Blindspot (S1E23): “Why Await Life’s End” 

Review

And so we’ve arrived. The much anticipated final episode of Blindspot’s Season 1. By golly was it a heartbreaker. But did we expect anything less? If you got to this episode thinking we’d get all the answers and a happy ending, you’ll be disappointed. What we did get, however, was so much more. We got emotion. We got action. We got fire. We got answers. And we got more questions. Titled “Why Await Life’s End” the episode began with Jane (Jaimie Alexander) showering, experiencing quite vivid flashbacks; attempting to wash away the blood, the reminder that her leader, a protector of sorts was just killed by someone she also believed she could trust. Killed by someone she once loved. Cut with Weller (Sullivan Stapleton), standing in the middle of the FBI, motionless, with the news from his father’s deathbed confession overwhelming his system. This sequence is haunting, none more so than the artistic, full length shot of Jane in the shower; each facet of the tattoos seen through the water. As the scene ends, Jane is now determined. That or pissed, as she gets dressed and leaves. She’s on a mission. 

Meanwhile, Weller approaches Borden (Ukweli Roach) as to what to do; he’s lost, world shaken and the information he has, is just too much to comprehend. Asking for guidance, answers – was he lucid? Could it be true? – the answer and wisdom so simple from Borden. What does your gut tell you? We know what ours is telling us. Sullivan Stapleton begins this episode eliciting a gut-punch, but only gets more soul-crushing as the episode continues. He’s my early MVP. To make matters worse Jane isn’t taking his calls, and when he joins the team their intuitive enough to know not everything is right. Saying he can’t stay, and the team obviously concerned, he tells them his father died. The reality of his admission so visceral in the subtle sobs of Stapleton. The team is shocked, Zapata (Audrey Esparza) even embracing Kurt as a sign of comfort. And so another piece of our hearts break. He leaves and is next seen as Jane’s apartment, meanwhile, Jane is doing her own breaking in but this time at Oscar’s (Francois Arnaud). They are searching for answers, clues, leads; anything they can find that will point them in the right direction. 

Jane experiences a sudden flashback prior to the mission; Oscar and her are exchanging “I love you’s” at the same time she is the one ensuring him, that it will be ok. He’s concerned she won’t come back, she’s concreted that he shouldn’t be her handler. Maybe, she should talk to “Shepherd”. Oh another hidden figure? A big bad? The leader? Who knows. Weller experiences his own flashbacks of Jane; playing as kids, camping, things she has said since their reunion. It’s all flooding back to both of them. Elsewhere, Ali returns as she is heading up the investigation into Mayfair’s disappearance. Her first point of call; talking to the team to make sure they aren’t involved. Patterson (Ashley Johnson) is so in the dark and naive that you can’t help but feel for her. While Reade (Rob Brown) and Zapata maintain they haven’t heard anything. 

Weller enlists the help of Sarah this episode, as his search for the truth hits a new level. Returning to their family home, the two siblings start to dig. Sarah knows her brother won’t rest until he gets answers, continuing to be a priceless beacon of support. After hours of digging, and no luck, Sarah and Kurt are relieved that their father’s death bed admission may have just been another delusion. Really though? Meanwhile, Jane has reconnected with a familiar face from earlier on in the season – remember Ana, the young hacker girl? Well Jane needs her to trace a number. The number, is for Hobbes. Hobbes, the handler of all things Oscar. After slight reluctance from Ana, she traces the number for Jane who leaves frantic and determined. The team at this point, or should I say Zapata and Reade, are discussing next moves in regards to Mayfair’s disappearance. Zapata encourages Reade that Mayfair wouldn’t just sit around if they were missing, and so the pair head off the address from last week. 

Arriving at the address – scene of the shooting last week – Reade and Zapata come across a shell casing. Add to that the potent smell of bleach, they soon realize they need Patterson. Filling Patterson in on all that’s been happening doesn’t go too well; Ashley Johnson does Patterson hurt so well. And rightly so. With an emotional statement that she tells them everything, that she would be happy to aide and abet Mayfair, they offer their sincerest apologies. And she accepts. But what she finds doesn’t bode too well for them; there is residual blood, a lot of it. It doesn’t look good. Jane has made her way to Hobbes caravan, and is hidden away inside. She’s silly to think she can sneak up on a highly-trained operative and learns that lesson very quick when Hobbes gases her out. In a heated stand-off, Jane embellishes the truth and states that Kade has been tailing her, she needs Oscar. Hobbes gives her a phone and an address and tells her to leave. But Jane has other ideas. She’s tracking Oscar. 

Back at the FBI Patterson is running the DNA from the blood sample while still trying to piece together who would be after Mayfair. Zapata and Reade, sharing a knowing glance, decide without words, to tell Patterson everything. And I mean everything. They leave no stone unturned, and as Patterson listens, the hurt but more so the agitation boils to the surface. In a monologue on Ashley Johnson can deliver, Patterson gives a rousing speech about them all being a family; if they are threatening you, they are threatening me. After her journey this season, it’s no wonder Patterson is so protective of her team and finally they realise just how true this is. Not to mention how focused Patterson can be on the road to justice. Meanwhile, Jane has tracked Oscar when her phone starts to ring. Still avoiding Kurt’s calls, she waits for the voicemail and listens to Kurt admit to always thinking of her first, he always has. The sentimentality is lost a little on Jane though; her focus right now is getting to Oscar. 

As each member of the team gets closer to their wanted answers, the stakes get higher and higher. DNA results come back to reveal that it is Mayfair’s blood; with a moment to breathe, the team decide they need to search her house regardless of whether it’s a crime scene or not. The arrive, and as they struggle to find any clues or leads Patterson stumbles upon an irregularity. A picture that was never there before. Taking it as a sign, she takes it off the wall to reveal a safe. Now just to break the code. Brainstorming ideas, attempting to unlock it, Reade notices prints on animals on the back of the painting. What could they mean? And that’s when it comes to them, zodiac signs of the team. That’s the key code. And with that, opening the safe reveals a USB drive. Unfortunately though, it’s been encrypted. Oh Mayfair, you’re one smart cookie. 

Weller and Sarah are somewhat celebrating the fact that no body was found underneath the fort; but with a small discovery, and a jolt of memories, Weller remembers something that may be important. Camping. Fort Boone. Is that what his father was referring too? He needs to know. He arrives, and starts to dig. Through the rain, he is well and truly determined and eventually discovers a gumboot. It’s Taylor’s and there is a bone inside. The anguish of this discovery is bought to life through Sullivan’s portrayal. Gut-punch. Tears. All of it. Talking of discoveries, Jane has followed Oscar to a barn in the middle of nowhere. She’s inside where she notices a body bag (Mayfair) and while distracted is tasered from behind by Oscar. Coming to, Jane realises Oscar has a bag of something. He goes on about the fact the mission can’t continue like this; next time will be different. Not knowing what this means, Jane questions him. This is when we find out he plans to wipe her memory again. As the tension builds, Jane and Oscar both at the end of their tethers Oscar admits that Jane was never Taylor Shaw. What? Excuse me? Did I hear that right? Why then did you make me believe I was Jane, she questioned. For the point of the mission, it was always a ploy to get Weller in power. Jane begins to realise how elaborate and how volatile this entire scheme has been. She finds out that Oscar was actually the one that killed Marcos, not Kade. Shepherd is their leader – still no face to the name. And as Oscar tries to persuade Jane to see it from his view, he has one last ditch attempt to reach her. He fails. Well not so much as he’s victim to a killer head butt from Jane. They fight. I mean, technical, hard-hitting fight sequence that had me gripping my seat. He doesn’t want to hurt her, but she wants to bring him in. She’s done playing games. As it escalates, and weapons are utilized – an axe specifically, it becomes increasingly heated. In a quick turn of events, Jane takes control of the axe and plunges it through Oscar; killing him. She runs – that is before the fire that has been raging burns her to a crisp – and as she watches the fire build, she sprays “For Marcos” on the ute, and leaves. 

As all finales must, this one certainly left quiet a few things up in the air. After burning it all down, Jane returns to her apartment, nearly burnt to a crisp herself. She is heard leaving a voicemail for Weller, but that’s not needed, especially when he’s quietly sitting in her kitchen. Um, talk about inconspicuous. He’s drinking and the emotion that has been evident all episode still rife through his gaze. Getting the cordial hello’s out of the way, and catching Jane up, Weller pulls out a doll. Jane has no idea what it is; it’s Taylor’s, he buried it with her. Weller continues, now standing, approaching Jane – quick moment to mention how heartbreaking this scene is made to be by Jaimie and Sullivan’s eyes, it’s progressive and nuanced. It doesn’t take both of them long to realize where they are at. Jane not being able to get a word in edge ways, is completely shocked when Weller pulls a gun on her. Demanding to know who she is, but Jane unable to give him any reason not to go through with this. If you aren’t feeling the crushing emotion of this scene, tell me how, because both Jaimie and Sullivan work together effortlessly with the cutting reality of dishonesty now defining them. He arrests her. It’s over. It’s finished. Oh Weller, it’s the furtherest thing from over but for some reason it doesn’t feel like he’s talking about the case. But him and Jane. 

While this is happening, the team have successfully cracked the code Mayfair had guarding her files. Total callbacks to David and Patterson adventures, which makes our hearts ache that much more. The code ends up being “I’m sorry” — a message from Mayfair to her team. What is revealed on the USB drive is all things Daylight, and Orion. So what you’re saying, is now the team has access to all of the highly classified information? That’s definitely a cliffhanger. And it’s definitely in the right hands. 

In closing, this first installment of Blindspot has been one of the standouts of this television season. Hitting every note, drama, action, emotion and humour the cast and its crew have delivered some of the most thrilling seasons of TV. The greater mystery is what keeps us coming back, and the artistry of the tattoos make it that much more captivating. The performances have been nuanced, powerful and committed and the stunts so intricate and technical. Bravo Martin Gero on a power packed first season. Bravo to the entire cast for holding our attention every week, gut-punching us at all the right moments and delivering justice as well beat downs. Ashley Johnson and Jaimie Alexander are my Season 1 MVP’s with their characters journey’s so complex and gripping you can’t help but root for hem. Johnson’s innate ability to deliver emotion and the next second a witty remark is unparalleled. And Alexander’s ability to communicate the feelings of Jane through her eyes, makes us as an audience kneel to the talent. Bravo one and all and here’s to Season Two!