Blindspot manages to crank things up nicely with Cease Forcing Enemy after the show’s midseason break. Episode 11 lets the viewer finally learn who Jane Doe really is, like no-one had actually guessed already, and Sullivan Stapleton’s character (Weller) gets the best line ever with:
“Shoot anybody that’s not us.”
Jane was rescued by tree tattoo guy before the break and after he cuts her free, they spend a little time sparring until Doe gets the upper hand. Despite the video message from her “prior self” Jane does not trust the information passed on. Although she does comply with his request to get rid of the protective detail.
Later, back in New York, Agent Patterson (Ashley Johnson) works out another tattoo’s meaning. This one sends the team to the Black Sea. Zapata started to turn in her letter of resignation but changed her mind when she learns of Carter’s possible demise. After Weller and the rest head to Ankara, Turkey the New York Office director gets an unwanted visitor.
Jonas Fischer (John Hodgman) from the Office of Professional Responsibility arrives to investigate the death of Patterson’s boyfriend and clearly the man is a major douche who wants to use this investigation as his chance to push Assistant Director Bethany Mayfair (Marianne Jean-Baptiste) out of her position. Overly long sentences aside, the animosity between these two character is intense and almost palpable.
Before Fischer shows up, the FBI team discover a long missing jet (PA 921) and after boarding the deserted aircraft, the agents are surrounded and captured by terrorists. The same group who were trying to explode the dirty bomb earlier in the season.
This episode of Blindspot offered the perfect blend of parallel storylines for maximum entertainment and gave the viewer a chance to see just who Agent Patterson really is and what she can do. It also gave Weller’s team another in the field experience with a different setting and a change in action. It also proved that Mayfair, despite her shady backstory with Carter, is really a “good guy.”
Patterson, we learn, is not just a techno-geek, she has mad math skills and the ability to think on her feet. Not only does she save the day when Weller and Jane are attempting to stop the plane with its deadly cargo, but she can do long and complex math calculations in her head.
Patterson: “Yes, you can for sure maintain enough air speed. I did the math.”
Fischer: “How? Where?”
Patterson: “In my head, where math is done. Please, don’t interrupt.”
Show creator/executive producer Martin Gero, along with episode director Rob Seidenglanz, manage to run a two pronged suspense build in this segment where the “suspension” of Patterson via the uncomfortable Q & A by Fischer is just as tense as the escape attempt by Weller and his team.
By the end of Cease Forcing Enemy all the female characters prove to be very strong individuals. Patterson shows that a petty bureaucrat (Fischer) cannot bully her, Mayfair proves that she can and will push to save her people, Zapata can take a zapping and still hold her own and Jane Doe is still the New York Office’s ultimate bad a**.
Not only does Jane/Taylor land a “dead” jet, but she was the one who saved the day when Weller was strapped in a chair and about to be killed. These separate storylines Patterson’s and Doe’s, intertwined beautifully when Patterson managed to save the day also, whilst in the middle of being suspended by Fischer.
Despite Doe (Jaimie Alexander) proving her skills in combat yet again, she also shows her “savior” that regardless of her “own” message, Jane will only comply under her rules.
Bethany Mayfair now has more pressure on her and her position and while it has been revealed that Doe is Taylor Shaw, there is still enough doubt to make this “fact” somewhat ess than trustworthy.
Blindspot manages to keep things interesting and this midseason premiere has lifted the show from its “tattoo” a week premise. Sullivan and Alexander still have that splendid chemistry and Ashley Johnson proves that her acting chops are more than impressive.
This series airs Mondays on NBC. Tune in for the tattoos, by all means, but stay for the great writing, brilliant acting and excellent storylines.