Blindspot Recap: A Literal Crossroads


Cease Forcing Enemy
Season 1 Episode 11
Editor’s Rating *****
Blindspot - Season 1
Jaimie Alexander as Jane Doe. Photo: NBC

Welcome to Blindspot season one, Side B. Let’s do a quick State of the Union.

At the end of the mid-season finale, Jane, the FBI’s official tattooed-lady freakshow, was saved by Tree Tattoo — a.k.a. her flashback fiancé, a.k.a. Oscar. He kills creepy Carter and reveals a video of old Jane, who explains to new Jane that she orchestrated this whole complicated mess for herself. The only other thing you need to remember is that, prior to being kidnapped and waterboarded, she shared a chaste kiss with Weller. Yawn.

Onto the main event. We get a few behind-the-scenes snippets of Jane’s body sleeve, rendered surgical with tight, precise shots of a tattoo gun, ink pots, and hospital equipment, all while Beardo (R.I.P.) and Tree Tattoo look on. And, then — blamo! — we’re back where we left Jane and Oscar in some subterranean CIA den. As she beats Oscar into submission (the waterboarding having lent her the perfect smudgy-eye makeup), he explains that she should trust him, distrust the FBI, shrug her detail, and rendezvous later so he can reveal more. Clearly, I — err, Jane — remembers him from her sex dream, and finds a piece of herself wanting to believe him. Thank you for foiling any future sloppy Weller kisses, Tree Tattoo.

The next day, Weller wants to talk about their kiss. The staff psychologist, Dr. Borden, wants to talk about her everything. Jane stonewalls them on both counts, and, of course, there’s always a new case to distract everyone from the lame, fake sexual tension with boring-pants Weller. This time, it’s led by a series of numbers on Jane’s upper thigh, which the grieving Patterson (R.I.P. David) has decoded as coordinates that lead the FBI to a chain of islands in the Black Sea.

And so begins a conflation of headlines lifted from a decade of the 24-hour news cycle.

Cut to Weller’s team off the coast of Turkey, happening upon a missing Asian airplane, on an uninhabited island, in a hanger ruled by a band of pirates. It’s a complicated scheme, but the pirates have essentially stolen the plane in order to launch a rocket that will disable the U.S. military’s satellites, crippling America’s ability to identify a coming attack. There’s an overly long escape scene that includes a cattle prod, a narrowly thwarted beheading, a MacGyver’d Morse code, and Jane and Weller climbing aboard the highjacked plane as it takes off, rocket in tow.

Meanwhile, the newly introduced chief inspector Jonas Fisher questions Patterson about the fallen David’s involvement in classified FBI matters. An insecure, aging government hipster in a three-piece suit, Fisher attempts to suspend Patterson, whom he sees as a pawn in his plan to hijack Mayfair’s job. As usual, Patterson proves herself invaluable by decoding Zapata’s Morse message, hacking into the plane’s loudspeaker system, and helping Jane land the stolen aircraft safely. Fisher lays off for the moment, but promises — like a perfect villain — to be back for Mayfair soon.

When she gets back to the FBI office, Jane — looking not even a bit jetlagged — asks Mayfair to call off her detail. (She agrees, though I’m not sure it’s a real agreement.) Weller then corners her, asking for a late-night meeting at a park near his place. Walking around Brooklyn, Jane comes to a painfully literal crossroads and decides to stay faithful to her meeting with Oscar, leaving Weller to brood along by the East River.

Finally, though without hard evidence, it’s revealed that Jane is indeed Taylor Shaw. And if she wants to learn more, she’ll have to blindly follow the plan Oscar claims she constructed for herself.

Tattoo Meanings:

  • A series of numbers on one of Jane’s upper thighs is pi, with a few missing numbers. Those absent digits are longitude and latitude coordinates, which pinpoint a series of islands in the Black Sea.


  • Thanks, Reddit nerds. The anagram of this episode’s title, “Cease Forcing Enemy” is “In Case of Emergency.” Remember, this is the first phrase in a series of sentences made up by each episode’s anagram.
  • I should have realized that, with the killing of Creepy Carter, Zapata was off the hook.
  • When Patterson was with Jane and Weller in the plane, I could have sworn she said she had the Air Force on the line. But she ended up knowing how to land the plane herself, so whatevs.
  • Patterson does not appreciate being questioned on her math skills. This was a cute bit of writing for the show’s cutest — and smartest — character.
  • Speaking of writing, it’s gotten better. Or maybe I still have Stockholm Syndrome from November. The dialogue can still be painfully obvious — such as any time Weller and Jane interact — but overall, it’s quicker, catchier, and even a little bit funny.

Blindspot Recap: A Literal Crossroads