BLINDSPOT Recap: Home Grown Terror Plots in “Name Not One Man”

By Pauline Perenack

When we last left Blindspot, the team had reluctantly brought Roman into the field to try to draw out Shepherd. The mission ended up being a failure, and left even more questions about whether or not Roman could become a better person.

The episode also highlighted the collapse of the personal lives of almost every team member. Reade was sleeping with his friend’s ex-girlfriend, Patterson was broken from not seeing Borden for who he really is, and Nas broke up with Weller, who found out that Allie is moving to Colorado with his unborn child.

However, the episode ended with Weller remembering Shepherd from his past at the military academy. Will this memory bring the team closer to capturing her?

Let’s recap this week’s episode to find out.

Introducing Ellen Briggs

Tonight’s episode, “Name Not One Man” illustrates just how Shepherd came to be in Weller’s life, and does so by kicking things off in 1996, when Weller was at the military academy. Turns out, he was constantly getting into trouble for trying to sneak out to check on his sister, who was in the care of their father. While waiting to be escorted back to his dorms after being caught yet again, Weller is approached by Shepherd who coaches him to control his anger, and channel it towards something meaningful.

In present day, Weller, Jane, and Nas visit the academy to try to get some more information on Shepherd. Turns out her name is Ellen Briggs, and she was in the military, and would visit the academy regularly to talk about her work. She also took a liking to Weller, and paid for his schooling when Weller’s father couldn’t pay the bills.

Back at headquarters, Patterson briefs the team on the information about Shepherd she had been able to gather from heavily redacted files. One name that came up was Sean Clark, with whom Shepherd worked for years. Today however, he was in an assisted living facility after suffering a stroke. The team decides to visit Clark when it’s discovered the same shell corporation that funded Weller’s schooling was paying for the assisted living facility.

Weller, Jane, and Nas meet with Clark, but learn his stroke caused severe brain damage, resulting in Clark only able to remember some MLB facts. While dealing with Clark, the rest of the team heads out into the field to follow a solved tattoo, which appears to point towards a domestic terror threat. Reade and Zapata, who are still awkward around each other, head out to the farm of Jared Wisnewski, and stumble upon a stockpile of weapons and the materials needed to make explosive devices. Unable to find Wisnewski, they return to headquarters, only to be alerted that the man himself is entering the building. The team rushes to his location and arrest him, only to find out he’s an informant for the FBI.

The team discovers Wisnewski is part of an off-the-books program run by FBI Agent Boyd, which has infiltrated a group of farmers who are angry the government is going to take their land to build an oil pipeline. The goal of the program is to try to prevent any kind of radicalized attack. Weller wants the program shut down immediately, but realizes doing so could allow an already planned attack to happen.

Taking over the program, Weller gets Wisnewski to set up a meeting with the other leaders of the group. However, the meeting doesn’t go as planned when one farmer, Tess, feels like something is off. She ends up shooting Wisnewski, and after eluding Weller, gets away.

Angry about how everything went down, Weller fires Agent Boyd, and moves on to figuring out Tess’ next move. Since the team managed to capture one of the farmers, they interrogate him, and get him to admit that Tess is planning to attack the Bureau of Land Management. With that lead, the team swarms the building, but there is no bomb inside. Patterson alerts Weller that a truck is speeding towards the building, and he goes outside to investigate. Sure enough, it’s Tess, and the truck is full of explosives. Weller shoots out the tires, and is able to convince Tess to give up her detonator, saving everyone in the area.

With the threat out of the way, Weller talks to Patterson about shutting down her wiretapping program, because they can’t compromise themselves to find Borden. She reluctantly agrees, but only if Weller will listen to one phone call she found. It’s a call from a year ago between Clark and Mayfair, who are discussing a possible promotion for Weller which would take him to DC. They agree however, that Weller needs to stay in New York.

After thinking back to the gibberish MLB stories Clark was talking about earlier, Weller realizes Clark was actually talking about this promotion that never happened, and decides to pay Clark another visit. Clark tells Weller that he needs to stay in New York, because he’s the face of the franchise – it’s the Truman Protocol. When Weller notices Clark is nervous talking in the open, he suggests going back to Clark’s room, but when they arrive, Shepherd is there to knock Weller unconscious.

Weller wakes up tied to a chair with Shepherd sitting in front of him. He watches as she kills Clark, and tells Weller that he will end up helping Sandstorm with their plan.

The Truman Protocol

Tonight’s episode was really strong because it finally allowed the character of Weller to grow. No longer is he subject to whatever romantic relationship he’s currently involved in – rather, he’s now forced to question his entire past, since his whole education, which brought him to the FBI, was funded by the very person he’s trying to hunt down and capture. With that in the back of his head, he’s suddenly second guessing himself, and wondering if he should do things the right way and follow the rules, or bend those rules to get him closer to the end goal. Before tonight, he would have been totally ok with Patterson using Omaha, and listening to wiretaps, but now that he’s forced to look at his career with a new set of eyes, he shut her down, forcing her to work overtime to keep up with the ever ticking countdown.

We’re also seeing the slow downfall of both Patterson and Reade. Both are trying to run from their problems, and both are going down a dark path to do so. Patterson is throwing herself so much into work to forget the tragedies of her personal life that she physically collapses. Reade however, is falling into the world of drugs to take his mind off the abuse he suffered as a child. Both characters seem to be running towards a terrible end, and invariably it’s going to affect the team, and their ability to take down Sandstorm.

Finally, the mysterious groups and agendas our team faces keep adding up. First we had Orion, then Sandstorm, and now there’s the Truman Protocol. What is it? How is it connected to Weller, and more importantly, to Sandstorm? Looks like the team has something new to focus on for the remainder of the season. Until next week!