‘Blindspot S2: E04 ‘If Beth’ Review

Photo Credit: NBC Universal Television
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Nas (Archie Panjabi) and Weller (Sullivan Stapleton) have to figure out how to co-lead the team as they search for an assassin at a museum gala. Jane (Jaimie Alexander) starts to see a softer side to the Sandstorm organization.

 

**Spoiler Alert**

This review contains spoilers for S2E04 of Blindspot. If you haven’t yet watched, read at your own risk.

 

The Good

Ali puts things in perspective. I might not like the soapy aspects of the show that are stemming from Weller about to be a dad, but Ali’s reaction to him when he talks about the pit in his stomach at the thought of her having his kid is perfect. Weller might be unnerved by the idea of becoming a dad, but he’s experiencing it in the abstract while Ali is dealing with the reality of it. Her mini freak out when he tells her about the pit in his stomach is exactly the kind of reaction she should have.

Reade lets Freddie stay with him. I think we all know that Freddie staying with him is likely not going to go well as soon as Freddie shows up at his door, but seeing how it gets under his skin immediately is astounding. Even when keeping secrets from the team last season, Reade kept his cool pretty well. Watching him unload on a suspect is pretty scary, but it’s also great to see the writers planting seeds for his storyline every week.

Patterson teaches girls to code. There’s a trend in crime shows to have at least one team member be the nerdy comic relief. The problem there is that the character, unless the show has serious longevity like Criminal Minds, can quickly become a caricature because not much is revealed about them. The show has already devoted entire episodes to Patterson’s emotional turmoil in the past, but continuing to build on her interests and personality every week is important so she doesn’t fall into the same trap. Finding out she runs a class where she teaches girls to code, and that she’s educated Zapata on a few things is just one of the ways the show is doing that.

Video games as heist models. Just like twitter posts being scheduled to coordinate bomb blasts last episode, this time around, we get another tech advancement as part of the story. This time around, a hacker designs video game modules to resemble real life situations so thieves know how to get in and out without getting caught. While this requires a very specific skillset, it’s also a sign of how times are changing. No paper blueprints or pen and paper notes will do.

The team gets to play dress up. Look, it’s got to get old to always be in suits and bulletproof vests on the show, so any episode that allows us to see the team go undercover in fancy clothes is welcome. It’s a visual change that helps sell the story, and I will probably always love those episodes.

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That CIA twist. We’re used to seeing cases link back to corrupt government organizations, but the team’s target being a wronged CIA operative is certainly new, and a great twist that the audience wouldn’t see coming.

Borden gets to work with someone other than Jane. I’m still not clear on Borden’s role in this FBI office. Is he meant to analyze criminals at all or just the team? Regardless, he’s usually focused on Jane. He gets a sitdown with Reade this week and Reade is upfront about not remembering everything that happened in his childhood. Of course, trying to call up repressed memories is a whole can of worms in legitimate psychology circles since there are more cases of people recovering false memories in real life than there are of people actually remembering real events. I’m certainly curious to see how Reade’s story plays out.

Zapata is the kind of friend you want in your corner. Not only does she have Reade’s back and give him some space, but she also knows how hard everything is for him. She doesn’t hesitate to head over to his apartment and see if Freddie is losing his troubles in illegal substances. She also doesn’t hesitate to intimidate him and get him to leave. And to top it all off, she enlists a hacker to do a job for her. I’m going to go out on a limb and say that has to do with Reade too.

 

The Bad

No consideration for the art. They’re in an art museum with priceless artifacts and just using them like weapons? I wish there could have at least been an attempt to preserve the art by Jane during her fight sequence.

Aurora Lake. I’m not going to say that the tragedies in Shepherd’s past aren’t going to shape who she is, but tracing her hatred for government corruption back to a single lake seems a little thin. I also think there could have been more ways to humanize her in the eyes of the audience, like actually showing her relationship with Roman and Remi rather than having her explain it every week.

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Tattoos Unpuzzled

We saw 31 last week, and this week we got two pieces of information from a single tattoo. So, even though our count only increased to 32, we saw again that Jane’s tattoos have multiple layers. The honeycomb pattern on her hand had two areas with slightly different shades that happened to translate into ones and zeroes, which in turn could be translated into an employee ID and hacker handle. That’s a lot of layers of symbolism there, which probably indicates the tattoos will just keep getting more complicated.

 

Grading the episode: This episode was great for pulling threads concerning team dynamics out of the case of the week, and it definitely served up a few fun twists. A-