Blindspot: “Persecute Envoys”

(Episode 1.08)

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Blindspot: “Persecute Envoys”

This week’s installment of Blindspot makes an important improvement at the end of the episode, ditching the typical shocking plot twists, and instead setting up continuations of subplots established in past weeks. It was an improvement from the past couple of episodes with a stronger tattoo mystery and progressing character arcs.

“Persecute Envoys” did a particularly good job of focusing its tattoo mystery-of-the-week case around a subject that’s especially relevant right now: cops abusing their power. While Blindspot’s weekly tattoo mysteries have never come off too far-fetched (besides the whole tattoo aspect), this was the first time the FBI team had a case that addressed a current social issue. It was a great twist at the end, revealing that not only two officers were behind the conspiracy, but also the precinct captain—which led to that climactic moment in the car with Mayfair taking him down with the crash.

We finally received more information on the secret operation called Daylight. In sepia-toned flashbacks, we see a slightly younger Mayfair with longer hair meeting up with Carter (ever the asshole) and Deputy White House Political Director Sophia Varma. We find out Daylight involves the three of them using information the NSA is gathering from tapping into civilians’ phones and computers. At first, Mayfair is reluctant to use the data provided by the NSA, but is persuaded by Sophia and Carver (again, ever the asshole) into going through with it. When the Snowden leaks occur, we see Sophia (who happens to be Mayfair’s lover) is wracked with guilt and wants to flee the country. Mayfair, now that she’s spent years involved with Operation Daylight, isn’t willing to escape and admit to the wrongs they’ve committed. If she did, all the criminals she put away using intelligence from Daylight would be released from prison. Mayfair shares all this information with Kurt, who now doesn’t trust her.

We still don’t know how Kurt’s father is involved in this whole thing, but at least we’re getting some form of progression that will lead to Kurt’s father telling him what really happened with Taylor Shaw. If Kurt’s father actually did kidnap Taylor, then he’s a bastard keeping that to himself these past couple weeks, while we’re wondering how he’s connected to it all. It’s a little strange that Kurt hasn’t tried to pry this information out of his father yet.

Meanwhile, Jane is out at a bar with Patterson and Zapata, feeling normal for once. She is starting to find friends outside of Kurt, and while Patterson might make for another good friend, we know Zapata’s case might be a little bit different. As they leave the bar and go their separate ways, we’re reminded of Zapata’s betrayal as a mole for Carter, who’s now blackmailing her to continue working for him (didn’t I say that guy was an asshole?). Presumably, the FBI team is going to find out about Zapata’s betrayal, and chances are it’s not going to be a very forgiving moment, as Carver is their biggest visible opponent in the series.

At this point, eight episodes in, these tattoo mysteries themselves haven’t provided many answers as to who Jane is, or who is responsible for tattooing her and erasing her memory. There’s certainly been a progression since the pilot, but most of it hasn’t come from the tattoos themselves. Most of the revelations have come from her having flashbacks and Kurt’s investigation linking her to Taylor Shaw, which is still up in the air. While there are plenty of tattoos on Jane’s body yet to be explored, does Blindspot really plan to keep this procedural element in the future? The most exciting moments in these episodes are the story arcs directly involving Jane’s identity, questions about who sent her and her relationship to Kurt. Perhaps the show will eventually tone down the procedural aspect, and amp up the serialized elements, as shows like Person of Interest and The Blacklist have done. The tattoos on Jane’s body are unique and interesting, but once we find out why whoever’s behind them wants her to solve these cases, hopefully Jane’s use of the tattoos can evolve into something else from there.