Blindspot Review: Cease Forcing Enemy

Blindspot, "Cease Forcing Enemy"

At long last, it’s finally time for the return of one of the best new shows of the season, Blindspot. The mid-season finale had some huge moments, so let’s jump right in and take a look at the spring premiere, titled “Cease Forcing Enemy.”

The episode opens with a flashback, finally, to when Jane first received her tattoos. As we found out at the end of the previous episode a few months back, Jane actually planned all of this out and had herself tattooed, but the man who saves her, Oscar (the man with the tree tattoo on his arm), refuses to tell her any additional information since he is following her own instructions. He does, though, get her back to her safe house so that the FBI doesn’t know what happened. We’ve been getting glimpses into Jane’s past since the very beginning, but, obviously, this is the largest look we’ve gotten so far. The writers have talked about how they plan to throw reveals at the audience constantly, and I love the fact that they seem to be sticking with this plan.

Zapata, in light of what she’s been going through lately, plans to tender her resignation, but the news that the CIA director is dead changes her mind. Jane, meanwhile, tries to convince Kurt that her tattoos should no longer be followed in light of her new information (that she doesn’t reveal to anyone else), but Kurt isn’t at all about this plan of action. There isn’t time to discuss things, though, as Patterson (still grieving but working) uncovers another clue on Jane’s body that leads the team to Turkey, opening up, essentially, the “case-of-the-week.” The episode’s adventure is as fun as usual, but it shakes up the formula a bit by taking place overseas. This isn’t a huge thing, but it does help to keep things from getting stale, something that’s extremely important on a show that relies on procedural elements. It felt like the action in “Cease Forcing Enemy” was a little lighter than usual, but that’s more of an observation than a positive or negative. The second half of the adventure switches locations once again, and the stakes are raised in a much-appreciated way. The only bad thing during the sequence is that we see one of the characters land a plane in a scene that isn’t at all believable, and the acting during the (brief) scene in the cockpit isn’t up to par.

While the bulk of the team spends the episode in Turkey, Mayfair and Patterson have to deal with an investigation that’s being opened up into the death of David, Patterson’s boyfriend that was killed during the first half of the season. The plot allows for some great development of both Mayfair and Patterson, and Ashley Johnson and Marianne Jean-Baptiste deliver wonderful performances. Both of these actresses have brought a lot of the emotion to Blindspot during this (first half of the) season, and any episode that uses them well tends to benefit.

The best thing about the episode comes in the end as we learn the truth about Jane’s identity while also opening up a new path for the show to take. I don’t know yet how the show will actually use these new developments, but I’m excited to find out.

“Cease Forcing Enemy” was an average episode of Blindspot, but that’s more of a compliment than anything else. It doesn’t match the strength of the mid-season finale or the spectacle of a few other episodes, but it progressed the story well in a completely engaging way. I’ve mentioned before that Blindspot has proven to be one of the best new shows this season, and that’s still as true as ever. I can’t wait to see more of this story play out in the coming weeks and beyond.

What did you think of the return of Blindspot? Let us know your thoughts in the comments down below, and be sure to check TVOvermind next week for another new review!

Blindspot Season 1 Episode 11: "Cease Forcing Enemy"
3.5

Summary

Blindspot returns in an average-yet-fun way that progresses the story while delivering a couple of memorable performances.

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