to keep him focused.
After doing a little digging on the trust, Rich and Patterson discover that it was somehow set up the day after Roga died. Unsure how that could happen, they trace the trust to a bank that’s been swallowed up by other companies a few times, and find video surveillance of Dr. Roga herself walking into the bank on that day, meaning she faked her death and is perhaps still out there somewhere. A quick trace of Clay’s phone records reveals that he was unknowingly receiving calls from his mother on Sunday nights, at the same time when they used to go to a diner together. There was never any talking, but it was her way of checking up on her son. So, the team trace the calls to a home in the woods, where Dr. Roga is living free of the threat of Kearns Pharmaceutical. The problem? Clay is so excited that his mother is alive that he calls to tell his fiancée the news, which tips off Kearns to Dr. Roga’s whereabouts. Apparently they’ve been tracing his phone for two years? That doesn’t really explain how they figure out the location, but hey, let’s not dive too deep into the logic of a procedural that gets crazier every season. (Recap continues on next page)
While Jane, Weller, Patterson, and Rich head out to see if Dr. Roga really is still alive, Reade continuously tells Zapata that she has no other option but to talk to him. She refuses again and again, finally saying she wants to talk to Keaton. That suggests she’s still working for the CIA, but Reade has some bad news for her. He takes her to the hospital and shows her that Keaton is in a coma, the result of him taking a bullet a few weeks back. Reade lays it all out: If she thinks Keaton can save her, she’s dead wrong, which means she has to talk to the FBI. She has no choice.
Backed into a corner, Zapata finally explains herself. She says she’s been deep undercover for the CIA all along. So deep undercover that Keaton is the only one aware of the operation, which is to take down HCI. Crawford dying was great and all, but that didn’t solve the problem of HCI just replacing him with another psychopath. So, Zapata signed up for the extremely dangerous mission of making it look like she burned all her bridges at the CIA and FBI, leading her to Blake Crawford in an attempt to get close to whoever was next in line at HCI.
Things, of course, went off the rails when Madeline killed the entire board, and in that moment Zapata wanted to bring in Reade and the rest of the team to help, but Keaton refused. Claudia represented another bump in the road. She really was MI6, and when they found out they were on the same side, both working to take down HCI, they had to come up with a new plan. So, Claudia “sacrificed” herself so that Zapata could get even closer to Madeline. Now, the whole operation is in jeopardy if she doesn’t meet Del Toro in Toronto the next morning. Reade has a fair amount of hesitation about Zapata’s story, but in the end he trusts his gut that she’s telling the truth, or at least partially. “I’ll never forgive you for this,” he says, laying into Zapata for betraying his trust and saying that any relationship or friendship they ever had is over. “You will serve a function,” he says of sending her to the meeting with Del Toro, but that’s it. Once she’s done with that, and the FBI takes down Madeline, he’s done with her.
At the house in the woods, Weller and Patterson do find Roga. After initially pulling a gun on them, she brings them inside once she learns who they are. She shows them her whole scientific setup, which it turns out was funded by Roman. He was the one who set up the trust for Clay, and it was Roman whom she was working to cure. That’s not the only surprising news though: It turns out she found a cure for ZIP. The whole team lights up at this news, the cure apparently made possible in part by some mysterious cells called Stanton cells.
The good news can’t last, though. Men from Kearns show up to kill Roga once and for all, and while she makes it out alive, her whole operation burns to the ground during the shootout, including the only batch of Stanton cells. Back at the FBI, Clay and her mother are reunited, and she promises that if the team can track down more cells, she’ll gladly mix up the cure. So, it’s back to square one for the team, though Roga does say that Roman was looking for another batch himself.
The Stanton cells aren’t the only thing they’ll be looking for, though. When Zapata shows up to her meeting in Toronto, she’s kidnapped by two men. “The CIA wants a word with you,” they say as they throw her in the trunk of a car. Jane’s life hangs in the balance, and now Zapata’s does too.