BLINDSPOT “BACK TO THE GRIND” REVIEW
BY PAULINE PERENACK
The Gang is Back
After five long months, Blindspot is finally back! Last season ended with a shocking time jump of two years, with Jane living in some nondescript country when Weller came to find her to bring her back home. Turns out, Patterson, Reade, and Zapata had all been kidnapped, and a locked box with Jane’s name had been left. Inside the box was a piece of metal which, when it made contact with her skin, lit up Jane’s body with new tattoos in bio-luminescent ink. Oh, and apparently Jane and Weller had gotten married somewhere along the way too.
But what else happened during those two years? Did Roman take over his mother’s business and begin planning Phase Three? And based on promo pictures, how does Rich Dotcom manage to make his way onto the FBI team?
Let’s just jump into Friday’s premiere episode to see how season three kicked off.
“Back to the Grind” spends the first part of the episode filling in the details of what happened during the missing time we saw in the season two finale. The episode opens with a montage of Weller and Jane getting married, the team dancing the night away, and then Weller and Jane packing up a U-Haul to move to Colorado so Weller can be closer to his daughter, Bethany. Their lives seem to be almost normal as the two work to put their home together, and spend time with Bethany. It’s so normal that Weller asks Jane if she ever thought of having their own kid together. But nothing for these two will ever be normal, and as they’re each dreaming of the next step of their lives, the phone rings, with Keaton on the other end, telling them to get out of the house.
Before they know it, masked men are breaking in, but even though Weller and Jane have been out of the FBI for a while and a little rusty, they’re still able to come out on top, taking out all of the men.
The next morning, the FBI and Keaton arrive, and Keaton explains that Bertrand Keele, a Sandstorm loyalist, had put a $10 million bounty on Jane’s head because she had taken down Sandstorm. He further explains that the bounty is still live, even though Keele was dead, and as such, it would be safest for Jane and Weller to disappear. Jane has other thoughts though as she watches Weller sleep with his daughter, and sneaks out alone.
This brings us to the scene from the finale. Pieces are filled in as to how Weller came into possession of the box, and Jane explains that the new tattoos must have been added while she was unconscious after a recent accident. They quickly determine the first tattoo clue is sending them to St. Mark’s Square in Venice, where Weller proposed, and off they go.
Once in Venice, the pair quickly find a suitcase with Jane’s bird tattoo, and inside a cell phone. They dial the only programmed number on it, only to find themselves talking to Roman, who is most definitely back for revenge. Jane chases Roman through the streets, but it’s Weller who gets the closest as he jumps into Roman’s getaway speedboat. He’s unable to take Roman out, and instead finds himself kicked into the water, with Jane there to pick him up.
Now knowing more of what’s going on, Jane and Weller know they need to get Jane’s bounty lifted. Unfortunately, the only way seems to be to follow Roman’s plan, which includes Jane being injected with a drug that slows down her heart. Weller would then drop off her “body,” get paid, and then inject her with the antidote so they can fight their way out.
Fortunately, the two are able to actually make the plan work, and while we don’t get to see the fight happen since it’s all behind closed doors, we do get to watch Jane and Weller walk out, sharing a smile that says, “we’re back.” The fight scene was wonderfully done, and is impressively quickly matched by a scene with the rest of our original team, who find themselves locked in a cage by the Venezuelan government who want them to crack a case, and then hack the computer that is found within. Upon initial refusal, Patterson is told that Reade and Zapata will be killed if she can’t hack the computer, so she gets to work.
Unable to crack the code, Patterson comes up with a plan to use the magnesium powder from the quick-heat meals they were left, to create a flashbang to distract the guards. The plan works wonderfully, and the three take out the guards and escape. They rush out, only to find themselves stuck between a tank and a truck. Assuming they were once again captured, the three drop their guns and raise their hands, only to see the tank blow up the truck, and Weller pop out. They rush in, and finally our team is fully reunited.
Back at Headquarters, Reade tells Hurst and Keaton that the best way to proceed with Jane’s new tattoos would be with a joint task force between the FBI and the CIA. Hurst warns Reade however that even though the gang was back together (along with fan favorite Rich Dotcom, who now works for the FBI), things have changed over the years, and everyone might not be who they seem to be.
This sets up the closing of the episode, as everyone seems to have dark secrets they are keeping from each other. Zapata secretly shows Keaton a dragonfly tattoo on Jane and tells him it won’t be a problem if no one finds out. Rich Dotcom and Patterson seemed to have some sort of contact during the 18 months, which Patterson also says won’t be a problem if no one finds out. And as Jane secretly hides passports and money from Weller while he’s out getting food for them, Weller finds himself face to face with Roman, who threatens to tell Jane about what happened in Berlin if Weller doesn’t help with the tattoos.
Ultimately, everyone has secrets, and it looks as though this season is going to unravel them all.
Everyone Has a Secret
Finally, Blindspot is back. Admittedly, the show lost its way a little last year, but really started to pull things back together cohesively towards the end, ultimately leaving us all with an amazing cliffhanger. As such, I was very much looking forward to the new season, and with the announcement that Rich Dotcom would be returning, Friday’s premiere couldn’t have come sooner.
The opener did not disappoint. We were given (some) answers immediately as to what happened to our favorite characters, and our team seems to already be back together, meaning we’re not forced to wait all season for a reunion. The action was fast-paced and fun to watch, with just enough humor injected to make each scene enjoyable.
I was however, a little disappointed with Rich Dotcom. In previous seasons, he was always a light, effervescent character whose presence put the episode back on track whenever it began to veer into overly dramatic territory, but Friday’s premiere seemed to cast him in darker tones, and his jokes didn’t play as well as they usually did. However, the end reveal of some sort of relationship with Patterson dissolved any worries about the old Rich, and replaced it with intrigue. What happened between those two? And when did Patterson become so sure of herself, and so tough?
And while Zapata has always had her secrets, this one connected to the dragonfly tattoo seems to be much darker, and is very connected to Keaton. What happened to her while at the CIA?
Weller also seems to have done something he would rather forget, and Roman is going to hold it over his head all season. What happened in Berlin? And why would Jane be upset should she find out about it?
Season three looks to match the mystery and intrigue that season one held, and I can’t wait to see what secrets our team has, and if they’ll ever be able to fully trust one another again. Until next week!