‘Blindspot’ 5×02 Review: “We Didn’t Start The Fire”

We’re back for another week, blindspotters! This time, with “We Didn’t Start The Fire” Blindspot gives us a rather more relaxed episode than the previous one. This episode is clearly transitional, although it is necessary to relocate the pieces on the board. Action packed episode, but somewhat devoid of emotional conflict. I have missed more emotionally powerful scenes.

 Here we go!

“YOU CAN NOT DO THIS”

Weitz clashes with the new methods Madeline has implemented. Monitoring their phones, mercenaries taking control of everything…there are too many problems to continue helping the team from within. But, despite his complaints, he can do absolutely nothing. Madeline controls everything.

Despite the team’s completely logical doubts about whether or not to trust him, Weitz continues to demonstrate that he is trustworthy, because his determination to help the team doesn’t waver for even a second. Although in this episode he needs to go to a conference. He doesn’t like leaving Afreen alone, but he has no choice. They must continue to appear normal. They must remain strong in the face of the growing threat Madeline poses.

At the conference, Weitz finally manages to see someone from the team, which makes him feel like he is not putting his neck out there for nothing. The encounter is … brusque to say the least, but it is normal. Despite the fact that he warned them of the explosion, they have never gotten along, he did countless things to screw up their lives, he even sent Rich to rot in a CIA site, to be tortured day and night.

That’s … something that haunts him. He didn’t know. He didn’t think it was going to happen. He was too naive, too blind to see what was really going on. He would never have allowed Rich to be taken if he had known what they had in store for him. He is many things, but he would never do something like that. What happened to Rich, his suffering, is a burden with which he will have to learn to live forever.  But he will never be at peace. Just…he feels sorry. He know it’s no use, but he really feels it. Hopes Rich gets the message. He doesn’t expect him to forgive, because he knows it is impossible, not even he has managed to forgive himself, but he does expect that, at least, Rich will know that he is sorry, and that he didn’t know.

Rich is listening. Hearing it all. In his heart, he held a great grudge against this man. Even hate. But now, hearing what he has to say, feeling in his words, in his voice, the repentance, the suffering … he cannot reproach him anything. Rich realizes that if Weitz owed him something, if he had to bequeath something, he is already doing it because he is punishing himself.

BLINDSPOT — “We Didn’t Start the Fire” Episode 502 — Pictured: Aaron Abrams as Matthew Weitz — (Photo by: Barbara Nitke/Warner Brothers/NBC)

Patterson and Kurt also listen to Weitz, he seems sincere. They are not sure, but it is now or never. Thus, they take risks and trust him. They tell him about the hidden phone, about the valuable information it contains. With it, everything would be over. Madeline would be arrested. She would fall. But there is something they have not counted on, and Weitz warns them about: if they have not found the phone, they are about to do so. Madeline and her mercenaries are recording everything. It’s just a matter of time. They must find it before they do.

When it all seemed to end there, Patterson and Kurt discover a bomb. The truth is that I also thought that the target was Weitz, but I immediately came to the same conclusion as them: he would already be dead if Madeline wanted him that way. The alliance between the team and Weitz is tested and … they manage to overcome it.  They manage to disrupt Madeline’s plan.

But everything was going too well. When Weitz returns to the FBI with renewed forces, again hoping to beat Madeline, he finds that her mercenaries lock him up.  Everything indicates that they have discovered him. What will happen now? I never thought I would say this, but I really hope they don’t kill Weitz. I have discovered in the character a side that I really lik,e and his alliance with the team is just beginning, there is a lot more left to discover.

Please, don’t kill Weitz. 

“I CAN’T LET YOU DO IT”

Things are also quite difficult for Afreen. She receives the message from the team and searches for the phone, but feels Brianna’s breath on the back of her neck.  Although Weitz has asked her to trust Brianna, she knows she can’t. She seems … absorbed by Madeline, and faithfully follows her orders, doesn’t seem bothered by what they have done with the team. They can’t trust her because she would give them away. Their suspicions are confirmed.

Brianna agrees to watch Afreen (and several others, among whom is Weitz) and sees something strange in her movements, in her behavior until in the end … she catches her. She knows Afreen has found something. Afreen doesn’t have many options.  Brianna won’t believe that she hasn’t found anything but … she has to make a decision here. Lying to Brianna expecting her to believe her weak explanation … or trust her and talk to her on the phone. Afreen herself voiced her doubts to Weitz about Brianna, but what if she’s wrong with her? What if there’s a chance she can help them?

Anyway, Afreen is already lost. She has been discovered but Brianna … has been able to immediately call Madeline’s mercenaries, but has not, she has closed the door, to speak privately. That must mean something … or so Afreen hopes. So she is sincere. She talks to Brianna about the phone and her mission to get him it of there.  But Brianna can’t let her do it. She would … but she can’t. Afreen cannot believe that she was wrong to give her the benefit of the doubt. After all she has been through, how can she helps Madeline? But things are not so simple.

Madeline has Brianna’s family threatened. If it was just her, her life … maybe it wouldn’t matter. But it is the life of her parents. They are innocent and she cannot allow Madeline to kill them … even if it means sacrificing members of their team.  They are not her family, her parents are. What Brianna doesn’t want to see is that the team is also her family. It is what they are. She cannot betray them because if she does … she would be equally betraying part of her family. This is what Afreen tries to make her see. 

Her parents are also in danger but she decides to fight. And she does it because the team is also her family but, apart from that, she does it because she knows that with Madeline nobody is safe. They will always be in danger as long as she exists. A slight mistake, a slight suspicion from Madeline, and she will kill them. If Brianna doesn’t fight to end her, neither she nor her family can ever live in peace.

This is something that Brianna had not contemplated, but knows that Afreen is right.  They will never be safe. The only way they will be is to take down Madeline, and to do that she must help the team. So she offers to be the one who manages to transfer the data from that mobile to the computer. Afreen is kept too guarded to do it, and she has carte blanche. Afreen accepts. She knows she can trust her, she has seen it in Brianna eyes. Brianna just needed to know that she was protecting her family.  That was all she wanted to do.

However, everything goes wrong. Brianna manages to start transferring the data but Madeline’s mercenaries catch her doing it … and take her away. No one knows where she just … disappears. Madeline had tested on Brianna to find out if she could trust her, if she was loyal to her … and she hasn’t passed. She has been discovered as a traitor, so she will be treated as such. I hope I’m wrong, but I think we’ve seen the last of Brianna, and Afreen will feel guilty about it.

WILLIAM … PATTERSON

Our unicorn had a tough day! The team’s plan has led her to have to contact her father. She didn’t want to, in part because she didn’t want to mix him up in everything that was happening and in part because it was going to be so hard, so difficult and painful to talk to him without being able to see him and knowing that she couldn’t just hug him and feel that something was right in her world, in that madness that her life has become …

She knew it was going to be difficult to listen to him but she didn’t imagine how long until the moment came and she had to live it. OMG! That was painful. A bleeding wound that will leave her marked forever. She needs a moment. A moment to accept what has just happened, to get used to the idea that it may be the last time she has spoken to her father and have not even been able to tell him that she loves him, that she has not even been able to say goodbye.

BLINDSPOT — “We Didn’t Start the Fire” Episode 502 — Pictured: Ashley Johnson as Patterson — (Photo by: Barbara Nitke/Warner Brothers/NBC)

But the team wasn’t going to let Patterson suffer like that, not when they could carry on with their plan while she reunited with her father. Just so she could see him and feel at home, even if it was for a short time.

So they do. Patterson and Kurt go to the conference and there they meet her father.  When many feelings are seen they pass through both. Although they cannot physically hug, they do so with their eyes. They tell each other everything. “I miss you. Thank goodness that you are well.  I love you.”  They can’t say it out loud but it doesn’t matter at the time. They are both relieved to see the other whole and well.  They are happy to meet again and be able to speak, even to be consoled from a distance. For Patterson all that madness feels more normal in the presence of her father. And she can almost pretend that it’s just another FBI mission and that nothing has changed. Almost.

However, things are not so simple and when her father seems to be in danger she can only worry. It may have all gone terribly wrong, and she was the one who got him into this. Patterson can’t help but feel guilty for dragging her father into all that maelstrom of tragedy, pain and power. For having put him in danger. But a father would always risk for his daughter, whether she wanted it or not.  And he has his own resources to survive.

In the end, everything works out and her father is safe and sound. At last, they have that farewell Patterson has been longing for since she spoke to him. It’s not a farewell in itself but it’s just … not keeping anything in. Say it all in case it’s the last time they can talk. Her father wants to let William know (yes William, we finally know her name!) Patterson how proud he and her mother are of her. They love her. With all their heart. It’s that simple. And she loves them. Patterson embraces her father with all her strength, clinging to him to take all that heat, all that love, all that strength … all that she can muster to continue fighting. To remember what she is fighting for.

Her father couldn’t leave without giving her a recording of him. It is for her to remember. So that she remembers who she is, where she cames from, and find some normality in that madness. So that when she listen to him, she can closes her eyes and be a girl again, a girl who learned from her father’s wisdom in a much simpler and less dark world. To make her feels at home.

It is just what happens. When Patterson is alone she puts on that tape and listen. Listens to her father. The sound of home. She can’t help but cry again for that lost life, snatched away by Madeline’s ambition and boundless evil. For that life that she will fight tooth and nail to recover. And she also cries for nostalgia, for the longing for those times, for that voice … what she would give to wake up in her bed and for everything to be a bad dream. But it’s not. She must fight to get her life back.

BLINDSPOT — “We Didn’t Start the Fire” Episode 502 — Pictured: (l-r) Ashley Johnson as Patterson, Bill Nye as himself — (Photo by: Barbara Nitke/Warner Brothers/NBC)

I have to say I really like this appearance of Patterson’s father. I think it is his best appearance. It is not only full of intelligent humor but it is really emotional. There is an emotional conflict here, between these characters, between this father and this daughter, that is a wonder to behold and manages to stir us up inside. We managed to feel what the characters are feeling and identify with them. They have made it worth seeing again. They both fill the screen with a special magic that only happens when they are together.

MUST GO WELL

Our favorite couple AKA Jeller have two nice but sad and heartbreaking little moments. The life they must live now comes at a price. They are fugitives and that means that Kurt cannot see his daughter Bethanie, hug her, kiss her or be with her in those first times that are part of life. She is so little … he doesn’t want his daughter to forget him. He doesn’t want to be a stranger to her. He needs to find proof of Madeline’s machinations.  What that phone contains will clear their names and they will be able to get back to their lives. To Bethanie’s life. They must get it.

The team gets down to it. They work on several fronts. That is why Jeller embraces each other so full of relief and love when they meet again. They know they live on the edge, if something goes wrong in their missions they will not see each other again. When they get back together, they get to breathe again.

But not everything went well. They haven’t got the information on that phone.  Everyone tries to make Kurt understand it. There’s nothing to do. But he doesn’t understand it, he can’t. He simply cannot accept that his only hope has flown and no longer exists. He can’t because that would be facing a dark and cruel reality, a hopeless reality. The reality that Bethanie may not remember him when he sees her again, that he may never see her again, he may die a traitor to the rest of the world. Jane looks him in the eyes, tries to get Kurt to connect with them, with her, so he understands.

Kurt is totally closed. He is desperate. He doesn’t think and wants to make a bad strategic decision that would take them to the precipice. If he was thinking clearly, he wouldn’t even suggest it. But he cannot think clearly. The possibility that he doesn’t want to accept, that he doesn’t even want to contemplate, becomes clearer in his mind and he’s simply fighting agaist it. But he loses the battle.

BLINDSPOT — “We Didn’t Start the Fire” Episode 502 — Pictured: Sullivan Stapleton as Kurt Weller — (Photo by: Barbara Nitke/Warner Brothers/NBC)

Once he leaves the room, obfuscated and pissed off, Jane goes looking for him and comforts him. Bethanie will not forget him. They won’t let it happen. But Kurt is beyond comfort, beyond empty words of encouragement. Finally, he has accepted that this possibility that he didn’t want to contemplate seems very probable. Maybe the place where they hide is the home they have until they die, that may be all. But Jane denies it. That will not be so. They may not go back to their old lives exactly as it was, they are no longer FBI agents and they have to adapt to a different reality, they have to find out what to do (here what we discussed last week comes into play, their lives don’t be the same after this, no matter how hard they try), but they will kill Madeline and Kurt will see Bethanie again.

Jane is confident and determined and it is not just to comfort Kurt. She’s making a vow, an oath, she’s promising Kurt that they will get it. And Jane will do whatever needs to be done to fulfill her promise. She would never fail Kurt. Such a beautiful and painful scene. I love to see how they support each other and how when one of them falls and loses hope, the other is always there to support. Even in the darkest moments.

On Point things:

  • We will never forgive them for making our unicorn AKA Patterson cry twice! Never.
  • Wonderful moment between Tasha and Rich. She offers to listen to him, to be his shoulder to cry on, to hold him. Part of the time he spent in captivity was indirectly her fault … and she knows it was hell. She wasn’t exactly in the position to be a good friend then, but now she will be. The hug between the two has touched my heart.
  • WE FINALLY KNOW THE FIRST NAME OF PATTERSON! It’s William. Unexpected, something strange but with a fascinating story behind it, exactly as she is. But I will stick with Patterson.
  • Our dear old friend is gone. Whoa. We won’t miss him but whoa.
  • The stunts are still so cool! Kick them in the ass, Kurt!
  • Rich continues to make us laugh even in the most tense moments. I love him.
  • Madeline continues to advance in her machiavellian plan and is becoming more and more scary. Although not everything goes well.
  • I love the new intro! But I still miss Reade …

CONCLUSION

In conclusion, this episode has been somewhat weaker than the previous one because it has clearly been a transition episode that has focused more on action than on emotional conflicts. Of course we have had emotional development of the characters, and I don’t blame them for focusing on the action from time to time, after all, we are watching an action show, apart from drama, however, I prefer that the episodes have a better balance between the emotional part and the action part.

In fact, I usually like that they give more weight to the emotional part. I love to see how they build and develop human emotions, both the most horrible and the most extraordinary, going through everything in between. I’m passionate about how these stories, those emotions, are interwoven between different characters and all the nuances that the same emotion can contain in a specific character. And I think they have wasted an opportunity in this episode to introduce more emotional conflicts than they already have.

BLINDSPOT — “We Didn’t Start the Fire” Episode 502 — Pictured: (l-r) Sullivan Stapleton as Kurt Weller, Ashley Johnson as Patterson — (Photo by: Barbara Nitke/Warner Brothers/NBC)

The previous episode was very rich in these emotional conflicts and in this episode I have missed them. It was a transition episode so that hasn’t helped either, since these episodes usually prioritize other types of things before the drama.

This doesn’t mean that I didn’t like it, on the contrary. I think it has had very good moments, for example, I was IN LOVE with Patterson and her father, Jeller, always wonderful, ah! And I adore Afreen. In fact, they have held tension and intrigue about a character as complex as Weitz, who is always ready to surprise us.

However, this episode of Blindspot has only entertained me, it has not moved me, it has not stirred me inside, as the previous episode did. Therefore, this episode, although it maintains the good level of its predecessor, doesn’t exceed it.

Agree? Disagree? Don’t hesitate to share your opinion with us in the comments below! We’ll be back next week with 5×03 “Existential Ennui”.

Blindspot airs Thursday at 8 / 7c on NBC.

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4 Comments

  1. You are insightful as ALWAYS!!

    1. Author

      😍😍😍 Thank you so much for your sweet words! I’m glad you like it! 😘



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