Recap: Blindspot Season 1, Episode 5 – Both Sides of the Law

Rachel Cericola
BLINDSPOT -- "Split The Law" Episode 105 -- Pictured: Jaimie Alexander as Jane Doe -- (Photo by: Paul Sarkis/NBC)

So is Jane Doe (Jaimie Alexander, Kyle XY) really Taylor Shaw or what? Five episodes in, I don’t think we have a more clear answer. While science seems to be contradicting a bit, a new set of flashbacks could be steering us in one direction. Plus, Weller (Sullivan Stapleton, Strike Back) seems so sure — and really, is that guy ever wrong?

Episode 5, “Split The Law,” kicks off with a guy hailing a cab. That seems pretty normal, but he wants to go the Empire State Building in the middle of the night. That’s not the bizarre thing, though. Once he gets in, the doors lock and gas starts to rise up in the backseat — and not the normal gas you’d experience in a cab. The cab driver calls the guy Dodi (Ayman Samman, American Sniper), and tells him it’s not going to hurt. Whatever is going on there, it definitely looks like it hurts.

Blindspot Season 1 Recaps: Episode 1 | Episode 2 | Episode 3 | Episode 4

Blindspot -- "Split The Law" Episode 105 -- Pictured: Jaimie Alexander as Jane Doe -- (Photo by: Barbara Nitke/NBC)
Blindspot — “Split The Law” Episode 105 — Pictured: Jaimie Alexander as Jane Doe — (Photo by: Barbara Nitke/NBC)

Jane Doe shows up at Weller’s house for dinner. However, it’s not the intimate candlelight setting you’d expect, since his sister Sarah (Jordana Spiro, My Boys) and nephew are joining them. This scene just proves that Weller never smiles, even when off-duty. When Sarah calls Jane Doe by the name Taylor, she freaks out and leaves.

Mayfair (Marianne Jean-Baptiste, Without a Trace) confronts Weller about the “is she or isn’t she” thing that’s going on with Jane Doe. Either Jane Doe isn’t really Taylor Shaw or she had a tooth implanted that somehow links her to an upbringing in Africa. Because … science! Of course, Weller always trusts his hunches.

There’s bigger fish to fry, though. There’s a hostage situation going down at the Municipal Workers’ Association (that’s the MWA to you). The FBI is privy to the information, thanks to one of Jane Doe’s tattoos. So timely!

Disgruntled former MWA employees have a room filled with hostages. Jane Doe wonders if the duo will start shooting people if demands are not met. That question looks like it’s going to be answered pretty quickly. Jane Doe doesn’t really care, because she’s too preoccupied with how this all goes back to her tattoos. However, she seems a lot more comfortable with this whole scene than the one that went down at Weller’s house.

BLINDSPOT -- "Split The Law" Episode 105 -- Pictured: Sullivan Stapleton as Kurt Weller -- (Photo by: Paul Sarkis/NBC)
BLINDSPOT — “Split The Law” Episode 105 — Pictured: Sullivan Stapleton as Kurt Weller — (Photo by: Paul Sarkis/NBC)

Weller decides to go up to the door of the MWA. He just wants to talk. Well, he wants to talk about getting an extension. The gunman gives him 30 more minutes. It may not be a lot of time, but it’s enough time to discover that these guys aren’t former MWA employees at all.

Two seconds later, all hell breaks loose. The gunmen start randomly firing at the hostages. The FBI breaks through the front, Weller blows away the main guy and Reade (Rob Brown, Treme) tags his partner.

While Weller tries to make sense of it all, he sees blood on a doorknob. He and Jane Doe head down a staircase looking for another suspect. During the slow walk, she has another flashback about when she was a young girl. Weller gets her to focus, just in time to focus on the three dead bodies in the basement.

Carter (Michael Gaston, The Leftovers) and his CIA men appear in the room. Weller asks about the basement. “This place?” Carter says. “This place doesn’t exist.”

It turns out it’s a CIA black site, which is sort of like the CIA’s happy place, where laws don’t exist. Speaking of not existing, the whole MWA thingy from upstairs was apparently a smokescreen for the doings downstairs. They killed innocent people just so they could kill other people?

BLINDSPOT -- "Split The Law" Episode 105 -- Pictured: (l-r) Marianne Jean-Baptiste as Bethany Mayfair, Michael Gastin as Thomas Carter -- (Photo by: Paul Sarkis/NBC)
BLINDSPOT — “Split The Law” Episode 105 — Pictured: (l-r) Marianne Jean-Baptiste as Bethany Mayfair, Michael Gaston as Thomas Carter — (Photo by: Paul Sarkis/NBC)

Mayfair walks in and says Carter is out of his jurisdiction. Jane Doe doesn’t understand why everyone can’t play nice. He’s not about to explain it to her, since she’s just a civilian.

Once Jane Doe leaves the room, Carter tells everyone that the guy with no face was previously Dodi Khalil — but you probably know him as the guy from the cab. He was a mechanical engineer in Pakistan, who happened to be feeding info to the CIA until things went horribly wrong. Instead, he decided to transfer his skills to bomb-making.

But you see, it wasn’t really Dodi. Jane Doe and Zapata (Audrey Esparza) discover this from just a few minutes of viewing security footage. It turns out that three of the hostages weren’t hostages at all. They were saving Dodi from having his face removed in the basement.

Dodi may be a mastermind, but can he outsmart both the CIA and the FBI? At least the CIA has two of the suspects from the MWA situation. However, they aren’t too eager to help out, since both are currently dying from acute radiation poisoning. It seems they’ve been exposed to a radioactive isotope known as Caesium-137. Weller then realizes that Dodi is going to combine the radioactive goodies and his bomb-making skills into a massive dirty bomb.

Because the entire group is infected, they should be easy enough to track — when one is using a portable Geiger counter. Patterson (Ashley Johnson) doles them out, as well as potassium iodide pills and information on when’s a good time to bail.

BLINDSPOT -- "Split The Law" Episode 105 -- Pictured: (l-r) Ayman Samman as Dodi, Jaimie Alexander as Jane Doe, Sullivan Stapleton as Kurt Weller -- (Photo by: Paul Sarkis/NBC)
BLINDSPOT — “Split The Law” Episode 105 — Pictured: (l-r) Ayman Samman as Dodi, Jaimie Alexander as Jane Doe, Sullivan Stapleton as Kurt Weller — (Photo by: Paul Sarkis/NBC)

Before the mission, Weller and Jane Doe have a heart-to-heart on what happened after Taylor Shaw disappeared. He still seems convinced of her identity. Jane Doe seems unsure. She then starts having a new set of flashbacks, which involve a basement and all sorts of children living in deplorable conditions. She freaks out and Weller calms her down. Reade interrupts the moment because, well … it’s FBI time.

The team heads out to a cemetery and Jane Doe gets a reading on her Geiger counter. That seems about right, since six infected guys are headed straight towards them, machine guns blazing. Reade is probably happy Jane Doe is part of the quartet on this one – not because she has a gun, but because she’s the one who grabs the urn filled with the deadly materials. Dodi is about to put a bullet in her when he’s knocked to the ground by Weller.

As Jane Doe and Weller escort Dodi from the cemetery, we see Carter off in the distance with a gun. Is he going to silence Dodi? No. He puts Jane Doe in his sight. Just as he’s about to pull the trigger, Mayfair stops him.

“You think you’re saving her?” he asks. “All you’re doing is killing us.”

BLINDSPOT -- "Split The Law" Episode 105 -- Pictured: Jaimie Alexander as Jane Doe -- (Photo by: Paul Sarkis/NBC)
BLINDSPOT — “Split The Law” Episode 105 — Pictured: Jaimie Alexander as Jane Doe — (Photo by: Paul Sarkis/NBC)

Just as it looks like the CIA is going to swoop in and take Dodi, Mayfair pulls her gun on Carter. Then, guns are pulled all around. Carter and Mayfair have words. He’s willing to give up a day with Dodi, if he can have a day pass with Jane Doe. Mayfair refuses and backs down.

Weller takes Jane Doe home and apologizes for what happened to her back in the day. Jane says it wasn’t his fault and Weller comes the closest to crying that we’ve ever seen. Weller goes home, only to find that his father is there. This is not a happy reunion.

The episode ends with Carter handing a big envelope of money over to Zapata. We’re not entirely sure what he wants, but a girl’s gotta pay her gambling debts.

Hot on the heels of last week’s dirty bomb, this week’s tattoo-themed plot seemed a little repetitive. However, we can’t expect the entire show to be based on solving crimes that revolve around Jane Doe’s tattoos. That subplot really took a backseat to the CIA’s dirty dealings and Jane Doe’s new flashbacks. Is she really Taylor Shaw? Is the guy from the flashbacks actually Carter? And what the heck does Weller’s dad have to do with it? More importantly, what does Carter think Zapata will add to his cause? While I’m still not thrilled with what Zapata and Reade are bringing each week, I do like these new twists. Stay tuned!

Blindspot airs Monday nights at 10/9CT on NBC.