Blindspot ended season one on an episode that was somehow breakneck-paced and intensely personal, and it's picked up season two three months later with the same intensity! How do they do it? I don't know, but there's hardly a second to breathe and everything is more twisty than ever. Spoilers ahead for Blindspot (S201) "In Night So Ransomed Rogue".
The first episode of the season goes right for the gut, opening on a sort of montage of three months of torture Jane has endured at the hands of a CIA black ops team in some secret base that technically doesn't exist. The CIA grabbed her right after Weller arrested her at the end of last season, and they've been looking for what happened to her and getting nothing but brick walls the whole time--but Jane doesn't know that. She thinks her friends sold her out to a whole summer of people literally trying to break her.
But her training holds up: She remembers being trained to survive exactly this sort of treatment, to not drown when they dunk her, to not break when they electrocute her.
Guys, it's frikken brutal.
But Jane is resourceful as well as tough. The second she gets a chance, she takes out the whole team with less stuff than MacGuyver would need to do it, and gets free.
Meanwhile, Weller and co overreact to chasing down counterfitters and Zapata says she misses their more important cases tracking down the clues in Jane's tattoos. Think how bored Patterson must be.
Then, the plot thickens in seconds with the arrival of a new contact, Nas. She knows where Jane is--in Camden NJ, working as a maid to earn some working money and buy time for research. And she knows the group that made Jane: she calls them Sandstorm, because they're the only thing since an experience with an actual sandstorm as a child that has scared her that bad. She's tracked them to a series of terror attacks that looked unrelated until they got someone inside the organization and figured out the links, but Sandstorm discovered them and killed them. Jane's arrival in Times Square was one of the ops they managed to trace, though. She thinks Jane was meant to be a mole, except that she wound up bonding with the people here.
Probably because of the still-not-quite explained memory-wipe that seems to be the main thing messing with the whole plan anyway. Everyone in Sandstorm keeps acting like they know Jane, but so far none of them are willing to get to know who she actually is now, and see how she's different--because it's the differences that made her fall for her team and fight back.
Nas wants to use Jane against Sandstorm, and she thinks Jane is angry enough at what happened that she'll do it.
First, though, there's the whole probem that the team doesn't trust her anymore, that she thinks they're to blame for her torture, and that she doesn't want to go back any more than they want her back.
Weller goes into the hotel she's working at alone to see if he can talk to her and keep her from bolting. They wind up beating the tar out of each other in a pretty impressive fight scene that somehow manages to be really bada** as well as sort of tragic--she's hurt and terrified, he's hurt and trying not to hurt her but also not pulling any punches because she isn't. It winds up being his sheer size that lets him win--and really, that says something about how tired and beatdown Jane is, because that wouldn't have stopped her before.
So. They take Jane back, and she finally gets to tell everyone the truth she didn't get to tell them before because they arrested her. They all had been hoping that Mayfaire was still alive, only to find out she's dead, and that Oscar did it. Also that Oscar is dead, so they can't bring him to justice. And that Jane also thought she was Taylor Shaw, because that's one of many lies they told her to get her to do what they wanted her to do: frame Mayfaire and be their pawn and their patsy.
It makes Reade feel sorry for her. It makes Zapata even more mad at her--although you'd think she'd be more understanding since she was, herself, a pawn and a patsy for part of last season. It makes Weller super conflicted about everything, because he likes to collect inner turmoil.
Jane agrees to go along. They come up with a story that she was kidnapped by Kade and held hostage for three months, and only just escaped. It works because she'd already blamed some stuff on Kade before the end of last season, and because she really does want to find out the answers the FBI wants her to find out: who's Shepherd, what's up with their plan, why is all this happening.
Weller doesn't like it because there's too many what-if's: what if Sandstorm knows that Kade is dead, or what if he's alive and already went back to them? What if they don't believe her story? But Nas insists that this is the only lead they have. Jane calls her contact and finds out she's got a new dude answering the phone, but he sets up a meet anyway. Jane says they'll never believe she got away from Kade unscathed, so they have to shoot her--Weller is horrified at the idea because he still loves her no matter what he says, but Zapata is angry enough that she does it while they're fighting, and cool-headed enough to make sure it's a clean shot that won't clip any organs.
Nas has a tracker inside one of Jane's teeth, but she ditches it; she knows they'll scan her. Weller believes they can trust her to want justice if nothing else, so they have to wait and believe that even off the grid, she'll come back to them. Jane meets the dude from the phone, he sees she's shot, and they go to fix her up but get stopped by cops doing cop things, and one of them sees the blood, so the new guy, Roman, kills all of them. Easily and quickly and very quietly while Jane looks on in horror with the realization that she may be in over her head.
But he gets her to a hospital and patches her up. He's the guy Jane remembered from her training, the one who taught her how not to die.
Finally, he takes her to get some answers, after a long drive full of not answering any questions at all. Sandstorm must train their people how to be infuriatingly oblique as well as deadly. They meet with Shepherd--who is a lady.
Not just any lady, but Jane's MOTHER.
Not just any mother, but the special forces military agent who liberated her from a child-soldier farm in South Africa and adopted her when she was determined to be too dangerous to go to a regular orphanage after her training.
And this guy who taught her not to die? Her actual blood BROTHER.
Jane has a family! A family made of terrorists and ex military operatives! The memories she has of being in a room with lots of other children who are being trained like soldiers are separate from her memories of training for this weird no-memory undercover op that she's now stuck in. Two separate crazy training camps. But what happened in between?
Poor Jane, she just keeps being someone else's weapon. When does she get to be her own weapon?
But these Sandstormies don't know everything either. They know that Oscar is dead, but not that she killed him, and they vow revenge. They don't know that she also (apparently) killed Kade, and buy her story that he's the one who had her. They don't know that Jane is fed up with their secrets and lies and doesn't believe in their cause (again, because of the memory wipe), and is working against them now. Shepherd is glad to have her back, but she won't answer any questions: all she says is that soon she won't have to live a double life anymore.
Jane goes back to the FBI and Nas is pleased with all this progress on her pet case. Weller softens a little when she tells him she wanted to be Taylor and not a spy and a turncoat.
Roman believes that Jane is still his sister somewhere inside, but Shepherd tells him, once Jane is gone, that she's not so sure. She says she's going to let it play out, though; she's got a mole in the office, but she doesn't want to expose them too soon, so she's going along with it.
And we get to the end of the episode at top speed that somehow made the hour feel like about three minutes! One hour a week isn't enough of this show--it'll be so great to mainline the whole season once it hits Netflix after it's done airing!
Last season seemed dense with story and full of crossing and double-crossing, but if this first episode is any indication, it's going to be even more so this season! So far, it's in the best possible way: the facts we already have are clarified and expanded on by new facts that were cleanly and easily added in one scene, changing the whole context of what we know, and proving how much there is that we don't know. And even better, the emotional trouble everyone is going through is even stronger than ever. Jane wants to make it right but feels like she has no one to rely on; Weller is hurt that she got close to him on a lie, but also knows that he has really strong feelings for her still and that she didn't even know how much she was lying because she was lied to, too. Reade and Zapata are having opposite reactions to the whole issue, and both of them and Patterson want more than ever to take these jerks down. Their new lady is motivated and knowledgeable, and so far seems to be level-headed and willing to care about this team that is giving her the leads she wants on her case.
Plus, they're back on their perferred mission of figuring out the puzzles of the tattoos, which even cranky and vaguely hypocritical Zapata implied made their lives and their work more meaningful.
We are in for a treat this season, guys.
More notes on "In Night So Ransomed Rogue":