After five seasons and 100 episodes, NBC's action drama Blindspot has solved its last tattoo clue. The series finale wrapped up the show by bringing it back to where it all began, in Times Square. Jane Doe (Jaimie Alexander) had been ZIP-poisoned once again, and though her life and memory were granted a reprieve by an antidote whipped up by Patterson (Ashley Johnson), she needed more in order to survive. Unfortunately, the location of Ivy (Julee Cerda) and her ZIP bomb that would kill or erase the memories of millions of people were hidden somewhere in Jane's post-ZIP subconscious, and she couldn't take more life-saving antidote until she figured out where Ivy was.
Jane's sickness caused her to hallucinate, and she was visited by visions of dead loved ones, enemies, and both, including Roman (Luke Mitchell), Reade (Rob Brown), Dr. Borden (Ukwell Roach), and Shepherd (Michelle Hurd), as well as a parade of unexpected, unspeaking guest stars from previous episodes including Chris Gethard, Jefferson White, and Paul F. Tompkins, among well over a hundred more familiar faces. Ultimately, Jane and the task force tracked Ivy to Times Square, captured her and defused the bomb with two seconds to spare, and accepted mandatory retirement from the FBI and moved on to the next chapters of their lives. Jane and Weller (Sullivan Stapleton) retired to the mountains and took on a brood of foster children, Patterson and Rich Dotcom (Ennis Esmer) were on some sort of treasure hunt to find Sir Isaac Newton's mythical alchemy machine, and Tasha (Audrey Esparza) was working as a private investigator and raising her and Reade's baby. Everyone was healthy, happy, and at peace. Or were they?
In the midst of Thanksgiving dinner, Jane had flashbacks to Times Square, seeing herself dying from the ZIP and getting put into a body bag in a dark mirror image of coming out of the duffel bag in the show's pilot. Is that the real ending, and the happy ending is just a dying fantasy? Or is the happy ending the real ending? Creator Martin Gero knows, but he's not telling.
Gero, who wrote and directed the final hour as well as cameoed in one of Jane's hallucinations, told TV Guide about how he hopes fans interpret the ending, as well as the colossal undertaking of getting so many guest stars together for one episode, what he misses most about the show, and what he's working on next.
Let's start with the ending. How ambiguous is that ending? Did Jane find a happy ending, or did she die in Times Square, or is it up to us to choose?
Gero: It's up to you to choose. I mean, I think it's pretty clear. But what's so incredible about it is that it is kind of designed to be a Rorschach test. it's been amazing. Like, half of the people really think, "Oh, she died in Time Square," and half of the people think, "Oh, that's just a memory, or that's just an imagined possibility she's playing out in her head."
Part of the finale that we wanted is we kind of wanted to give everybody everything. We wanted to have our cake and eat it, too, a little bit. We didn't want to hold back. We wanted to see everyone again. We wanted to go back to Times Square. And so we wanted people to have the ending that they want. So I know what my intent was, and I think if you look through the episode again, there are some indicators as to how I feel about it. But really, it matters more what you think than what I think.
It's like the ending of The Sopranos.
Gero: I'll take it. [Laughs]
So I guess my question is a two-parter. Will you say what your interpretation of it is?
Well, do you think Tony died or didn't die?
Gero: [Laughs] I feel like that's a great trick question that I'm not gonna answer.
It was a very cool ending, to see everybody again. Did everybody come back, or were they composited in? Or how did you get everybody?
Gero: Everybody came back. We actually had this idea pretty late into Season 4 as to how we wanted to do it, and then when we got picked up, it became kind of a mad scramble of trying to get everyone. There are, I think, 130 guest stars in this in this final episode. There are the ones that everyone sees, the ones that are talking, but then I think, it will be fun to go back and scan over, if you have the time or inclination, to see that there is a guest star from every episode in this episode. Some of them were basically background actors, and some of them are in some of the hallucinations. But there is a representative from each of the hundred episodes in this episode. And then the big names, the big recurring guest stars that came back to accomplish this, we actually shot this episode over three months, a little bit at a time to accommodate everyone's schedule. We wrote this episode very early in the fifth season, and then we shot it essentially between the beginning of September and the end of November to make sure that everyone was available. Because a lot of times, you know, like Archie [Panjabi] would say, like, "OK, I can come and do it on this day," And we're like, "OK, we'll make that work."
Wow, what an undertaking.
Gero: Yeah, it's an overwhelming undertaking, from our casting department, from our production department, for costumes -- there are a lot more costumes in this than there would be typically -- it was a huge undertaking. But I think that really speaks to the crew and the positive experience that these pretty big actors have had on the show and their willingness to come back for one more day to properly say goodbye to the show, but more importantly say goodbye to all their fellow crew mates.
And I saw you're in there, too.
Gero: I don't know what you're talking about! [Laughs] Joe Dinicol, who played David, was the officiant at my wedding, and so I felt like this is this was my chance to officiate his fictional wedding.
Was that your only appearance throughout the show?
Gero: Yeah, that was my only appearance. I have bad luck. I made a small cameo in The L.A. Complex and then that episode ended up being our last episode. I decided I wasn't gonna do cameos until I knew the show was ending. So we knew the show was ending, and I just thought I'd sneak myself in there.
Did you always know how the series would end?
Gero: We had a sense. We knew it was gonna end in Times Square, and over the years I think we had come to the image of a body bag in Times Square as a close-to-final image, whether it was gonna be for Jane or somebody else. We just liked the roundness of that. We had an idea of what the end was at the start, but then what's incredible about doing a TV show is it's really the collective result of thousands of artists moving the ball forward. And so as more and more voices came in, better ideas came up, and the idea for the finale was shifted over those years, but I'm very happy with it.
I know you finished the show at the end of January, and so having been finished with it in a lot of ways for about six months now. What do you miss about the show?
Gero: The people. We were so, so fortunate to work with an incredible shooting crew, an incredible writers' room, incredible post-production team, that for the most part did all 100 episodes or at least 99 episodes, you know, and so you miss them. And one of the things that we're concerned about is the fact that this industry has been totally ravaged, like many industries, by COVID-19. For the most part production has not gotten back to work and a lot of the crews are out of work. And so we actually we set up this link at this place called the Actors Fund, which is an incredible organization that helps people in the entertainment industry that are dealing with financial stress. So you can go to actorsfund.org/blindspot to donate to this incredible organization that is helping this industry and the crew people, especially the background actors, post-production, anybody that was involved, that is having a rough go of it, you can reach out to that organization.
And the next thing you're working sounds like it'll be able to get some people back to work too. So what can you tell me about Connecting?
Gero: Yeah, that was one of the main impetuses of that project was "How do we get people back to work, like, immediately?" So Connecting is a half-hour comedy, which for people that don't watch Blindspot, they'll be like, "That's weird that he's doing a comedy next," but I think if you've been watching Blindspot you'll realize it makes sense. It's dealing with a group of friends that are socially isolating and connecting through a Zoom-like platform. So it's just their conversations. On paper, it sounds like, "Why would I watch that?" But I promise if you take a look, it's really, really funny and it's it's pretty moving and it allows us to try to process what's been going on in the world with some very hilarious and really warm characters. It'll be shot entirely from the actors' homes. No one is leaving their house pretty much to make the show. It's something that we can start making right away. We start shooting in August and it's coming out in the fall.
Blindspot is available to stream on Hulu.