Blindspot S2: E01 ‘In Night So Ransomed Rogue’ Review

Photo Credit: NBC Universal Television
5

Since being pegged as a traitor in the season one finale, Jane (Jaimie Alexander) has been in CIA custody. When Weller (Sullivan Stapleton) and the team recapture her though, she’s willing to turn triple agent to uncover more information about her past and bring the group she thinks are criminals to justice.

 

**Spoiler Alert**

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

 

The Good

A quick introduction to Luke Mitchell and Archie Panjabi. While we don’t learn much about either of their characters right away, we do get hints at them in the first 10 minutes of the episode, setting up the events of the season. Panjabi is an NSA agent who is investigating the group that is responsible for Jane’s tattoos. Mitchell is a member of that group, and the one who trained Jane to withstand torture. That’s enough to give us a taste of what’s to come, even though we do get plenty more throughout the episode.

Jane’s escape. Despite being tortured for three months in a CIA blacksite, Jane takes stock of her surroundings, gathers materials, and MacGyvers her way out of that place in a great sequence. It reminds us just how tough she is without making the sequence completely implausible - and it also reminds the audience just how ingenious this group is at taking everyday objects and using them in new ways. Do you even need to watch the MacGyver reboot when you’ve got this?

The audience gets an easy recap. Once the team gets Jane back in custody for the NSA instead of the CIA, they put her through her paces in the ultimate lie detector test. While it works to get the team caught up on all the pieces of the puzzle that they were missing last season, it also serves to remind the audience of all the things they might have forgotten about last season: Oscar is dead, Mayfair is dead, Jane got tortured both physically and emotionally, and she’s not entirely sold on the people who put her in this position. It’s a quick and efficient way to download a lot of exposition that could have been very clunky otherwise.

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“Pawns get sacrificed.” As Zapata is ready to blame Jane for Mayfair’s death, Reade points out that Jane is just a pawn caught in the middle of a game, and now, she’s being used by both sides. It makes me a little worried for whether or not Jane can possibly survive the season, but she is the main character, so she’s got to be one of the few characters that’s safe, right?

Roman is deadly. As Jane meets her new handler, she sees just how dangerous he can be when they end up at a routine traffic stop, but the skills Luke Mitchell exhibits in the role are nothing compared to all the reveals that come next.

So much information! Jane’s real name is Alice and, orphaned, she was trained to be a child soldier in South Africa, but was rescued by an American soldier who is a part of Sandstorm - that would be the Shepherd we’ve heard so much about. Roman also happens to be her brother, who was also trained to be a child soldier. The duo have been working for Sandstorm, it seems, out of loyalty to their adoptive mother. They also took the names Roman and Remi (instead of Alice) because they wanted to start over. Whew! That’s a lot of answers all at once, but it only means this season will give us even more questions, right?

 

The Bad

I want to say that some members of the cast, like Ukweli Roach, who wasn’t even in the episode, may have been underutilized, but honestly, it didn’t feel like it, and when you’ve got an ensemble this big, sometimes, people have to take a back seat. We got so much information, so much forward momentum, and the tension was maintained throughout the entire hour, so I can’t think of a single thing to put here.

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The Tattoos

At last count, 29 of Jane’s tattoos had been unpuzzled. This episode didn’t uncover anymore because it was too busy giving us a ton of answers instead. We still don’t know what Orion is, but I’m thinking that rocket ship at the end of the episode was a big clue pointing us toward an explanation.

 

Grading the episode: This, ladies and gentlemen, is what we call a perfect season premiere. The episode kicked off with a time jump, a smooth recap, introductions of new characters, and some serious action, and it did not let up during the entire hour. Not only did we get tons of answers, but we have more questions, and the show didn’t even need to rely on its tattoo gimmick to do any of that this time around. Showrunner Martin Gero happened to write and direct the premiere, and his work here only reaffirms that the series is in very capable hands. A+