Synopsis: After a run-in with the mysterious bearded man, Jane’s SEAL tattoo leads to a violent gang of thieves – can they tell her who she is?

Rating: ★★☆☆☆

Jane is attacked in her safe house by the mystery man. During the fight she loses a tooth and recalls a memory of helping him once when we was injured – they appear to have been friends, or even possibly lovers. She gains the upper hand and asks him all the questions everyone’s been asking, but all he manages to tell her is that she cannot trust the FBI – before he’s shot dead by a sniper across the street.

jane and mm
The FBI arrives, and are unable to find any evidence of the shooter, or any information on the dead man. He’s a ghost – exactly like Jane. Weller asks Jane if he said anything to her, and she tells him no.

Meanwhile, a bunch of dudes in colorful ski masks rob a jewelry store. They turn out to be former seals, with the exact same tattoo as Jane. While waiting in the hospital to interrogate the one shot and left behind, Jane confronts Weller about being treated like a child and a piece of evidence rather than a member of the team, since she’s done so much to prove herself.

Angry, he responds by asking her again what the mystery man said to her before he died. She starts to tell him, when the rest of the thieves bust into the hospital to retrieve their friend. Shit explodes, and Jane and Weller get the man to a hidden place. Weller runs off to keep the bad guys at bay while Jane talks to the man.

He’s in bad shape, but he clearly recognizes Jane. The only thing he manages to say before he croaks though, is ‘Orion.’ Which is honestly super annoying, because that’s literally the code word for everything in every movie ever. Sigh.

Anyway, the team gets a handle on the hospital situation and Jane decides to tell them about Orion. In return, Weller tells her that he believes she’s Taylor Shaw, just in time for the DNA results to come back. As it turns out, Jane really is Taylor Shaw. Which, in a nicely subtle moment, is a very emotional reveal for Weller, and doesn’t really mean anything to Jane yet.

In the tag, Mayfair meets with CIA Deputy Director Carter, who is worried because Jane’s tattoos reveal extensive knowledge of ‘Operation Daylight,’ which no one should know anything about. He wants Jane killed. Mayfair says it can’t possibly matter, since Jane herself knows nothing, and the tattoos are already in the system. He’s not convinced.

Photo from the episode "A Stray Howl"
Finally though, Jane is issued a weapon and made an official member of the team.

The episode was totally solid emotionally, and the shift in dynamic was nicely paced. It’s both intriguing and concerning though, how quickly they blew through all the big reveals. As I said last week, it’s appealing to think they’re subverting a lot of tropes by moving right along, but I’m wondering what will make the overarching plot stand apart from other procedurals if this pace keeps up.

It’s been three episodes and we already know who she is, and the one man who seemed to know everything is already confronted and dead. Granted, we still don’t know how she got this way or why she ended up with Weller, but the larger conspiracy has lost some of it’s edge.

The mystery of Jane’s identity and her connection to Weller was essentially the singular draw of the show. Without it, they’re just drawing weekly cases from a database of tattoos rather than being assigned files. It’s cool, but narratively no different than any other crime show. It’s also missing the degree of levity and chemistry other ensemble shows have. For a show that’s only moderately severe thematically, it has few if any jokes or banter in a given episode. The cast needs a little more to work with if we’re meant to believe them as a team.


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