Last week’s episode of Blindspot gave us a lot to process. This time around, things get so intense, you may need multiple weeks to decipher the whole thing. Well, you’ll get them anyway — it’s the mid-season finale, people! Let’s get to it.
This week’s episode, “Evil Handmade Instrument,” starts with a shot of Patterson (Ashley Johnson) sitting with the FBI shrink. She’s talking about David (Joe Dinicol), saying that it doesn’t seem like his death was premeditated. He thinks she should take some time off, but she doesn’t want the time to think about the whole thing. She asks for just one day. It’s funny how she has to ask for time to do her job, but Jane Doe (Jaimie Alexander) was basically handed a gun and a front seat in the FBI van within 24 hours of showing up naked in Times Square.
In a dark garage, Mayfair (Marianne Jean-Baptise) sneaks up on Carter (Michael Gaston) to give him crap about the whole Guerrero thing. She seems upset that she was in the building at the time of his death. Carter still isn’t satisfied, though. He’s worried about Jane. “I’ve done my job, now you do yours,” he says.
Zapata (Audrey Esparza) comes home to find a plain envelope in her mailbox. There’s a single piece of paper inside that reads, “Last chance.” It also has the bug she was supposed to put in Jane Doe’s safe house. So she didn’t place it after all?
Jane Doe is going through her case, checking out evidence and trying to trigger a few memories. She blames herself for David’s death, but Weller (Sullivan Stapleton) tries to comfort her. She says she’s never lost anyone close. How would she even know? Weller says she’s lucky.
Upstairs, Zapata and Reade (Rob Brown) are talking about David’s red-headed killer (Heidi Germaine Schnappauf). Apparently, she was the one who did the deed because the guy who was following him was actually an agent Mayfair sent out to guard the book with all of the codes in it.
Patterson hears the crew talking about a print that was found, and walks in to see David’s bloody body up on the big screen. They give her a second and then Reade says that the partial print was actually from a guy named Roger Levkin (Christopher J. Domig), a successful architect. Because he’s Russian, the FBI ties him, the books and the codes into some sort of super-spy game.
The crew leaves and Patterson starts going through evidence. She discovers a code that translates to: “Status nominal. Will continue to monitor. No further updates.” So David died because of a lousy check-in?
Weller, Reade, Zapata and Jane Doe go to check out Levkin, but find the house in disarray. Inside, Levkin has his wife Emily (Anne Richardson) tied up. Weller kicks in the door and shoots the guy. Levkin apologizes and starts foaming at the mouth. Weller tries to get him to open his mouth, but he’s already dead.
Levkin died from ingesting some type poison. While peeking around the house, Reade finds a photo of the couple with the red-haired woman. It turns out she’s Kate Williams, a 5th grade teacher in the Bronx. She sounds innocent enough, but it turns out that she was also born in Russia.
This seems like a perfect time to introduce a new character. Mayfair brings in Kara Sloan, who’s with the Counterintelligence Division (CD). She was brought in because of a possible sleeper cell. They wonder if the Russians thought David was a fed. Mayfair wonders if both Russians were targeting their spouses. Why would they do that? No one knows for sure.
However, it turns out that there’s one more Russian out there, Olivia Delidio (Amy Hargreaves). Weller and Jane Doe go to check her out, but she takes off. The two then commandeer a pair of motorcycles and the chase is on, but it’s not a very lengthy one.
During a cell phone chat, Kate relays the message that Olivia has been captured. She gets a message back to take out Olivia’s target, as well as her own.
Weller and Reade are grilling Olivia in the interrogation room, when Patterson bursts in with the book. She explains to Olivia how the book has a due date card, which is odd since it’s a reference book. Also, the card has three dates on it, which matches up to the code names for all three spies. Then she claims to have lifted Olivia’s fingerprint off the book. Of course, Patterson is bluffing. After a little extra pressure from Reade and Weller, Olivia caves.
She says she was recruited as a teenager to marry an American that would have access to information that may be of interest to the Russians. “Confidential reports on people profiled in The New York Times,” she says. She also says that she never expected to fall in love with her husband and have children. Patterson looks like she’s going to rip Olivia’s throat out and has to be excused from the room.
Jane Doe steps in and starts speaking Russian to Olivia, trying to make a connection. She tells the feds that she’s supposed to kill Boris Ivanovich, a journalist and anti-Putin blogger. He’s supposed to be meeting a source at the park. Unfortunately, by the time the FBI crew gets there, he’s already dead.
So it turns out Boris’ blog got him killed and Emily was made a target for being vocal about sanctioning Russia for human rights violations. So who is the third target?
Patterson tells the crew that after David died, Olivia and Roger started checking out a tourism website for Brighton Beach, an area with a lot of Russian people. She also says that it turns out that Roger died from aconite poisoning. The connection? The website’s live webcam shows a shop that may have that deadly flower available. It also has three signs that feature the three codes from the reference book, disguised as prices.
It doesn’t matter though. Within minutes, the flower shop is torched. However, Patterson manages to salvage a little something from the shop’s server: a badge that will get Kate Williams into the Defense Contractor Expo that’s in town.
By the time the crew gets to the site, Patterson has a name for the third target. Kate is looking to kill Senator Steve Rywolt, who was part of a committee sending aid to the Ukrainian military. He’s not answering his cell, but have you ever tried to use a phone inside a trade show? Those expo centers must have steel walls or something!
Reade spots Kate, but her husband is right behind them. Weller shoots the guy and takes off after our favorite redhead. Jane Doe tracks her down first and the two get into a serious catfight. Kate tries to stab Jane in the face with some type of needle. Weller grabs Kate, turns the needle on her and throws her over a railing into water. She’s dead.
After the whole ordeal is over, Patterson thanks Jane Doe for her help. She then says she thought solving the case would make her feel better, but it doesn’t. Hasn’t it been, like, a day? Give it time, Patterson! I really hope she gets over it — and quickly. I mean, they made a cute couple and everything, but Patterson is the little ray of sunshine on this show. Don’t have her drink the same misery Kool-Aid everyone else is drinking!
That night, Jane Doe sneaks away from her detail and over to Weller’s. “I just needed to see you,” she says. He asks if everything is okay, and she goes in for the kiss. “I wanted a moment that was just us.” He smiles and they kiss again. Weller’s nephew comes out, kills the mood and Jane says goodnight.
As she walks home, Jane Doe is attacked by three men and thrown into a van. The whole thing was organized by Carter, who’s looking for answers. He starts by asking who she is. Of course, she doesn’t know, so he waterboards her and continues to do that, since she can’t remember anything.
Apparently, water works wonders, though. While Jane Doe gasps for air, there’s a flashback of Carter talking about program called “Orion” (thanks Carl!) — as Jane walks by. She asks him about it, but he’s not in the mood to answer questions. Instead, he’s in the mood to use power tools. He pulls out a drill, asking what Jane Doe knows about Orion. “See, this is going to hurt,” he says.
Just then, Carter hears a noise. He goes to investigate and gets shot multiple times by the tree man!
The episode ends with Weller leaving Jane a voicemail, Mayfair giving Patterson a ride home, and Zapata turning in her resignation. Then it goes back to Jane and Oscar (François Arnaud), who you know best as “the tree man.” We now know his name because Jane Does tells us so, on a video on Oscar’s cell phone. She says he’s there to help and that things are going as planned. She also says that everything, including the tattoos, were all her idea. “You did this to yourself.”
Whoa! After the two deaths last week, I wasn’t sure what to expect from this episode. Okay, so we got the kiss that the show has been hinting at all season long, but I didn’t expect to see Carter dead so quickly. And was it just me, or did anyone else expect Mayfair to be the one emerging from the darkness? Also, I’m glad to see that the writers aren’t just letting Zapata’s deed die down. Will she find out about Carter before someone finds her letter? And will she be tied into his murder? Oh, and I can’t let the whole kiss thing slip by with just a mention. So we finally get the kiss. It seemed a little early in the show for me, but I guess like everything else in Blindspot land, it’s not going to be that easy. Did you really expect to see Weller and Jane Doe walking into work holding hands the next day?
Then, that ending got me thinking about this week’s anagram. The episode title scrambles to “And Unveil the Mastermind.” I think we now know who the mastermind is. Now if we could only figure out why. Is Taylor Shaw looking to get revenge on Kurt Weller? Unfortunately, we have a while to speculate, because the show is on winter break until February 29, 2016. See you then!
Blindspot airs Monday nights at 10/9CT on NBC.