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BLINDSPOT “Artful Dodge” Review

By on March 23, 2018

BLINDSPOT — “Artful Dodge” Episode 316 — Pictured: Audrey Esparza as Tasha Zapata — (Photo by: David Giesbrecht/NBC/Warner Bros)







Zapata’s Unlucky Day

Last week on Blindspot, our main focus was the return of Cade, who helped the team out with the tattoo case of the week. At the same time, Roman was busy rescuing Blake from a kidnapping that turned out to have been plotted by her own father, Crawford.

Meanwhile, more and more of Jane’s new tattoos are pointing towards shady projects of the CIA, making Zapata worried about Project Dragonfly being discovered, while the mystery of Avery’s father seemed to deepen as his body was tossed in the river by two men.

Will team begin to suspect that Zapata may not be on their side? Will Roman find himself on the wrong side of Crawford? Will we finally be let in on what Borden is up to? Let’s recap tonight’s episode to find out.

A Broken Patterson

Tonight’s episode, “Artful Dodge” kicks off right away with the Borden storyline, revealing he is alive and well. Along with someone else, he’s currently torturing a man, shocking him over and over while watching a brain scan to make sure the man doesn’t die, but does suffer. As the man screams in pain, Borden tells him that he knows real pain as he shows off scars on his arm.

Meanwhile at headquarters, Reade, Zapata, and Patterson are tasting wedding cakes, and both women call out Reade for his terrible choice of a banana cake. Before they can continue, Jane, Weller, and Rich Dot Com interrupt with information about the tattoo of the dragonfly. In the lab, Rich and Patterson discuss solving the tattoo the week before, but that the message board they found was empty. Until today. Suddenly, a couple of messages between a Dragonfly164 and Atlantic17 appeared before quickly disappearing, clueing the team into looking for more deleted messages.

Patterson is able to find some, and Zapata walks in at this moment. As she realizes what tattoo the team is working on, she thinks back to Nas telling her that she would one day have to reveal the truth, and risk losing her friends. It seems as though this time is now, and Zapata admits that she knows who the two people messaging are – Dragonfly is Borden, and she’s Atlantic.

Turns out, the explosion didn’t kill Borden, and after he did some field medicine on himself, and fled the country, the CIA was able to track him down a year later, and cut him a deal to go undercover to find information on genocide leader Goran Goravich. He reluctantly agreed to the deal, and Zapata was given the job as his handler. However, when she was assigned to the FBI task force, she lost the gig, so had lost tabs on him. Patterson is understandably upset, and tells Zapata that as her best friend, she should have “cared about me more.”

Keaton arrives to brief the team and let them know that Borden’s new handler was killed. They quickly find security footage of Borden dumping the body, and assume he’s turned against the CIA until Zapata points out that he looked directly at the camera – almost as if he wanted to be found. As such, she wants to meet up with Borden, and the team joins. As Borden makes his way towards Zapata, two men with guns try to kill him, but the team is able to take them down, and bring Borden into custody.

Weller and Zapata interrogate Borden, who tells them that he knew he was exposed as a mole, so had stolen a bunch of documents from the terrorist cell that were on a USB drive. He also admits he doesn’t know a lot about the impending attack, but knows it’s going to be big. Most disturbingly, he wants to see Patterson, but thankfully Weller steps up and refuses the request. The team doubts Borden, but after finding a phone on one of the guys from the meet, they learn he was telling the truth.

The only problem is, the USB with the documents was damaged, and Patterson is losing focus with Borden being so close. Thankfully, Rich is there to help, and takes her down to a secret workout room where he jousts with her to let her blow off some steam. It works, and she’s able to put together that the USB wasn’t destroyed, just in code, and she was able to crack it.

With the new information, the team is able to descend on Goran’s bunker, and after Jane and Zapata are able to disarm the many, many bombs he had, Reade and Weller are able to take him into custody.

The episode didn’t just focus on the dragonfly tattoo though, it also gave more information on Roman. He has fully earned Crawford’s trust, and as such, is told about Crawford’s plan to create a utopia where there is no war. As they’re talking, Roman mentions headaches he’s been having, but brushes them aside. When Crawford leaves the room, Roman takes a picture of an invitation to Blake’s upcoming charity gala, and texts it to Jane, along with a cryptic message about this being the moment that Crawford can be taken down. However, his headaches grow stronger, and he passes out in front of Crawford, who rushes him to the hospital, where the two have a heart to heart about their terrible pasts — a moment in which Roman really seems to be connecting with Crawford.

Additionally, Rich is required to sit through a formal review since he was hired by Director Hirst, and as such, his intentions are suspect. The woman reviewing him is not at all sympathetic, and not only adds time to his record, but ultimately pulls his job from him. Learning of his fate, the rest of the team steps up to give letters of support, which keeps him from losing his job for another year. Reade however, is told he’s next to be reviewed, since he too was hired by Hirst.

As the episode comes to a close, Zapata tries to salvage her friendship with Patterson by killing Borden’s deal, and sending him away for life, but Patterson is having none of it. Hoping to drown her sorrows in liquor, Zapata heads to a bar, and is met up by Reade. Her night only gets worse though as she admits her feelings to him, only to watch him storm out.

Moving On

Tonight’s instalment was a quality episode. Finally, the tattoo case of the week held some interest, but mainly because it began to tie together some of the threads of this season. The dragonfly tattoo has been around since the beginning of the season, and it was clear why Keaton and Zapata wanted it kept secret as long as possible. If the team had learned about Zapata’s connection to Borden earlier in the season, she never would have been able to stay on the team. However, even now, just as Nas warned, the truth is hurting Zapata deeply. It seems as though Patterson is completely done with her, and by admitting her feelings to Reade, Zapata seems to have lost him as well.

As always, Rich Dot Com is able to bring humor to the episode, and it was nice to see the whole team supporting him, because as even he said, he’s changed since having this job. While he may still be the sarcastic, sexist, kink that he’s always been, he now cares about people other than himself, which was shown when he helped Patterson get out of her funk.

And finally, there’s the Roman subplot. While we still don’t fully know why he’s going after Crawford, it appears as though he’s finally angled the team to be in a position to capture Crawford. But after Crawford took care of him during his health scare, and literally brought Roman to tears by showing how much he cares, will Roman be able to take him down? Or will he turn on the team? Guess we’ll have to wait until next week to find out. Until then!

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