These are the best things about Blindspot, listed in no particular order:
- Ashley Johnson's portrayal of Patterson as a badass nerd.
- Jaimie Alexander's portrayal of Jane as an earnest daredevil.
- The puzzles.
Just wanted to clear that up before diving into "Any Wounded Thief" — and nod to my hopes for next week's episode in which all these things will, fingers crossed, figure in more heavily.
"Any Wounded Thief" revolves around a plotline that connects chemical weapons, North Korea, and a crooked group of traders exporting the former to the latter. Essentially, a shadowy corporation has been stockpiling and transporting chemical weapons to nations like China, North Korea, and Japan. And though this story is the one that drives the episode forward, it's also quite thin and temporal. Like many of Blindspot's diversionary cases, this one works to prop up and reinforce long-term details: Jane is incredibly apt at disarming bad guys; Weller will always need Jane's partnership; and Zapata is somehow involved in an underground Korean poker scene.
The most important plot points don't garner the majority of the episode's minutes, but even in small doses, they're pretty juicy. This week, the most titillating dredges up Patterson's grief with posthumous messages sent from her dead boyfriend, David. First, she gets a call from their favorite dinner joint, Bacchus (a real restaurant in Brooklyn's Boerum Hill neighborhood), confirming a reservation he made for their anniversary before he died. Then, a crossword puzzle he created for the Times is published. The FBI shrink suggests she keep the reservation and attend dinner to celebrate her memories. And so, Patterson follows through with some bourbon and David's final puzzle. After a bit of goading from his apparition, she solves the crossword and realizes he's left another clue to the puzzle of Jane's tattoos. Cue Patterson locking and loading a gun next episode. This foray into magic realism skews goofy, but Ashley Johnson's ability to play sincere vulnerability is consistent with her lovable character, and is therefore forgiven. And let's not forget, Patterson is the FBI's greatest asset. Without her, tattoos would not be translated and cases would not be solved. It bears reminding that she constantly pushes Mayfair to consider the Jane puzzle within a larger context. In this episode, she requests a bigger team to figure out who might have had insider knowledge on the cases solved thus far. Mayfair, somehow caught up in the mess behind the scenes, seems hesitant. Perhaps she has played a larger part than we already know?
(Sidenote: Blindspot collaborated with the Times to release the same crossword that Patterson solves in Monday's paper. If anyone decodes it for some leads, let us know in the comments. Though I work with words for a living, crosswords are Greek to me. Shameful, I know.)
Meanwhile, Reade is still struggling with his decision to break up with Sarah, who has finally made a stand and moved out of Weller's place. In turn, Weller goes on the offensive and spars with Reade so aggressively in the boxing room that Reade drops his fists with frustration, walking out and ignoring Weller for the remainder of the episode. Didn't Weller want the relationship to end? Is he so shortsighted that he assumed neither Sarah nor Reade would lash out after he put an end to their happiness? (Yes and yes.) Regardless, Mayfair sees through Reade, and lets him know she's onto his act of pretending to trust Jane.
The flirtation between Weller and Ali continues, even though Jane will always be between them emotionally. And though I want to root for Ali, I find her grating. I can appreciate that she and Jane have not yet been pitted against one another directly (I have a creeping feeling that this will change soon), but her character has been written as the stereotypical "guys' girl" who can't be bothered to learn how to cook or clean because it's cute when guys' girls can't cook or clean. She seems a prop created to cause tension, and nothing more. We never see Ali in action; we have zero context for her outside of her interactions with Weller. She exists solely as a counterpart to Weller's attraction to Jane. On the surface, Ali is a great match for Weller, though it's unclear what she derives from him outside of tipsy sex and hot-cold flirtation. Either way, she wants it to work, and he wants to sabotage it. Whatever may be brewing between them won't last.
But guys, there's something else. Are you ready?
Jane has sex.
If TV world were real, I suspect she'd still be having sex at this very moment. Sure, it's with a guy she doesn't trust who wants to take down the very organization she believes in most. And sure, she's wearing the sentimental necklace Weller gave to her for her "Taylor" birthday while she's doing it. But who cares? Jane is getting hers.
- A square and diamond design corresponds to a logo on an armored truck that is hijacked and robbed of its chemical weapons.
- This week's title anagram translates to "find what you need."
- Zapata's hair has been well-styled of late. Lots of volume there.
- Wouldn't Jane and Weller need to be in the hospital after getting hit with a toxic chemical that shuts down the body's organs within a minute?
- Weller looks weird in workout clothes.
- The necklace Weller gives Jane looks like something from Catbird, not a heirloom from 30 years ago.
- Were Dr. Borden and Patterson flirting? Based on that "just between friends" comment, something might develop between them.