A strong case can be made that the first real “breakout” hit of the fall television season is NBC’s Blindspot, attributable in part to the show’s clever blending of procedural and character drama in a surprisingly effective way. Let’s take a look at this week’s new episode, “Split the Law.”
The episode opens with a preview of this week’s case as a man is gassed while in the back of a taxi. I could be wrong, but I think this is the first episode of Blindspot that opened with a focus on the case rather than on Jane and her dilemma, and I really like that the creators showed a willingness to mix things up a little here. We do quickly move over to Jane and Kurt, though, as Jane tries to enjoy a meal with his family. It starts out well enough, but Jane quickly succumbs to her flashes in memory as the evening goes on, reminding her of the possibility that she may be Taylor Shaw. It’s fun getting to explore this psychological aspect of the memory loss in a way that complements the character development in such a strong way.
More of the team soon learns about the conflicting results of the DNA and isotope tests that were performed on Jane, including Assistant Director Mayfair (check out actress Marianne Jean-Baptiste’s thoughts on the show and character here!), and the mystery of Jane’s past again becomes a contentious point among the agents. This is put on a hold, though, as the case of the week truly begins with a hostage crisis. We get to see some good character moments from Agent Weller, and Blindspot continues to make me really care about this character and all that he’s obviously been through. We haven’t learned a ton about Weller’s past aside from the Taylor Shaw disappearance and his father, but the way that the Blindspot writers are withholding his story while throwing Jane reveals around willy nilly is working better than I thought. It is building up a lot of anticipation about what Weller’s been through, though, so I’m hoping that I don’t end up disappointed when we really find out everything.
“Split the Law” also gives us more information than ever before about CIA Deputy Director Tom Carter, played by Michael Gaston. We’ve gotten brief moments with him through the series so far, but this is the first time that he’s had an extensive role to play in an episode. Carter is a much more morally ambiguous character than his frequent cohort Mayfair (at least, from what we’ve seen so far), and it’s interesting seeing how the CIA and Carter directly come into conflict with the FBI here. This conflict also allows us to see even more of Jane’s inherent talent and skill (and in a non-action way) when she analyzes the recorded footage of the hostages, and it helps to make me even more excited about the reveals to come with her character.
One thing that I really liked about “Split the Law” is the way that the case/procedural element was incorporated into the narrative. It was done in a different way than in the four episodes that preceded it, and it tells me that the writers aren’t so stuck to a formula that they aren’t willing to try new things (or even old things in a different way). Near the end, we also get an amazingly fun Mexican standoff that proved to be exactly what I wanted even though I didn’t realize it.
Five episodes in, and Blindspot is still managing to be an extremely solid series and one of the most consistent shows of the fall. “Split the Law” was a great entry into the Blindspot mythology, and I can’t wait to see even more throughout the season.
What did you think of “Split the Law”? Are you still enjoying Blindspot five weeks in? Let us know your thoughts in the comments down below!
[Photo via NBC]