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Blindspot Season 5 Premiere Reveals Who Didn't Survive the Drone Strike

The final season starts with the death of a major character

Liam Mathews

[Warning: The following cointains spoilers from the Season 5 premiere of Blindspot. Read at your own risk!]

Blindspot's fifth season is its last, and it opened with a big-time raising of the stakes. Agent Edgar Reade (Rob Brown), one of the show's main characters since the series premiere, died in a drone strike ordered by Madeline Burke (Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio).

The drone strike ended Season 4, and the Season 5 premiere picked up a few months after that. The episode cut back and forth through time as the survivors of the strike -- Jane (Jaimie Alexander), Weller (Sullivan Stapleton), Patterson (Ashley Johnson), and Zapata (Audrey Esparza) -- regrouped in a secret bunker in Prague, broke Rich Dotcom (Ennis Esmer) out of a CIA black site, and prepared to retaliate against Burke, before showing us Reade's final moments. Everyone initially survived the blast, but Burke was pinned in the rubble on top of Zapata , who couldn't breathe. They pulled her out from under him, but the rubble collapsed directly on top of him. Zapata wouldn't leave him, but he told her "You've got me, always, and I've got you." His last words to the woman he had finally allowed himself to love were, "I got you."

After that, the team toasted Reade's memory, and vowed to keep fighting for him. "This won't be the last time we think about you, or talk about you, or say your name," Zapata said. "I love you. I got you."

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Creator Martin Gero told TV Guide that he cried watching the rough cut of that scene, which he never does. "Rob gave such an incredible performance there," he said.

Gero and the other writers felt like they had to start the season with a big death, because it needed to be clear that this is the end and the stakes are higher than ever before. "When we started talking about who, it just seemed like going forward, Reade made the most sense," for reasons that will become evident as the season progresses, the creator said.

The impact of Reade's loss will play out through the remaining 10 episodes. And Gero said that Reade will not be the last major death. "Not to criticize fellow creatives, but there are shows in their final seasons that I wish they had done more," he said. "I wish they had taken bigger swings." Blindspot has never been show that practiced a lot of restraint, but it's really not going to hold anything back in the final season.

"This will also not be the last time we see Rob Brown," Gero teased. The character is for sure dead, but he will appear again, though Gero declined to say exactly how for now. That and other big moments are coming, like the reveal of Patterson's first name next week.

Blindspot's final season airs Thursdays at 9/8c on NBC. Previous seasons are available to stream on Hulu.

Jaimie Alexander, Ennis Esmer, Rob Brown, Ashley Johnson, Sullivan Stapleton, Blindspot

Jaimie Alexander, Ennis Esmer, Rob Brown, Ashley Johnson, Sullivan Stapleton, Blindspot

NBC, Barbara Nitke/NBC/Warner Brothers