Peter Kramer/NBC
November 02, 2018 at 09:00 PM EDT

Last week’s episode of Blindspot is one of the best in the entire series’ run. It was fun and action-packed and super smart when it comes to storytelling. It was everything this show can be: a great ensemble drama, a captivating procedural, and a high-stakes action thriller. In some ways, “Sous-Vide” looks to replicate the feel and success of that episode. It’s also fairly self-contained, with last week’s subway attack traded out for a chemical attack on the FBI. It also features Rich and Patterson is significant roles. So it’s with absolutely no pleasure that I have to say this week’s episode is not only nowhere near the quality of “The Quantico Affair,” it’s a downright annoying and ridiculous episode.

Things begin in Amsterdam, where Zapata is sprinting down the street while a man chases her. She steps into an alley and manages to evade him. Later, we learn this was all part of an operation gone wrong. She was supposed to steal some files for Madeline Burke, but “complications” arose. Burke’s apparently sick of Zapata’s ineffectiveness—wasn’t she just over the moon with her performance?—because she brings in somebody else to do the hard work. Burke puts Zapata on the sidelines and promotes newbie Claudia, who immediately gets to their next task: getting information about Reade so they can torture him and get him to give up FBI information.

That’s a subplot that’s really only a small part of this week’s episode. Zapata eventually convinces Burke to instead break into Reade’s apartment, where he has a direct line into the FBI network. Claudia has no choice but to go along with the plan, though she’s clearly upset that she doesn’t get to torture anybody. At least not yet. When Zapata and Claudia break into Reade’s apartment, they can’t get into his laptop because of a lockdown security protocol that prevents all digital and physical access to the FBI files. That means Claudia’s “enhanced interrogation” plan is back in play, so they lie in wait.

The reason Reade’s computer is bricked is because the FBI is in full lockdown mode. It all starts when Rich solves another one of the clues from the Tokyo cache. The clues leads him to a recipe, which then leads him to discover a Caesar Shift, which is basically a method of encryption. From that cipher he gets an address for an abandoned psychiatric hospital—”how bad does an asylum have to be to get shut down in the fifties?” asks Rich—and Jane, Weller, and Reade put on their gear and go exploring. “Don’t split up, or dare each other to spend the night!” quips Rich, who might legitimately be worried that the place is haunted.

When they arrive, they find a new door installed in a wall covered in old graffiti, then somebody from the inside who’s watching them on a security camera starts firing through the walls. The team fires back, killing the man inside. They unlock the door and step inside, and nobody is prepared for what they find: a bunch of creepy horror movie-type dolls. Their beady black eyes stare soullessly at Weller, Jane, and Reade. “What did we just find?” asks Weller. (Recap continues on next page)

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