Blindspot recap: Jane reckons with her trauma, with the help of an old friend
At the very beginning of “The One Where Jane Visits an Old Friend” — an homage to episode titles from Friends, by any chance? and if so, why? — we get a little more information on what Madeline’s been up to since the FBI thwarted her plan to crash Air Force One and therefore obtain her own military contract for HCI Global. Basically, Madeline and Dominic have been tying up loose ends and creating advantages where they can. They’ve got Weitz blackmailed for when they need him, and they’ve killed a lot of the people involved with the plane plot. Still, there’s work to be done and more loose ends to tie up, and when the cartel comes to town, Madeline sees an opportunity arise.
It all begins when Zapata heads back to Madeline’s office to search for any clues. She’s convinced Madeline left something behind. Reade isn’t so sure, but when Zapata finds a safe hidden beneath the floor tiles, he’s excited that they could finally have a line on her whereabouts. Unfortunately, the safe is empty. As if that wasn’t disappointment enough, when the two get up off the floor they’re shot at by someone from another building across the way. Automatic gunfire blasts through the windows, and the two FBI agents narrowly escape.
Security footage shows that Alfonso Cortez, a man associated with the cartel Madeline used in her plane scheme, is the man responsible for the attack. Not only that, he seems to be going on a spree killing anyone associated with Madeline and HCI Global. The FBI brings Boston in not only for help, but because he could be in danger. That leads to them catching Cortez and detaining him, but they don’t have any clear evidence that he’s been doing the killings. Then, while he’s still in custody, three more HCI Global executives end up dead. The team realizes what’s going on: Cortez got the ball rolling, but Madeline saw this as an opportunity. With the cartel after her, she can go after her own people, killing them under the cover of an attack from the cartel. “So she got lemons and made super-bloody lemonade,” says Rich, which is a pretty apt diagnosis.
While the team searches for a way to track down Madeline, the episode’s best plot unfolds. Jane has been struggling ever since walking into the room full of memories from Shepherd’s hideout. She’s been struggling to move past what Remi did, spending days in bed, unable to muster the strength to go to work. She’s frozen, and she doesn’t know what to do. Weller suggests she see a therapist. It’s a good idea, but it doesn’t go so well. Jane is looking for someone who can understand her situation, but as Weller points out, there’s hardly a therapist who has dealt with an amnesiac woman covered in glowing tattoos who solves crimes and was also once a terrorist. So Jane sees a few therapists, ranging from compassionate but ill-equipped to seriously incompetent.
The experience leaves her frustrated and hopeless. There’s no one out there who could possibly know her, Remi, and this situation in a way that would help her. Then she remembers one person: Borden. Visiting him would obviously be controversial — he came very, very close to murdering Patterson — but it’s her only hope. She visits him in prison, and while it initially looks as though he’s not going to help her, when she goes to leave he hits her with a massive realization: He points out that she’s always distinguishing between Jane and Remi as if they’re separate people. He says that’s an invention preventing her from reckoning with who she really is, creating a schism that refuses to let her move on with her life. (Recap continues on next page)
Jane balks at the idea at first, but only because deep down she knows it’s the truth. She’s Remi and Alice and Jane all in one. Sure, she’s changed, but that doesn’t mean she got rid of another person. She simply evolved, and admitting all that is necessary for her progress. Now, look, this is a solid subplot for the episode, a complement to the unfolding FBI case against Madeline. It’s emotionally intuitive, and the use of Borden is well done. It’s the best part of the episode, but I also can’t ignore that this Remi stuff just keeps happening. This is the third time this season Jane has had to come to terms with Remi being a part of her, which kind of takes some of the effect out of the scene where she reacts to Borden’s accusation. Plus, Jane seemingly just accepts this advice and then jumps back into the field as the FBI goes after Madeline. So it’s a psychologically interesting bit of business, but it’s also kind of clumsy and familiar. That might just be Blindspot in a nutshell, though!
Anyway, the FBI eventually tracks Madeline through her private pilot, J.B. He agrees to give up her location for a mere $10 million; I laughed heartily when he requested it be put in his Bitcoin account. He shows up at the headquarters, gets his money, and says he’s flying Madeline out of the country at a certain airport. The team sets up shop on the tarmac in order to nab her, but they forget that trusting criminals is a bad idea. J.B. has lied to them, leading them away from Madeline’s true extraction point, the rooftop of a hospital via medevac chopper.
The team rushes to the hospital, and the climax of the episode is truly thrilling. The best part is Jane using an MRI machine as a magnet for the bad guys’ guns, and then beating them down on her own. To cap it all off, it’s Zapata who gets to arrest Madeline and bring her in to the FBI. It looks like the FBI finally has a big win on its hands… until Jane is attacked by Dominic, injected with something, and dragged away as the episode cuts to black.