Was there a time warp last night, or did Blindspot dump two hours of semi-coherent information into one? The nuances of the time and space continuum are a bit murky, so I’m going to go with the “too much information” option.
Remember tree-tattoo guy from Jane’s sex dream? “Sent on Tour” opens on him — six months earlier— leaving a big silver trunk underneath some floorboards and saying, “The right people will find it.” Fast-forward to Weller’s team, which has followed the trail of Jane’s tattoos to Michigan, pulling up the floorboards to discover said trunk filled with water, guns, and a map. “It’s our way out,” says Jane (Jaimie Alexander).
The team has arrived to the Wolverine state on a lead from her steganography tattoo (see “Tattoo Meanings,” below). They’ve been warned that the municipality they’re entering has a reputation for gun-toting, authority-defying citizens, like something out of a postapocalyptic libertarian war zone. (I’ve lived in Michigan, so I know that detail isn’t total fiction.) Upon arrival, they find Saul Guerrero (Lou Diamond Phillips), the FBI’s No. 2 most-wanted criminal, quietly gardening his raised beds. If you remember, Bethany Mayfair (Marianne Jean-Baptiste) has been deflecting Patterson’s attempts to decode the connection between Saul Guerrero’s case-file number and the same number on Jane’s body. Coincidentally, Weller (Sullivan Stapleton) grills Mayfair about this very case file prior to leaving for Michigan. Guerrero, it turns out, was a longtime FBI informant who went dark a couple years ago.
Apparently, Guerrero has enlisted the little wolverine community as his own personal defense militia, which is how Weller’s team ends up running through the woods shooting Michiganders and discovering an oil derrick containing the trunk of guns. Oh, wait, back up. They actually find the derrick because it’s tattooed on Jane’s upper back. It just happens to be peeking out of her shirt as the mirror images peeks out behind a grove of trees. Even the show’s characters are bewildered by the coincidence. Of course, they have no other leads (they’re only the FBI, after all), so they follow Jane’s body like a literal map.
At some point, Jane pulls down her pants so Reade (Rob Brown) can match a topography map to a tattoo on her calf. The quippy, caustic Guerrero groans and says, “I was wondering when those tattoos would lead to the treasure.” It’d be nice to think that Blindspot and its writers are savvy enough to reflect on their use of Jane’s body as a canvas with some sort of larger, self-aware commentary, but I don’t have a ton of trust or confidence in such shallow writing to see that as an eventuality.
Finally, Weller’s team escapes that dark corner of the Midwest with Guerrero in tow. How? In a helicopter, of course. The map on Jane’s calf was leading them to it the whole time. Also, side note: Jane knows how to fly a helicopter.
Back in New York, Weller insists that Mayfair (who was supposedly Guerrero’s handler) interrogate Guerrero. It soon becomes clear that he does not recognize her, and Mayfair is forced to admit she does not know him. Weller wants the truth.
“The truth,” Mayfair says, “is called Daylight.”
Beneath the main plotline, Patterson (Ashley Johnson) is figuring things out with her very cute boyfriend, David. Like a less creepy James Franco, the smiley David insists on helping her decode another of Jane’s tattoos on the sly (see “Tattoo Meanings,” below). Wary, sweet Patterson considers locking him down as they canoodle over a coded message in the Brooklyn Historical Society. Mayfair catches them, and Patterson puts the breaks on their relationship. Is David as sweet and unassuming as he seems, or is he part of a larger plotline to infiltrate the FBI?
The anagram of this week’s episode “Sent on Tour” is “Trust no one,” after all.
- Episode six closed on the revelation that Jane’s black-square tattoo has a double meaning. Patterson realizes the pattern that emerged was reminiscent of a Petoskey stone, Michigan’s state rock. One of the stone shapes matches the silhouette of Alpena County and holds the number for an unincorporated community in Draclan Township.
- The three towers on Jane’s neck lead them to a set of oil derricks in Draclan, where Jane discovers the silver trunk that sex-dream guy left under the floorboards.
- “Kurt” is the key to unlocking the silver trunk. Because, of course, it’s sitting under the image of the tower on Jane’s neck.
- A topography map in Draclan’s ranger station corresponds to a map on Jane’s calf, which leads them to a helicopter.
- Patterson’s boyfriend connects an archway tattoo to the Brooklyn Historical Society. Roman numerals above the archway correspond to an ISBN number, which leads them to a book someone is using as a communication device. Suddenly, I understand my love for Patterson. She’s a modern-day Hermione Granger.
- Despite the weekly tangle of details, Blindspot is pretty good at leaving a consistent trail of breadcrumbs. However, this episode is bereft of several of the show’s main plot points. Jane has no flashbacks. There is little personal interaction between Weller and Jane. There is no further development as to whether Jane is Taylor Shaw. Furthermore, sex-dream guy is probably lying in wait for Jane to arrive home from Michigan. And somewhere, Weller’s dad is either in therapy or commanding a secret SEAL operation in a basement full of children.
- This episode felt like a scavenger hunt, which even Guerrero mentions at one point. But unlike a scavenger hunt, the clues haven’t led to a conclusion. Between Zapata’s gambling problem, Mayfair’s relationship with the CIA, Jane’s identity crisis, and a dozen other loose ends, Blindspot has opened so many plotlines, it’s impossible to keep track of which ones matter most.
- Lou Diamond Phillips deserves better dialogue. Instead of scary, his character comes off as squirrelly and annoying.
- Jane can fly a helicopter but is afraid of flying. This seems an invented point so Weller can comfort her as she trembles on the ride home.