After the heart stopping end to Season 1, Blindspot premiered this week with one hell of a bang. 3 months after being captured by Weller (Sullivan Stapleton), we find Jane (Jaimie Alexander) being held and brutally tortured at a CIA Black site in Oregon. If you thought Season 1 was phenomenal, the opening sequences constructed in this premiere go above and beyond. Between her current torture, and flashbacks to training, Jaimie Alexander depicts Jane’s stoic and stubborn nature hauntingly. It’s traumatic to say the least; but even when subjected to water boarding and electrocution, Jane doesn’t break. Replaying her training over and over again, while simultaneously disarming – successfully and unsuccessfully – her captors, Jane continues to fight to escape. Eventually, her ingenuity and patience pays off as she unlocks her handcuffs, disarms everybody and gets away. The stunt sequence is close to some of the best action movies ever made, full throttle, physical and completely addictive to watch. It is these scenes, in which I believe Jaimie Alexander does her own stunt work, that her true commitment as an artist and professional shines through.
Flash forward two weeks, and we join the FBI team during a raid with Reade (Rob Brown), Zapata (Audrey Esparza) and Weller all there. Unfortunately their suspect, who the audience believes to be Jane, escapes on a motorbike. Weller being the team leader and as stubborn as always, gives chase. Giving Kurt directions and obvious sass, we see/hear Patterson (Ashley Johnson) for the first time. Her information gets him within meters of the suspect, and he is able to shoot the motorbike wheel out, with the suspect flying from the bike. We wait on bated breath as she removes her helmet, eager to witness the reunion between Weller and Jane, but when it turns out to be some other criminal, the audience is left wondering – where the hell is Jane Doe? Soon after we get our first glimpse of the tension between the team; Zapata and Reade are sick of working simple cases, they miss the tattoos. Luckily for them the timing of NSA agent Naz Kamal, played my mega force Archie Panjabi, brings Intel that may just see them work the tattoos again. Jane has escaped and she needs their help.
Back at headquarters, the team is briefed by Naz on a number of terrorist attacks and their connections with one another. Published, they were completed by separate groups. True fact, they were performed by a single group, name Sandstorm. Catch to all this information? Jane was/may still be a key member of the Sandstorm organization. With all this information now in mind, Naz needs the team’s help with extracting Jane, however they all seem a little anxious to help. Especially after the fact they let her be captured and tortured for three months, of course they’d be feeling a little guilty. Either way, they agree. Soon after they arrive at the hotel where Jane has been hiding out, Weller as usual calls the shots. They split up, Weller going through the kitchen and being the first to close in on Jane. Well, that is, until Jane closes in on him, holding a gun to his head. What unfolds is a highly emotional, quickly turned physical confrontation between Jane and Weller. Jaimie Alexander breathes such anguish into Jane in this exchange, none more so when stating that she has no rights. Neither one is going to stand down, equal parts as stubborn, which then leads to a brutal altercation. Jane is thrown up against the wall, manhandled some might say, but Kurt experiences just the same. Eventually, Jane succumbs to her old teammates as Zapata and Reade show up just in time to see her pointing a gun at Weller. Talk about a reunion.
Having been captured, Naz wastes no time in hooking Jane up to a lie detector. But not just any lie detector; a MRI coronary lie detector with a 100% success rate. It’s not necessarily legal, but at this point in time, what is? As the injection is administered and the questions start, Jane answers every question. Uncovering all the information regarding Carter, Oscar, Mayfair and her double-agent status. She assures everyone – the team is listening on – that she did what she had to do, to protect them. Yet, when the news about Mayfair being dead is heard, the team becomes understandably shaken. Zapata cries, Reade looks dumbfounded, Patterson motionless and Kurt on the verge of exploding. Kurt doesn’t believe her, and why should he? Up until now everything has been a lie. But with a little encouragement from Naz he seems to come around, unchaining Jane and making sure she knew that her being tortured was never something that he wanted. Jane asserts that she was trying to protect him, but that she was wrong. With that, it seems the old allies are now on the same page. Sandstorm needs to be stopped.
The plan seems simple; well as simple as they come in the Blindspot universe. Jane is going undercover, with her cover story being Kade. As Kade is the only operative capable of such torture, she’s instructed to make a call and set up a meet. No one is happy about the situation, especially since the news about Mayfair, but Reade ensures Zapata that Jane is just a pawn. And pawn’s usually get sacrificed. Oh, Reade, that was harsh. Surprisingly, it gets worse; Jane informs the team that her current health status doesn’t say “tortured by Kade for three months” and that it’ll get her caught. The solution? They need to shoot her. Badly enough to sell the cover. Kurt unclips his gun, and with Jane yelling at him, pushing him, he still doesn’t shoot. No, in fact, it’s Zapata who does. And boy, was it badass; that’s one way to release some tension.
Jane makes her way to the meeting spot, disposing of the tooth tracker Naz implanted before this all started (like she’d fall for that one). Upon arrival, we meet a new face – Roman (Luke Mitchell) – who seems very excited and relieved to see Jane. He asks Jane if she remembers him, to which Jane simply answers that Oscar told her everything. She doesn’t waste anytime though, demanding he take her to Shepherd. Elsewhere, the team convene a meeting to discuss their working situation and their mixed feelings regarding Jane. After it gets a little heated, they all decide to work together, for Mayfair. Speaking of Mayfair, they also decide it’s about time to work on the thumb drive they retrieved from her apartment. With the files on it encrypted, they extend the information they do have to Naz in the hope she will give them access to a highly classified piece of software used by the NSA. I have to make note here of Patterson’s quirky humor; still cutting straight to the point and endearingly sassy. Ashley Johnson brings this coding-nerd to life, and in the darkness is such a beacon of light.
Checking back in with Jane, she and Roman have hit a road black on their way to Shepherd. Initially attempting to talk his way through it, their plan hits a speed bump when the police officer sees Jane bleeding. With no other way out, Roman takes matters into his own hands, killing everyone. During this, Jane experiences vivid flashbacks to her time as a child. She remembers his face, his voice, but can’t seem to piece it altogether. With the new characters, come new dynamics, none more intriguing than that between Naz and Weller. It’s not sexual (yet) but there is this underhanded, pissing match that is going on that seems to have them both rattled. Rattled to a point that when Naz reveals she implanted another tracker on Jane, Kurt loses it. Lashing out at Patterson when all she’s trying to do is help doesn’t go down too well either. But she takes it in her stride, turning the tracker off just as Jane arrives to meet Shepherd.
Since the beginning we’ve only known her as Jane Doe or Taylor Shaw, but when Shepherd turns out to be a woman; a woman holding a lot of important information, we learn her true name. Alice Kruger – born in South Africa to Anti – Apartheid activist parents, Jane and her brother Roman were forced into an academy for deadly soldiers after their parents were killed by the government. Shepherd, liberated them, and raised them as her own. They chose their names – Roman and Remi. Keeping track? Talk about big reveal. Martin Gero and his team have beautifully constructed this reveal in a way that opens up a whole new mythology and direction for the show. During this scene, Jaimie Alexander is as eloquent as ever, displaying subtle yet strong emotion. Not to mention, when asked about Oscar and the FBI, Jane cunningly plays dumb – she really has perfected this double agent thing.
Talk about a full on couple of months for Jane Doe. And now, after coming face to face with her mother (Shepherd) and her brother, she returns to the FBI with the newfound information. Naz is happy, of course, as this Intel puts them in good stead for ending Sandstorm. However, Weller and Jane still have a long way to go. Confronting Kurt about the deception regarding her tooth – that she couldn’t be Taylor Shaw – Jane lays it all on the line. The chemistry between these two is palpable, and with the added heartbreak of Mayfair’s death now hanging above them, it’s even more shrouded in brokenness. They both wanted so badly for her to be Taylor Shaw, with Jaimie Alexander and Sullivan Stapleton leaving the audience speechless with such a depth defying scene. Meanwhile, Shepherd has her doubts about Jane, while Roman remains loyal to his sister. She’s not sure if Jane is 100% back, to which Roman recommends activating their mole inside the FBI – um, excuse me? Mole? Inside the FBI? Who could it be? As the episode closes it shows us each member of the task force, but Shepherd reiterates that it’s not time now. It won’t be long though before shit hits the fan, especially with that huge missile Sandstorm is currently in possession of.
Oh, and let me not forget the image the team recovers from the thumb drive. An image that shows Jane, dressed as a soldier, lying motionless.