Blindspot (S02E04): "If Beth"

As Blindspot delves deeper into the mythology of Sandstorm and Jane’s (Jaimie Alexander) past, the stake for all those involved become greater. The fourth episode of its second season, “If Beth”, opens of a security guard enjoying a nice juicy burger. That enjoyment only lasts so long as the audience watches as the security feeds go down and the guard is drugged. Meanwhile, Roman (Luke Mitchell) and Jane are seen standing on the side of Lake Aurora, a lake previously ravaged by chemicals at the hands of the government. Roman informs Jane that it’s acts like those that they are fighting against, that they are more defending the country than attacking it. Yes, Jane seems to understand that, but continues to question what Shepherd is planning. Jaimie and Luke continue to evolve the relationship between their characters in the most subtle of ways; now forming a trusting bond, but only to a certain extent. 
Elsewhere, Reade (Rob Brown) is exercising in an attempt to keep focused on the present moment and not let what Freddie said eat away at him. It doesn’t seem to work, as the audience watches as flashbacks are strewn across the screen. Meanwhile, Weller (Sullivan Stapleton) and Ali are together again, this time discussing whether Kurt has made a decision to be involved with the baby or not. After a few moments of awkward mumbling from both parties, Kurt says he’s in. As they embrace both breathe a sigh of relief, and seem genuinely happy for what the future holds. Back with Reade, and talk about timing; as he goes to leave his apartment he runs into Freddie waiting outside. He needs a place to stay, admitting that he’s been struggling with the Coach Jones revelations. Although reluctantly, Reade offers him his place to crash for the time being. Arriving at headquarters for the first time this week, Nas (Archie Panjabi) and Weller are at each other’s throats (again) about Jane and her mission. Adding a little bit of humor to the confrontation, the camera zooms out to reveal Jane standing in the room, being able to hear everything they are saying. With the argument stemming from Roman’s information regarding Lake Aurora, Nas, much to the dismay of Weller confirms that Lake Aurora was contaminated, that Roman was in fact telling the truth. Even more interesting, is that Jane agrees with Roman’s standpoint. It has to be noted that Sullivan Stapleton and Archie Panjabi have dynamic power when it comes to these argumentative scenes, as entertaining as some of the action sequences. 
Zapata (Audrey Esparza) continues to hold concern for her partner, yet Reade continues to assure her that he’s okay, even with Freddie staying. To the case of the week, the tattoo under investigation is the honeycomb pattern on Jane’s wrist which Patterson (Ashley Johnson) has discovered has code within it. Both her and Zapata share an adorable, totally nerdy moment when they bond over the fact their girls who code. It’s powerful and hilarious all at the same time, again displaying the balance between themes Blindspot is so good at maintaining. Translating the code to messages, the team uncover the homeland security ID of “Shadwcat”, he’s a hacker. With this information, the team converge on his house and arrive to find him running away as the hard drives start to burn. Ready is instructed to go around the back and is fortunately there to intercept him. By intercept I mean, tackle him to the ground and beat him till Weller breaks it up. It’s obvious that Reade is struggling to come to terms with all things Coach Jones and it’s unfortunately manifesting itself as misplaced aggression. 
Back at headquarters, with the information gathered off “ShadwCat’s” drives, the team discovers insanely detailed mods and training simulations used to complete the perfect heist. It’s extensive and highly complex, and in the wrong hands utterly dangerous. In the meantime, Nas encourages Weller to sit Reade out after he broke the suspects orbital bone. Weller, however, doesn’t agree. On the back of the information from ShadwCat, the team discover a possible heist planned for a fundraising event at a nearby museum. You know what this calls for right? The entire team, Patterson and Nas included, get to go undercover in the most fancy of ways. Before they do so, Weller checks in with Reade to make sure he’s doing okay, he says he is, but the audience knows that Reade is hiding something. Jump two days forward to the day on the fundraiser, and Jane and Weller are getting ready. Note the callback to Season 1 as Weller zips Jane dress up; there is no doubt about the chemistry these two share, given life my Jaimie and Sullivan. 
At the event, the team walks in with the camera directed in a way that makes it look and feel like some sort of Ocean’s 11 takeover. Dressed in all black, and looking the part, the team split up — Weller and Jane, Reade and Zapata, and Nas and Patterson. The host of the party, Oliver, immediately catches Jane’s eye and she can’t seem to stay away. The two begin somewhat of a flirtation, but Jane is more interested in what he knows about Lake Aurora. Jane questions if it was as bad as they said, he admits to it being worse. This admission worries Jane even more, but before she can ask anymore questions, Weller interjects (as her brother) ending the conversation. As they walk away though, Oliver hands her his card. New romance on the horizon for Jane? In the meantime Reade and Zapata had a false alarm while Patterson figured out that the basement was integrated into the heist as well, and signals the team that she’ll check it out. Once down there, it seems empty but when a masked figure rises from the boxes the audience knows Patterson isn’t alone. She doesn’t have time to react when the masked figure throws a wire around her neck and begins to choke her. Luckily, Weller is fast acting and gets there in time to ensure Patterson’s safety before he himself gives chase.  
Elsewhere, as the team spreads out, Jane comes across a dead body around the same time Reade becomes overly aggressive with prospective suspects. Sadly for him, Nas is there this time to witness his rage. Meanwhile, two more dead bodies are uncovered with the team still struggling to track down the woman they believe to be the suspect. Eventually, Patterson directs Jane to a hidden door and what follows is another bad-ass fight sequence between Jane and the wanted female. It is tomb raider type stuff, full-on action and physicality that is intoxicatingly entertaining. It ends badly when the woman releases a flash bang and Jane is left disoriented on the ground. The woman gets away, but the bodies at the scene as well as the museum itself give the teams some leads to work with, specifically that the heist may be tied to East Africa. As the team arrives back at the office, Reade is told to go see Borden (Ukweli Roach) before he’s to continue in the field. Not taking this news well, Kurt ensures that it’s just out of concern for his friend and colleague. 
Checking in with Roman and Shepherd, they seem to be moving closer and closer toward their endgame when Roman arrives back with a truckload worth of C4. Shockingly, it’s only half of what they need. Shepherd not happy about it, is shut down instantly by her son who states that it’s about time she give Jane something to hold onto. The FBI, in the meantime, have tracked down the identity of the woman from the museum, Elizabeth Gubara. She was working illegal operations in Sudan, and is seemingly connected to Charles Kessler, a homeland security agent. Tracking her location, the team have her surrounded and subsequently captured but not before she reveals that she’s CIA. Excuse me, you’re what? Reade, having heeded Weller’s advice to see Borden is seen next sitting across from or beloved therapist. When Borden asks questions about the repressed memories, Reade begins to open up. He mentions not remembering anything about the abuse but does make reference to the gaps in his memory also. Borden does say they can work towards retrieving those memories but cautions him that he still may not remember fully. 
In the interrogation room, they’re questioning Elizabeth as to what exactly her role within the CIA is/was. She was a deep cover operative that infiltrated a camp in Sudan. They ended up using the operation to turn profit, and when Elizabeth caught on she was held captive. Thankfully, she escaped and they wiped any trace of her ever being alive. Jaimie Alexander illustrates Jane’s pain in this scene beautifully, with tears just welling in her eyes, showing her deep understanding of the victim. We also discover that Elizabeth has a daughter, not only that but that Charles faked her daughters death. It becomes evident that Elizabeth and Charles were in a relationship and when it all turned sour, went into hiding with their daughter. With this information, the FBI team track Charles and his daughter where a gun fight ensues. Unfortunately, with all the fire Charles is shot dead while his daughter watches on from car. Thinking that the coast is clear, the team approaches only to be fired upon again by the daughter. She’s emotional and scared, not believing that her mother is still alive, maintaining that her father wouldn’t have lied to her. That’s when Jaimie Alexander delivers a depth-defying line as Jane – “It’s possible to lie to someone and still love them”. Any guesses who she’s talking about? Note the shared look between her and Weller. With that, Jane breaks through to the girl, successfully disarming her and guiding her to safety. 
The episode comes to a close as Weller and Jane watch mother and daughter reunite. The moment is sweet but leads into an admission of sick and tiredness from Jane; Sandstorm doesn’t trust her, the FBI doesn’t trust her, Weller doesn’t trust her, and she’s sick of it. Can we blame her? Jaimie Alexander is nuanced in playing every angle of Jane’s persona this season, each so unique but all grounded in the Season 1 commitment to her team and Weller. Zapata, speaking of commitment, arrives at Reade’s apartment to find Freddie shooting drugs. She’s not there for niceties, instead she kicks him out, saying he needs to find somewhere else to work through this. And Reade? Well, he’s keeping a very close eye on one, Coach Jones. Back at the FBI, Weller is just about to pour himself a celebratory scotch when Nas interrupts. The banter between the two continues to become deeper and funnier, as well as displaying a stronger level of possible attraction. Elsewhere, Jane is given a deeper look into her history with Roman and Shepherd, with Shepherd finally opening up. She explains that her family lived by Lake Aurora, and that as a result of the chemical pollution her mother, father and brother died. Not only that, she had to have her ovaries removed due to the affects. Jaimie and Michelle Hurd are breathtaking in this scene, with the monologues from Michelle some of the best this season. Shepherd admits that adopting and raising Roman and Jane saved her life. 
Keeping with the theme of learning more about one another, Weller and Nas build on their somewhat professional relationship by opening up. Most importantly though, Nas reveals that her Sandstorm informant had one last message for her. The message – that Weller has been a big part of the Sandstorm plan for a long time. So long, that they’ve been tracking him for over 20 years, cue the video footage of him in military cadets.