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'Blindspot' spot of the week: Could Jane be the villain of the piece?

Season 1 | Episode 11 | “Cease Forcing Enemy” | Aired Feb 29, 2016

Blindspot‘s midseason premiere, “Cease Forcing Enemy,” ended on a scary note. It wasn’t the airplane that nearly crashed or the terrorist plot barely averted. It was the consideration that heroine Jane Doe might be the villain of this story.

The episode’s final scene was a conversation between Jane (Jaimie Alexander) and Oscar (Francois Arnaud), in which her former fiancé told her that he’d give her information about her past once she proved she could be trusted—by carrying out missions on his (her? their?) behalf. They were the good guys, he insisted, even as Jane swore she’d never do anything to hurt her team at the FBI.

It’s not that we don’t believe her. But if you give what Oscar is saying any amount of validity, it makes Blindspot‘s entire premise spin off in another direction. The show has already established as fact that Jane voluntarily underwent the amnesia slash massive tattoo process—which audiences got another glimpse of this week, and it put Ink Master to shame—and that she left instructions to herself via that phone recording to trust Oscar. But what’s up for debate is his belief that he and his colleagues are “the good guys.” How do we know that? Because he said so? Because she said so?

One could argue that even that phone video is suspect, because it’s been mentioned a few times (and was brought up again in an interstitial video during Monday’s episode) that the Jane/Taylor Shaw of yesterday is not the Jane Doe of today. So while Old Jane might have trusted Oscar, she’s saying that from a different place than New Jane. One that New Jane may no longer agree with.

But let’s play devil’s advocate for a second. Let’s assume that Oscar is right, and that he and Jane are on the same side with their master plan to do whatever it is they’re out to do in the world with amnesiac supersoldiers and coded tattoo messages. To him, Jane’s connection with the FBI seems like a means to an end, and one he’s not particularly happy about. It’s safe to assume that at some point, or probably many points, Team Oscar and Team FBI are going to be on opposite sides.

And we already know that our FBI agents—speaking strictly, of course, of Weller (Sullivan Stapleton) and the Critical Incident Response Group—are solely concerned with solving Jane’s tattoos and stopping the crimes that they indicate. So follow the logic train to its next stop: Does that make Jane the antagonist, rather than the protagonist, of Blindspot‘s universe?

Because what we don’t know is what Oscar and his associates actually want. So far, the tattoos they’ve placed on Jane’s body have been helpful in halting a lot of big crimes, despite the amount of collateral damage that’s been incurred (rest in peace, David). That means there’s at least part of their mission that’s for a greater good. But there’s something else going on here. If they just wanted to use their resources to help the FBI, as was pointed out in the pilot, there were many easier ways to pass information. And if that was their sole interest, why would they start whispering in Jane’s ear about not trusting the FBI and wanting her to work behind their back? In that sense, they’re not much better than the late, very not-missed CIA Assistant Director Tom Carter (Michael Gaston).

Until we’re entirely sure what their objectives are, we can’t discount the possibility that Jane’s former associates are ultimately up to something not good. And until then, we can’t rule out the idea that she is, or was, on the wrong side.

But that turn of the narrative also opens up a morally compelling playing field for Blindspot. No matter what Old Jane might have believed or put in motion, New Jane is the woman who exists now. She is not the same person. She can choose differently. She could even be the element that winds up stopping whatever this organization is planning. It might mean giving up her chance at finding out who she really is, but she could do it. And how would that be for a season-ending story—Jane turning on her old masters, sacrificing her sole opportunity to answer the questions she’s been after all along, for the greater good and a fresh start with Weller and the FBI?

Blindspot has always told us that “Who is Jane Doe?” is about a lot more than her history. The show’s entire concept is that identity goes beyond facts and into the kind of person that you are. In this one conversation, the show has thrown a shadow over Jane Doe, but it’s not one that can’t be explored or that she can’t overcome. In fact, that might actually make her even more memorable.

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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