Blindspot recap: Air Force One is under attack
You know that when an episode begins with a single long shot that surveys a ton of explosives being hooked up inside a building that some serious stuff is about to go down on Blindspot. There’s C4 everywhere as “Though This Be Madness, Yet There Is Method In’t” begins, as Madeline prepares for her plane attack. She’s hired some guys to rig up the building where Zapata and Boston — a.k.a. the Fake Del Toro — will be doing the hacking. Once they’re done, she plans to blow the whole thing to the ground, leaving no trace of her dirty deeds. She’s truly one of the most sinister villains this show has seen.
Boston and Zapata are escorted into the building, and find out they have three hours to hack a jumbo liner that’s already in the air. Boston doesn’t think he can get it done because the plane is owned by Bradley Dynamics, a defense contractor with incredible security, but when he sees the room Madeline has set up for him, complete with all sorts of super-techy stuff, he can’t help but marvel at it. Zapata knows Madeline will be tracking their every move, so Boston has to hack the plane for real but stop just short of doing any actual damage.
While Jane and Weller decide they’ve earned a little getaway to a cabin in the woods — spoiler alert: that won’t last long — Reade, Patterson, and Rich are getting worried about Zapata and Boston. They’re stuck between a rock and a hard place, needing to check in and make sure that they’re okay but not wanting to blow their cover. So, they come up with a different plan and set up a meeting with Madeline. It’s under the guise of bringing back the files she willingly handed over to the FBI at the beginning of the season, but what they really want is the Sniffer that Boston planted in her office. It’s a plan that works, but it doesn’t come without its consequences. Madeline is suspicious. Then she’s confronted with a bombshell: The real Del Toro walks into her office and tells her everything about Zapata not showing up for their meeting.
Madeline has to pivot. She tells Del Toro to get to work hacking the plane, and that she’ll deal with Zapata and Boston. She needs to find out if Zapata, someone she trusted, simply lied to cover up a mistake or if she’s still working for law enforcement. “Either way she’s a liar. I need to know which kind,” she says. Back at the FBI headquarters, Reade brings in Garret Young, the head of security for Bradley Dynamics, for questioning. He shows him a number of memos detailing the failed tests of their new security system (known as ARVO) and more memos ordering employees to cover it all up. Young is perplexed, saying that the ARVO system passed with flying colors and he has all the tests and memos to prove it. That means Madeline fabricated the files, planning to leak them after the plane crashed to ruin Bradley Dynamics.
That’s when Young reveals something shocking. The contract wasn’t for a number of jumbo airliners. It was for one specific plane: Air Force One. That’s right, Madeline is targeting the plane typically meant for the President of the United States. It’s in the air right now, on the way to its inaugural flight. The president isn’t on board, but a lot of his staff are. There’s also one other twist here: Weitz is on the plane too. He’s being fired by the assistant to the president, who insists that his reckless behavior led to a couple dead congressmen and too much public backlash about corruption in the administration. (Recap continues on next page)
When Boston runs into a block in the system he’s hacking, he realizes Madeline is seemingly working against them. They’ve been found out, which means they need to escape as soon as possible. Zapata tries to fight off the guy guarding their door, but he gets on top of her and starts choking her out. That’s when Boston steps in with a steel chair shot to the back. “So I watch professional wrestling,” he says. “You try being on house arrest. Plus, it’s like gay Fantasia.”
With Weller and Jane back at FBI headquarters, they set about trying to get a hold of anyone on Air Force One. Eventually they get through to Weitz, who manages to convince the woman firing him that Air Force One is indeed under attack. They get into the cockpit and confirm that the pilots have no control over the plane. They try to reboot the system, but Del Toro is one step ahead. He cuts off the air pressure to the cabin, rendering everyone unconscious. The only way the team can save them now is by finding out how Del Toro is hacking into the system and stop him.
Rich figures out that he’s using a server as a backdoor into the system, and he shuts it down. That should be cause for celebration, but there’s a problem. Zapata and Boston actually track down Del Toro and take him out — Zapata literally shoots one guy and then throws her gun like a ninja star at another, and it’s amazing — and Boston is now using the server to get the plane back on track, away from its collision course with downtown D.C. Zapata hands Boston a phone, and tells him to get out of the building and call the team. She’ll stay behind and push the button to finish the job. It’s an emotional scene. “If something happens, tell Reade…” she says before trailing off. “I will,” replies Boston.
He frantically calls Rich and tells him to turn the server back on. The connection to the plane is restored, the passengers and Weitz wake back up, and everything is fine. Then, the building blows. Madeline’s plan hasn’t worked, but she can still destroy the evidence and Zapata. Boston is blown back, still on the phone. “I’m sorry,” he says to the team before seeing Zapata emerge from the dust, alive and well. “I told you, how hard could it be to push one key?” Rich hugs it out with Reade. “Here’s to the people we care about still being alive!”
For his role in thwarting the attack, Boston’s house arrest is lifted. Weitz is also given his job back. Firing the guy who just saved Air Force One wouldn’t look so great on the administration. There are still some puzzles to figure out, though. First, the team needs to find Madeline and figure out what she’s really after now that her plans have changed. Secondly, Jane receives a package from Shepherd’s estate lawyer, and it contains a literal puzzle, a drawing of jumbled images. As Zapata is attacked in Zurich trying to retrieve the files that would expose Madeline, it’s clear that this season is very far from over. There are still quite a few mysteries out there.