BLINDSPOT REVIEW: “EXISTENTIAL ENNUI”
BY PAULINE PERENACK
Discovering Dabbur Zann
Last week on Blindspot we were treated to another episode revolving around Patterson’s father, Bill Nye the Science Guy. Not only did he provide some much-needed assistance to Patterson and Weller on their mission, but he also finally gave the audience Patterson’s first name – William.
The team was able to thwart Madeline’s plan to blow up a critic of hers, but Madeline used the opportunity to frame the team for a botched terrorist attack, putting them in even more danger. Meanwhile, Weitz and Afreen did their best to help the team, but Weitz found himself on the radar of head mercenary Ivy, and Afreen had to trust that Brianna was there to help, only to have Brianna captured by Ivy as well.
A Dangerous Bunker Addition
Tonight’s episode, “Existential Ennui” begins with Jane having a dream. In it, she’s feeling incredibly nervous as she exits an elevator into quickly moving FBI offices. As she moves towards her team, they toast her a happy birthday. She notices Madeline toasting as well, and realizes that the champagne is poison. As everyone drops dead, Weller wakes her up to tell her that Patterson has something they need to look at.
Turns out, their mystery friend has sent them another message – this time a sculpture from Wizardville in the middle of a desert. On it, is an image of a dragon, which when combined with the image of the blackbird, produces a set of numbers. Those create a puzzle, which ultimately creates an image of a wasp – the symbol of the terrorist group, Dabbur Zann. The team decides that Madeline must have something to do with the group.
As Patterson works further on the puzzle, Jane tells Weller about her dream and how hopeless she feels. She can’t think about it for too long however, as Patterson is able to find coordinates to a warehouse in Germany that’s connected to Dabbur Zann. Weller wants to charge the place, but Zapata thinks they need to be more prepared. Ultimately, they decide to just do recon, but once there, as Patterson and Rich Dotcom nervously listen over comms, Weller decides to go in as Zapata yells to abort, and all Patterson and Rich can hear is a hail of gunfire.
The two decide to give the team time to get back before panicking, and just as their countdown ends, the elevator turns on. They arm themselves, but fortunately it’s Weller. He’s upset that Jane and Zapata aren’t already there, and tells Patterson to find them as he goes to change. Soon after, Zapata arrives, and she and Weller go at it. Weller accuses Zapata of losing focus, and Zapata points out his only focus is seeing his daughter, so he’s not thinking straight. As Rich defuses the confrontation, Jane arrives with a prisoner.
No one is happy about someone being in their bunker, but Jane points out they might be able to get some information from him, and there’s no way he knows where he is, so they’re safe. Patterson and Rich find a notice from the Munich police that three prisoners escaped while being transferred, and Zapata recognizes the names as members of Dabbur Zann, which means they suddenly have someone extremely dangerous in their home. The prisoner admits he’s one of the escapees, and his name is Loris, but he’s not part of Dabbur Zann. However, he says another prisoner, Zico, is one of them, and is extremely dangerous. Jane tells him they can protect his family if he helps them, and he finally tells her of a meet scheduled for tonight, and suggests he could leave Prague alone to go. Jane quickly asks how he knows where he is, and he realizes he’s slipped up.
Patterson suggests wiping his memory with Zip she has on hand, but Jane refuses. Weller tells her they can go to the meet without Loris, but regardless, tells the team that they need to leave the bunker for good since it’s compromised. Zapata and Patterson don’t want to go, and Rich comes in with even more bad news. The prisoner they have isn’t Loris – it’s actually the very dangerous Zico.
Weller rushes to tell Jane, who is on her way to talk to the prisoner, but she gets there first, and is quickly knocked unconscious by Zico. When Weller finds her, the lights go out in the bunker, and the team must work together to find Zico. As they search, Zapata gets another bad feeling, and loses focus, giving Zico the opportunity to grab her. As he holds a screwdriver to her throat, Jane takes the shot, killing Zico on the spot.
Meanwhile, at the FBI, Weitz finds himself in “protective custody” in an interrogation room. Madeline comes in to chat, and wants to know everything that happened in Helsinki. He gives her the story, but she doesn’t believe it. As such, she tells Weitz he needs to prove his worth, and can do so by convincing Susan Shaw to step down from her position. Weitz reluctantly agrees, and goes with Madeline to meet with Susan immediately. However, the car doesn’t take them to a bistro – instead, it takes them to a riverbank. When Weitz gets out of the car, Madeline tells him he no longer has options. He must do what she says or else. Madeline’s henchman open the trunk of the car, and pull out a tied up Brianna, who Madeline executes on the spot. Fearing for his life, Weitz agrees to talk to Susan, so that Madeline can get her out of the way to move into the open VP position.
Once he gets back to headquarters, Weitz quickly tells Afreen that they can no longer work to help the team.
In the bunker, Patterson and Jane are working to dispose of Zico’s body, and find an RF ID card under his skin. Rich points out if they can hack the ID card, they can find out what Zico was doing with Madeline. They manage to get in, and find detailed schematics for a chemical weapon system, meaning Madeline is planning to launch a chemical attack.
Overall, I wasn’t really impressed with this episode. It didn’t seem to flow as well as the first two episodes of the season, and the lack of one-liners was really noticeable. The whole episode was clearly a set up to get the team to focus on this chemical attack that Madeline is planning, but I feel like this information could have been attained much quicker than wasting a whole episode on it.
Also, this sudden loss of focus that is plaguing Zapata seems way out of left field, and appears to only be thrown in to help the narrative of the episode. I know that she and Jane had a small heart to heart about how they’re growing hesitant with decisions they’re making, but even that seems out of place. This is a team that has always understood their goal, and did everything to attain that goal. I’m not sure why all of a sudden they’re getting hesitant when their lives are literally on the line.
Finally, poor Brianna. I really hope that this doesn’t fully scare off Weitz, and that he and Afreen can figure out how to help stop Madeline, because she’s out of control. I guess we’ll find out more next week. Until then!