‘Blindspot’ 5×01 Review: “I Came To Sleigh”

The long-awaited premiere of the final season has arrived, blindspotters! Sooner than expected, Blindspot returns with “I Came To Sleigh” and here we are, one more year, to talk to you about everything. The episode is a roller coaster of emotions and tears, in which the great mystery of who survived the explosion and the interesting and painful changes that day brought to both the FBI and our team is finally revealed.

Here we go!

KILL OR NOT KILL?  THAT’S THE QUESTION

We finally know what happened to the team after the explosion. We knew that Jane was alive, because she was the only one outside the cabin. The others had mixed luck. All of them survived, albeit barely, except Reade (and later we will focus on this horrible loss that makes us cry all day). They saved their lives thanks to Weitz, who warned them just in time to be able to take refuge enough to save themselves.

The problems came later. That day, that explosion, changed them all. Reade’s death was a very hard blow for each of them, especially for Tasha, and with their names and careers in the mud they were forced to separate and flee. They retired for a time, to regroup and heal the wounds, those scars that are not seen, but that always stay with you.

They all went into fight or flight mode. For three months they were on the run, but someone gathered them together to start fighting. And he/she did it the way it all started, with tattoos. The first mission was clear: save Rich. But opinions on whether to do it or not were diverse. Rather just one discordant one, Tasha’s.

Jane and the others were clear on it. It was very dangerous, they were too few, they had little weapons and going could mean revealing that they were still alive and, therefore, giving up the only advantage they had. But it had to be done. It’s Rich. He’s  part the team. He’s family. There was no speech. It was a fact. And more knowing what he would be going through. Jane has been there. She remembers the torture, the pain, the bewilderment, the suffocation, the desire to die so that all the suffering would end, she feels the marks of the restrictions on her wrists and feet … no, she is not going to leave Rich to  rot in a hole like that. No way.

BLINDSPOT — “I Came to Sleigh” Episode 501 — Pictured: Jaimie Alexander as Jane Doe — (Photo by: Barbara Nitke/Warner Brothers/NBC)

Tasha, however, felt differently. Rich was important to her too, but was he worth the risk? Here the scars that we mentioned before come into play. Zapata, our Tasha, would never have considered something like this before. Rich is family, and for them she would do everything, she would give everything, including her life, even crossing the limit of legality.

But this Tasha, post explosion Tasha, is a damaged, broken Tasha. A Tasha who has given up and can only ask, what for? Isn’t it better for everyone to find life as they can and move on? Isn’t it better to let Madeline enjoy her victory? Because for Tasha, she has already won. Madeline has taken everything from her. Her job, her reputation, her life, her heart, Reade … so is it really worth taking the risk and standing up to Madeline? Are they really going to fight? Zapata is defeated, exhausted from fighting the current. She just wants to lie down, close her eyes and wait to die. So she raises the possibility of not rescuing Rich. And all this will become clearer later.

Another moment that shows the change that the explosion has brought to the team members has been the request of an old friend.  In exchange for his help, he wanted a CIA torturer (the same one who was torturing Rich) to be killed and murdered, and while Kurt is shocked and refuses, Jane is quick to accept it. Here we see the difference between the two. Jane has been in this situation before, running away, taking care not to misstep, with one eye on her back and one on the front.

She is not new to this.  She was trained for this. So she accepts and knows that sometimes there can be collateral damage in the path of a bigger target, and she also knows which battles to choose. Jane realized that there was no other option but to give in at that point to get the help they needed, so she simply accepted, thinking that later they would devise a plan or that this torturer would become collateral damage.

BLINDSPOT — “I Came to Sleigh” Episode 501 — Pictured: Jaimie Alexander as Jane Doe — (Photo by: Barbara Nitke/Warner Brothers/NBC)

Kurt, on the other hand, flatly refuses. He has never been the one running away. So he has a different attitude towards it. He won’t spill blood. He will do what he must to clear their names, but he will not deliberately kill anyone. So he never contemplates killing that torturer, and knew he had to find a way to make it appear that he had done it … especially when Jane’s life is in danger. And in the end he finds that other way of doing things. There is collateral damage, but it is not anyone’s life. Just his hand.

All this makes us see that Jane is in survival mode, and Kurt is learning what that means. It is certainly a change from what we have seen so far. They are no longer FBI agents, they are fugitives in a career in which absolutely everything is at stake: their life, their careers, their reputation … and the family they can build in the future.

“I GOT YOU.  ALWAYS”

Everything was happiness in the cabin. Rapata could finally have their moment of love, without doubts, without insecurities. They loved each other, and they were both on the same page. They wanted to be together. They wanted to spend their whole lives together. There are no more doubts, deceits, secrets, disappointments, insecurities … there was nothing more than what they feel. And they let themselves go.  But this is Blindspot and when there is so much happiness …drama knocks on the door. This time it was shaped like an explosion.

That explosion leaves Tasha very badly injured. Reade is by her side, but he knows that if they don’t get her out of there she will die. He cannot allow that. And he won’t.  She is his all. She must stay alive. He cannot imagine a world in which Tasha Zapata doesn’t exist. So he risks his own life, knowing that he will probably die, to help her get out of there and live. He gives everything he can give at that moment for her: his life.

His own life doesn’t matter to him if he manages to save her. Tasha must go on. She must die of old age and not there, among the smoking ruins of a cabin. Tasha knows. Reade doesn’t have much time left and needs him to stay with her. Because she doesn’t want to continue, she doesn’t want to die of old age if it is not by his side.  Can not. Why? Why did he do that? But the answer is simple: he loves her. And will always, always protect her.  “I got you.  Always.” There is not even an option. She is his heart, his home, his everything. No matter the risk, nothing matters. Whatever it is, he will be there for her. To hold her, to save her, to take her by the hand. For everything she needs.

Thus, looking at the love of his life in the eyes, so that she sees and feels all the love that he has for her, all that he feels for her, with his hand clinging to hers, Reade dies.  And Tasha can only scream in rage, despair, suffering, her tears come to her eyes like a torrent, she can’t stop them. They have wasted so much time, so much … in indecision, in secrets, in lies, in dancing around each other, in insecurities … too much time lost. They can never get it back. And that morning, that morning they were so happy in each other’s arms … if they had only known that those were their last moments together, if they had only known that they had so little time, they would not have wasted so much time and said everything they felt. But they can never do it anymore.

Tasha is in shock. She couldn’t even thank Reade for saving her life, for giving his life for her. She couldn’t even tell him that she loved him, that she loved him so much that she wanted to go with him. She couldn’t even tell him she was sorry, that she was sorry she lost so much time. She could do nothing. And she feels so lonely. So angry, so mad … she needs to hit something, she needs to kill someone. So she can’t stop hitting that guy on the rescue mission. Relieve everything she feels in those blows, with him.

She is angry with herself for wasting so much time, with Madeline for causing all this, with the world for taking away her happiness. And that leads to a state of defeat and deep depression. She just doesn’t see the point in fighting anymore. She doesn’t see the point of the plan, she doesn’t see what they must fight to clear their names and return to their former lives. How can they even think about it? How dare they pretend that everything will return to normal? Nothing will be like before.  Her life will not be as before. Reade is not there. She will not be able to live her life with him. She will not be able to hug him, kiss him, tell him how the day has gone, make love to him, marry him, have children together and die of old age with him. She won’t be able to do any of that.

BLINDSPOT — “I Came to Sleigh” Episode 501 — Pictured: Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio as Madeline Burke — (Photo by: Barbara Nitke/Warner Brothers/NBC)

Tasha sees no future. Not without Reade. She only sees a great emptiness, the same one that she feels in her heart, in her soul. She has lost everything. She has nothing.  Why fight for nothing? If the only important thing, the only thing that she really loved and gave meaning to everything is gone, it is not worth fighting.

She has been silent for so long. For three months she has kept what she felt inside her.  Trying not to think about it, not facing it because then everything would become more real, more painful than it already was. But she can no longer. So she explodes with the team and, later, with Rich. He knows that Tasha is keeping too much for herself, and if they want to get her back, so that Tasha can be herself again, it can’t be so. She must let it out. And she does.

For the first time in three months,Tasha externalizes what she feels. She confesses to Reade how angry she is, how mad she feels, how sorry she is for not telling Reade something. “Thank you. I love you.” Something. She also confesses that she knew where Rich was a month before the tracks arrived, but she felt so defeated that she had no desire to fight, neither for him nor for anyone. Rich listens to her, without judging her, even when that month was hell for him. But he understands Tasha, she was also in her own hell, suffering torture every second of every day. If he had been there, in her position, feeling the same, he surely would have done the same. But she must say those last words to him, her last message to him, even if he is not there to hear it, she needs to say it, otherwise she will never be able to move on.

It is then, after her talk with Rich, that Tasha lets herself cry. Just cry for hours, non-stop. She had not cried since that day, since his death. But she needs to do it, she needs to cry to let him go, to say goodbye … and honor his sacrifice by living her life, moving on. Because Tasha has noticed. Reade gave his life for her to live. Not to let her die. If she continues like this, without fighting and just waiting for the hour of her death, she would be failing Reade and herself, because she is not like that.

So she has made a decision. Mourning for Reade will be allowed. She will cry for one night, for days, for as long as it takes until she is ready to dry her tears, get up and fight. His death will be a wound that will always accompany her and will never finish healing, but she must learn to live with it. So she follows Rich’s advice and in front of everyone else, in a tribute, a kind of funeral with the closest family, the only ones who understand her and who will fight alongside her, she addresses Reade and says her last words. Those last words that she was not able to say to him in the ruins of that cabin.

He was everything to her. He was her partner, her friend, the love of her life, her soulmate. Part of her soul, her whole heart. And his sacrifice was not in vain.  Everyone will fight to clear their names and move on. Everyone will honor his sacrifice. Especially her. He gave his life so that she could live hers and she will. She will never forget him … but she will continue on her way. She would have done the same for him. And she returns his words “I got you.  Always”.  It has always been like this and always will be.

The words are smeared with tears. They have stabbed us with an arrow in the very center of our hearts. Why Reade? Just now that he and Tasha were on the same page. It’s not fair! But that is the problem: the world is not fair. These two characters, after all they have suffered, were the ones who most deserved their happy ending.  They had more than earned it, so I don’t like that they decided to kill Reade.  However, I get it. That explosion must have its consequences, it would not have been credible if it had not and the impact would have been diluted too much if it had been the case.

That being the case, they couldn’t kill Kurt, Jeller has to be an endgame. They also couldn’t kill our precious unicorn Patterson. We would never have forgiven them for that, never. Only two options remained: Tasha or Reade. Rapata had to be broken in two. It’s tough, it’s painful, it’s unfair and I don’t like it at all but … it’s understandable.

“WE WILL WIN THIS”

Weitz has turned out to be an even more interesting character than he was before.  His ambition and his desire for power have led him to do many things … but he will not ally himself with Madeline. In fact, at first, when Afreen has trusted him blindly (gross mistake because Weitz wasn’t ready for that yet and I almost killed him when I realized he was going to betray them, again), he wanted them to catch the team alive. Let justice be in charge of deciding if they were guilty or innocent. After treating them so closely, he appreciated them and didn’t want them to suffer harm but he was too naive and too blind to see that Madeline had only one goal: kill them.

BLINDSPOT — “I Came to Sleigh” Episode 501 — Pictured: Aaron Abrams as Matthew Weitz — (Photo by: Barbara Nitke/Warner Brothers/NBC)

As soon as he realized it, as soon as he saw that Madeline was going to execute (because that is the only accurate description) FBI agents to get rid of them like trash, right there, at that moment, he dropped the blindfold and his consciousness has awakened. He wants power, but not at that price. Not at the price of becoming an accessory to an assassin. So he calls Patterson and alerts the team, he can’t let Madeline kill innocent people. To his friends. To his partners. Because he, despite everything, considers them that way.

After that moment, Madeline became the enemy to beat, which meant that he had to help the team from his position. He would be their eyes and ears, protecting them in whatever way he could. But he couldn’t do it alone. He needed an ally: Afreen. She wanted to help the team, not go against them. She has worked alongside those people for years, knows them and knows that Madeline is to blame for everything … she will do whatever it takes to sabotage her plans from within.

Thus, Weitz and Afreen come together in an unexpected but perfect alliance. They have given us very good moments together and they have managed to mislead Madeline enough, diverting her from the team’s path, sabotaging her plans and giving the team time so that little by little they can clear their names, getting closer to reaching Madeline. And they really thought they would get it. All went well. The team managed to rescue Rich from the zulo where he was, courtesy of the CIA and Madeline had no idea where they were … and that they were together.

They have passed a difficult test. Weitz was beginning to see the light at the end of the tunnel, both he and Afreen felt full, able to beat Madeline and trick her in the face, able to win the game. They are going to defeat Madeline, they are going to destroy her organization from within, they are going to help the team clear their names and the truth is known. They are going to win this.

BLINDSPOT — “I Came to Sleigh” Episode 501 — Pictured: (l-r) Aaron Abrams as Matthew Weitz, Ami Sheth as Afreen — (Photo by: Barbara Nitke/Warner Brothers/NBC)

But nothing could be so easy. Madeline has accused the setback and hired highly trained mercenaries to take control of the FBI, with Weitz doing nothing to stop it. He truly felt victory at his fingertips … but it was just an illusion, a mirage that has disappeared as quickly as it came. With those mercenaries in command, he and Afreen are going to have a hard time tricking Madeline again and getting some more time for the team.

Madeline has not stopped there. It was she who had hired those mercenaries, but had Weitz sign a form stating that it was him. For once, Weitz didn’t want to get involved in such a murky affair. As we discussed, he was unwilling to pay the price, but Madeline has reminded him that he is no saint … and that she can destroy his career and have him fired with the flick of a finger. So Weitz has signed.

It was really smart. You have to know how to choose battles, and that is exactly what Weitz has done. He could not win that battle against Madeline, she had the power to do it, she has him in her hands and if he is fired, he could not help the team and Afreen would be left alone. He had no choice but to give in. The question is, has he given up helping the team or will he continues to fight, alongside Afreen, for them? I choose the second option.

As we mentioned at the beginning, Weitz has turned out to be a more interesting character than he seemed at the beginning. We have seen that he is not a saint but, in his own way, he has his limits and his principles. He has lines that he isn’t willing to cross. They have shown us various edges, various sides of this character, as many sides as the human condition has. He can be a snake, but also one of the heroes. He is a complex character and that is why he is so interesting and one of the best characters that this series has given us.

BLINDSPOT — “I Came to Sleigh” Episode 501 — Pictured: (l-r) Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio as Madeline Burke, Ami Sheth as Afreen, Aaron Abrams as Matthew Weitz — (Photo by: Barbara Nitke/Warner Brothers/NBC)

I was pleasantly surprised by the role of Afreen. She is a character who has always been there, from the beginning, in a third plane, appearing in several episodes, simply giving information to the team, but still present. The decision to give her more importance and the fact that she is the one who defends and helps the team from her position is perfect.

“THIS EXPERIENCE WILL CHANGE YOU, IT’S ONLY A MATTER OF WHEN”

Once they set out to rescue Rich, the team realize they can’t do it alone. They have no choice but to ask for reinforcements from an old acquaintance: Jane’s creepiest criminal and admirer. And just seeing and listening to him … has anyone felt as much desire as I did to punch him? He’s a real moron. I promise you that I have seldom felt so good about wanting to hitting someone.

However, at the end of his brief business with Jeller, he says something interesting: that this life will take its toll, it is a fact, it is only a matter of when. I find this quite important, because I think that later it is reflected in Kurt’s words when he mentions to Jane that this life is not for him. Inevitably, that time on the run has changed everyone on a personal and professional level.

Personally, Reade’s loss has been tremendously hard, especially for Tasha, it is a void that they will not be able to fill and they must also reconcile the things they have seen, what they have done and what they will have to do with a life that everyone we would consider normal. It will not be easy.

Professionally, they will have to face that the FBI, the same agency for which they have risked and to which they have dedicated their lives, has failed them, considering them traitors and even attacking them. They are going to have to reconcile the fact that it is the FBI under Madeline who killed Reade and destroyed their lives, forcing them to flee and condemning them to be fugitives. Everything that has happened has changed their lives in ways that they cannot yet see. In ways that are not expected. But it is inevitable. The only question is when. When will they reach the limit and realize that they will not be able to live the same lives they lived before?

“WE MAY NOT HAVE EVERYTHING WE CAN BUT WE HAVE EVERYTHING WE NEED”

Jeller could not be absent in this Blindspot comeback! They are still as wonderful as ever.  I have melted with that “I love you.” It’s casual, it’s simple and that’s why it’s special.  They just say it. It is what they feel. And that hot scene. They had almost no time – in fact, less than expected – but they have missed each other so much, they have needed each other so much in those days and nights so long, so lonely, yearning, praying that their loved one was safe and well. They need that physical connection, to unite their bodies to touch each other, to feel the presence of the other in their bones. They love each other in a jumble of love and passion. Their world is crazy now but they find their safe harbor, their center. Home.

BLINDSPOT — “I Came to Sleigh” Episode 501 — Pictured: Jaimie Alexander as Jane Doe — (Photo by: Barbara Nitke/Warner Brothers/NBC)

Later, at the end of the episode, when everything is over and Rich is already with them, Kurt just wants Jane to know that he has missed her. Leaving her next to the enemy, in danger, goes against all his instincts, although he knows that Jane can defend herself, he just needs to be … there, present, making sure that nothing and no one damages her. But Kurt is not just referring to that mission, but to the three months they have spent apart. He has missed her every moment, every second … and so has she. This is beautiful.

They have shared so much in such a short time. Kurt’s heart beats for Jane and hers for him. They are absolutely comfortable with each other, so they allow themselves a little private joke about Jane’s origin, what this all started with: Shepard’s goal of taking down a corrupt FBI. After all, she wasn’t too far off the mark that the agency is corrupt, they are suffering the consequences of it right now.

But Kurt doesn’t want to get used to that life. He doesn’t want it to be the norm. He doesn’t want to be running away and looking over his shoulder at every step. That life is not for him. They will get to clear their names and go home to their lives. The problem here is that Kurt doesn’t realize or doesn’t want to realize that no one is going to be able to return to their lives from before as if nothing had happened.  What they have lived (and what they still have to live) has marked them and nothing will ever be the same. Nothing can be. This is closely related to what we have said before about the old friend’s comment. It all depends on when.

BLINDSPOT — “I Came to Sleigh” Episode 501 — Pictured: Jaimie Alexander as Jane Doe — (Photo by: Barbara Nitke/Warner Brothers/NBC)

Continuing with the scene, Jane’s answer seems absolutely beautiful to me. She tells Kurt that they may not have everything they could have but they have everything they need. It is such a great truth … an enormous and wonderful truth. It is true that they do not have everything they could have, they do not have a stable job, much less a normal life, they do not even have a house to live in but they have everything they need: each other and their family (the team) next to them. They cannot ask for more. They don’t need more.

On Point things:

  • Who helps them by giving clues through tattoos? If not Weitz, Rich or Afeeen, then who? He/she doesn’t seem like an enemy, rather seems like an ally … but I can’t think who it might be.
  • Stunts are so fucking awesome! I have enjoyed them all but it has been impressive to see Tasha kicking the bad guys ass, so full of rage. Cool!
  • The flashing lights have made me dizzy. I understand why they have done it this way, they have created the perfect confusion for us to feel and see the same as the characters, making us part of the scene as another member of the team but they were too dizzying for me.

CONCLUSION

In conclusion, this has been a perfect start to the final journey of this show. They have given us the answers we need – even though they have broken our hearts in the process – but they have kept the intrigue just right so that we stay hooked, wanting to know more. In addition, there is something that has not changed: tattoos remain the common thread that guides both the episode and the story itself. Blindspot remains true to its essence, to that special something that makes it different from all other series.

Apart from this, the pieces take position on the board. We begin to glimpse the movement of the enemy, who can be an ally, who can be a traitor. And I loved that feeling of unity, of family that was felt in the air, especially in the final scene, with the whole team together.

Until now, they had behaved as a team during the missions, they had certain moments of union between them, defined by friendship but at the end of the day, Jeller had their own story, Patterson along with Rich the same and Tasha and Reade felt like two individual stories that found the way to unite. It felt like that. As intertwined stories between defined characters but this time, the team has felt as a whole.

All five – Reade, we miss you – were part of a much larger whole. They were a family.  It is the first time that I truly feel them as one. This escape forced by Madeline’s tricks has brought them closer together, creating a strong and indestructible connection, a union that Madeline will not be able to break. And the best thing is that it’s just the beginning, I’m sure that those ties that now unite them will grow stronger throughout the season.

In short, Blindspot has made us suffer but has managed to move us, reaching our hearts, in all possible ways and they have passed the exam of their return with good marks. It’s going to be a wonderful journey, blindspotters!

Agree?  Disagree? Don’t hesitate to share your opinion with us in the comments below! We’ll be back next week with 5×02 “We Didn’t Start The Fire”.

Blindspot airs Thursday at 8/7c on NBC.

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