Guys, we should be seriously worried about our pal Edgar Reade (Rob Brown), whose tragic past was buried so deep inside him that it's about to go Mt. Vesuvius on anyone within punching distance. Though this week's episode of Blindspot was very self contained following an eye-opening trip down Jane's (Jaimie Alexander) memory lane last week, Reade's storyline made big headway... but he's heading in the wrong direction!
The road to recovery from sexual abuse of a child is a dark, painful path, and Reade's realization that he may be one of Coach Jones's victims is manifesting itself into physical violence as he went Ultimate Warrior on a pair of suspects. Yeah, the one dweeb with the gun probably deserved at least a little of what he got since he tried to kill Reade, and I'm sure there were moments on Blindspot where things got even more out of hand when taking down a perp, but there are rules and procedures that the FBI has to follow, and Reade went about seven punches too far.
Here's the thing, though. This won't stop until Reade comes to the realization and accepts that he was one of the victims. Of course, that's if he actually was one of the victims. Because there's a possibility of repressed memories here, we don't know what's true. And let's not forget that the thing that sparked this awakening in Reade came from the mouth of a junkie. I'm not saying it didn't happen, I'm just putting myself in Reade's headspace, where he can't possibly understand what is going on or know if he was violated by a man he grew up admiring. This is hard, heavy stuff that doesn't seem like it belongs in Blindspot's weekly formula, but I'll be damned if it doesn't have my attention.
Reade's chat with Dr. "Mole" Borden (Ukweli Roach) proved how confusing Reade's situation can be. To have memory gaps in your own life can be crippling. But instead of seeking further help from a therapist to exorcise these demons, Reade appeared to have more nefarious actions in mind as we last saw him stalking Coach Jones outside his house. People don't sit outside in their cars alone unless they're plotting or playing Pokemon Go, and I didn't see Reade flippin' balls at any Pidgeys. Maybe confronting Coach Jones to learn the truth is what he needs, but maybe Reade is there for more violent reasons. Either way, I think we can agree that the man needs help even if he won't admit it.
The idea of Reade's repressed memories dovetails very nicely into what Jane's been going through this whole series as we see Blindspot take a very thematic approach to storytelling. Like Reade, certain elements of Jane's life have been wiped from her brain, notably, everything that happened before she popped out of that duffel bag in the pilot. Now, the goal of Roman (Luke Mitchell) and Shepherd (Michelle Hurd) is to get her to remember her past, and Roman took Jane to Lake Aurora to show her what they're fighting for: The lake was knowingly polluted by corporations who paid off government officials to bury the scandal under legislation rather than clean it up because it was cheaper that way.
And bringing in the family element that's been so prevalent in Season 2, Shepherd noted that Lake Aurora was where she spent a lot of time as a child, and the pollution was directly responsible for the deaths of most of her family and all of her ovaries, hence her affinity to adopt Roman and Jane. That's the kind of sympathy card that could turn the tide with Jane's allegiance. If it's true. Would you be surprised if Shepherd was lying? She's ruthless. I'm hearing you Shepherd, but please pass the salt.
There was even more memory manipulation in the case of the week, which involved highly detailed video game mods set in real-world locations that were used to plan elaborate heists by art thieves and bio-terrorists (ha ha). An undercover operation at a fancy shindig at a museum turned up Elizabeth, a former CIA operative who was burned by her handler and left to rot away in the terrorist organization she was infiltrating. Elizabeth's husband and daughter were killed by her handler, and she was on a mission to get revenge on him and those in the CIA who outed her for their own profit.
Well, turns out her daughter wasn't dead, and was instead living with the handler — who turned out to be the girl's daughter. Yikes! There were more twists in this episode than Chubby Checker in a tornado! The handler told the daughter that the mother was dead, and upon learning that Elizabeth was coming after him, was getting on a jet to leave the country. Kurt's crew arrived in time to stop him and get in a shootout with the 13-year-old daughter, who had no idea her mom was alive. Jane, who could relate, talked her down and eventually she was reunited with her mom... just in time to see her mom hauled off to prison for murder. It wasn't exactly a happy ending for this girl.
"If Beth" (anagram "The Fib"?) nicely took a similar topic — memory and the manipulation of it — and spread it out over three stories for an episode that may not have been rhythmically consistent but was thematically consistent with everything Blindspot is really about. And with the late reveal that Operation Sandstorm has been watching Kurt Weller (Sullivan Stapleton) for over 20 years, made its overall mystery even more enticing.
Blindspot airs Wednesday nights at 8/7c on NBC.