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Blindspot Recap: What Is Orion?

Plus: The romance we didn't see coming

Liz Raftery

So ... Jane is dead?!

At the end of Monday's episode of Blindspot, Oscar (Francois Arnaud) drops a bombshell on Jane/Taylor (Jaimie Alexander): the reason that so little is known about her true identity is because she's dead. At least officially speaking.

Now, it's not like we have a Sixth Sense situation on our hands. Based on the events of the episode, it would appear that Jane - like the five unfortunate soldiers who were unwittingly recruited by a corrupt Army doctor to be subjected to drug experiments - was somehow determined to be deceased, i.e. taken off the grid so that the organization (that she led?) could use her as an undetectable ... mole? Pawn? It's still unclear. And that's not the only thing that we learn. "Orion," the term that's popped up in earlier episodes in connection with Tom Carter (Michael Gaston) and the one man who recognized Jane before biting the dust, is, according to Oscar, the location where she died.

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But let's not get ahead of ourselves. To recap the episode:

At their late-night rendezvous that began in last week's episode, Oscar gives Jane instructions for her first mission: to swap out the pen on Mayfair's (Marianne Jean-Baptiste) desk with a replica pen. "How does Oscar know what Mayfair's pen looks like in the first place?" Jane (and the viewing audience) wonders. There are ways, Oscar says cryptically. Ways that don't involve hidden cameras. (A mole, perhaps?) Jane initially refuses to betray her team, but ends up bringing the pen with her to work anyway, after dismantling it to check for bugs and/or tracking devices. (There are none.)

Of course the first person Jane runs into in the locker room is Weller (Sullivan Stapleton), who apologizes for standing her up the night before. Twist! He thinks their situation is "too complicated" and would rather just put the whole thing to bed (not literally). "I don't want things to be awkward," Weller explains, awkwardly. "Of course not," Jane responds, even more awkwardly.

The soldier that leads Jane, Weller and the rest of the FBI to discover the drug experiments that are going on is Charles Napier (guest star and Friday Night Lights/Grey's Anatomy alum Gaius Charles), an Army sergeant who was declared dead after an IED explosion 18 months earlier. After Napier goes ballistic outside the military base and kills three people, he's eventually brought into custody. Drug tests determine that he has a ridiculous cocktail in his system, including a sizable dose of TIP, the same drug that was used to wipe Jane's memory. During Napier's arrest, Jane has a flashback to a boot camp training that she's taking part in - but is unable to finish, and rings a bell of defeat as a drill sergeant barks orders at her. So, Jane is ex-military?

Patterson (Ashley Johnson) recognizes Napier's name because - surprise! - it was tattooed on Jane's body. And he's not the only one: The names of four other soldiers, all of whom were allegedly killed in IED explosions, are also part of Jane's ink. After Napier's case is taken over by the CID, their convoy is ambushed and he's kidnapped. Some quick detective work on the part of Patterson leads Weller and Jane to the hidden medical experiment room where, it appears, the Army is trying to turn regular soldiers into super-soldiers by using a combination of drugs. Unfortunately, it's not going so well: four of the soldiers are dead, and the fifth bed (presumably belonging to Napier) is empty.

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Weller and Jane find Napier in the nick of time - just as the corrupt Army doctor is about to give him a fatal drug dose for the mere purpose of seeing how his brain reacts. (As Weller and Jane have determined, Napier is the only one of the five soldiers who's responding to the drugs in the desired way, so unlocking his biology is the key to having a viable drug cocktail to sell to ... well, basically any military that wants to get their hands on it.) But it's too late. Napier has been given another large dose of TIP and, not recognizing Jane, attacks her. Despite the fact that Napier's a super-charged soldier at this point, Jane matches him punch for punch as they tussle on a rooftop, until he gets her in a chokehold and Weller fires a shot, killing him in order to protect Jane. Clear eyes, full (of amphetamines) hearts can lose, apparently.

Jane is displeased with Weller's decision, to say the least, telling him angrily that Napier was an innocent victim. "In this job, there are good guys and there are bad guys. It's not that complicated," Weller tells Jane in his typically nuanced way. He probably shouldn't be so sure, as Jane has another flashback to her boot camp training. In this one, it's revealed that she actually rang the bell of defeat on purpose, because her drill sergeant instructed her to. "Welcome to Orion," he says ominously. Orion! The plot thickens ...

Back at the FBI, Jane gets a talking-to from Mayfair for challenging her authority in front of the CID folks who came to collect Napier. Mayfair tells Jane that she needs to learn to respect the chain of command if she's going to continue working for the FBI. Cut to Jane remembering Oscar's warning that she's merely a cog in the FBI's machine and, like a petulant child, Jane decides to go ahead and do the pen switcheroo.

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Later, as she's giving Mayfair's pen over to Oscar, Jane says she finally realized why he gave her Operation Pen Swap: It was a test of her loyalty, and she passed. Now he owes her some answers, starting with who was the Bearded Man (Johnny Whitworth) who broke into Jane's safe house way back at the beginning of the season and was shot dead, after telling Jane not to trust "them"? "Them" was the FBI, according to Oscar, but he won't tell Jane who shot the man or who he was, exactly, other than to say he was with their organization. (The people using TIP on those soldiers, however, were not part of the organization, which doesn't approve of drug experiments on military personnel, per Oscar.)

Jane's final question for the night is, what the hell is this Orion that everyone keeps talking about? "Orion is where you died," Oscar tells her. But we'll have to wait for next week's installment to get more information than that.

Other points of note in the episode:

-Mayfair pointedly asks Patterson why she didn't take her planned leave of absence after David's death and warns Patterson that she can't run from her feelings forever. Seriously, Mayfair knows from personal experience.

-Weller's sister Sarah (Jordana Spiro) tells him at the beginning of the episode that she's got a date that night. In the final minutes, we see that she's out with Reade (Rob Brown)! They've apparently been seeing each other for a while, and Reade has been waiting for the right opportunity to tell Weller. Wonder how that's going to go down ...

-Early in the episode, Jane asks Weller why he won't forgive his father, who's dying of lung cancer. As Weller explains, even though his father didn't kidnap Taylor Shaw, that doesn't mean that he wasn't a horrible father who was drunk and/or distant most of the time. But later, while Sarah's out on her big date, Weller and Bill (Jay O. Sanders) bond over smoothies and Weller finally confronts him about what really happened the night Taylor Shaw went missing (when Weller's father also disappeared for about three hours). Bill's official story is that he went to make a booze run and had to go further than expected because the liquor stores were closed. (It was a Sunday.) But Weller calls B.S. - he was awake when Bill came home and saw him hosing mud off his shoes. After some prodding, Bill admits that he actually tried to kill himself by walking into the Susquehanna River, but chickened out at the last minute and came home, with muddy shoes.

Blindspot airs Mondays at 10/9c on NBC.

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