Does Blindspot episode “A Stray Howl” build upon the strong opening week or does Jane Doe’s ink fade away into television obscurity?

In “A Stray Howl,” Jane Doe spends a lot of time in therapy trying to trigger memories, but the best form of therapy for her was weapons handling and target practice at the gun range, further demonstrating that Jane is some kind of extremely skilled agent with high levels of marksmanship and a comfort level with weapons only professionals know.

The memory of the week this week is of Jane gunning down a “nun” which sparks a whole internal conflict of if whether or not she is a good person or a terrible person and if our pasts define who we are. Despite Jane’s guilt all episode, as you would expect, the “nun” in question was really a disguised soldier, with an encrypted USB key Jane claimed. The one plot point you have to ask is why does this imply that this soldier was a bad person. Clearly it probably was, but there isn’t any evidence in her memory to suggest either way.

Of course Jane’s protective character is brought out more in her adamant desire to help people immediately, which does lead credence to the idea that while she is a mercenary or agent, she does have a moral code.

Interestingly, the episode itself does bright up a few important questions viewers may have had already about the show. First off, is the argument of if we are better off or not following the clues of the tattoos? In two instances so far, the tattoos have accelerated crime plots faster than the perpetrator would have wanted, but then again, wouldn’t these plots have happened regardless?

Secondly, how does someone know enough about these plots to create a progressive chain of clues to write on Jane’s body? The force behind the tattoo must be incredibly well connected to the different factions and interested parties for this to work. The question still remains in how far in the future this could possibly last?

After the second week, there is still a sense of concern at the general structure of Blindspot. We continued to have repeated stock scenes of Jane Doe au natural but shrouded in dark lighting that do nothing but tantalize the audience and further objectifies the heroine of the show. In between the relatively poignant discussions with Jane as she attempt to recall her memory, we get fitted with some of the more corny and stale interactions among the other FBI agents and techs. Even the main plot of the episode, a domestic armed UAV program hijacked by a vengeful ex employee, is continuing to play on the recent privacy/drone fear mongering that has plagued the media in the last year.

While Blindspot has continued to be a strong attention grabbing series, I’m not convinced it’s worth the back nine order it received this week.

Other Observations

  • Weller reveals he may know Jane Doe as Taylor Shaw, childhood friend who disappeared 25 years ago under suspect circumstances, so suspect that his father was implicated in her murder and disappearance.
  • How did they identify the other domestic UAV pilot? Did they just scour the public records until they found someone who moved to New York with insanely high clearance?
  • What kind of computing power do they need to figure out how to decode the tattoos on what is likely an infinite level of complexity?