Maybe it's because we're only two episodes back but Blindspot Season 2 Episode 11 feels more like it's taking accounting for another episode than a full episode itself.
"Droll Autumn, Unmutual Lord" is a slow starter that doesn't pick up until its second half and seems like its primary function is to make Jane and Weller reassess their families. Or to make us hate basketball.
The core concept of forcing the FBI to work with the CIA was played out before, and better, in Blindspot Season 1. Not to take anything away from Chad Donella, who plays Keaton, but he'll forever be Jacob Clarke from the miniseries, Taken.
Even when he's trying to be bad it's peanuts compared to what Michael Gaston did as Tom Carter.
Keaton's an annoyance; Carter was someone you full-on loathed. So asking Jane and company to work with Keaton's CIA is more of an irritation than particularly tense, even though Blindspot gives us flashbacks to remind us that Keaton tortured Jane at that black site not so long ago.
The good news is that Reade and Patterson are both back in action, and the former is hitting one-liners again:
Safe to say he's not here for 'Hamilton' tickets.Reade
The episode is supposed to be all about family, whether it's Jane and Roman, Keaton and his daughter Erin, the bad guy Stepulov and his son, or Weller and his still pending Baby Weller.
The problem is making those kind of connections between the plot of the week and the character development only works if both sides are developed.
We don't care a whole lot about Erin (no offense) because we don't like Keaton.
It's a hard ask to care about his family when our whole frame of reference is him not caring about Jane, and no monologue about just doing his job changes that. If we saw him being more sympathetic, that'd be something else but we don't.
We don't care a lot about Stepulov's son because we don't get to know the kid. He has literally one scene and no lines. We only know him as the piece that's going to make his dad cooperate; essentially, a pawn.
And it's been pretty well established that we don't care about Baby Weller because we still don't understand what that has to do with anything (though more on that in a few paragraphs).
So what we're left with then is a fairly standard "bad guy recruited to help good guys but it doesn't work out" plot and the ongoing saga of Jane trying to help Roman. The plot is distinctly average, except for the idea of explosive basketballs which is admittedly more funny than anything.
Poor Roman continues to get screwed over.
If you're a frequent NBC viewer it's fun to see Li Jun Li, fresh off her role as Burgess's partner Julie Tay on Chicago PD, playing the profiler who works with him, but otherwise it's frustrating that literally every person other than Jane seems to be writing him off.
Not that Roman was ever Mr. Happy Guy, but you'd think at least one other person would give him some room for redemption. At least Weller, if for no other reason than he trusts Jane again these days.
The only thing he seems to remember is how to kill.Weller
Does anyone else think that Nas's friend Karen is more than either of them are letting on? Like perhaps she's that Sandstorm source Nas was picking up a message from earlier?
Similarly let's all just start counting down the episodes until we learn that the girl trying to pick up Reade in the bar is actually working for someone. In no crime drama does a main character meeting a random woman in a bar end well. I'm not even sure that goes well in reality.
And then there's Zapata. What the frak is going on with Zapata, other than her marvelous poker face?
Turns out Borden's a mole, Jane's brother's in prison downstairs, and they caught that rat in the locker room.Zapata
I'm not entirely convinced that Blindspot knows what it wants to do with Zapata.
She had her gambling problem last season that went away and then randomly came back. Now in Blindspot Season 2, Reade kisses her and they both say to drop it, only to keep talking about it every time we see them for the rest of the episode.
And then Zapata gives the angsty look back as she's leaving Reade with the mystery woman? We discussed this last week, but the show does not need to hook Zapata up with Reade. Let us not mess up a perfectly good thing. But from that last scene it does look like that's where this is going.
At least they're doing better than Weller. He finds out at the end of this episode that Allison, her new boyfriend Connor, and his unborn kid are moving to Colorado.
The good news for fans is that means that Allison and the baby should be out of the picture, thus avoiding another awkward love triangle or trying to juggle parenthood with crime fighting. But it prompts the question, what was this all for then?
The show brought back Allison when it didn't need to, and got her pregnant when it didn't need to, only for her to leave again?
She could have just stayed gone and had the same result. You could say her being there was supposed to prompt Weller to think about the big picture, but he didn't really seem to do that.
So, we have ourselves essentially a big plot circle. Oh, and Nas.
Until we stop her, it's not safe anywhere.Nas
And at the end of the episode, as is now to be expected, there's a clue that connects to the next episode's case of the week. Stand by for biker chick Jane, everybody!
"Droll Autumn, Unmutual Lord" isn't as frustrating as some earlier Season 2 episodes; it just doesn't do much.
Roman and Jane trying to help him is still the best part of the show, but even with that, we've heard so much of her campaigning for him already. Maybe next week will finally let him turn the page and prove he has value to Team Blindspot.
Otherwise, Season 2 of Blindspot is kind of looking like 24 Season 2.
The first season was so well done, so densely plotted, with a clear Point A and Point B and that made it magnificent. Then came the second season and because the first was so specifically crafted there wasn't much to do but wander and figure out where the show wanted to go and what it should be now.
That's what this feels like. This is still a very entertaining show with a phenomenal cast and no reason to believe it won't sort itself out. But it hasn't yet and episodes like this won't get that done.
I know you, so unlike me, you don't have to start from scratch.Jane
Blindspot continues next Wednesday at 8/7c with "Devil Never Even Lived." It'll be the last new episode for three weeks, so tune in because it'll probably end on something to keep us guessing...
Until then, if you want to re-watch "Droll Autumn, Unmutual Lord" or any of Season 2 so far, you can catch up now and watch Blindspot online.
Don't forget to leave your predictions in the comments. Is Nas's friend evil? Will Reade get played? How much did you miss Borden, or Nigel, or whatever we're calling him now? Let us know and we'll see you next week.
Brittany Frederick is a staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow her on Twitter.