Blindspot recap: The team looks into a shady government conspiracy
There’s nothing like a good old-fashioned politically motivated killing to kick off an episode of Blindspot. At the top of “Ca-Ca-Candidate for Cri-Cri-Crime,” a man named Justin pleads with the assassin holding a gun to his head. He says that he doesn’t have to do this. Of course, not killing the man would make for a very uneventful episode, so the hitman goes ahead and knocks him off. As the man bleeds out, he writes three letters in his own blood: GPA. Three letters that will send the FBI on a wild chase through all of Congress in the hopes of stopping more murders.
After Jane and Violent practice breaking into the CIA black site in order to get Shepherd out, Jane heads home, and once again we’re back to Jane and Weller being super-skeptical of each other. Weller asks her how her run was, and says she should invite him next time. Jane plays coy and says he couldn’t keep up with her, and thus the most boring cat-and-mouse game currently on TV continues to stagnate. Look, some conflict between Jane and Weller is perfectly fine! But it’s starting to drag at this point. Blindspot excels when it’s blowing through storylines at a rapid clip, and that’s not what’s happening here.
Anyway, back at FBI headquarters Reade is in some trouble because he gave his FBI password to Zapata, which allowed her to steal 50 top-secret files. That’s a bit of a no-no when it comes to being the assistant director of the bureau. Now Sabrina Lauren of the CIA, who’s taking over for Keaton while he’s in his medically induced coma, is sitting in for questioning. She wants to know if Reade is compromised in any way, so she sits down in an interrogation room with him while the rest of the team digs into the latest case.
That case is triggered by the letters from the murder that opened the episode. Turns out the man killed was Congressman Justin Trimble, and that GPA was once part of another tattoo case. They never figure out what the GPA in the tattoo stood for, but this murder narrows it down. Patterson and Rich assume it’s pointing to a powerful lobbying group called Growth and Prosperity for America. They do a little more digging and find that the GPA basically owns Congress and the entire U.S. political system. They’ve given money to pretty much everyone, but there’s one person in particular that interests them: Matthew Weitz. The new director’s former role in politics means he’s received more than his fair share of money from GPA over the years, and when he lies about knowing Trimble, the team has to assume he’s hiding something.
Rich tries to defend Weitz, saying that even though the director of the FBI has been a little “Defense of the Dark Arts” lately, Weitz has put himself on the line for the team ever since he came on board. Rich’s tune changes when Weitz cancels all his meetings and secretly takes a car to the home of one of Congressman Davenport, who’s on their list. A quick search of Trimble’s home reveals a hidden USB drive — “Look, one of these breakers is labelled 4.0, like GPA!” says Jane, which made me laugh out loud and cringe at the same time — with an audio file that shows Trimble was being blackmailed. That means any congressman on the list could be next, but there’s no way to know who’s a potential target.
Eventually the team figures out, by combing through a series of legislative memos, that the GPA is steadily trying to strip away sanctions on China, allowing its tech companies to expand into the U.S. Blindspot isn’t all that concerned with what this might mean in practice — there’s a lot of talk about “freedom” and “China will own us” and “our government will be compromised!” but the purpose and threat here remains undefined — but it does mean that Weitz is forced to put every member of Congress into protective custody. It’s too little, too late for Elaine Bell, who’s on her way to blow the whistle on GPA when she’s shot in her driveway.
Bell, who’s in critical condition, gets moved to the hospital, where the GPA hitman tries to finish the job. Jane and Weller are there, though, and they stop the attack just in time. Still, they have no idea what’s been unfolding. It’s Reade and Weitz, who proves his innocence, that eventually get to the bottom of things when they travel back to Davenport’s house. They’re there to put him into protective custody like everyone else — he says he’s at risk of being blackmailed because he had an affair with an underage girl and they have proof — but for some reason they allow him time alone to “lock his office.” It’s such a ridiculous oversight, but necessary in terms of moving the plot along, because it’s Davenport who’s behind all this, and he calls in a hit on the FBI.
Weitz figures that out when he pokes holes in the congressman’s story about the affair — for the record, I feel very icky calling sex with a minor an “affair,” but that’s the show’s term — and that leads to a throwdown in Davenport’s office, where Reade saves Weitz seconds before he’s going to have his head blown off. It’s a rather lackluster end to a pretty boring case. There’s nothing here that feels urgent or threatening, and there’s no context for all the political maneuvering.
In fact, the episode in general is rather dull. Nothing much happens on the Zapata front, other than she blackmails an engineer into taking pictures of some top-secret research so that Madeline Burke can plan to ruin the company she’s competing against for a defense contract. Then there’s the predictable stuff with Reade, who’s put on leave because of his inability to be impartial when it comes to Zapata, but who’s not really put on leave because Weitz needs him to track down Zapata before the CIA kills her. Oh, and there’s Jane and Weller once again coming to an episode-ending confrontation, with Weller once again wanting to know the truth about what she’s hiding. Maybe the next episode will actually move that story forward.