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[Warning: This post contains spoilers from Monday’s episode of NBC’s Blindspot.]
How does Blindspot follow up its nicely rated pilot episode? With a second outing that features a good amount of urgent action, just enough exposition for those in the audience still settling in, and even a working theory about who Jane Doe (Jaimie Alexander) might be.
Let’s break down “A Stray Howl,” written by series creator Martin Gero and directed by Mark Pellington, who also helmed the pilot.
Tattoo of the Week
Patterson (Ashley Johnson) uses the first tattoo to decode another one, which leads to a former Air Force officer, Maj. Arthur Gibson (Robert Eli). And then, boom: Gibson’s house is blown up but good. Of course, there’s no body — he uses the explosion to put some distance between himself, Jane and Weller (Sullivan Stapleton).
Gibson’s former commander exposits that he was involved in an incident that involved a lot of civilian casualties, and his PTSD eventually led him to be discharged. Except: He was also promoted and had his security clearance raised.
Turns out he’s part of a super-secret pilot flying armed drones over U.S. territory, and that several “accidental” explosions were in fact drone strikes against foreign nationals. Gibson has cracked, taken control of one of the drones and is taking out everyone involved with the program — which, of course, is based in the same building as the FBI office in Manhattan.
Patterson helps track Gibson to an under-construction high rise in Brooklyn, where Weller and Jane eventually take him out and find the girl he kidnapped — a big thing with Weller — to set his plan in motion.
Memory Flash Theater
A Rorschach test brings back another version of the target-practice memory with Mystery Beardo.
During target practice, she flashes on executing a nun in a church. “What if I was a terrible person before all of this?” she wonders to Weller, who assures her that her first instinct is usually to help, so she must not be all that bad.
Except maybe it’s not a nun? Of course it’s not a nun, unless nuns regularly wear fatigues under their habits and carry flash drives now.
Weller fixates on a scar on the back of Jane’s neck. He gets an unshakable feeling that Jane is in fact Taylor Shaw, a childhood friend of his who disappeared 25 years earlier. Jane’s scar is similar to one Taylor got playing with him as a kid.
And oh, by the way? Weller’s estranged father, who, per his sister (Jordana Spiro), is dying of lung cancer, was accused of abducting and killing Taylor. He wasn’t convicted of it, but it destroyed the family, and Kurt hasn’t seen his dad in ages.
The why of it all is still the million-dollar question. No one she’s encountered thus far seems to know Jane, except for …
Beardo (The 100‘s Johnny Whitworth, officially credited as “Ruggedly Handsome Man”) is watching outside the site where Gibson takes out his fellow drone pilot. Jane spies him, but he melts away in the chaos after the explosion. They meet again in the final scene, when he sneaks up behind Jane while she’s alone in her poorly furnished safe house. Cliffhanger!
In both the series premiere and “A Stray Howl,” Gero has done a nice job of having characters express skepticism at the outlandish premise of the show. Here, Ramirez (Rob Brown) wonders — not at all unreasonably — about the efficacy of just going where the tattoos point them and believes their confrontation with Gibson provoked him to act.
Mayfair (Marianne Jean-Baptiste), meanwhile, challenges Weller about his Taylor Shaw theory. She has her own reasons for being wary of Jane — remember the redacted case file about her tattooed on Jane’s body in the pilot? — but again, she’s not wrong to point out the big pile of coincidences.
What do you think of Blindspot so far? Does “A Stray Howl” make you want to commit for the season?
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