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BLINDSPOT “Hot Burning Flames” Review

By on January 13, 2018

BLINDSPOT — “Hot Burning Flames” Episode 309 — Pictured: Sullivan Stapleton as Kurt Weller — (Photo by: Barbara Nitke/NBC/Warner Bros)






Secrets and Betrayals


We’ve had a long holiday season to ponder that last typical, agonizing Blindspot cliffhanger – not only had Weller met Jane’s daughter in Berlin, but had killed her. Clearly there’s more to the story, but we were left to wonder what it could be.

Additionally, Roman’s story came a little more into focus as it was revealed he had been using Blake to get to her father, Crawford, who was the puppet master of Director Hirst – and who Roman very much wanted to take down. And speaking of taking down Director Hirst, the team was finally able to do so even though Hirst was able to arrest them one by one.

But, it all comes back to Jane, so let’s recap tonight’s episode to see how she deals with the latest news she’s been given.

Death Defying Jumps

Tonight’s episode, “Hot Burning Flames” takes a while to get to the Jeller drama, and instead opens with an introduction to what will be the tattoo case of the week as a masked man records himself breaking into a building. He spray-paints a symbol on a restricted door, but when he’s about to walk in, his counterpart knocks him out, cutting the video feed.

At headquarters, Reade asks if anyone has been able to get a hold of Weller or Jane. No one has, so Patterson starts briefing Reade and Zapata that she’s found a connection between all of the tattoo cases. Turns out, that connection is none other than Hank Crawford.

Roman meanwhile, is in Marrakesh, and meets up with a man named Victor (Dark Matter’s Anthony Lemke!!) who has no interest in Roman, regardless of his new job status with Crawford. Roman manages to talk his way into Victor’s good graces however, and is invited to stay and help with a job.

Reade is getting nervous that no one can reach Weller and Jane, and sends a team to check up on them, while he, Patterson, and Zapata focus on the tattoo which is the same symbol as the one the man spray-painted on the door in the episode’s opening. Patterson puts the clues together to find a URL of the livestream. She’s able to then track where the video was uploaded, and Reade and Zapata head out. They’re not the first ones to arrive to what turns out to be a secret government nuclear storage facility, and the agency on scene, Department of Energy, has already bungled the investigation. After simple observations, Reade and Zapata discover that two of the nuclear warheads have been stolen, and suddenly the clock is ticking.

BLINDSPOT — “Hot Burning Flames” Episode 309 — Pictured: (l-r) Ashley Johnson as Patterson, Chad Donella as Jake Keaton, Sullivan Stapleton as Kurt Weller, Rob Brown as Edgar Reade, Audrey Esparza as Tasha Zapata — (Photo by: Barbara Nitke/NBC/Warner Bros)

We then flash back to nine hours prior when Weller admits to killing Jane’s daughter. In a very tense back and forth between Berlin and the current conversation, we find out that Weller met Avery in Berlin, and the two quickly get a lead on Jane, as she was seen talking to a man named Max. Jane confirms Max is a gangster she talked to about getting passports to leave the country. Avery knew where Max frequented, so she and Weller spent time getting to know each other while waiting for Max.

When Max made an appearance, Weller made Avery promise to stay put, while he went after Max. Unfortunately, it seemed as though he was walking into a trap, and when he fired a round at a shadow behind a curtain, the person turned out to be Avery. With Avery dead, and Max and his associates descending on Weller, Weller ran. Jane tells him she thinks he should have stayed with Avery, even if that meant his death, but either way, couldn’t believe he didn’t tell her about Avery. Unable to look at him anymore, she walks away.

The team meanwhile, working with Dave from the DOE, tracks down the inside leak, Adam Taylor. They bring him in for questioning, and find out he broke into the warehouse because his son had been kidnapped.

CIA Agent Keaton arrives at headquarters to talk to Reade about Crawford – apparently there’s even more to Crawford than we know – but the two disagree on how to handle it. Reade wants to take Crawford down now, while Keaton wants to play the long game. However, there are missing nukes to take care of, so Keaton helps out, and identifies the woman in the livestream video as Lana Stepulov, the sister of Anton Stepulov who tried to blow up the city a few episodes ago.

Unfortunately, the only way to track Lana’s whereabouts is to arm the nukes, so the team has Adam call Lana so they can try to track the call. With a solid location, the team splits up, with Reade and Weller in one car, and Zapata and Jane in the other, giving Jeller the opportunity to talk about what happened, shocking both Reade and Zapata.

The team finds the house where Adam’s son is being held, and Jane rushes in, ultimately getting a shotgun blast to her back (she’s wearing her vest, so is fine) but Lana and the nukes aren’t there. Rather, she’s watching surveillance feeds, and now knows the Feds are on to her.

Lana then calls Reade at headquarters, asking for her brother to be released from custody, and American troops to be pulled out of Turkey. Only one problem however – Keaton tells the team that Anton is dead.

As such, they decide to fake the release of Anton, but Lana already knows her brother is dead, so detonates one of the nukes over the South Pacific to show she means business, and wants those troops out of Turkey, or she’ll detonate the other nuke over New York.

BLINDSPOT — Pictured: Anthony Lemke as Victor — (Photo by: Barbara Nitke/NBC)

Patterson is able to determine where Lana is based on the location of a cargo plane capable of dropping a bomb, and getting outside the blast radius, so the team moves in. Weller jumps into the plane, and after Lana drops the bomb, and arms it using a remote on her vest, Weller shoots her, causing her to fall out. Weller straps on a parachute, and jumps after Lana’s body, catches up to her, and disarms the bomb, once again saving New York.

Back in Marrakesh, after a buy done by Victor goes wrong, Roman tries to elude the angry sellers, but is caught, and the package stolen. Frustrated, but never beaten, Roman tracks down the sellers, regains the package, and learns it was Victor who hired them. When Roman confronts Victor, he learns how important the package was to Crawford, and knows he’s proved himself.

The episode ends with Weller once again trying to apologize to Jane, begging her not to leave, but she does, explaining she’ll never see her daughter’s face, but will always picture Weller killing her.

But maybe Jane will see her daughter’s face, because the episode takes us back to Germany where in a security surveillance feed, we see a girl jumping over a fence, and the gangster Max, yelling at people to find her. They eventually catch her, and it turns out to be a very much alive Avery.

Trouble in Paradise

Overall, this was a solid episode that was made infinitely better by Weller’s death defying jump out of the plane to deactivate the nuke plummeting towards New York City. I mean, even Jane who is pissed at the man, smirked a little when Weller prevailed.

Once again however, I just can’t get into the episodes that focus so much on the tattoo of the week, especially when there are so many other interesting things happening with the team that we’re only getting in short bursts.

For example, Keaton’s focus on Crawford. He wants Reade to play the long game to take out Crawford. Is this is style? As in, is he playing the long game to take out Jane? Jane is the one that “got away” for Keaton, and when she reappeared, Keaton made sure to place his asset, Zapata back on the team. Remember in the first episode this season, Zapata was worried about a dragonfly tattoo that was found on Jane. Since Roman put it there, and Roman knew about how dirty Hirst was, did he also plan to expose whatever Keaton and Zapata are up to? How are they connected to Crawford, who as the team found out, is tied in some way to all the tattoos?

And then of course there’s the Jeller storyline. I am really not a fan of the secret daughter coming in to break them up (another favorite show of mine did this, and it was terrible), but I’m hoping that Blindspot is able to wrap this thread up quickly, because quite frankly, I’d much rather be learning more about whatever it is Roman is up to.

And finally, can Anthony Lemke be in more episodes this season? Please? Also, I feel like idiot Dave from the DOE and Rich Dotcom deserve a scene together. Until next week!

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