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BLINDSPOT Review: “The Mask is the Message”

BY The Screen Spy Team

Published 7 years ago


By Pauline Perenack

We’re now officially into the back-half of NBC Blindspot’s Fall episodes, and since the main plot of the series is now firmly established we’re able to start learning more about the personal lives and pasts of our characters, and how they affects their choices moving forward. Last week’s episode focused mainly on Weller, and his past, leading us to learn even more about his relationship with Taylor Shaw. It also brought up the issues he has with his father – which we still don’t know the full extent of – which is setting up for some fantastic family drama, especially with the added puzzle piece of Jane potentially being Taylor Shaw. We were also left with another piece of the Zapata puzzle, and her gambling debts, which are now tying her to our main antagonist, Carter.

This week’s episode once again kept us at the edge of our seats for the full hour, so let’s recap what we’ve learned, and what new questions remain.

Also, if you’ve been playing along with the anagram puzzles of each episode’s title, this week’s anagram works out to be, “Cloud our eyes” which pairs with last week’s “Will the past.” Looks like those pasts we learned about last week really will blind our characters and their futures.

Boom Goes the Dynamite

“Cede Your Soul” opens much differently than every other episode of Blindspot thus far, and we see Jane in bed with a man who has a tattoo of a tree on his arm. Jane wakes up, unsure of what the dream means and who the man was. At this moment, Twitter was blowing up with fans wondering if the mystery man was Weller.

Switching gears from the dream sequence, we get to learn more about Zapata’s gambling debts as her bookie pays her a visit. However, the real drama starts when Sarah brings new clothes to Weller at headquarters, asking him if he slept there the night before, and telling him he needs to give their father a chance. With Taylor being alive, it must mean their father is innocent. Weller is not as forgiving however, and dismisses Sarah.

Jane meanwhile, is talking to Dr. Borden about her dream, and he suggests the tattoo means she is searching for strength, and that seems to be what Weller is to her. As Jane thinks about it, she wonders if the man was Weller and she’s not sure how she feels about that. Sensing her unease, Borden tells her to start setting boundaries, and to keep it professional around Weller.

At the same time, Weller is receiving similar advice from Mayfair, who has discovered Weller had Jane over for dinner. He swears nothing inappropriate has happened, but Mayfair believes Weller is too emotionally invested in the case, and he may need to step down as the lead agent on the case.

The case of the week is then introduced as a Saudi prince is tracked and shot down in a security vehicle. Back at headquarters, our team discovers the attack was made possible by the use of an app called Trakzer, which enables users of the app to track government vehicles. The app is connected to our team since the logo of the app is conveniently tattooed on Jane’s leg.

Patterson and Zapata start connecting cases of various murdered government officials, and realize each official had been found with Trakzer. To find the creator of the app, Patterson tracks the coding style of the app to a hackathon winner, and traces the individual to an apartment in Brooklyn. Our team converges on the apartment, and find on the door, the same owl from Jane’s tattoo, and Trakzer’s logo. Once they break down the door, they find a teenage girl named Ana who admits to writing the code, but says it was written for the government, because she works for the NSA.

The team brings Ana in, who refuses to talk to anyone except her contact, Leonard Gail. Mayfair reaches out to the NSA, and finds there is no such person as Gail, and so everyone is left wondering, who is lying? Ana? The NSA? In a great scene by Ashley Johnson, and Patterson has the line of the episode when she says, “the NSA is lying like they’ve lied to everyone about everything ever.” As the team tries to determine what is going on, Jane sneaks in to talk to Ana, and makes a connection with her as they talk about the owl tattoo. Weller interrupts, and tells Ana she was conned – she never worked for the NSA – and informs her that her software is being used to kill people, and she needs to shut it down immediately. The only problem? She can’t shut it down because it’s on the servers of her contact, Shawn Palmer.

Needing to bring Shawn in for questioning, but knowing his house is bugged with firewalls and alarms, the team decides to smoke him out. As Patterson is working to get through Shawn’s firewalls, she and Ana have a fantastic scene together, and we see a wonderful chemistry developing between the two characters, which hopefully will be seen in more episodes to come. When a real fire starts in Shawn’s house, instead of running out as the team planned, he decides to play the hero and tries to put out the fire, but only ends up passing out from smoke inhalation, and Jane and Weller have to go in to save him.

Once brought in to headquarters, he cooperates completely, and kills the Trakzer app, and Ana is free to go. Jane walks her out of headquarters, and playing on the connection she made earlier with Ana, along with recognizing the same feelings of loneliness she has, Jane asks Ana to go for coffee or a movie some time. After a pause, Ana agrees. Weller catches part of the conversation, and warns Jane about getting too close to a case. Jane explains she needs something more than work, and room to breathe. The tension between the two is becoming unbearable, as Weller starts to see that maybe Jane does need a new lead agent on her case because he has become too close to Jane.

Patterson meanwhile finally talks to Weller about the case we know as Operation Daylight, and how Mayfair is pushing it to the side, even though it could be a really big clue. Weller tells her he’ll look into it, but feels if Mayfair doesn’t think it’s anything, then it can’t be anything. The team starts discussing the possibility that the owl tattoo means more than just the Trakzer app, but before they can get too far, Patterson sees someone is hacking into her FBI system using her username, and she realizes it must be Ana, who we’ve seen being held at gunpoint by Russian criminals who need her to track a specific truck. Ana alerts Patterson to what’s going on by using an inside joke the two shared earlier in the episode, and Patterson sends the team to Ana’s apartment, which is now empty. Ana however, left them a clue of the VIN number of the truck she needed to find, and turns out, it’s a truck filled with weapons.

The team races to the location, and finds themselves in a shootout as they try to get to Ana, who is being held hostage by the Russian criminals. Jane races to save Ana, as Weller blows up the truck, saving the day.

Back at headquarters, Jane checks in on Ana, and the two have another bonding moment over being in protective custody. Ana then asks about Jane’s tattoos, and asks if they had figured out the steganography of the black square yet. Apparently Ana is great at puzzles as well, which makes her the perfect match for Patterson, and yet another reason to bring Aimee Carrero back. Using the clue, Patterson discovered the mask is the message of the tattoo, which ultimately means that each tattoo could have double or triple meanings. Weller tells the team to start looking at the tattoos they’ve already deciphered, because they could hold another clue.

As the day winds down, Jane finds herself waiting for the elevator with Weller who asks her if she wants a new lead agent on her case. He points out she thinks he isn’t objective when it comes to her, and she might be right – there’s too much baggage between them. Jane disagrees and thinks the baggage is what makes him the right guy for the job, because it makes him invested. We start to see repairs being made in the fractures that were forming between these two, and it feels right. Jane does decline Weller’s offer to take her home however, so she’s still keeping some boundaries.

And now, for the cliffhanger of the week. Remember the mystery man from Jane’s dream with the tattoo of the tree on his arm? He’s standing outside of her safe house, and is very real. So the question is, who is he?

NEXT: Don’t Touch My Keyboard

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