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'Blindspot' spot of the week: How badly does Kurt Weller need a hug?

Season 1 | Episode 8 | “Persecute Envoys” | Aired Nov 9, 2015

Kurt Weller needs a hug. And a nap, and probably a visit to an ENT doctor for a hearing test. But after this week’s Blindspot, TV’s most badass FBI agent definitely deserves a hug for being run through the wringer.

Picking up where last week’s episode left off, Weller (Sullivan Stapleton) finally got the truth from boss and mentor Mayfair (Marianne Jean-Baptiste) about Saul Guerrero, Operation Daylight, and just how she became involved in the secret federal operation that has a case number tattooed on Jane Doe’s (Jaimie Alexander) body.

To say that Weller did not take this okay would be putting it lightly. He read Mayfair the riot act before storming out of her office, and later in the episode he gave her part two of said dressing down when she was sent to the hospital for intentionally wrecking her SUV to keep a corrupt police captain from shooting her. It’s those interactions between Weller and Mayfair that were the emotional heart of “Persecute Envoys,” and a huge part of why Blindspot is so damn watchable that it’s almost ridiculous.

I’ve come to love the sort of backward way in which Blindspot has realized the Daylight subplot. On any other show, this would have all come out at once, probably in one episode in which everyone blew up at everyone else and then Mayfair either got arrested or got killed and we’d be done with it. But no, Blindspot has said, we’re going to torture the audience a little bit. And we’re going to come at this the long way round, where we don’t make it an event. Instead, we’re going to walk them through the human story of this super-secret operation, first by introducing Saul Guerrero and then by making the next episode about how Mayfair and Weller are affected, and then maybe next week we’ll get around to killing somebody—but only now that everyone completely grasps what the characters are going through.

“Persecute Envoys” does throw us the meat of what Daylight is about, while mixing up a case of the week that’s really entertaining, with corrupt cops, fence-jumping, and shooting up a house. But the bulk of the episode is flashbacks to Mayfair’s history with the big secret and Weller going off on her in the present. Those scenes aren’t immensely watchable from more than just from an acting standpoint; if you look underneath them, you once again take a little emotional journey with Weller. That’s because, in finding out the truth regarding Daylight, it becomes Weller’s cross to bear almost like it is Mayfair’s, albeit for an entirely different reason.

Weller would never be the one caught working on an unethical operation. He’s not that guy. But the fact that Mayfair is—that does to his professional life what the reveal of Jane as Taylor Shaw did to his personal life. The defining moment of his childhood, what he built the rest of his life on, got exploded—and now the absolute of his career, his belief in and perception of the woman who helped define him as an agent, has been blown up too. At this point, the list of things he’s uncertain about is a lot longer than the opposite. Weller is a strong character, physically and mentally, the rock that everyone else leans on, the hero of the story … and right now, Blindspot has put him in total crisis.

Yet that’s the beauty of it, even as much as we want him to feel better. The hero isn’t supposed to be lost. Or, if he is, he’ll find his way in an episode or two, because he needs to go and save the day. Blindspot has let Weller do what he absolutely would do, which is confront Daylight and Mayfair head-on, but it also isn’t being shy about letting him face the consequences. It’s not just about if Mayfair gets in trouble or dealing with Tom Carter or putting away Guerrero; it’s about the emotional toll of Mayfair having made past moral compromises, and Weller—who doesn’t make moral compromises—dealing with that in the present. Just as Jane’s tattoos are about her journey as much as they are about the mystery, there’s an arc here too.

This episode essentially kicked the last stable thing out from under Kurt Weller. His past is now up for debate, his personal life has already been muddled thanks to Jane/Taylor, and he doesn’t trust his boss anymore. We’ll have to watch the next two episodes to see how he recovers from all this, because you feel like he has to. He’s the strong one, the good guy. He’ll be okay because we want him to be okay. We need him to be okay. Yet in allowing him not to be okay, Blindspot is breaking our hearts and doing it brilliantly. Does anyone else need a hug?

Blindspot airs Mondays at 10 p.m. on NBC.

TV Families | EW.com
Mark Harris
February 23, 1990 AT 05:00 AM EST

The Bradys are back, with a passel of 90’s hassles. Do they represent the typical American Family? Did they ever? Who does? Stare and compare!

Kind Of Family
TheBradyBunch 1969-74: Blended
The Bradys 1990-: Enormous
Married…With Children 1987-: Postnuclear
Thirtysomething 1987-: Extended
The Flintstones 1960-66: Modern Stone Age

Family Pet
The Brady Bunch: Tiger
The Bradys: Alice
Married…With Children: Buck
Thirtysomething: Grendel
The Flintstones: Dino

Typical Guest Star
The Brady Bunch: Davey Jones
The Bradys: There’s no room
Married…With Children: Sam Kinison
Thirtysomething: Carly Simon
The Flintstones: Ann Margrock

Expression Of Joy
The Brady Bunch: Groovy!
The Bradys: Ritual hugging
Married…With Children: ”Oh, great.”
Thirtysomething: ”Of course I’m happy for you. Really. But what about me? Why does it always have to be about you?
The Flintstones: ”Yabba-dabba doo

Expression Of Rage

The Brady Bunch: ”Hmmm…”
The Bradys: ”If you back away from something you really want, then you’re a quitter!” (the angriest any Brady has ever been)
Married…With Children: ”Aaagh, God, take me from this miserable life!”
Thirtysomething: ”I’m not angry, OK?”
The Flintstones: ”Willllmaaaa!”

Typical Problem
The Brady Bunch: Marcia and her rival both want to be the prom queen.
The Bradys: Bobby gets paralyzed.
Married…With Children: Al doesn’t buy his family Christmas presents.
Thirtysomething: Nancy gets cancer.
The Flintstones: Fred and Barney are staying out too late.

Typical Solution
The Brady Bunch: The prom committee decides to have two queens.
The Bradys: Bobby gets married.
Married…With Children: They hate him.
Thirtysomething: If only we knew…
The Flintstones: Wilma and Betty decide to follow them.

House Style
The Brady Bunch: Conservative but mod, circa ’69
The Bradys: Conservative but mod, circa ’90
Married…With Children: Roach motel
Thirtysomething: Enviable
The Flintstones: Suburban cave

Clothing Style
The Brady Bunch: Early Osmonds
The Bradys: Made in the USA
Married…With Children: Flammable fabrics
Thirtysomething: Eclectic earth tones; nice ties
The Flintstones: One-piece

Most Annoying Character
The Brady Bunch: Alice’s cousin Emma, the substitute housekeeper (too strict)
The Bradys: Marcia’s husband, Wally (chronically unemployable)
Married…With Children: Steve (supercilious)
Thirtysomething: Ellyn (goes through Hope’s drawers, babbles, changes hairstyle every other week, generally mistreats her friends)
The Flintstones: Mr. Slate (bossy)

Attitude Toward Sex
The Brady Bunch: Never heard of it
The Bradys: Omigod — even Cindy does it!
Married…With Children: Peg: Yes. Al: No.
Thirtysomething: They didn’t get all those kids by accident.
The Flintstones: Prehistoric

How Spouses Fight
The Brady Bunch: They don’t.
The Bradys: Infrequently, but it happens
Married…With Children: Tooth and nail
Thirtysomething: They stop talking
The Flintstones: Fred and Barney go bowling while Wilma and Betty max out their charge cards.

How Kids Get Into Trouble
The Brady Bunch: Greg takes a puff of a cigarette.
The Bradys: Carol’s grandson steals her business cards and sticks them in the spokes of Bobby’s wheelchair.
Married…With Children: By committing felonies
Thirtysomething: Ethan plays with a forbidden toy rocket.
The Flintstones: They don’t.

How They’re Punished

The Brady Bunch: ”It’s not what you did, honey — it’s that you couldn’t come to us.”
The Bradys ”Next time, ask.”
Married…With Children: By the authorities
Thirtysomething: It blows up in his face.
The Flintstones: They’re not.

What Family Does For Fun
The Brady Bunch: Takes special three-part vacations to Hawaii and the Grand Canyon
The Bradys: Has flashbacks
Married…With Children: Exchanges insults
Thirtysomething: Talks
The Flintstones: Attends showings of The Monster at the Bedrock Drive-In

Unsolved Mysteries
The Brady Bunch: How exactly did Carol’s first husband and Mike’s first wife die?
The Bradys: What’s with Marcia’s new face and Bobby’s blonde hair
Married…With Children: What kind of hair spray does Peg use?
Thirtysomething: Why did Nancy take Elliot back? What do Gary and Susanna see in each other?
The Flintstones: How does Barney’s shirt stay on if he has no shoulders? Where do Fred and Wilma plug in their TV?

Worst Behavior
The Brady Bunch: The Brady children once made Alice feel under-appreciated.

The Bradys: Marcia’s son Mickey watches Bobby’s car-crash tape for fun.
Married…With Children: The Bundy’s kill their neighbor’s dog.
Thirtysomething: Elliot has an affair and talks about it.
The Flintstones: Characters don’t wear under-clothes.

Best Reason To Watch
The Brady Bunch: This is what life should be.
The Bradys: They’re all grown-ups now!
Married…With Children: Terry Rakolta hates it.
Thirtysomething (Tie) This is your life. This isn’t your life.
The Flintstones: This is what life might have been.

Best Reason Not To Watch
The Brady Bunch: Blurred vision from rerun overdoses.
The Bradys: You’re all grown-ups now.
Married…With Children: She has a point.
Thirtysomething: After a while, you think it’s real.
The Flintstones: The Simpsons

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