8:00pm PT by Amber Dowling
'Blindspot' Boss on Jane's "Bond" With Oscar, Potential Love Triangle and Expanding the Universe
[Warning: This story contains spoilers from Blindspot's midseason premiere, "Cease Forcing Enemy."]
Following its winter hiatus, NBC's Blindspot returned Monday with a spring premiere that picked up seconds after the end of the November finale, in which Jane (Jaimie Alexander) finally learned that she was the one behind erasing her own memory.
After a quick spat with the mysterious Oscar (Francois Arnaud) and some avoidance at therapy, it was back to business for Jane and the team as they dealt with a terrorist group that was holding passengers from a missing plane hostage. Meanwhile back at headquarters, Patterson (Ashley Johnson) was in the hot seat over David (Joe Dinicol)'s death, and Mayfair (Marianne Jean-Baptiste) learned that a new character (John Hodgman) was gunning for her job.
With a potential love triangle between Oscar, Jane and Weller (Sullivan Stapleton) up in the air, Carter (Michael Gaston)'s death looming over them all and an anticipated returning guest star already booked for episode 18, THR caught up with showrunner Martin Gero to find out what's coming up on the tattoo-driven series. Here he chats about pacing the big reveals, the Taylor Shaw admission and Jane's controversial wardrobe choices.
How much of a thread will Oscar revealing new information be for the back half of the season?
He’s pretty integral. He’s a new addition to the cast of our show. He’s her point person between the organization she created and herself now. They very clearly have a history, emotionally, on top of all that. He’s the means to what Jane and the audience discover about this organization and what their plan is.
Is that the structural back of the back half — tidbits or mini-reveals in each episode?
What people really liked about our first 10 episodes is we don’t really space stuff out. So he’s in almost every episode of the last 13 in various capacities. They’re going to lock some hours together, those two, that’s for sure.
What does confirming that she’s Taylor Shaw mean for her going forward?
It gives her some firm footing with Weller, definitely. She’s in such a state of flux. Finding anything that can be real and true — any sort of grip point for her to start orienting herself — is incredibly useful. I think it means a lot to her.
As Jane learns more about herself, will her personality start to come out in some of her wardrobe choices?
It will evolve, I guess. She’s still a pretty utilitarian person; she’s not thinking about that kind of stuff, so what she chooses to wear is a direct correlation to that. That being said, she’s got a pretty dope leather jacket coming. She does mix it up a little bit. She’s got some cool outfits for sure in the back half.
Is it safe to assume a love triangle is on the table?
There’s never too much going on for a love triangle. It’s certainly very confusing for Jane; she and Weller finally admitted what they were both feeling, and then finding out that she did this to herself and that she doesn’t really understand how Kurt is involved complicates that. She obviously is going to take a giant step back and reassess. With Oscar, she has a past. One of the reasons she and Weller were so connected, on top of their great chemistry, is that he in many ways was the only real tactile link to her past. That’s a powerful thing for someone who doesn’t remember who they are. But then Oscar comes along and has so much more of the puzzle, and she can’t help but be drawn to him. Obviously not romantically at first, but it’s pretty intoxicating to find out all that information that Oscar has. He’s a gatekeeper to everything. So there can’t help but be a bond that starts to form between the two of them.
Is Oscar working alone, or are there more people involved on that side?
Oh no, Oscar is not working alone. He’s part of a bigger organization.
What kind of role does Dr. Borden play in the back half?
Jane was a great character in the first 10 episodes, but in many ways she had no secrets. And so it was kind of a character that was relatively straight ahead. She was experiencing this world as the audience was. Suddenly, she’s got things that she’s going to start keeping from those who are closest to her, including Borden. He’s going to start figuring it out. He notices before anyone else that she’s holding back, because in many ways she’s most vulnerable around him.
Now that Patterson has proved she can do anything — even land a plane — is she out of the hot seat?
The character Jonas, played expertly by John Hodgman, is gunning for Mayfair’s job, and so he’ll be back a couple of times just to try to take any mistake or missteps that he sees as an opportunity to drive Mayfair out of office. She’s not out of it yet.
Is Jonas kind of like the new Carter in that sense?
No, he’s not as dangerous as Carter. He’s an FBI agent, and he’s more of a political shaker, whereas Carter was an old-fashioned regime changer.
Does Mayfair fighting for her job make her less rule-abiding?
She’s got a really fascinating arc this season, so it’s a difficult one to talk about because it’s so entrenched with Jane’s story and the mythology that I don’t want to give anything away.
With David gone and Patterson in the hot seat, are there plans to introduce anyone else who can actually decode the tattoos?
Patterson, of course, is a leader of a very big team that we never see, so that’s part of it. But in the back half of the season Zapata (Audrey Esparza) solves a tattoo…. Well, I don’t want to give it away, but other people start to solve tattoos.
Is Zapata’s gambling backstory done with Carter’s death?
She’s not out of the woods yet. She’s got a great arc coming up; other people know about the mistakes she made with Carter. Just because he’s dead doesn’t mean she gets to be totally clean of those transgressions.
Are you exploring the spark between her and Reade (Rob Brown)?
Those two are such great friends and have an amazing chemistry together. I don’t see anything romantically in the cards for them right away, but I love Reade and Zapata scenes, and we certainly have a lot of them coming. Overall, what is exciting about the direction the show is taking is that it’s becoming more of an ensemble show. Obviously Jane and Weller are front and center along with the mystery of who Jane is, but the characters have grown and expanded enough and are likeable enough that we can have a big Zapata story or a big Patterson story or a big Reade story. They can occupy a lot more space than they could in the early episodes just because we didn’t know them very well. The show starts to feel a lot wider in a really great way.
We know that Rich Dotcom (Ennis Esmer) is returning. What can you tease?
His first episode was a really important episode for us. It was an experiment for us in tone, whether we could do an episode that was a little funnier and a little lighter. I think it was incredibly successful. So yeah, Rich Dotcom is back, we find him in prison and he’s got some information that he thinks they’d find interesting. So we go on another Rich Dotcom adventure. We’re just seeing the dailies right now, but it’s going to be an amazing episode.
Could you see him becoming one of those recurring characters that pops in whenever the characters need some information?
It would be great to have him show up a couple of times a year and kind of take over the show every now and then. Just selfishly I’ve never had more fun writing a character. How he interacts with the team is really great. He does great things for the show, so yeah, absolutely. He’s back in episode 18, and there’s a window open for him to come back in season two.
Blindspot airs Mondays at 10 p.m. on NBC.
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