Warning: This story contains major spoilers from Wednesday’s episode of Blindspot. Read at your own risk!
Why has Shepherd been secretly grooming Weller? Wednesday’s episode of Blindspot aimed to answer that but raised a number of new questions.
Shepherd was revealed to be Ellen Briggs, a high ranking military general who took a real interest in Weller’s education. She not only encouraged Weller to stay in his cadet program, but she secretly funded his tuition. Why?
Apparently, Weller is her star player. He was even passed over for a promotion in the FBI as Sandstorm needed to keep him in the New York office for Jane’s arrival. The two came face-to-face in a tense standoff where Shepherd said he’ll have no choice but to join her when the time is right. While it appeared that Shepherd looks at Weller in much the same way she does Roman (Luke Mitchell) and Remi (Jaimie Alexander), there was an, ahem, interesting moment of sexual tension. What’s going on there? EW turned to Hurd to find out:
ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: How nervous is Shepherd that Weller is getting closer and closer to discovering her plan?
MICHELLE HURD: That’s interesting. I never really think of her as nervous. She definitely gets unsettled. She’s a person who has a plan and when things go wrong, she comes unhinged, and she basically wants to right it and get it back on track. She has plans for Kurt and he’s not playing the way she wants him to, so that’s just going to disrupt her master plan, and then she’s going to have to make some changes. Like a good, true, crazy narcissist, I don’t think she thinks anybody could stop her. What happens with her is she just gets really frustrated and unhinged in the way of going, “Don’t you see that I’m doing what’s right? How is it possible that nobody can see that I am doing what is right for the overall good?”
Especially after her kids left her.
Yes. That was rude. Very rude.
Do you think becoming more unhinged will backfire against her?
I am sure that there will definitely be some backfiring. In the episode where I shoot Roman, I gave him an empty gun. I gave him an empty gun. I wasn’t actually having him kill his sister. I wanted to test him and he failed miserably because he tried to shoot me, but I always think of her in a movie kind of way, intense high decision-making moment, sort of the equivalent of Medea. Medea chose to kill her children, once again, for their own good, albeit completely f—ed up, like that is not the way to do things, but in her head Medea felt like, “I cannot in all good consciousness with how much I love my children allow them to go and live in this other kingdom with these other people who I don’t know anything about, and I don’t know what they’ll do to my children,” so in her totally messed up, skewed concept, she was like, “I have to do this to ‘save’ my kids,” and I think in that moment with Roman, she realizes that Jane, or Remi, has really poisoned him. In her head, for the greater good, she has to take him down because things have gotten too out of hand.
Now that the two of them are together — which is also why Shepherd really wants to get Roman back because she knows she needs to separate them — she needs to get him back into the fold. She knows that when those two are together, she doesn’t have as much of a control and grasp on Roman as she does when he’s by himself. The other thing that she doesn’t realize is that he thinks that she erased his memory. If she knew that, it would be a little bit different. She might actually be like, “Just take him out,” because she knows how mad he can get and how psychotic he can be. Shepherd still feels that there’s a possibility to get her son back. She does love him. She loves him. She loves them both, but she really has a special place in her heart for Roman.
Does she hope that she can turn one or both back to her side or is that hope lost in her mind?
I think she hopes that, because I also think that Shepherd has a grandiose concept of herself and once again she feels that she’s doing the greater good. It’s confusing that people don’t understand that she’s trying to right this world. From her perspective, the government has betrayed her, this country has betrayed her. She was trying to help the country, and then her team was taken out you know and that was a betrayal, the ultimate betrayal. From her point of view, the people who are running this world are not running it for the right reasons. There’s always going to be that totally irrational hope that once they drink my Kool-Aid, they will come back to me, that concept of like, “When I enlighten you, you’ll realize that this is the better place to be, pick the right side,” but on that same page when she, if she realizes that someone is not going to drink her Kool-Aid, she’s going to take them out.
When both of her children were given the chance to see what the other side is like, they both turned against her. Do you think she could ever actually turn to the other side?
I know. Someone else asked me that. It’s a tricky one, isn’t it? I was asked if I got my memory completely wiped and then someone reintroduced me into the world with new information, I probably could be turned, which is basically what happened with Jane and Roman. But you have to remember like her entire team, they were wiped out, they were murdered. As any person in the military — maybe not just military, but anybody who has people who work under them and have taken the responsibility of those people’s lives and then they’re just taken out — I mean you can imagine how much that haunts her. She had a responsibility and she basically led her flock to slaughter.
But if they got rid of her memory and then introduced her to new information and then eased into the stuff that she’d done, she might see the faulty ways and she’d see how Roman is kind of struggling and going through trying to figure out how to right himself. If you think about how she talks to Kurt, she’s saying, “We’re both trying to do the same thing. We’re trying to protect the innocent people. We’re trying to enlighten the world to how people in charge in the big house are calling the wrong shots.” She’s committed to her cause, and you’ve got to love a person who’s committed to their cause. She really believes that she’s doing good. She was ultimately betrayed in a very, very aggressive way, an almost unforgiving way, and so in order for her to get over that mountain, it would have to be monumental, although having her kids not on her side right now is a monumental thing, so that is a good tool that somebody could use to coax her.
Ultimately, does she just want to watch the world burn?
Ultimately, I think she wants to make the people that betrayed her suffer and she is trying to figure out the most impactful way to do that. That’s what her goal is, and unfortunately, in broad strokes, when people do things like that, there’s collateral damage. But I also have to say, all of Shepherd’s actions, well so far, she feels the people who had to pay the price are guilty. She doesn’t go to a coffee shop and kill people. She’s just determined to get justice, her justice.
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While watching the episode, I wondered whether Shepherd looks at Weller like a son, but then all of a sudden there was some weird sexual tension there in that kidnapping scene. What’s going on there?
There’s something about that first meeting that you see when she says to him, “Anger and power is a good thing. You just need to know how to harness it and where to put it for it to be most useful.” If you think about what she says and how she adopted Roman and Remi, those two were in the orphanage and because of the training from the soldiers, it was very difficult to get them to be contained, right? They were like, “We don’t have a place that we can put them. We might have to just send them to a sanatorium,” and she was like, “No, no, no, those are mine.” There’s something about unbridled passion, power, strength, and fearlessness that Shepherd loves. I’m not sure it’s sexual. She’s just drawn to it. It’s her drug. Like Weller, he comes into a room and he’s very, “This is what we do, A, B, C,” and there’s something about that that she’s like, “Yes, yes, that’s what I want, that’s what I want all my soldiers to be!”
With Roman and Remi, and when she first started to sponsor and take care of Kurt, she was definitely grooming them, but she felt that they were hers, like her kids. She has huge desires and a huge appetite and compassion, but there’s a little bit of a loose thread somewhere there when it comes to empathy. Betrayal is probably the most powerful thing in her world, that’s just a step that you don’t go over. So I feel like the energy that was happening between Kurt and Shepherd, especially from Shepherd’s point of view, is she’s just covetous, she’s covetous of having somebody who has strength and power and drive. It would be an asset and that’s what she’s looking for, that’s what she saw in Roman, that’s what she saw in Jane, that’s what she sees in Kurt.
It’s funny because Sullivan [Stapleton] and I were joking, he’s like, “Are you my mom?” I was like, “Why am I so old all of a sudden? What just happened? Why am I everybody’s mother?” I feel like it’s just one of those things that she has a master plan and she’s drawn to people who are not necessarily unhinged, but have full strength and enter a room and own the room.
Shepherd says that Weller will have no choice but to join her. What can you tease in that regard? And if Weller is one of the kids, what does that next interaction with all of her children look like?
From where Shepherd’s speaking, she feels that, because she is in the right, the next situation that presents itself in front of Kurt, Jane/Remi, or Roman will be an inevitable situation like, “You have to do this. There’s not even going to be a question. You have to jump on board.” In her head, she really believes that there’s going to be a situation that comes up that there’s nothing they can do but “help her.”
Blindspot airs Wednesdays at 8 p.m. ET on NBC.