‘Blindspot’ EP Previews Season 2: ‘Everybody Knows Everything’

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Jaimie Alexander as Jane Doe  (Photo by: Virginia Sherwood/NBC)
Jaimie Alexander as Jane Doe (Photo by: Virginia Sherwood/NBC)

Blindspot is the story of an amnesiac mole sent to infiltrate the FBI, so it’s a pretty bold choice to expose the mole and her entire backstory right at the beginning of Season 2. But that’s just what showrunner Martin Gero decided to do. We spoke with Gero and star Sullivan Stapleton — who plays Kurt Weller, former agent and current assistant director of the New York field office — about what happens when the cat catches the mouse on a cat-and-mouse show.

“The first couple of eps answer a lot of questions,” says Stapleton. The season begins with a three-month time jump — three months of constant interrogation of Jane Doe (Jaimie Alexander) by the CIA. We’ll find out who Jane really is and what she and her organization were up to — which, incidentally, makes it an easy place to jump in for new viewers. But Gero says, “Part of the fun for us was everybody knows everything, but that doesn’t mean everything is fixed.” Jane will return to the field with the team, but it’ll take a while for her to earn back their trust. “For instance,” reveals Gero, “Zapata [Audrey Esparza] says in Episode 2, ‘I just hope I’m not the victim of friendly fire.‘” So, the characters may not be enjoying themselves, but in the writers’ room, “it was a fun gauntlet for us to try to figure out how to navigate getting the team back on Jane’s side organically,” says Gero. “It’s not going to happen over the course of a couple of episodes; it’s going to take some time.”

The first season spent a lot of time on the central mystery of where Jane came from and what the shadowy organization behind her had planned. But, arguably, the most engaging thing about the show turned out to be the chemistry of the ensemble. “We have the deepest bench in television, as far as I’m concerned,” says Gero, and he’s grateful that the actors and their characters have been allowed to evolve.

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For Weller, Gero says, “there’s a heaviness to him at the beginning of season,” as you might expect for a guy who finds out that his father murdered a little girl and his returned childhood friend is a spy. “He’s back to where he was at the beginning of the first season.”

Ashley Johnson as Patterson, Sullivan Stapleton as Weller, Dylan Baker as Director Pellington. (Photo by: Virginia Sherwood/NBC)
Ashley Johnson as Patterson, Sullivan Stapleton as Weller, Dylan Baker as Director Pellington. (Photo by: Virginia Sherwood/NBC)

But Stapleton says that stoicism won’t last forever. Weller is very different when he’s around his sister and nephew (who, he promises, return this season), for example. “The great thing about the character and the show: It’s not just about the cases.” When we delve into the characters’ personal lives, we get to see what’s behind the stone face. “It’s a nice offset to dealing with the crimes.” And, as this year progresses, we’ll likely see those moments more. “Hopefully, one of these days, we’ll see his cheeky side,” says the actor. “And, romance, of course.”

Stapleton is most in his element when the show turns to action: “We’ve got some awesomely fun fights and explosions and car chases. Stuff like that puts a smile on my face.” You’d think the punishing physical nature of shooting those scenes would wear him down, but the hard part of the job is sitting around in an office. “A Friday night and we’re doing a 15-hour day,” he says. “You’re shooting in an office all day, lots of dialogue for a long time. Those are my hard days.”

Zapata and Reade (Rob Brown) were under immense pressure from outside forces and inadvertently helped remove Bethany Mayfair from power. Gero says that pressure is now gone, but their stories are far from over. “Zapata’s free and clear [from the CIA and the U.S. Attorney’s Office], but there’s an amazing Reade and Zapata story that starts to take shape in Episode 2. Some really powerful emotional stuff that those two get to do.”

Dr. Borden (Ukweli Roach) may spend more time in the field. “[He’s] so physically capable — we’re looking for opportunities to stretch that character a little bit this year. But you have to take your time with him,” Gero says. “He can’t just join the team.” Gero won’t say if Patterson (Ashley Johnson) will spend more time out of the lab, but he will concede that she went through the wringer last year with the death of her boyfriend and, “yes, it gets easier for her. And there’s a new suitor for Patterson.”

“We have such an embarrassment of riches of actors on the show,” and Gero is looking forward to giving them more screen time. That includes a returning Ennis Esmer as fan favorite Rich Dotcom “for at least one, if not, hopefully, a few episodes. We’re super-stoked about that; that’ll be Episode 7.”

Sullivan Stapleton as Kurt Weller, Archie Panjabi as Nas Kamal (Photo by: Virginia Sherwood/NBC)
Sullivan Stapleton as Kurt Weller, Archie Panjabi as Nas Kamal (Photo by: Virginia Sherwood/NBC)

It also means expanding the roster. Most notably, Archie Panjabi (The Good Wife) will play Nas Kamal, who has been keeping an eye on Jane over at the NSA. Luke Mitchell (Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.) will portray Roman, who, like Oscar before him, will be an enigmatic face from Jane’s past.

And Gero won’t say if Marianne Jean-Baptiste will reprise her role as Mayfair, though if she does, it will likely only be in flashbacks. “She had never had a death scene before,” says Gero with a laugh. “It was her first death scene. Because I’m the only one stupid enough to kill Marianne Jean-Baptiste off.”

Blindspotreturns Wednesday, Sept. 14, at 10 p.m. on NBC.