At the end of last week’s episode, Jane went blind due to the ZIP poisoning that’s killing her, and I didn’t make a single “Blindspot” joke. At the start of this week episode’s she’s still blind, and she’s really not doing well, so I still don’t think I’ll make a “Blindspot” joke. Jane is frustrated and angry, and the rest of the team can tell she doesn’t have long to live. Rich and Patterson have come to the hospital to let Weller and Jane know that they do have one last lead. In Roman’s data cache they found the name of a billionaire, Ken Li, who apparently has his own personal stash of medical paraphernalia. You see, he’s a hypochondriac, so he just so happens to have some of those Stanton cells that Jane so desperately needs.
Patterson and Rich meet with Li and attempt to convince him to donate the cells so that Jane can live. The heartfelt plea doesn’t work at all. So, Patterson improvises on the spot. She asks him if he knows about the Book of Secrets, the one filled with all sorts of ancient medical cures that Rich has spent years looking for. Li has, because of course he has. “It’s real, and we have it,” says Patterson, offering to give it to Li in exchange for the cells. He agrees, and they have 48 hours to deliver on their promise. There’s just one problem: they definitely don’t have the Book of Secrets.
Luckily, Rich and Patterson are in their element when they’re solving elaborate mysteries, and “The Tale of the Book of Secrets” turns into a wonderful bit of The Da Vinci Code-esque intrigue. It’s an episode that mostly sidelines other stories — there’s the furthering of the Madeline story that I’ll touch on later, but not much else — and that means we get lots of time with this season’s best pairing. Seriously, I’d watch a spin-off that’s just Rich and Patterson solving twisty crimes in, like, the swampy heat of Miami.
Anyway, while Reade enlists Boston to go undercover as Del Toro for Zapata’s meeting with Madeline, Rich and Patterson reexamine the research on the Book of Secrets. Rich has the possible location narrowed down to a few countries, but he doesn’t have much else. Then Patterson notices a pattern in one of the images he’s gathered. That image matches up with another in Roman’s cache, though Roman’s image has slight differences and a grid over the top of it. When they shade in the squares that show the differences, they find another pattern that they run through a database. That database matches the pattern to the doors of the Cusco Cathedral in Peru (don’t even ask me how a computer can do that), and the specific pattern seems to point to a corner of the building where the book could be hidden. It’s a long shot, but Reade sends them packing to Peru because it’s the last hope they have to save Jane.
Once at the cathedral, they find another image on one of the bricks. This one shows snakes entangled with each other. They snap a picture and send it to the FBI for analysis, and the database finds a nearby bed and breakfast that boasts a mural with the same image. Rich is disappointed that the clues haven’t led them to somewhere cool like an ancient cave or a haunted house, but he’s still down to check out the B&B. It’s a good thing they do, because they learn it was once the home of Alejandro Mendoza, one of the explorers Rich researched who was also perhaps looking for the Book of Secrets.
Pretending to be on their honeymoon, they secure a room that happened to be Mendoza’s old office. In a wonderful twist of fate, his daughter has just recently moved a lot of his old books into the room, meaning there’s all sorts of material for Rich and Patterson to secretly go through. As it turns out, they don’t need it. Rich notices a weather station on the wall with a mosaic that matches their pattern. When Patterson punches in the numbers on the weather gauges, she gets coordinates for a lookout point. Once at the lookout point they find a rock that looks similar to the weather station, and it’s engraved with 0s and 1s. They’re clues from Roman. They go back to Roman’s cache to examine the one file Patterson couldn’t crack labeled “Full Circle.” They find a clue, and Jane helps them out with the password. It has to do with the coin her and Roman use to share as kids in order to comfort each other.
Inside the folder is a map that Roman could never crack. What Roman never had, though, was access to Alejandro’s notes. Rich and Patterson go digging and they find a map of Machu Picchu that matches up. They head to the Incan citadel and wander to the two points on the map and then meet in the middle, which brings them to a sacrificial altar. Rich literally digs this time, and lo and behold they find the Book of Secrets. As Patterson predicted, it’s filled with largely ridiculous holistic medicine practices, but it’s still incredibly valuable.
It’s especially valuable to Li, who decides to forgo their agreed-upon deal and fly to Peru so that he can ambush Patterson and Rich in Alejandro’s room and take the book for himself. Little does he know that Weller, in his attempt to do anything to keep Jane alive, tries to call Li to negotiate with him. When his secretary says he’s stepped out for the day, that sets off alarms, with him being a hypochondriac and all. The FBI tracks his cell phone and sends in the Peruvian police. The thought of spending any time in a barbaric Peruvian jail cell forces Li to give up the Stanton cells in exchange for a cozy house arrest.
Moments later, it’s all over. Rich and Patterson are back at the hospital and Jane’s surgery is a success. She’s on the mend and finally getting back to her old self. Just in time too, as Zapata and Boston are in trouble. Their plan to digitally monitor the flight Madeline will be choosing to crash goes awry when she changes the location on them, forcing Zapata and Boston to hack the plane on the fly. She wants it done immediately, and that means the FBI won’t have long to figure out where they are if they want to stop Madeline from continuing Crawford’s terrorist legacy.
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