Blindspot Review: “Eight Slim Grins”

(Episode 1.03)

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<i>Blindspot</i> Review: &#8220;Eight Slim Grins&#8221;

This week’s installment managed to amp up the suspense and character development a couple notches more than most of us might have anticipated. And thank God! Because at first, as entertaining and intriguing as its pilot was, Blindspot seemed to be a little on the fence in terms of how good of a quality show it was going to be. Last week gave us more of what we were craving, as we had time to get into Kurt Weller’s character, which revealed more mysteries connected to Jane Doe. And now, we’ve gotten a good number of twists and further progression with characters in “Eight Slim Grins.”

One thing this week’s episode did really well was provide a group of exciting bad guys for its mystery of the week plotline. A jewelry store robbery goes wrong and one of the robbers is wounded and left behind by his crew—and he shares one of the same tattoos as Jane Doe. The name these bank robbers are known by is a little bit silly—the Candy Men (on account of their colorful masks)—but their execution performing the initial robbery and their attack on the hospital towards the end prove them to be Jane and Kurt’s most formidable foes yet, which leads to a big theme this week’s episode focused on: trust.

Kurt isn’t sure if he can really trust Jane, and vice versa. It’s a great theme to touch upon; just because Kurt and Jane have been thrust into this tattoo/unknown identity mystery together, it doesn’t mean they do (or should) completely trust each other. Throughout the episode, Kurt and Jane learn that they have to put aside their doubts about each other and work together. It’s great that this is a process for the characters to go through and not simply a given from the get-go. And there are also other characters whose allegiances remain unclear.

Just like last week’s episode, “Eight Slim Grins” provided a surprising amount of twists and revelations. Bethany Mayfair, Kurt’s boss at the FBI, knows more than she’s letting on. The end of the episode teases that there is a bigger game at play, and that whatever Jane’s role is in it, she’s a pawn. Mayfair admits she doesn’t know who Jane is nor who tattooed her, but some of Jane’s tattoos contain information regarding something currently only known as “Daylight.” Whatever it is, it’s something that’s supposed to be a secret at all costs—and Jane might have a tattoo that could reveal it.

Speaking of secrets, you would think the mysterious bearded man from Jane’s past would play a bigger part in this series (you know, since he was a peculiar dude stalking Jane the past couple episodes). Yet his murder is a welcome surprise. His death is a little irritating since he knows who Jane Doe is, and he was introduced as someone with a seemingly bigger role to play. Naturally he has to die before he could say anything that might be useful to Jane, because hey, it’s television. But what’s really intriguing is that the writers pull that stunt twice in the same episode. By the end of the episode when the hospitalized bank robber is dying, Jane once again is leaning over a dying person trying get information before his final breath. So from the first death in the beginning of the episode, we got, “You can’t trust them.” During the last death at the end, we get only one word: “Orion.” Is it a codename? A secret microchip? The man’s favorite constellation? Sooner or later, I assume we’ll find out.

The most surprising aspect of this episode was the revealing of Jane’s true identity as Taylor Shaw. It seems like a type of reveal that would’ve been saved for the season finale. Of course, once one mystery is solved, another one appears, and for all we know this could be a red herring. If she really is Taylor Shaw, there’s still more for the team to figure out. What exactly happened to Taylor as a girl? Where was she all those years that she received military training, became multi-lingual and eventually ended up in that bag on Times Square? And how will this affect Kurt’s relationship with her? Even if we’ve been given a big answer by the third episode, there are still plenty of questions left to uncover.

This week’s episode packed in a lot of material for one hour. The bearded man is dead, there’s another mysterious organization besides whoever tattooed Jane, Jane is Taylor Shaw, and we’re aware of mysterious codenames Orion and Daylight. Blindspot has undoubtedly shown that it will continue to offer surprises and answers more frequently than other series, which is very satisfying. Rather than having to wait around an entire season for one big plot-related question to be answered, we get those mysteries resolved with answers that lead into more mysteries. This make for a satisfied, yet ever-hungry audience eager to tune in every week to follow this progressing journey.