I’m always surprised when a show is sneakily sentimental, and Blindspot is firmly in that category. Not sure what I expected from this show, but it certainly wasn’t a heap of feelings, and that what I was left with after tonight’s and last week’s episodes, as Jane and Kurt emote all over the place and I scream at my TV that I thought this was going to be a procedural. I feel like I got played, and maybe in a good way.
What this does, though, is sort of split the focus (pun intended) to the point that just five episodes in, I care less about the Feeb aspect of Jane’s tattoos and more about the emotional fallout from Kurt’s realization of Jane’s identity, and her calling him out that his searching looks at her as she pieces together and he conjectures her missing 25 years are not at all helpful to her mental state.
Tonight, that came to a head a bit as they ended up putting hands to heart on each other to make the point that they are each other’s touchstone. He reaches out to her first, at work, to calm her down — and Reade interrupts and she bolts. Later, she puts his hand on her own heart and tells him he’s her starting over point. And then it’s his turn to bolt. Seriously, I did not expect this, but I’m in.
Where it’s a detraction, and distraction, is that on the other side of the house, the show is building a case that Jane’s tattoos are in the business of whistleblowing. “Bone May Rot” went after two wayward CDC scientists who decided to pre-emptively Darwin the planet with a rogue, and lethal virus. (12 Monkeys, anyone?)
In “Split the Law,” they stumble on a CIA black site in the basement of a municipal building, which forces Mayfair’s hand when they suggest an exchange of their prisoner for 24 hours with Jane, and Mayfair shuts them down. Patterson has an inkling that Mayfair knows more than she’s saying but they seem to have agreed not to discuss it.
Kurt brings Jane home for a dinner that goes wrong fast when his nephew asks her where she was for so long. That sets off flashbacks that would seem to point to some sort of terrifying and sad child trafficking. Kurt’s sister takes Taylor’s return as a sign it’s OK to bring dear old dad (Jay O. Sanders) into the picture, which causes Kurt to do a U-turn at his front door and walk back out.
At work, there was a fakeout that Reade, who’s still not warm and fuzzy about Jane, might throw in with the CIA, but it’s actually Zapata who does, for cash, which is not terribly shocking when we found out last week she’s got a gambling problem that’s stacked up into the tens of thousands in debt.
So, the procedural stuff is legit, and solid, but I’m genuinely more invested now in the personal aspect of the story. Like I said after Episode 3, I’m conflicted about the romantic overtures. Kurt and Taylor were children when they last knew each other, and if, in the intervening years, Kurt put more on that relationship in hindsight and romanticized it and idealized her, it gets tricky to now sexualize her as an adult. I know. I need to turn my brain off and just watch the damn show. I’m working on that.
However, I would love to know if all that tension is in the scripts or Sullivan and Alexander are just awful people instigating my feelings with their chemistry. Sidebar: I had zero interest in Strike Back in first run. Now I’m going to need to go find episodes of it. Dammit.
In case you missed it, Melissa interviewed Blindspot creator Martin Gero, complete with Canadian casting scoop!
Photo courtesy of NBC