BLINDSPOT Review: “Upside Down Craft”

BLINDSPOT — “Upside Down Craft” Episode 303 — Pictured: (l-r) Ashley Johnson as Patterson, Ennis Esmer as Rich Dotcom — (Photo by: Jeff Neumann/NBC/Warner Bros)






Three Blind Mice

Last week on Blindspot, in a tense conclusion to the episode, Patterson found (SpoilerAlert!) Stuart dead in his apartment. He had been fascinated by a specific tattoo throughout the episode, and that fascination may have been the cause of his death. The episode also broke down some walls between our team members as secrets were exposed, including Jane’s previous job and stashed money, and Reade’s live-in girlfriend. Roman meanwhile, was in Sydney gaining the trust of a man, only to kill him and assume his identity.

Tonight however, we see the return of fan-favorite Rich Dotcom, so let’s recap what happened.

A Hacker’s Nightmare

Tonight’s episode, “Upside Down Craft” unwrapped even more secrets our team had been holding, and focused on the mysterious past of Patterson and Rich Dotcom. The episode kicks things off with Jane and Weller flirting while on an undercover mission at a fancy party. Reade and Zapata meanwhile are downloading files from the man they’re all after, billionaire Kevin Loewe, and remind the two they can hear everything. Once they have the files, Weller and Jane move in to make the arrest.

Back at headquarters, Director Hirst is none too impressed about the arrest because of Loewe’s high profile, and wants to confirm that the evidence is solid. The team walks her through the tattoo they found that led them to a train derailment that killed people. Loewe was involved in shorting stocks in the train company, which made him millions, and tied him to the crime.

However, when Loewe’s lawyer shows up, she says that her client has been targeted for months by a hacker group called the Three Blind Mice, who were making Loewe look like the bad guy. To make things even more interesting, Patterson runs to Rich Dotcom’s “office,” which is more like a storage closet than anything else, to tell him of the latest developments, and reveals to us that the two had once been part of the Three Blind Mice. They left the group about a year ago when Patterson began to feel that their hacking, while laced with good intentions and exposing bad people, was just way too illegal to continue.

However, the third member of their group apparently decided to keep up the hacking game, and the latest hack threatened to expose both Rich and Patterson to their team. Worried about the FBI finding out about their past, the duo are interrupted by Weller calling them to talk about the hackers. Director Hirst arrives with a picture of one of the hackers, who is wearing a mouse mask to hide her identity. By using some high-tech software which includes the ability to record a person’s gait, Patterson is able to name the suspect – Kathy Gustafson, who in a fun twist, works for the Nerd Herd. (Chuck alert!)

Kathy is brought in for questioning, and she readily admits her involvement with the Three Blind Mice, but only because the emails in question were real. She was just restoring the ones Loewe had deleted. She also makes mention of Loewe shorting another company’s stock recently, which makes Patterson realize she needs to do some hacking to learn the truth. As such, she uses some backdoor code on her Wizardville app to access Loewe’s lawyer’s phone to find messages about an electric car company and the batteries they use.

Knowing they can’t come out and say how they got the information, Rich calls in with an anonymous tip, using a voice modifier. He leaves the tip that Loewe had hired men to plant a bomb at an event where the company Loewe was shorting stocks on, would be unveiling their new cars.

Jane and Weller rush to the building, and fight the men off, stopping the detonation of the bomb. However, with the bombing averted, the FBI is at a standstill because they can’t trace Loewe to the men. Hirst however calls it a win, allowing Rich and Patterson to relax a little as the investigation into the Three Blind Mice seems to be off.

As the two meet up later to discuss, they find that neither texted the other, and it was in fact Kathy texting to draw them out to kidnap them. After knocking them out with beanbag rounds from a shotgun, she put them in shock collars, and locked them in a room. It’s here that we all learn Kathy was upset about Rich and Patterson leaving her, and her obsession with Loewe stems from the fact that her brother was one of the people killed on the train.

To get revenge, she orders Rich and Patterson to crash Loewe’s plane. Patterson refuses, but Rich begins coding. He’s able to hide the fact he landed the plane safely, while our team rushes to their rescue after Zapata and Weller are clued in to something being wrong when Weller receives an email from “Patterson” signed with her first name, in a response to a text he sent asking if she had forgotten about dinner.

With Kathy in custody, the team debriefs, and it’s obvious that Reade has put together that Rich and Patterson are the other two members of the Three Blind Mice. When he points out that the tattoo specifically targeted members of the team, Jane realizes that Roman is trying to expose secrets of the team to make them turn on each other.

That assumption is confirmed later that evening, when Roman calls Jane to tell her he’s going to make her feel pain like she’s never felt before.

The episode ends with Patterson diving back into the tattoo which Stuart had been obsessed about. She tells Reade that the tattoo gives the names of all the people who had ever owned Van Gogh’s famous “Self Portrait” but that was where she was stumped. Patterson also points out to Reade that the recording from Stuart’s Kinga, an Echo-type device, had been tampered with, thereby removing the moments of his death.

And as the episode closes, an employee from Kinga that we had been introduced to earlier, meets with a man with only one ear, who tells her she won’t see him again since she had manipulated the file from Stuart’s device. As he walks away, the episode ends, leaving us all asking who these people are, and how they’re connected to our team.

A Herd of Nerds

Overall, this episode wasn’t as strong as previous weeks. It was however, a fun episode, with the banter between Patterson and Rich Dotcom lending a strong last season vibe. The two balance each other out well, and hopefully we can see more of this pair together in future episodes.

Reade and Zapata seem to have returned to their previous “best friend” status, and there were several light moments between the two including the reveal that Zapata and Reade’s girlfriend had become friends and texted each other a lot. The other occurred with the rest of the team at a team dinner, where it came out that everyone was playing Patterson’s app except for Weller. It seems as though the team has really come together and accepted each other for who they are.

The downfall of the episode came with Kathy. She initially was a fun addition because of the Chuck reference, but quickly became annoying. While her reason for taking down Loewe made sense, she was just too far over the top. And admittedly, while it would be upsetting to lose Patterson and Rich as friends, her shock collar treatment, and fancy dinner just didn’t cut it, and took away from the quality of the episode.

And then there is Roman, and the tattoos. The Van Gogh man is mysterious, and somehow must tie to a secret of one of the team members. But how does that connect to Stuart? Was Stuart just an unfortunate casualty? And why did Roman take over Tom’s identity last week? How will that tie into Roman’s quest to punish Jane? Until next week!