[WARNING: The following includes spoilers from Monday's winter finale of Blindspot. Read at your own risk!]
The anagram title of Monday's Blindspot winter finale promised to "Unveil the Mastermind," and it certainly did. We finally learned who's responsible for the tattoos all over Jane's (Jaimie Alexander) body... and it's none other than Jane herself!
Yep, that's right - Jane finds out the big reveal via a videotaped iPhone message from her past self to her present self. "If you're watching this, the mission is going as planned," the long-haired Ghost of Jane Past says. "I know that you're scared, I know that you're confused, and I know that you want to find out who did this to you. The answer is you. The tattoos, the memory wipe, sending you to Kurt Weller, this was all your idea, your plan. You did this to yourself."
And now the question is ... why? The message is relayed to Jane by the mysterious man with the tree tattoo who's been following her around. And it's a good thing he has been. He rescues Jane just in the nick of time as she's being tortured by CIA director Tom Carter (Michael Gaston), fatally shooting Carter in the process. We find out, per Old Jane's video message, that dude's name is Oscar and he can be trusted, but that's all we know for now.
TVGuide.com spoke with Blindspot creator Martin Gero about the episode's big reveal, as well as what's coming up when the show returns in February.
TVGuide.com: We finally know that Jane is actually the mastermind behind all of her tattoos. Can she be trusted, or does she have sinister motives for working with the FBI?
Martin Gero: I think the old Jane definitely has a plan, and a dangerous one at that. How that plays out is a big part of the rest of the show. I think what's fun is now Jane reconciling who she was in the past versus who she is now.
Is it possible that she was coerced into making that video, or should we just take it at face value?
Gero: I think Jane takes it at face value.
When did you decide that the answer to the mystery would be that Jane tattooed herself?
Gero: Before I even wrote the pilot. This was all part of the pitch to NBC forever ago, including this being the midseason finale. That was always the plan.
Obviously her immediate dilemma going forward is whether to tell Weller (Sullivan Stapleton) about the video.
Gero: That's exactly right. It was a twist that we were so excited about, but we were nervous about it as well, because it changes the show. It doesn't reinvent the wheel, but it certainly adds a layer on top of it. We were anxious about how that would play and whether Jane would still be a sympathetic character and all that stuff. But to be honest, it really augments in a really beautiful way, because as great as the character of Jane is, it's so hard to write a character on a show like this that doesn't really have any secrets. And so, now she's able to play levels of intrigue that every other character has been able to play. And so, it really lifts the show in a way that I think is so fun, and adds conflict and complications to every single dynamic. It's like really putting some nitrous in the engine.
Jane and Weller finally share their first kiss in this episode. How will their feelings for each other complicate things going forward?
Gero: We wanted it to be an emotional twist as well as a plot one. What's so heartbreaking for Jane is ... by the end of [Episode] 9 with the pizza party and everyone kind of laughing and having a great time, [it really feels] like Jane is a proper member of the team, and then [we see her] finally kissing Weller and being honest about their relationship. As she walks down that street before she's abducted, she feels like she's on solid ground for the first time. And then Oscar shows up and the floor falls out from under her. It definitely changes her and changes how she interacts with everybody in the back half of the season.
Will Jane tell Kurt about the video?
Gero: Not right away at least. Not in the first episode back. I think she wants to play it out a little bit before she decides not to tell him.
The main story line in this episode involves Russians grooming people to marry American citizens that they've identified as targets. Is there any chance something similar is happening with Jane and Weller?
Gero: Oh, that's interesting. We certainly chose this Russian spy story to kind of parallel what Jane's going through. Jane can't imagine someone giving up their life to go undercover, and yet that's exactly what she's done. So there are some parallels that way. I don't think she was sent to be, like, a Russian bride for Weller, but they didn't choose him haphazardly.
We still don't know if Jane is Taylor Shaw. Does the fact that Jane has masterminded this whole thing support or discredit the theory that she is?
Gero: I don't know that it does either, but you're going to get some more concrete information by the end of Episode 11.
Can you give us any hints about who Oscar might be? Is he just Jane's boyfriend, or does he play a larger part in things?
Gero: He's more than just her boyfriend. He's a full member of this organization of which Jane seems to be the leader. He knows a lot. He knows almost everything. And I think that's what's so intoxicating about him for her. [First], she actually remembers somebody that she has a concrete connection to, which is a first for her. And second, he has the playbook. How much he's willing to give to her is another thing. They're going to have to re-learn to trust each other. But he's got all the parts.
Carter seems convinced that Jane knows more than she's letting on. Does that indicate that he was involved in this in some way? Or were his suspicions just driven by paranoia because he's trying to keep Operation Daylight a secret?
Gero: Yeah. It's not like he recognizes Jane or anything. That flashback was real. Their paths had crossed, but not in any sort of meaningful way. ... He was right. She doesn't remember what he's talking about, but he's not wrong. She obviously did know more than what she was letting on. She was the mastermind of the plan. Carter never believed that her memory wipe was real. It was, but he's totally right in that. There's no way this stuff ended up on her body without somebody knowing a lot, and that someone he suspected was her, and he was right.
The other cliff-hanger from the finale is that we see Zapata (Audrey Esparza) drafting a resignation letter.
Gero: Hopefully she finds out about Carter dying before she hands it in. That's all I'll say.
When we chatted with Lou Diamond Phillips a couple of weeks ago, he indicated that we might be seeing Guerrero again. Is he actually dead?
Gero: He's actually dead. Most people on the show that are dead are actually dead. If you see them die, that's that. But the show relies on flashbacks so heavily, it's real possible that anyone can be back in the flashbacks, absolutely. And that's part of the fun, and takes a little bit of the sting away from telling someone that their character doesn't exist anymore. But we'd love to have Lou back. He's an amazing actor.
Do you have a title for Episode 11 yet?
Gero: Not yet. We're still working on the puzzle. It's not going to be an anagram. It's much more complicated. We had a lot of fun doing it and I'm so glad that so many people really went after the anagrams. So, we're trying to make it a lot harder, but also a lot more fun. ... We're not returning until Feb. 29, so there's a good chunk off, but we're spending an enormous amount of that time trying to make the titles work. It's very complicated. The anagrams were fun, but ... now that we have some proper time to sit back and kind of build a game on top of the show, we're going to do it. There's really fun stuff coming.
Blindspot returns with new episodes on Monday, Feb. 29 at 10/9c on NBC. What did you think of the winter finale?