As Blindspot gets closer to the ultimate showdown between Roman and the FBI, the team will get help from a surprising ally: Bill Nye will appear as himself on the NBC puzzle drama. The twist? The renowned science educator is also portraying the father of FBI forensic scientist Patterson — and EW has the exclusive first look at his debut.
“Bill has been a friend for 10 years now, and when we started to talk about who could possibly play Patterson’s [Ashley Johnson] father, I could think of no better person,” says Blindspot boss Martin Gero, who previously teamed with Nye on Stargate Atlantis. “He was a complete joy to work with. His scenes are some of the best we’ve done this year!”
Debuting in the May 4 episode, Nye joins Patterson in her lab and attempts to help the team after they hit an unexpected roadblock. Off camera, Nye’s time on set turned into one big geekfest — Johnson says she “nerded out” with Nye every day. “I basically just picked his brain about every little thing that I could,” says the actress, who reveals that Gero had been teasing her with the idea of Nye playing her character’s pops since season 2. “I was incredibly nervous to meet him because I’ve been such a huge fan of his, [but] he really was a dream to work with and far exceeded my expectations.”
And yes, the arrival of Patterson’s father does mean that fans will finally get answers about Patterson’s actual name, which, almost three full seasons in, has not yet been revealed. “One of the mysteries on the show is ‘Who the heck is Patterson?'” says Nye. “Her name — and Bill Nye’s relationship to her name — is spelled out.” No word, though, on the number of lab coats in the episode.
Blindspot airs Fridays at 8 p.m. ET on NBC.