Blindspot: 1.9 Authentic Flirt Review

It's an exciting hour of television with some big shocks at the end, but it feels like some of the season's major arcs hit the backburner this week.

This week’s Blindspot begins with an adorably dorky moment between Patterson and David. It ends with something I’m not going to spoil, except to say that I am mad at this show for making me ship them and then ripping my heart out. It’s the good kind of mad, the kind of strong emotion that means this show is more than just an action procedural. Not many shows have made me care this much about their characters only nine episodes in.

Let us speak no more of the Patterson and David subplot, because I need to keep a dry eye long enough to recap the rest of this.

For one thing, it doesn’t actually start with Patterson and David; it starts with a guy being tortured in Barcelona. The scene connects with the Tattoo of the Week, although perhaps not strongly enough to justify the gratuitous violence. My biggest complaint about this episode in general is that there’s an awful lot of violence when other measures might have been used. Blindspot‘s bullet count is generally higher than I’d like, especially since most of the team’s victories result from cleverness rather than brute force. Shootouts and fistfights are exciting, but not when the episode is packed so full of them that you start to feel sorry for the families of the villain’s bodyguards.

Fortunately, this week’s villain is amazing. A Bitcoin billionaire, who legally changed his name to Rich Dotcom after he’d made his fortune on the dark side of the internet, he’s the kind of awkward extrovert who talks so much that nobody can figure out which part of his monologue is luring them into a trap. Ennis Esmer plays him as a cross between Zach Galifianakis and George Costanza, an annoying fool with an underlying twinge of evil genius.

Part of that evil genius involves hacking the Witness Protection Program database, then selling copies of the database to assassins through coded posts on a message board about puppies. Blindspot has faltered with internet-related plotlines in the past, but this one balances plausibility and absurdity more effectively than before.

Ratcheting up the absurd-yet-plausible factor, Weller and Jane go undercover as a married assassin couple to retrieve the database from Rich Dotcom. On one hand, this show is now so aggressive about shipping these two that it’s tossing them into romance novel scenarios. On the other hand, playing married triggers Jane’s memories of a broken engagement with the mysterious tree tattoo guy, and it helps Weller move on from an old flame who’s so desperate to get back with him that he wisely pushes her away. And while Weller now seems aware that his feelings for Jane are complicated, to say the least, it’s not clear that those feelings are mutual.

Rich Dotcom’s cleverness makes the episode’s plot suitably twisty, with a series of added wrinkles even after Weller and Jane get their hands on the precious flash drive. That flash drive is coated in gold and bling – someone had fun making that prop. The visuals are delicious in general this week; the set designers clearly delighted in creating a rec room full of expensive rugs and furniture that’s also bathed in gaudy neon, and wardrobe put Jane in a floor-length black gown that covers her neck and arms but shimmers dramatically in the light. Even the music coordinator had a crowning moment, with an aching pop cover of The Pixies’ “Where Is My Mind?” accompanying a montage at the end. The crew got a break from dingy stairwells and tight tank tops this week, and they had the field day they deserved.

It’s an exciting hour of television with some big shocks at the end, but it feels like some of the season’s major arcs hit the backburner this week. NBC is advertising next week’s episode as a “fall finale,” though, so something huge must be in store. I hope it’s one heck of a cliffhanger, because I don’t want to lose my enthusiasm for this show during its three-month hiatus.

Image courtesy of NBC

Sarah Rasher is, among other things, a freelance writer based in Chicago. You can read her writing at the Friendly Atheist and Graphic Policy as well as on her own blog, Sarah Explains the Finer Sports.