Synopsis: Trust within the team is shaken as they face the onset of a global pandemic. Jane’s identity may be more of a mystery than before.
When Patterson accidentally leaves some photos of Jane’s tattoos lying around her house, her boyfriend unwittingly figures out that one of them contains the location to the New York CDC office. When Patterson takes it to the team, she does an adorably terrible (and unnecessary) job of pretending she just happened to figure it out by herself – since she shouldn’t have had the photos at home. Mayfair clearly knows she’s lying, and uses that to keep her off the track of the file from Jane’s other tattoo – the file that proves Mayfair has been involved in some crap.
The team goes to the CDC to see what’s what, and the UV lights of the decontamination chamber reveal hidden tattoos on Jane’s face. It turns out the tattoos are serial numbers that correspond to samples of deadly diseases from the CDC. Samples that are, naturally, missing.
Missing along with the office director, whose travel patterns indicate she is responsible for outbreaks of infectious diseases all over the world for the past several years. They manage to catch her trying to blow town with her husband, but when they get there, she kills him and then herself to keep them from dying of the disease, since the FBI stopped them from reaching minimum safe distance.
In a mad dash through populated areas, the team discovers a suitcase at the airport that is set to disperse the samples at any minute. They set up a makeshift, airtight tent around it, and Kurt is left to guard it alone until the CDC can arrive, but Jane realizes the director’s assistant was in on it too, and he plans to let the virus out, not help contain it. She makes it to Weller just in time to stop him from getting too close with his sabotaged HazMat suit, and together they beat the hell out of the guy. Turns out he and the director had this whole thing about ‘saving humanity’ by releasing diseases as a form of population control, since the world’s resources cannot possibly sustain the current rate of human reproduction and longevity.
At the end of it all, Kurt and Jane have a great scene where they talk about the fact that she’s Taylor Shaw and he tells her cute stories about their childhood together, and she has a flash of memory that seems to corroborate what he’s saying. It’s all very lovely until he gets interrupted by Patterson, who pulls him aside to say that she tested the tooth Jane lost in her fight with the mystery man in the previous episode, and that it contains an isotope that proves she had to have been born in Sub-Saharan Africa. Meaning she couldn’t possibly be Taylor Shaw, who’s birth in Pennsylvania Weller was present for. He refuses to believe it and asks how that can be, when the DNA test said she was. Patterson tells him that both tests are conclusive, and she doesn’t know what to think.
Also, Zapata has three days to pay off forty thousand dollars worth of gambling debt.
This was probably the most high-stakes and emotionally compelling episode to date. The impassioned speech by the dying CDC employee about the limitations of human presence on earth rang with a twisted kind of logic and truth, and Jane and Kurt navigating their relationship after the reveal that she is Taylor Shaw, and the fact that Jane remembers nothing of their past, is tense and unique. It’s extremely emotional for both of them in different ways and they play it very well. Kurt’s hope and attachment to the idea that Jane is Taylor is palpable.
It was also great to see some depth into the severely underutilized secondary characters. Zapata’s gambling problem, Reed’s jabs about her dating life as compared to his, Patterson’s home life. And Mayfair’s position as the only thing standing in between Jane and the people at the CIA who want her gone. It’s all great stuff.
But I still have a big problem with the way all of these tattoos are somehow being deciphered at the exact right time and in the exact right order for the team to get somewhere before certain things happen. Theoretically there might be an explanation for this, but no one has even suggested that it is odd. At some point, the backpedaling on what we thought we knew is also going to get old. Everything the show reveals, is proven false. It’s surely intentional, and cool for now, but it’s going become a problem eventually. An audience needs a world with some level of consistency and boundaries. Blindspot has neither.