Warning: This recap for the “One Begets Technique” episode of Blindspot contains spoilers.
The show takes a break from the heavy stuff this week, instead doing the Blindspot version of a heist movie. Rich DotCom is back from episode 9, “Authentic Flirt,” and the team has to work with him to steal rare paintings in order to capture an even bigger threat to national security. Of course there are double-crosses and fake-outs, but it’s blissfully free from any of the numerous conspiracies currently in play on the show and is simply a bit of fun in between episodes of dire consequence.
None this week. Instead, the source of information is a returning Rich DotCom (Ennis Esmer), who promises the capture of number 8 on the FBI’s Most Wanted list, Sho Ahktar (Ajay Naidu, who you may recognize as Samir from Office Space), in exchange for a lighter prison sentence.
DotCom says he’s been planning the heist of the Gardner paintings (a genuine collection stolen in 1990) from the man who stole them originally. He will then use them to draw out Ahktar, who is so secretive, the FBI doesn’t even have a picture of him. They damage the paintings while stealing them, forcing them to call on a master forger, Boston Crabbe (Josh Dean). Jane accompanies DotCom to the meet at a party thrown by Ahktar, but it’s interrupted by Pakistani intelligence who are also looking for Ahktar. Jane, DotCom, and Ahktar end up on the roof where DotCom escapes by parachute; it was an elaborately planned prison break/painting heist all along.
Two hours worth of story crammed into this 60 minutes, the meet-up and negotiation with Ahktar alone could have been a standalone episode. As it is, there was barely enough time to establish Randall Turner (Neil Jackson) as a convincing menace and lay out the obstacles — smartwatch, keypad, handprint analyzer, shotgun — before it was over and on to the next thing. It actually worked to the show’s advantage because if things didn’t move as fast as they did, it would have been irritatingly obvious that it was all a scam.
Ennis Esmer is Blindspot’s Joe Pesci
This episode feels like an episode that wasn’t conceived until the writers saw “Authentic Flirt” and knew what a gift they were given in Esmer as the obnoxious and hilarious DotCom. Like Joe Pesci’s character, Leo Getz, from the Lethal Weapon movies, DotCom brings a fun energy to an otherwise very self-serious show. Of course he was playing the FBI the whole time — though, who knows? Maybe they actually did catch the real Ahktar. The point is we’ll eventually see him (and possibly Boston) again, and maybe Patterson actually will get to strangle them this time.
The DotCom Bubble Burst
DotCom pokes at Kurt’s unspoken attraction to Jane in order to keep the team distracted, but it does have the effect of giving Allison a reason to give up pursuit of her ex. He’s right: the two of them are too similar, but it is a shame, since they look happy when they’re together. This also makes him more vulnerable to Jane’s attempts to seduce him, which — with only five episodes left in the season — is going to happen very soon.
Kudos for adhering to the Chekhov rule: If a (shot)gun appears onstage in act one, you had better use it by act three — preferably by shooting someone in the face. Also, is there a corollary rule about samurai swords? There should be.
If the team were to start calling Ally “Lady Tommy Lee Jones,” that would be completely okay.
Every week should have a Great Gatsby-themed party; Jaimie Alexander looked amazing, and it gave her an excuse to “cover up” (read: not have to put on) her tattoos.
Sofia (Sarita Choudhury) is back! Just in time to save Mayfair from whatever set-up that new Alexandra (Eisa Davis) woman is preparing to spring on her.
Awkward Locker Room Pause of the Night is back! This time, it’s Jane trying to comfort Kurt about his dad’s health with a hug that looked like she was embracing Donald Trump in a room full of Hillary Clinton supporters. Kurt’s girlfriend walking in didn’t make it more uncomfortable, that’s how uncomfortable that hug was.
Blindspot airs Mondays at 10 p.m. on NBC.