Things aren’t going so well at the FBI. Sure, the whole Remi ordeal is over with, and Shepherd is no more, but that doesn’t mean everything’s rosy. Instead, there’s still Jane dying from the ZIP poisoning, and Zapata being kidnapped by the CIA. Reade is struggling with the Zapata stuff in particular. He doesn’t know she’s been kidnapped, but he’s frustrated that he somehow has to lead her doomed mission now that Keaton’s in a coma, and also after she lied to him. “This must be how Phil Jackson felt when he was brought in to turn the Knicks around,” he says, to which Weller quickly reminds him that Jackson was fired. In other words, the team is going through some tough times right now. It’d be a shame if something ludicrous suddenly happened…
Oh, boy, does something ludicrous happen. The mysterious cold open of the episode sees some guy getting murdered by an intruder in the night, his head getting bashed in with a typewriter. Things only get weirder from there. The man killed in the opening turns out to be a prolific, famous writer by the name of Winston Pear. His books follow fictional detectives as they solve real-life crimes, which Reade correctly identifies as “cheating.” You know what’s weirder? That Weller is apparently a superfan. He loves Pear’s books. You know what’s even weirder than that? The team searching the house and finding one last manuscript, titled Inked To Death: A Jane Doe Mystery, that features the entire team as fictional characters. Somehow, Pear knew everything about them, and he inserted them into a novel about tracking down a serial killer named The Ripper.
This particular case allows Blindspot to have some fun, putting together scenes of Pear’s novel where Jane, Weller, Rich, and the rest of the team are the characters. So, we see Patterson as a super agent/famous CEO, Rich dressed in ridiculous clothes, and Weller as a guy whose shirt can barely contain his biceps. It’s goofy in the way that Blindspot occasionally is, which means it’s fun and doesn’t take itself too seriously. So many procedurals are incredibly self-serious, but Blindspot always knows how to lighten things up.
Anyway, this case is a weird one. Pear long had a theory that a series of murders in Long Island was the result of the same killer, but the team can’t find any meaningful connection. When Pear heard about “the woman in the bag in Times Square,” he knew he’d found the fictional foil for the Ripper, but in real life, the team has no leads. Pear’s literary agent, who tries to steal the final manuscript so that he can sell it and make a ton of money, says the writer kept a very detailed notebook about his theories and contacts, which could give the FBI some much-needed information. That book is nowhere to be found though. When Pear’s editor winds up dead, with her mouth sewn shut, the team has to assume The Ripper has the notebook and is going after everyone who might be able to expose their identity.
For the team, the question is this: How did Pear know so much about them? The only answer is that there’s a rat in the department, and reading a few pages of the novel leads them to Brianna. She started out just giving Pear information about standard procedure so that he could add some realism to his novels, but as he started asking more questions she began telling him about the team. When they ask her about the Ripper case, she says she never heard him mention who the killer might be, though he referred to the Ripper as “GS” one time. That connects with a suspect Rich and Patterson find after noticing that the victims do have a connection: a single cut that looks like it’s from a scalpel. Gerald Scavitt, a police officer with a medical background, is the suspect.
He’s not the suspect for long, though, as flight records prove he was out of the state when many of the murders took place. Brianna says Pear called her one night, drunk and frustrated because his whole theory had fallen apart. Still, the team sees he was on to something. Some of it makes sense, including Scavitt growing up on a ranch named Falcon Head, information that Pear had in his notes. How could all the evidence point to this man, and yet he has an airtight alibi? “An evil twin?” jokes Patterson, but she’s not far off.
While Zapata continues to get herself in more and more trouble — her story line this week is being saved by a man hired by Madeline, only to then be told by Del Toro that their deal is off, which means Madeline will definitely want Zapata dead — the team determines that Pear was on the right track. Scavitt has a step-sister who’s also a cop, and who just so happens to have the weird hobby of creating dioramas out of dead animals, a hobby that necessitates surgical-like precision with sharp tools. Little do Jane and Rich know that when they return to Pear’s house to grab a typewriter they think could be a clue about who the Ripper is, said Ripper is already there. Iris, the cop standing guard over the crime scene, is both Scavitt’s step-sister and a fan of mutilating bodies.
Normally, Jane could take Iris down, but her ZIP poisoning strikes in the worst way possible: it makes her blind. She can’t see a thing, and while Rich goes inside the house, Iris kidnaps Jane. She’s had the tattooed Jane Doe as the next on her kill list, and now she’s got her tied up in an old barn of some sort. As Jane fights for her life, the team tracks her to a vineyard owned by Iris’ aunt and uncle. Jane doesn’t need their help, though, as she manages to cut her rope and kill Iris, even though she can’t see a damn thing.
In the process, though, Jane gets stabbed. That sends her to the hospital, where she then has a grand mal seizure. Patterson and Rich have to inform Weller that that’s a really bad sign, and that the ZIP poisoning is getting to her brain and she probably doesn’t have long to live. “So what are we talking here? Weeks, months?” he asks. “No. Days, maybe less,” she replies. As the episode ends, Weller breaks down crying, an outpouring of emotion from a man who’s normally so stoic.