Blindspot recap: A serial bomber accuses the FBI of framing an innocent woman
The FBI team has been through a lot this season on Blindspot. On a personal level, they’ve never struggled more, with Weller having to deal with the return of Remi and Jane’s potential death by poisoning, and Reade having to acknowledge that Zapata was in some murky moral waters working for the CIA. Zapata’s proven that she’s still one of the good guys, but that doesn’t mean the FBI director is welcoming her back into the fold with open arms. When she returns to the office after her failed rogue trip to steal Madeline’s files, Reade chews her out for going out there alone. He doesn’t fully trust her, and he feels betrayed, so he’s using his authority to chastise her.
The team currently has no lead on Madeline, and the puzzle Shepherd left for Jane is no closer to being solved. Jane notices a strange pattern in part of the puzzle Patterson’s working to decode, but that’s about it. There’s no time for that anyway, as the team gets news that New York has been hit with a trio of bombings. Gathering the data, they notice that the three locations hit are the same as in a bombing case from two years prior. Those bombings were enacted by Lilly Terrace, who’s still in prison, so this must be a copycat. But why? What’s the motivation for bombing the exact same places?
They don’t have to wonder about motivations for too long. The bomber calls the FBI tip line and leaves a message saying he knows someone in the FBI framed Lilly two years ago, and he’s going to keep setting off bombs until that person comes clean. The episode then flashes back two years. It’s a narrative trick the show has used from time to time, but here it feels a little wonky. It makes the whole case feel convoluted and overstuffed, all for the sake of getting a bit of insight into what the team was doing in the time Jane was missing.
Two years ago, Weller is on the hunt for Jane, thinking he’s found her in Russia, and Zapata is itching to get into the field at the FBI, where Reade has her sitting in a lab. Digging into the bombing case, they can’t find any connection between the three victims. It all seems so random. That is, until Rich Dot Com is brought in from prison. He tells Weller and Reade that he knows the connection: They had all recently signed up for a grocery delivery service called Swift Shop. Weller thinks Rich is playing them, but Rich lays it all out. Not allowed near any of the computers, he tells Stuart (RIP) to go check out Swift Shop’s reviews. There are a ton of negative ones, and Rich has noticed that they share similar syntactic qualities. Using a computer in the prison library, which he isn’t supposed to do, he determined that the reviews all came from Lilly Terrace, a woman with a family-run grocery store that’s going under because of the new service.
The team brings Lilly in, and things start to go off the rails. Her mother is dying in a hospital bed, and Zapata uses that against her, saying that if she skips the whole lawyer business, she can just sign a confession and still be there to see her mother die, rather than being behind bars when she goes. It’s real close to a coerced confession, but the team seems mostly okay with it. Still, they need some sort of evidence to back it all up. That’s when some evidence drops right on their doorstep. (Recap continues on next page)
Part of the evidence from the bombings is a severely burned and dismantled doorbell camera. Stuart has no idea what he’s looking at, but Rich insists “they’re the future.” He says he can rebuild the camera and maybe get some video from it. Stuart and Patterson do everything they can to find another way to get evidence, still not trusting Rich at this time, but they eventually cave. Sure enough, he finds footage, and Stuart combs through it and sees Lilly dropping off a package at the house that was bombed.
The only problem? She’s not there at the right time. Her delivery is from two days before the bombing. Somebody has to take the fall though, so Weitz, who’s in a congressional race at this time, pressures Stuart into changing the timestamp on the video. He’s the one the copycat bomber is referring to, and just as he’s about to tell the team, in the present day, that he was the one who did it, they come up with a lead. They list Lilly’s father, Albert, as a suspect, and determine that he’s hiding out in a cabin in the woods, with a lot of chemicals on hand. “It says he’s teaching high school chemistry,” Rich says. “Anyone else getting a Walter White vibe?”
The team is ready to roll out and take down Albert, but Weitz changes that plan. Instead, he orders a DOD drone strike that blows the whole place up. Jane and Weller are pissed off about the decision, saying it’s wrong to use drones like that, but Weitz is clearly looking out for himself. Weller and Jane seem to know this too. His scorched-earth approach makes them suspicious, and they assume he must have been the one who doctored the video. Weller confronts him with that fact after a press conference where Weitz lies about how Albert was killed, but Weitz isn’t intimidated. He reminds Weller that there’s a lot of people who don’t know about Jane and her terrorist past, blackmailing him into staying quiet.
Weitz may not be able to keep this quiet for long, though, because it turns out they messed up again and didn’t catch the guy who knows about Weitz’s doctored video. That call is from Madeline’s buddy Dominic Masters, the one who helped expose Zapata’s undercover operation. He knows what Weitz did, and he promises that this isn’t over. At the same time, Patterson figures out the pattern in Shepherd’s puzzle. It corresponds to a 3D-printing code, which prints out a key. “I don’t know what it’s for, though,” she says. “I know exactly what this key unlocks,” says Jane, leaving us with yet another cliffhanger in a season full of them.