Blindspot is trying something different in this episode, “Cede Your Soul.” There is still a case of the week and it relates to Jane’s tattoos, but the case itself is more background noise. In fact, by Blindspot standards, the case is a cakewalk. The result is an episode that’s far more character-focused and stronger than ever. There are much less long-winded explanations about crazy situations and more scenes about how those crazy situations make the characters feel. Blindspot would be well served by making “Cede Your Soul” their new template for episodes going forward.
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Jane and Weller Keep It Professional (For Once) Jane has a mysterious sex dream about a man with tree tattoo on his forearm. Jane’s therapist thinks the man is Weller and the tattoo is symbolic. He tells Jane it’s not surprising because Weller is the most present and stable man in her life. Perhaps, it would better for her recovery to keep their relationship strictly professional for now. Clearly, this therapist and I are on the same page because nothing would make me happier if this distance lasted forever.
Meanwhile, Mayfair is telling Weller he is too close to Jane. She threatens him and says that he should be removed from the case. This is something she should have said a good month ago, but we’ll let it slide. Weller promises that he can remain objective. Unfortunately, Weller’s definition of “objective” is just to be a big, old, mean and emotionally irrational jerk to Jane.
A New Breed of Criminal
The case of the week is revealed. An app on the Darknet, Trakzer, is hiring assassins to target government officials. The convoluted way this is connected to Jane is actually pretty simple for Blindspot. Jane has the app’s symbol on her leg. Patterson finds the home of the person who created Trakzer. The twist is that she’s a teenage girl. The bigger twist: she claims to be working for the US government.
The girl, Ana, tells the FBI that her contact’s name in the NSA is Leonard Gail. When Mayfair contacts the NSA, they tell her that Leonard Gail doesn’t exist. This isn’t NSA secret-keeping. This is a fact. Ana has been conned into working for the bad guys. She didn’t even know her app was in use, let alone being used to kill people. She tells the FBI there is no way she can take it offline, though. It isn’t on her servers; it is on the servers of a man named Shawn Palmer — he man who “recruited” her.
Masterminded by Patterson and assisted by Ana, the team finds a way into Shawn’s tech fortress and destroys Trakster. Sidenote: Ana really should work for the government because her interactions with Patterson are delightfully snarky. Once apprehended, Shawn turns in several of his fellow criminals and the case is solved with more than half the episode to go.
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Technological Bread Crumbs
Jane wants to have someone in her life that isn’t the FBI. So she tries to befriend Ana as the girl leaves the agency. I can’t tell if this is sweet or desperate and slightly creepy. It turns out Ana might need friends, though, because when she gets home, a group of Russians dressed in black are waiting. Another sidenote: why is it always Russians? Anyway, these stereotypical bad guys restrain her.
Now that Trakzer is down, the Russians want Ana’s help to complete a job. Ana needs to find a truck for them if she wants to survive. Ana hacks into Patterson’s computer to signal for help. Patterson contacts the team and they go to look for Ana in her apartment, but she’s gone. The Russians have taken her to find the truck. Ana leaves clues for the team and they follow.
The team finds the Russian gang and a firefight ensues. As the rest of the team fights against the Russians, Jane goes solo and tries to rescue Ana. This is a reckless move, to be sure, but literally every time Jane has gone off on her own, she has succeeded. You can’t really blame her for using a method that gets results. This time is no different. Jane finds and keeps Ana safe. Weller and the crew kill most of the Russians. The lone surviving gang member tries to drive away, so Weller throws a grenade into his truck. The grenade detonates and explodes the truck to kingdom come. It’s no secret how much I dislike Weller, but even I have to admit this is pretty awesome.
New Wrinkles to the Mystery
As everyone recovers at HQ, Ana discovers the meaning of one of the tattoos on Jane’s body, specifically the black box tattoo that everyone thought was just covering up Jane’s original Navy SEAL tattoo. There is a message contained within the box. Seriously, just hire this girl already! In one episode, she is already more likable and useful than 80% of the team. Patterson doesn’t know what this new message means (yet), but it does tell them that any of Jane’s tattoos could have a double meaning.
Afterwards, Weller asks Jane if she wants a new lead agent on her case. Briefly, Blindspot presents me with the glorious hope that the icky Weller and Jane dynamic will be over or change before they snatch it away violently and stupidly. Jane tells Weller no, she doesn’t want a new lead agent. She understands why he is so invested and she never meant to push him away. It’s all very annoying, but Weller does admit that he might have a problem. That, at least, is some measure of progress.
As Jane goes home, she asks her bodyguards if they want to share a beer with her. Respectfully, but heartbreakingly, they decline. Jane heads inside her safe house, lonelier than ever. Across the street, a man watches Jane enter her house, a man who has a tree tattoo on his forearm. That’s great and all, but I only have one real question for all of you: should Ana appear on the show again? (Vote in the poll below.)
Blindspot airs Mondays at 10pm on NBC.
(Image courtesy of NBC)