Blindspot: Split the Law – Black Sites and Gambling

Blindspot - Season 1

The world of Blindspot just got darker and more convoluted.  According to some sites the viewing figures for this Jaimie Alexander vehicle are falling.  Despite these ominous signs of slippage, Split the Law, a tattoo of the week that leads to CIA black sites, dirty bombs and the realities of gambling debts,  was entertaining.  This week sees more memories come flooding back as Jane tries to fit into the Taylor Shaw mold that Weller sees her in.

As predicted, each week has turned into a tattoo terrorist threat, but compared with the other FBI show on offer this season, this NBC series is less about procedure and more about mystery.  A sort of spy thriller set in the US where the enigma that is Jane Doe/Taylor Shaw is the biggest mystery of all.  The woman may be getting her memories back, oh so slowly, but there are still “hundreds” of tattoos to be deciphered and questions answered.

While viewing figures may be slipping the show is at least interesting and contains a strong female lead in Alexander. Other female characters in the series are also positive role models, even FBI Agent Zapata (Audrey Esparza) who, by the end of the episode takes money from CIA rotter Carter,  manages to have an expression of self loathing on her face while taking an envelope full of money.

Patterson (it is  quite interesting that on IMDb this regular character, played so well by Ashley Johnson that her character feels like the most realistic one in the show, is listed only by her surname) is another positive female role model.  Regardless of the characters in the show feeling real or not, the script allows enough leeway for each one to at least feel multidimensional.

Although Carter, the douche on two-legs who clearly wants Jane Doe dead, does feel a little like a pantomime villain.  Despite this fact,  actor Michael Gaston deserves major kudos for making this CIA boogeyman so despicable.  

The story this week involved the making of a dirty bomb and the good guys becoming confrontational after the bomb maker is caught on US soil, in a cemetery no less.

In Split the Law, a group of people are taken hostage as a coverup for the rescue of a CIA asset who was left to dangle in the wind by the agency. A number of innocent people are killed and Jane Doe helps the team figure out what really happened. The rescued man is a bomb builder who is making a dirty bomb.

Granted the plot with villains hiding amongst hostages may not be the most overtly original but the subplot itself, a CIA black site on US soil and a conniving head of operations attempting to cover up illegal operations takes the overall storyline up a notch or two.  On top of the CIA issues with Jane Doe and the FBI leader herself, the team are still divided about the tattooed woman and her presence out in the field.

Reade (Rob  Brown) even publicly sides with Carter and is chastised by Zapata afterwards because of it.

Blind Spot: Split the Law - Black Sites and Gambling

The shootout at the cemetery, where the radioactive waste is tracked down, ends with a stand off between the two agencies. Carter is stopped from shooting Jane by Mayfair (Marianne Jean-Baptiste) but then walks away from the man with her back to him. (One cannot help but wonder at her confidence that this man will not shoot her in the back.)

Kurt Weller (Sullivan Stapleton) tries to get Jane to fit into the Taylor Shaw backstory and invites her to a meal with sis and his nephew. During the meal Jane gets overwhelmed with flashbacks of being led out of her house as a child.  Disturbed by the visions she leaves the meal and later explains to Weller that his expectations are upsetting to her.

By the end of the episode Weller walks out on his father, Zapata sells out to Carter and there is trouble brewing between the local FBI and the CIA.  Despite the fact that we know Tasha has a gambling debt she cannot pay, it comes as a shock to see that she, and not Reade, sells Jane Doe out to Carter.

It does seem odd that Weller cannot accept his father after learning that dad had nothing to do with the disappearance of  Taylor Shaw, aka Jane Doe. The woman may have had her memory wiped and is now covered from head to toe in tattoos but she is clearly alive. The walking out by Kurt when faced with his father is confusing. Perhaps there is more to this estrangement than meets the eye.

Blindspot - Season 1

Blindspot may be a “tattoo terrorist” of the week plot, but it is a good combination of action and subterfuge. There could be less time spent in each and every episode with Jaimie Alexander’s illustrated woman proving, yet again, how bada** she is by pummeling some hapless idiot into submission.

We get it, this woman is dangerous and a walking weapon. Let us move on and get into the meat of this mystery. Like, what was Operation Daylight and why is Carter so determined to see Jane dead?  Most importantly who put all those tattoos on the woman with all those clues, each a “foretelling” of some type of terrorist activity?

Viewers who want answers should head over to NBC on Mondays to find out.



Author: Mike's Film Talk

Former Actor, Former Writer, Former Journalist, USAF Veteran, Former Member Nevada Film Critics Society

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