It feels like it's going to become a thing now for the Blindspot characters to have some excuse to dress up every season. While Blindspot Season 3 Episode 4 even references the first time that happened during Blindspot Season 1 Episode 9, "If Beth," it's not as strong of an episode, no matter how fun it is to look at Jaimie Alexander and Sullivan Stapleton in formal wear.
The main plot line of a murderous assassin who winds up being a burned CIA operative has the requisite amount of plot twists but it feels as if it takes too long to get to them. The entire museum gala sequence borders on making the FBI team look dumb with how Elizabeth Gubara is able to repeatedly stay multiple steps ahead of them and escape even as they're supposed to be locking down the building.
Yes, she's CIA, but our team is supposed to be pretty smart too. And who's going to take the blame for the second victim who was murdered while the FBI agents were chasing Elizabeth through the building? It feels like the episode tries to mitigate the mistakes by revealing later on that the dead people were corrupt officials who deserved it.
The fight between Elizabeth and Jane is a highlight, if only because it's a change of pace from the usual gun battles on every other TV show. How often do you see a sword fight on a program that isn't a fantasy series? And it's also nice to see Jane have a competitor that gets away, when in Season 1 the show went too often to the well of her being able to solve problems.
As for the whole Jane and Lake Aurora story, it's a nice idea not that excitingly executed. The thought that Sandstorm could actually do a few things that are constructive was raised earlier this season and it provides more shading than just having it be a Legion of Doom. The problem is that we still can't quite connect with the organization in any sort of way.
How can you expect her to claw her way back here if she's got nothing to hold onto?Roman
Shepherd can tell her whole unfortunate history and it's sad and helps us to understand why she's convinced she has to do what she's doing. But she and to a lesser extent Roman are so cold in everything that they do that it doesn't hit home.
Michelle Hurd has given strong performances before, like when she played Det. Monique Jeffries in the first season of Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, but here she's just blank-faced and monotone so we can't care about her or anything that she says. Giving her a little humanity wouldn't make Shepherd less imposing and would make it much easier for Shepherd to make a convincing argument.
The real meat of "If Beth" is actually in the subplot regarding Reade. As we discussed in our recap of Blindspot Season 2 Episode 3, it's simply great to give Rob Brown a meaty storyline of his own this season, because he really is Blindspot's secret weapon with how he can bring both drama and levity.
The whole idea of him having repressed memories of sexual abuse is a bit iffy, but if you take that as dramatic license it opens all kinds of doors. Having Reade fly off the handle in frustration is an understandable – if obviously inappropriate – reaction, as is Weller having to act as his boss and put him in line.
Hopefully the series doesn't go full bore and have Reade murder or try to murder his ex-coach, because Reade can be angry but turning him into a killer would be a step or two too far.
But things get really interesting when Zapata gets involved. She kicks Freddie out of Reade's apartment to protect Reade, and then what is she hiring "Shadowcat" for and how will that help? Zapata continues to do things outside the lines and eventually she has to be made to deal with that tendency.
She got away with the whole Tom Carter situation because Carter died, and her forced collaboration with the U.S. Attorney presumably ended when Bethany Mayfair was murdered. Yet especially as Blindspot keeps emphasizing trust and the betrayal of trust, shouldn't Zapata have to answer for constantly going behind people's backs?
My brother isn't great with people.Jane
Then there's Weller. Poor, screwed-up Kurt Weller. Blindspot is just determined to make this man's life a continual dumpster fire.
Throwing him the curveball of his ex-girlfriend being pregnant was bad enough (especially since said ex-girlfriend never really fit into the show to begin with). But then to reveal that Weller's connection to Sandstorm actually goes beyond Jane, and back to when he was a teenager? It feels like the series is trying exceptionally hard to pile onto him.
If you think about it for two seconds it makes sense – obviously Sandstorm had to be aware of Weller and his history before deciding to put his name on Jane's back and orchestrate the whole faux Taylor Shaw debacle. But as fans, this wrinkle runs the risk of going too far.
How many mythology-based shows have we seen where the conspiracy just gets bigger and bigger, and more things keep getting pulled out of seemingly nowhere, and then it just gets convoluted? This could be interesting, or it could be one of those developments.
Just think of everything we've learned about Weller. He thought he'd found Taylor and that was a lie. He found out his dad killed Taylor. And now he's discovering that he's been under the watch of a terrorist organization for two decades? How much more of his story is Blindspot going to rewrite?
And why does this feel like he's turning into Charlie Crews from Life?
We'll have to wait and see where this all goes, especially since that tells us Sandstorm has been around for much longer than viewers probably ever fathomed. "If Beth" is not the most rewarding episode either as a stand-alone or in its place within the bigger world of Blindspot but this could be the episode that touches off some much bigger turns further down the line.
If you want to re-watch "If Beth" or catch up on any of Blindspot Season 2 so far, you can watch Blindspot online now. Don't miss Blindspot Season 2 Episode 5 next Wednesday at 8/7c on NBC. It's called "Condone Untidiest Thefts" and it looks like it's going to make Weller's life even more complicated.
Brittany Frederick is a staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow her on Twitter.