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Blindspot - Upside Down Craft & Gunplay Ricochet - Double Review: "Secrets, Secrets Are Lots of Fun"

So Blindspot continues its third season with some pretty solid episodes. I’m really enjoying how the tattoo cases connect to the team because it provides some much-needed insight into what happened to our characters in the past two years. While I was initially skeptical about the reset in the plot, it was definitely the right call. Part of what made season one so engaging was the mystery of Jane’s past and what were the mysterious people who tattooed Jane trying to accomplish. However, the series was a victim of the sophomore slump, becoming bogged down in the mythology of Shepherd and Sandstorm. Once that mystery was solved, it was difficult to predict what would happen next. Would the team continue to solve tattoos even though the bigger threat had been neutralized? What would a typical case of the week look like now? It was definitely the right decision to revamp the show with a time jump and bioluminescent tattoos. Having Roman be the new “Big Bad” and trying to figure out what he’s up to is certainly compelling right now. For how long that will last, I’m not sure, but for now, it works. So let’s dive in.

“Upside Down Craft’s” case of the week gives us some much needed insight into what Paterson and Rich were up to during those two missing years. The episode opens with the team finding evidence that a greedy billionaire is reportedly responsible for a train derailment that killed three people. However, just as fast as an arrest is made, the rug is ripped out from under the team as it seems the hacker group called the Three Blind Mice planted the emails on his server. The Acting Director of the FBI Hirst wants the team to track down these hackers; the only problem being that Paterson and Rich are actually two of the three members, and they performed a bunch of illegal hacks they should probably go to prison for. Okay, I’m not going to lie; I totally thought Paterson and Rich were hooking up during the time jump. As was teased in the season premiere, there was some sort of secret they shared, and the pair has always had great chemistry. They have a really fun dynamic because they’re very much alike, but Paterson follows the rules while Rich chooses to ignore them, as seen in Paterson’s desire to come clean whereas Rich wanted to keep it a secret. So I could have seen the show going in that direction and pairing them off. After everything Paterson’s been through in her love life, she could use a fun fling where her boyfriend doesn’t end up dead or trying to kill her. Despite the direction the show took with having Paterson and Rich just be platonic friends, I am completely on board. The two are comedic gold together, so any additional scenes we get is a bonus. I mean I was laughing about every other line out of Rich’s mouth, especially when he and Paterson were kidnapped by Kathy, who was completely unhinged, if that wasn’t clear. Also, I’m a huge fan of Ennis Esmer, so I’m really glad he’s going to be sticking around this season on a more permanent basis. Granted, the series could still be building to a romantic relationship between the two, but either way I’m hopping on the bandwagon. My only request is the duo get more screen time.

Besides my obvious love of this pairing, the case of the week really brought up an interesting issue of whether it’s okay to do something bad for the greater good. I mean do the means justify the end? We know Rich is pretty relaxed about following the rules, but Paterson’s moral compass has always been steadfast. However, as we learned this episode, she isn’t the same person that she used to be. The Three Blind Mice started out with good intentions, taking down Wall Street and corrupt government “untouchables,” all the people who were guilty but were never arrested, despite their illegal activities. Just like Reade points out at the end of the episode, the Three Blind Mice started out with good intentions, but if he had hard evidence he would be forced to arrest Paterson and Rich. Paterson was a willing participant in this group, getting caught up in the hacktivism of it all. Even after dropping out of the Three Blind Mice, she is torn about whether to tell the team information about an imminent attack as she got the information from hacking the billionaire’s lawyer’s phone. Over the past two years, her world view has changed and things are no longer black and white but shades of gray. While Paterson may not view things as simple as right and wrong, she still opposes the hacks Kathy wants to accomplish. By the time Kathy had kidnapped Paterson and Rich, there is no wiggle room on the ethics here; they were no longer Robin Hoods of the dark web, righting societal wrongs. Kathy just wanted revenge on the greedy billionaire because her brother was one of the victims, and she was willing to crash his plane and kill both him and his wife to achieve her goals. Granted, she was bat shit crazy, and she has a right to want to see the billionaire brought to justice, but murder is not the way to go. Remember, murder is never the answer, and while Kathy may have not gotten the answer, it looks like that has gotten through to Rich. We’ve only seen him sporadically over the past two seasons, but from what we’ve seen, he always used to have an angle, putting himself first. I’m sure he won’t have hesitated to really crash the plane in the past but working with the FBI over the past two years has changed him. Whether it’s Paterson’s influence or just being part of a team, he seems to have realized that there are some lines you can’t cross.

Meanwhile, “Gunplay Ricochet’s” case of the week introduces a person from Jane’s past – the only caveat is she doesn’t remember him. As the team searches for a supposedly dead bomber, the end up finding Rosmond “Rossi” Ott, also known as the guy who helped the not-so dead bomber fake his death almost twenty years ago. Apparently Rossi is wanted in seven different countries alone and is the person you go to if you want to disappear of the face of the earth. He was also like an uncle to Jane in another lifetime, saying he did her adoption, which viewers initially believe is a reference to Shepherd adopting Jane and Roman. Despite him being like family to Shepherd, Roman, and Jane, he doesn’t seem to have been involved with Sandstorm. He didn’t know Jane’s memory had been erased as a ploy for her to infiltrate the FBI, with him referring to her as Remi upon their first interaction. I have no idea whether this is will be an unpopular opinion or not, but in the hierarchy of criminals, Rossi doesn’t seem that bad. He obviously genuinely cares about Jane, as shown in him giving Jane the envelope at the end of the episode. No one forced him to do that, and he wrote that he always regretted doing it. Rossi may help criminals disappear, and I’m not saying he’s a saint, but compared to all the people we’ve met from Jane’s past, he just doesn’t seem like an evil person. I actually wouldn’t mind if he stuck around for a while because I’m sure he could shed more light on Jane’s past. What we know has been pieced together by her memories and details from Shepherd and Roman, but who’s to say they didn’t lie to her? I mean, they basically had Jane erase her memories and not have the decency to tell her everything. I mean, Rossi was the one who let Jane know about her daughter, not her mother or her brother. By the way, I so called a secret baby. Granted, I thought either Jane had a child or Weller fathered another one during the time jump, but I still called it nonetheless. The twist that Jane had a child as a teenager and gave it up for adoption was something I didn’t see coming. Given this revelation, are Shepherd and Roman even more evil for not telling Jane about her biological daughter? I mean, they supposedly loved and cared for Jane, so wasn’t it cruel to leave out such a major part of her past. I know Jane said she is done with her past as all she ever finds is pain, but I don’t think she will ignore this revelation. Jane’s search for her child is most likely going to be a driving force for her for at least half of the season, but I really hope the show doesn’t go the cliché route where it’s revealed her daughter is some sort of criminal mastermind, following in her mother’s footsteps. I’d much rather have Roman threaten to hurt his niece, and that’s how the audience is introduced to the character.

Both episodes also deal with the aftermath of Stuart’s murder. Paterson’s interest is understandable as she was pretty hard on Stuart before he was killed and she feels guilty, thus leading her to investigate even though the police are handling the case. She discovers a voice command system Stuart was always talking about is missing from the evidence log and believes the smart speaker actually recorded the murder because apparently Big Brother the company can’t help itself from illegally listening to our private conversations. Despite the company’s claims it doesn’t illegally record private conversations, the company eventually hands over the record after a little bit of incentivizing from Reade. However, the analysis reveals there were no voices during the time of Stuart’s murder as someone had copied a previous section and spliced it in later. The team starts to realize someone may be covering up the murder but wonder who could have tampered with the recording? By this point, I’m like really? Think about who had access to the recording, guys. I’m really surprised the team, especially Paterson, didn’t put it together that someone from the company that makes the smart speakers could have altered the recording, like the senior member who met with the shady guy who was missing an ear. For people that are supposed to be highly-trained and intelligent agents, they sure did miss a big piece of the puzzle. I mean Paterson was able to decode the tattoo Stuart was obsessed with, but she didn’t get that someone from the company could have altered the files? Yeah, no buying it. Speaking of decoding the tattoo, we learn the tattoo contains a list of names, all of whom owned Van Gogh’s self-portrait at one point. While Paterson doesn’t know what it points to, the audience realizes that it leads to the shady guy with the missing ear as Van Gogh was missing an ear as well after he supposedly cut it off. Beyond that, I have no idea who the shady guy is or what he wants. Upon Paterson hitting a roadblock, Zapata raises the question of what if other evidence was tampered with as well. So Paterson reviews the evidence and finds some data – possibly a text message – is missing from Stuart’s phone along with Kathy’s tip from “Upside Down Craft” being reclassified as low priority after initially being entered as high. It becomes abundantly clear the task force is somehow compromised as someone keeps tampering with their intel. Again, I have no idea what the motives are behind said person or persons, but whoever it is he or she or they wanted Stuart dead, the tip buried, and Rossi out of custody.

And then we have Roman who attends charity auctions, using the identity of the man he “met” at the PTSD support group and killed, when he’s not making ominous phone calls to his sister about revenge or filming his own “phone booth confessional” for their wedding video. While falsely impersonating Thomas Jakeman, Roman “meets” Blake Crawford, the woman whose charity is the hosting the event, and by meet I mean target. While Blake says she makes it a point to meet the guests she doesn’t know, Roman clearly has ulterior motives. As we see he ends up breaking into the auction room and putting a tracker on a wish bracelet. The wish bracelet is set to be auctioned, but ends up on Blake’s wrist after Roman bids $20,000 for it and gives it to her as a “gift.” Why Roman would want to stalk track Blake is beyond me. The character is played by Tori Anderson and is set to recur as a potential love interest for Roman this season, so we’ll definitely be seeing her again. There were definitely sparks between Roman and Blake, but he turned her down when she offered to buy him a drink at the auction. Like I said, I have no idea what Roman is up to or what he wants with her. Blake appears to be a charitable person, raising money for thousands of displaced people. She may have some skeletons in her closet, but for now, she seems perfectly nice for now. We know Roman is out for revenge and to hurt the team, but how Blake figures into his plan is beyond me.

Some stray thoughts:
- Are we supposed to care about Hirst? I mean, we barely know anything about her, and she's most likely going to be killed off at some point, so can't we just fast forward to her inevitable death? I'd much rather see Keaton as the Acting Director of the FBI.
- So Zapata is totally going to call Reade out for lying to her and sneaking off with the guy from the State Department right? Also, can we not have him be the mole or person tampering with the evidence? I'm really tired of shows just introducing characters for shock value.
- I was laughing at Jane and Weller's flirty comments while the team was still on their coms. It was nice to see them happy, even if momentarily, because we never really got to see this side of their relationship. The honeymoon phase with them being all lovey dovey was skipped.
- Drunk Paterson is AMAZING.

So hit the comments to let me know your thoughts on the episode. What did you think Paterson and Rich were doing together during those two years? When will Jane find her daughter and what will she be like? Who murdered Stuart? And what is Roman plotting?


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