Monday's episode of Blindspot finally shed some light (heh) on Operation Daylight, the secret program that Mayfair (Marianne Jean-Baptiste) was so reluctant to share with Weller (Sullivan Stapleton) in last week's episode. Turns out, she has good reason. Operation Daylight was a pact between the White House, the CIA and the FBI that involved taking information obtained through illegal NSA surveillance of average citizens, and attributing it to criminal sources - hi, Guerrero! - in order to prosecute people (and occasionally blackmail Congressmen). Sound shady? It is.
Our case of the week, meanwhile, leads the FBI to two corrupt police officers who are using their badges to run a money laundering operation.
TVGuide.com spoke to Blindspot creator Martin Gero about the big Operation Daylight reveal, as well as what's ahead leading up to the show's winter finale.
Many of Jane's tattoos have led the team to cases involving corruption in government agencies, and this week is no exception, with the Daylight reveal. What can this tell us about her abductor's motives?
Martin Gero: I think [the team is] not so slowly realizing that whoever did this to her really wants to right some wrongs - some big, some small. And they certainly are very interested in Daylight, but it's interesting because a lot of the other things they're taking on head-on. They seem to be coming at Daylight sideways, which is interesting. It should give everyone involved a little bit of pause.
Is it fair to say Daylight ties the whole thing together, or is it just another marker on the road map of Jane's tattoos?
Gero: It's not the unifying factor, but it is a big piece.
How does Weller's conversation with Mayfair affect him in a professional sense?
Gero: By the end of the episode, I think he at least understands what Mayfair did. He just thinks it's really stupid. So, his trust is shaken. It's just not shattered. I think a lot of that is actually due to Jane just telling him to take a breath and open his eyes. ... What's kind of beautiful about the episode is he kind of goes from losing one parental figure in Mayfair to trying to, for the first time, sit down and make amends with the one he's kept at arm's distance intentionally, his father - who he's slowly realizing might not have murdered Taylor.
We see Mayfair conflicted about using the intel collected via Daylight. What should this tell us about her character?
Gero: We don't want a show where people are just straight-up bad guys all the time. And mayfair did a bad thing, but does that mean she's a bad person? Also, on top of that, as far as the NSA is concerned and what they're doing, I think most of us think it's pretty egregious, but if you and me, just say, sat in a room and then the president came in and said, "Hey, you guys are now in charge of keeping America safe." I wonder how long it would take the two of us to be like, "Well, we for sure have to record all phone calls, right?" So, it's a difficult conversation. It's not as cut and dried as people like to think. As an individual citizen, I'm outraged, but as a person that professionally tries to empathize with people, I kind of totally understand where they're coming from. It is a treasure trove of information that in some ways they'd be crazy not to use.
Now that Weller knows about Operation Daylight, what is he going to do with the information? Does it put him at risk?
Gero: It doesn't necessarily put him at risk. He doesn't know what to do with it. Like he says at the end of the episode, "If I turn you in, it will undo every single case that you were ever involved in." It will do so much harm. The results of Daylight getting out are catastrophic for the justice system. So it's a big thing for him to have to shoulder now, on his own.
We also get a big reveal about Mayfair, that she was romantically involved with one of the Operation Daylight Three, who later killed herself. I didn't see that coming.
Gero: I think it humanizes her. Like anyone where we see them away from the office, you realize oh yeah, she's this whole person that has a life outside of all of this, and there's a reason that she's so cold right now in a lot of ways, and metered and controlled. ... To see her have some joy in her life away from work I think is kind of a beautiful thing.
How long will it be before Tom Carter finds out that Weller knows about Operation Daylight?
Gero: Carter's the big bad for Season 1, absolutely. From Mayfair's side, there's no reason to let Carter know that, because it makes Weller a risk to Carter, and Carter's a dangerous dude. She seals him from that initially, and then much later in the season, it's a different thing.
Will we be seeing more of David, and not just via a text message?
Gero: Yeah, you'll be seeing more of David.
According to the anagram title of Episode 10, the hour will "unveil the mastermind." Can we expect major answers in that hour?
Gero: Episode 10 will be our last episode of 2015. It's huge. For us, we're really seeing the first season as two mini seasons ... so we're treating this as basically a season finale. There's a lot of great stuff in it.
Blindspot airs Mondays at 10/9c on NBC.