Reviewed by Colin Jacobson (August 28, 2018)
With Season Three of Blindspot, we find the continuing adventures of mysterious Jane Doe and the FBI team that works with her to solve various issues. This four-DVD package includes all 22 of S3’s episodes, and the plot synopses come from the set’s liner notes.
Back to the Grind: “The FBI team is brought together by a new crisis.”
S3 marries its leads and allows them three minutes of domestic bliss before violent reality intrudes – not like we thought we were going to watch 22 episodes of Jane and Kurt as they snuggle. While the opening feels a bit trite, it sets up events well and leads to a pretty exciting show.
Enemy Bag of Tricks: “The team adjusts to a new dynamic and Jane Doe’s (Jaimie Alexander) new tattoos.”
After a year away from Blindspot, I’d forgotten how frantic the series tends to be – and how ludicrous so much of it is. All involved play it straight enough to let us suspend massive amounts of disbelief.
“Tricks” becomes a reminder of these areas and how much they tend not to matter. As ridiculous as it may be, “Tricks” becomes another exciting ride that advances the burgeoning season narrative.
Upside Down Craft: “Patterson (Ashley Johnson) and Rich Dotcom (Ennis Esmer) try to hide a secret from their past.”
In the first two seasons, Rich popped up in limited doses and acted as a strength, partly because he brought comic relief to an often overly serious series. S3 brings him into the show as a regular, and that seems like a dangerous choice, as Rich’s act might get old when we see him so much.
S3 tames him a bit, but he still adds spark due to his general oiliness. Throw in an unusually chipper cyber-terrorist played by Heather Burns and this becomes a good episode.
Gunplay Ricochet: “Jane uncovers a shattering secret from her youth.”
That doesn’t sum up the story very well, as “Gunplay” mainly focuses on a threat from an allegedly dead terrorist. That’s not an especially fresh premise, and it leads to an average show despite Jane’s revelation.
This Profound Legacy: “An international crisis looms.”
Developments related to Jane’s situation bring some intrigue, but the main plot remains lackluster. It doesn’t help that “Legacy” feels more like a “message show” than usual.
Adoring Suspect: “The team goes undercover on a movie set.”
Hollywood loves to make fun of itself, so that means “Suspect” comes with a more comedic feel than usual. Nothing especially clever results, but the episode brings us a good level of entertainment, and I appreciate the minor deviation from the series’ usual somber tone.
Fix My Present Havoc: “The team runs a covert operation out of Jane and Kurt Weller’s (Sullivan Stapleton) home.”
Perhaps inevitably, S3 has started to devolve into a mess of stories in which we try to deduce who’s betraying whom. That becomes a main theme here, and it threatens to go off the rails, but it mainly keeps us with it.
City Folk Under Wraps: “Jane and Weller face a toxic secret.”
All the double-crossing intensifies here, and the show moves along the narrative well. We know that various parties will wind up in the clear, but the episode manages pretty good tension anyway.
Hot Burning Flames: “The team must work together to track missing warheads.”
Isn’t “track missing weapon” essentially the plot to every episode? Some interpersonal developments add spice to “Flames”, but the main story seems a little stale.
Balance of Might: “Edgar Reade’s (Rob Brown) journalist girlfriend Megan (Reshma Shetty) helps the FBI.”
Relationships play a bigger than usual role in “Balance”, especially related to Reade, as we know that something will happen with Zapata, Megan be damned. Most of the show focuses on various Roman-related movements, though, and these become a little too convoluted for the episode’s own good.
Technology Wizards: “Jane and Weller team with a mysterious man (Steve Kazee) from Jane’s past.”
Without “mysterious men” – and women – from the characters’ past, would Blindspot be able to exist? Or without “dead” characters who magically remain alive?
Both concepts play a part in “Wizards”, and neither offer surprises. I do like the continuing ways Patterson’s mega-successful app factors into the series, even if the rest of “Wizards” drags.
Two Legendary Chums: “Weller goes undercover with his former FBI partner (Darren Goldstein).”
“Chums” mainly concentrates on various character complications, and those add some depth, even if they do feel convoluted. The “action plot” part of “Chums” fares less well and seems like the kind of story we’ve already seen many times.
Warning Shot: “Nas Kamal (Archie Panjabi) surprises the team.”
Nas’s return brings a kick to the show. She’s not an especially interesting character herself, but she allows the series to remind us of the past and indulge in some fun new situations.
Everlasting: “Patterson’s investigation leads to a horrible incident.”
“Everlasting” takes on a total Groundhog Day theme, one that should make it seem derivative. However, it uses these concepts well and goes down creative paths to turn into one of the season’s more entertaining shows.
Deductions: “Tasha Zapata (Audrey Esparza) is caught between the FBI and the CIA.”
After the semi-detour of “Everlasting”, we go back to the main narrative in “Deductions”. It’s a step down after the cleverness of the last show, but it moves along the story reasonably well.
Artful Dodge: “A CIA source threatens to tear the team apart.”
If nothing else, “Dodge” deserves credit for the phrase “never trust a woman with a short haircut” – truer words have never been spoken! The plot seems a bit more muddled than usual but a decent mix of scenes allow this to become a reasonably enjoyable program.
Mum’s the Word: “The FBI team infiltrates a gala to arrest their target.”
Given some interpersonal developments, “Word” feels a bit more soap opera than I’d like. It offers some action and intrigue but I think it spends too much time with dreary melodrama.
Clamorous Night: “Roman’s (Luke Mitchell) allegiances are tested.”
With multiple assassins on the loose, “Night” brings action to the fore. Throw in some comic relief from Rich and this brings us a pretty solid tale.
Footnote: shouldn’t Patterson be much less attractive than she is? The show acts like she’s some kind of oddball frump, but she consistently looks pretty sexy and glam.
Galaxy of Minds: “The team partners with an oddball conspiracy theorist (Christopher Fitzgerald).”
We lapse back into a fair amount of goopy melodrama here, especially related to the Roman/Blake relationship. The conspiracy theorist also falls into cheap stereotypes that make him less than intriguing, and this adds up to a less than stellar show.
Let It Go: “Patterson’s father (Bill Nye) helps the team in the lab.”
The gimmicky casting of Nye as Patterson’s father works surprisingly well, but other parts of the episode sputter somewhat. Still, it’s better than “Galaxy”, so that counts for something.
Defection: “Jane recruits someone from her past (Michelle Hurd).”
As S3 heads toward a close, “Defection” offers a nice build. The episode avoids most of the gooey melodrama of recent shows and brings enough action to make it a good tease for the finale.
In Memory: “Jane and Weller hunt Roman.”
Given the series’ frantic nature, “Memory” acts as a surprisingly low-key finish, though perhaps this shouldn’t be a shock since so much of the year opted for character drama. It’s not a bad end to the season, though it seems a little disappointing.
Still, S3 generally works pretty well. I’d have preferred a more dynamic main narrative but the series still manages enough action and excitement to make it worthwhile. “Memory” pushes us toward Season Four’s intrigue, so we’ll see how that goes.