Blindspot boss dissects tragic Phase 2 reveal
Warning: This story contains major spoilers from Wednesday’s episode of Blindspot. Read at your own risk.
Sandstorm’s Phase 2 (supposedly) came to fruition during Wednesday’s episode of Blindspot — and a lot of lives were lost.
During Wednesday’s episode, Shepherd (Michelle Hurd) muscled her way into the FBI, planting bombs and taking over Patterson’s lab in order to blow up seven federal buildings. The team was able to prevent all but two being destroyed, but Shepherd got away, taking Roman (Luke Mitchell) with her.
In the wake of the incident, which claimed the life of Pellington and critically wounded Zapata, Weller was sent into protective custody — exactly where Shepherd wants him as her ultimate goal unfurls. See, Weller and many of the people connected to the tattoo cases over the last two seasons are all part of the COGS — Continuity of Government Sub-Committee — needed in Shepherd’s endgame, a group of leaders placed in a bunker who will take over should the government fall. EW turned to executive producer Martin Gero to get the scoop on the upcoming finale.
ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: We know Shepherd seems to feel victorious after this supposed failure. What can you tease of the next step of Phase 2 in the finale?
MARTIN GERO: It’s pretty clear from the final moments of the show that Shepherd has put into place a replacement government and that replacement government is kind of useless if there’s a real government around still. So she’s got a lot of nuclear material. I’d be real nervous.
Was Shepherd’s plan always to get Weller in that bunker?
Weller and a lot of other people, yes.
She’s gathered this group, but are they technically on her side or is she counting on them just not being corrupt?
It picks right up in the next episode, so a lot of the questions that you’re asking will be answered in a week’s time, so it’ll be easier for me to talk about then. But yes, she’s smart enough to know that she can’t place all of her people on the inside, so she needs people that she believes are moral and true and incorruptible, which is what she feels like is wrong with the current government.
There are people who we don’t recognize in that bunker. Could they be working for her?
They could be. Watch next week.
What’s going through Weller’s mind as he puts the pieces together about the COGS?
I think he’s terrified because he realizes suddenly — and we talk about this at the beginning of the next episode — every case that he did that was on Jane’s body resulted in someone in the government getting fired and then someone else getting that job. He’s starting to realize that the three-dimensional chess game that Shepherd was playing is far more complicated than he thought, that suddenly all of these tattoos had a purpose, and they’re all in this room right now. There’s a couple we actually recognize because we had direct dealings with them, but you realize that every case, somebody got fired because of what we did, and then someone would move into their position, so he’s terrified. First and foremost, he’s real nervous because he knows what he just experienced wasn’t Phase 2, that Phase 2 is not over yet.
Once Phase 2 actually happens, what does that mean for Jane’s usefulness to the FBI? Are there still other tattoos on her body to be solved?
You’ll have to keep watching. You’re asking some finale questions. [Laughs]
Talk about Roman’s decision to side with Shepherd. Is he fully with her or is there a part of him that’s torn?
I think he’s torn. Oddly enough, for a homicidal maniac, Roman is probably the most sympathetic character this year, because, like Jane last year, his destiny has not been his own. He’s had a terrible childhood, raised by a monster, and then had his memory erased by ostensibly the only person that he loved or that loved him. He’s furious at Jane and is remembering why she erased his memory, which is even worse. I think Shepherd’s plea to him late in this episode, where she was like, “I would never try to control you; everything I’ve done has been because I love you,” in a f—ed up way, he believes that and knows that to be true. So he went with the person who didn’t erase his memory and hasn’t been lying to him non-stop, but it’s a rough decision.
Roman now remembers his past, but he has these memories that he created with Jane, so could there be a part of him that sided with Shepherd in order to stop her plan?
I wouldn’t count on that. It’s like Jane and Oscar last year, but in a different way, where she had been building this amazing relationship with Oscar until she realized that he had been lying to her the whole time, so all the good that Jane did in the time where they were trying to repair his memory was undone by the fundamental lie she told. Everything filtered through that lens can seem like a manipulation even though we know it’s genuine. So it’s really turned his head around in a hard way for him. He’s pretty angry at Jane. I don’t believe he’s undercover.
Can you tease the ultimate showdown between Roman and Shepherd vs. Jane?
Real satisfying. It’s a huge episode. It’s truly one of the biggest episodes that we’ve ever done — plot and emotion-wise, as well as scope. It takes place all over. We definitely see a Shepherd/Jane standoff and a Shepherd/Roman standoff — Weller gets a moment. It’s a very, very satisfying finale, not only for just this season but for the past two seasons of set up. It’s all payoff, the next episode is all payoff. I think everyone will be very, very happy on all counts. The finale is out of this world. One of the coolest things about the finale has been planted since the first episode. There was an image in the first episode that we always knew was going to play a huge role in the last episode, so diligent fans will piece that all together.
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Why did Pellington have to die?
Well, it’s Blindspot and people die on Blindspot. We’ve been working toward the invasion on the FBI for about a year and a half now. One of our writers had that idea for a teaser where we walk into a warehouse and suddenly realize this is an exact reproduction of our offices and what that would mean. We love that image and had that in our back pocket. Then, as this season came together, we realized it would be a great penultimate episode. When you’re doing an episode like that where we’re going to kill some people — Parker was killed as well — so we needed a tit for tat. It needed to have weight and cost and feel like this was Phase 2. A character has to die for that kind of weight, in our opinion. We had talked about trying to introduce some newer characters toward the back half of the season. If you’re killing somebody that you don’t know, it doesn’t have weight, so we kept trying to introduce characters where, “Well, if we get to know them, this would be a great red shirt to die for episode 21,” but that never really materialized for a lot of reasons. It became clear to us that Pellington was the one that made the most sense and to try to give him the most heroic exit as possible. Also, for what we’re doing in 22, the emotional arc of 22, we needed somebody that was not Pellington to show up and speak on behalf of the FBI, and that’ll be Mary Stuart Masterson.
What can you say about the character she’s playing?
She’s going to come in as Pellington’s interim replacement. She gets there and immediately tries to get a handle on the situation, but everyone’s thinking they’ve averted Phase 2 at the beginning of the episode. So she has a real heart-to-heart with Jane in a very sympathetic way, which she’s never received from the FBI, that allows her to consider, what is her life going to look like if Shepherd and Roman are taken off the board? which is a real important existential question for Jane to process. If I’m not needed to be this map of tattoos, who am I and where do I want to be? which is great for the finale.
What can you tease of your finale cliffhanger?
It’s our best yet. The final cliffhanger has been something we’ve been talking about for a very long time. The last five or ten minutes of the episode are going to be both incredibly satisfying and I hope incredibly mysterious. All you want for a cliffhanger to do is have the audience go, “Oh no! I have to wait a few months before I know.” You want this reaction: “Ohhhhhh noooooo!” It does that, I think.
Blindspot‘s season finale airs Wednesday at 8 p.m. ET on NBC.