I need to admit something: I’m bored of watching Blindspot.
It’s too thin to be so complicated. It’s too complicated to be so boring. It’s too boring to spend an hour each week sifting through and discarding 30 minutes of plotline to decode the season’s progress. And, halfway through the season, what I’ve decoded is that there has been very little progress. Sure, there are some theories about who Jane is and where she came from. True, we’ve decrypted a handful of tattoos and seen some bad guys bite it. Yes, we’ve even been introduced to Patterson’s boyfriend and Zapata’s gambling problem, but what have we actually learned? Mostly that Sullivan Stapleton (Kurt Weller) has a mediocre American accent, Jaimie Alexander’s hairstylist is very talented, Alexander (Jane Doe) herself is quite good at martial arts and wearing V-neck tees, and Ashley Johnson (Patterson) has been tasked with providing what little lighthearted relief exists between Jane and Weller’s vapid heart-to-hearts.
It’s as if producers Greg Berlanti, Martin Gero, and their room of writers are stalling because the dog ate their storyboards, or they’re afraid they might run out of tattoos to decode. I can’t imagine either is true; I’m just trying to think of plausible excuses for the paradoxical fast and slow pacing that they’ve shoehorned into each tedious episode of Blindspot. Do they know who Jane Doe is?
And, as though they or we might forget to ask, the now-rhetorical questions are repeated each episode: “Who is Jane Doe? And why would they tattoo her entire body?” This week, we are no closer to finding out. But, without further ado, onto what we do know:
Jane has a sex dream about a man with a tree tattoo. It’s awkward enough to presume it’s about Weller, but — as we discover at the episode’s conclusion — there’s actually a guy with the same tattoo keeping tabs on Jane without her knowledge. Is he Beardo’s colleague, a lover from her previous life, or both, perhaps? Maybe he’ll challenge Weller to a joust for Jane? Maybe Jane will tell them both to go screw themselves, grab a six-pack, and discover how much better the first season of Homeland is than Blindspot?
Either way, Jane’s FBI therapist suggests she may need to define some boundaries with her work husband. Simultaneously, Mayfair suggests that Weller is not objective enough to maintain his position as lead investigator on Jane’s case (obviously). I think we’re supposed to be sensing increasing sexual tension between Jane and Weller, but it’s still awkward enough to feel like a Tinder date between unwitting second cousins.
Beyond the office romance, this week’s action is centered on a dark web app created by a 17-year-old hacker chick named Ana. She’s stereotypically outfitted in a punk-goth getup, complete with dark eyeliner and berry-colored lipstick that stays smudge-defyingly put even after a group of Russian thugs tie a rag across her painted pout and drag her through a lot full of semi trucks filled with guns and explosives. Of course, there’s more to the story line than this, but all we need to retain is that Ana is a highly skilled young woman forging her misanthropic identity in a very lonely world. Jane recognizes Ana’s pain, relates, and reaches out to her in an attempt to connect to a seemingly kindred spirit. In return, Ana provides another clue to unlocking her tattoos. (See “Tattoo Meanings” below.)
In other news, Zapata pays off her gambling debt with the dirty money from creepy CIA director Tom Carter. Ever-suspicious Reade can sense something is off. Mayfair still refuses to budge on the Daylight/Saul Guerrero case file, so Patterson takes it up with Weller. Weller furrows his bushy, Australian eyebrows with uncertainty. And back home, Weller’s sister is determined to make him accept their cancer-fighting father back into his life. Begrudgingly, Weller tells him about Taylor’s supposed resurfacing.
- A small, sketchy owl with red eyes on Jane’s leg corresponds to the nocturnal mascot of a dark web app called Trakzer, which is used to track the confidential routes of government cars ferrying high-profile clients and officials.
- Hacker girl Ana points out that the black square covering Jane’s Navy SEAL tattoo is actually steganography, or a concealment within the concealment. When the layers of the black block are isolated, they form a series of burst patterns whose meaning is not yet known. But this revelation presents the possibility that every tattoo may have a double or a triple meaning. (Just in case another five dozen episodes of Blindspot are ordered.)
- Has anyone else noticed that almost every case starts with an address in Brooklyn? Someone in the writer’s room has love for the far reaches of our fair borough. Throop Street in Bed-Stuy got a shout out this week.
- The Weekly Patterson Update: Patterson has a pretty adorable back-and-forth about coding with hacker chick. I laughed out loud. Bespectacled Beau FaceTimes Patterson is at the office to update her that he’s cleaned her apartment and alphabetized her board games. (Patterson had already alphabetized them according to the games’ creators. Obvi.) BF has too much time on his hands. Is he out of work? Is he going to get a job at the FBI? We can only hope.
- This week’s episode title, “Cede Your Soul,” is an anagram of “cloud our eyes,” completing last week’s anagram phrase “will the past.”