‘Blindspot’ Recap: Swift Hardhearted Stone

The opening of last night’s Blindspot episode, “Swift Hardhearted Stone,” is surprisingly emotional. A little girl covered in blood walks down the street hugging herself, while Mayfair burns old relics from her relationship with Sofia. And Jane meets Oscar at an empty studio where they used to listen to jazz together. Jazz is a part of him because his mother died when he was young, so her old jazz albums were the only way he could connect with her. Jane got into jazz when they got together.

Oscar reveals this because Jane wanted to know more about him and their past together. He then asks her to put a flash drive in an FBI computer to copy some files they need. Jane is still suspicious, asking how she can trust him, and Oscar reminds her there was a time she trusted him more than anyone. The two nearly kiss but Jane pulls away at the last second, claiming she needs to go. But she hides out behind a phone booth and follows Oscar when he exits the building.

We don’t get to see where Jane goes, because in the next scene, Dr. Borden is called in for a psych consult for that same little girl. She has deep cuts but won’t speak, and is an incredible artist with a very detailed sketchbook helped by her photographic memory. Borden recognizes one of the sketches as an exact match to Jane’s tattoo. It turns out to be an exact match to the family crest of the Akhmadis – one of the best organized and most dangerous terrorist organizations in the world. Tarek Akhmadi is the leader of the clan. And we soon learn, via the girl’s sketches and DNA testing, that Tarek is her father.

Russell Franklin (William Ragsdale), Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs, says this must be Maya (Oona Laurence), Tahrek’s child with his fifth wife Nermin. That’s why she clearly understands English, although she doesn’t speak a word. Apparently, three Akhmadi brothers entered the United States on false papers; Nermin and Maya must have come with them. They need Maya’s sketchbook to see if it indicates evidence of a terrorist attack on U.S. soil. But Dr. Borden explains that Maya has a severe form of austim and the sketchbook is her only source of comfort, so she needs to give it up on her terms.

So he has Jane show Maya her tattoos. Jane explains that she was also once scared and confused, but these people helped her and now they want to help Maya too. Jane also shows Maya her own sketchbook. Maya appears to trust Jane, so the two end up trading. And the sketchbook is incredibly helpful – her drawings are so detailed they can be run through facial recognition. The FBI gets a hit on Jeremy Rance (Chris Beetem), an American journalist who was suspected of helping a Venezuelan cartel leader get to the U.S. so he could interview him.

Tasha and Zapata interview Rance, who insists he’s never seen Maya before. Even I can tell he’s lying! Meanwhile, Dr. Borden recognizes a Thai restaurant that Maya is sketching. Weller’s crew races to the area because they’re worried it might be the scene of a terrorist attack, and find an apartment with a broken window. But all they find instead Nermin Akhmadi’s corpse with her tongue cut out. Clearly, she was talking to a journalist.

So Weller and Jane question Rance, who finally caves after seeing photos of Nermin’s body and learning she was tortured to death. Nermin was shunned due to Maya’s disability and wanted out. Rance got her into the U.S. in exchange for an interview, but that was supposed to be this day. They just arrived yesterday, and he doesn’t know about the other brothers. Weller tells Rance he’ll be the next target since Nermin talked to him, so Rance suggests they use him as bait.

So Weller dresses up as Rance, and is sure enough attacked walking into Rance’s apartment. Weller obviously wins the fight and they successfully take down the three Akhmedi brothers. Still, they have to keep Maya safe because she might know about the next target. Franklin is waiting on Maya’s grandmother to arrive from a refugee camp in Germany, and wants Maya in a state safehouse until she arrives. But Dr. Borden is worried about what all the unfamiliarity will do to Maya’s psychological health. He apparently has a house his aunt left him in the countryside, and suggests the serene environment will be good for Maya. Patterson wants to go because she likes cottages; Weller and Jane join to keep Maya safe.

On the way there, Jane and Weller have a weird conversation where Weller basically says he doesn’t want kids due to the danger of his job and Jane thinks he’ll be an excellent father. Meanwhile, Maya is in the car with Borden and Patterson and changes it to a country station. Elsewhere, armored men in a car realize happily where Maya is. Is the radio station a way to signal her family?

In Borden’s house, the team struggles to feed Maya until she finally eats some chocolate. Borden suggests that Maya might be more comfortable with Middle Eastern food, so Weller and Jane drive down to the market nearby. On their way, Weller admits to Jane that Allie dumped him because of her discomfort over Jane.

Back at FBI Headquarters, Reade basically tells Zapata to stop looking into Tom Carter’s disappearance. But when she asks why, he only says, “It’s complicated.” This angers Zapata, since he has no right to dig into her business without revealing his own. But they’re interrupted by Mayfair with news that the Arabic translator is on the phone. Mayfair tells Maya’s grandmother that her daughter is dead and she says that she was killed due to Maya’s drawings. It turns out Maya’s drawings can identify every member of the Akhmadi family. Maya is the target.

Reade and Zapata rush to Borden’s house to get her to a safehouse, and call Weller and Jane to tell them they might be in danger. Patterson realizes this as well when the power goes out. Luckily, the junction box is a mile down the road so they have time to barricade themselves in. She gives Borden her spare gun, then goes around the house collecting potential weapons. (Borden is fixing the house up, so he has lots of construction equipment.) But they forget about Maya momentarily – and unfortunately, she goes outside just as the cars full of terrorists show up. Borden grabs Maya and Patterson shoots and saves their lives.

I have to say, Patterson is a total badass in this episode, taking charge and working to keep everybody safe. Borden does save Patterson’s life by killing her potential murderer with a nail gun – but he’s totally shocked and has clearly never done this before. Unfortunately, the house is quickly surrounded by terrorists and there’s no place to go until Weller and Jane show up. With the terrorists still in the house, Patterson and Borden get Maya onto the roof and Jane coaxs her down. Patterson then uses a lighter and some science to blow up the house – jumping off the roof right before it explodes.

Later, Franklin is absolutely furious and demands to take Maya to the safehouse. As Weller argues that a member of his team should come with her for her health, Maya slams a sketch onto the windshield of Franklin’s car. All the other people are standing outside. Borden recognizes the ring Franklin is wearing and realizes Franklin was the one after Maya; Maya only sketches things she’s seen before and Franklin hasn’t seen her while in FBI custody. Franklin immediately pulls a gun to Borden’s head and seems ready to kill him despite the several guns trained on him. That’s when Maya opens the door, knocking Franklin away from Borden so Weller can shoot him. Maya essentially saves Borden’s life.

Back at the FBI, we learn that Franklin was apparently funneling state funds to the Akhmadis in hopes that they would rise up against Assad. The team at Borden’s house was Franklin’s team to kill Maya. Ugh! Luckily, this story has a happy ending – they’ll pretend Maya is dead to protect her from future assassination attempts. And Maya and her grandmother are finally reunited.

There are other positive endings to this episode. Patterson apologizes to Borden to blowing up his house. He says he’ll rebuild it, so she offers to paint his walls. This could be the start of something new! Patterson and Borden have been flirting the whole episode and are both pretty nerdy, so I ship it. That said, it’s a tad odd since Borden is an FBI psychiatrist. To be fair, he has never officially treated Patterson. Also, is she even ready to date yet after what happened with David?

Zapata also admits to Reade the truth because it affects both of them, leaving him to decide whether he’ll tell her his secrets. She thinks Mayfair knows something about Carter’s disappearance she’s not telling them and says she’s going to get some answers. Still, she doesn’t tell the whole truth – mainly that this suspicion was planted by an ADA.

Of course, this is Blindspot so it can’t be a 100% happy ending. Jane ends up putting in the flash drive ostensibly to save Weller’s life since he’ll die if she doesn’t cooperate. She joins him for his family game night, but leaves early – and last we see her, she’s standing outside of Oscar’s house.

But the worst is Mayfair, who goes on a date with Alexandra. They start with a drink in Alexandra’s hotel room, and Mayfair leaves to get ice because she’s nervous about moving quickly – a fact Alexandra picks up on. Unfortunately, when Mayfair returns, Alexandra is lying dead on the floor. When Mayfair picks up the ringing phone, a disguised voice reads, “Stop looking into Tom Carter’s disappearance or you’re next.” Poor Mayfair!

I have mixed feelings about “Swift Hardhearted Stone.” I love how badass Patterson is and I love her chemistry with Borden. These are two of my favorite characters on the show, and I was thrilled to see Borden throughout the case for once instead of shoved off to the side. Also, they seem to have pretty good chemistry and I miss the easy romance Patterson had with David. It would be good to see it again with Borden. Another positive was the art – the beginning in particular was filmed in a more artsy way than usual, and Maya’s drawings were absolutely gorgeous. I liked actually watching Blindspot in a way I’d never noticed. Plus, the case was really interesting.

Unfortunately, this episode also had several minor issues that pulled me out of the story. When they go to the apartment with Nermin’s body, the agents walk down the street with long guns. That would surely freak people out in New York (and I say that as a New Yorker) but nobody on the street even notices. It was weird that Weller said, “We’ll all go,” when deciding who to bring to Borden’s house – but Zapata and Reade were left in New York. That seems telling about Weller’s feelings for Jane, as does the fact that he said Allie broke up with him because of her. That’s so awkward! Who does that?

Also weird was the fact that Jane and Weller were in one car on the way to the house and went to the market together, while Borden and Patterson were paired up. Don’t get me wrong – I love the chemistry, and Patterson is a badass – but it makes far more sense for one science person and one weapons-heavy person to be paired together. It was especially odd that there was nobody who was really able to protect Maya in the car. And while I liked the sentiment that Jane and Weller could find Middle Eastern food, how would they possibly cook it? Don’t you need a lot of things? And finally, the Franklin reveal was not that surprising, since he was so important to the government but played such a minor role in this episode. I get that Oscar and co are after shady ventures disguised as legitimate ones, but it’s all getting a little too easy.

Liked this? Check out last week’s recap!

Written by Sasha Graffagna

Image via NBC

The opening of last night’s Blindspot episode, “Swift Hardhearted Stone,” is surprisingly emotional. A little girl covered in blood walks down the street hugging herself, while Mayfair burns old relics from her relationship with Sofia. And Jane meets Oscar at an empty studio where they used to listen to jazz together. Jazz is a part of him because his mother died when he was young, so her old jazz albums were the only way he could connect with her. Jane got into jazz when they got together.

Oscar reveals this because Jane wanted to know more about him and their past together. He then asks her to put a flash drive in an FBI computer to copy some files they need. Jane is still suspicious, asking how she can trust him, and Oscar reminds her there was a time she trusted him more than anyone. The two nearly kiss but Jane pulls away at the last second, claiming she needs to go. But she hides out behind a phone booth and follows Oscar when he exits the building.

We don’t get to see where Jane goes, because in the next scene, Dr. Borden is called in for a psych consult for that same little girl. She has deep cuts but won’t speak, and is an incredible artist with a very detailed sketchbook helped by her photographic memory. Borden recognizes one of the sketches as an exact match to Jane’s tattoo. It turns out to be an exact match to the family crest of the Akhmadis – one of the best organized and most dangerous terrorist organizations in the world. Tarek Akhmadi is the leader of the clan. And we soon learn, via the girl’s sketches and DNA testing, that Tarek is her father.

Russell Franklin (William Ragsdale), Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs, says this must be Maya (Oona Laurence), Tahrek’s child with his fifth wife Nermin. That’s why she clearly understands English, although she doesn’t speak a word. Apparently, three Akhmadi brothers entered the United States on false papers; Nermin and Maya must have come with them. They need Maya’s sketchbook to see if it indicates evidence of a terrorist attack on U.S. soil. But Dr. Borden explains that Maya has a severe form of austim and the sketchbook is her only source of comfort, so she needs to give it up on her terms.

So he has Jane show Maya her tattoos. Jane explains that she was also once scared and confused, but these people helped her and now they want to help Maya too. Jane also shows Maya her own sketchbook. Maya appears to trust Jane, so the two end up trading. And the sketchbook is incredibly helpful – her drawings are so detailed they can be run through facial recognition. The FBI gets a hit on Jeremy Rance (Chris Beetem), an American journalist who was suspected of helping a Venezuelan cartel leader get to the U.S. so he could interview him.

Tasha and Zapata interview Rance, who insists he’s never seen Maya before. Even I can tell he’s lying! Meanwhile, Dr. Borden recognizes a Thai restaurant that Maya is sketching. Weller’s crew races to the area because they’re worried it might be the scene of a terrorist attack, and find an apartment with a broken window. But all they find instead Nermin Akhmadi’s corpse with her tongue cut out. Clearly, she was talking to a journalist.

So Weller and Jane question Rance, who finally caves after seeing photos of Nermin’s body and learning she was tortured to death. Nermin was shunned due to Maya’s disability and wanted out. Rance got her into the U.S. in exchange for an interview, but that was supposed to be this day. They just arrived yesterday, and he doesn’t know about the other brothers. Weller tells Rance he’ll be the next target since Nermin talked to him, so Rance suggests they use him as bait.

So Weller dresses up as Rance, and is sure enough attacked walking into Rance’s apartment. Weller obviously wins the fight and they successfully take down the three Akhmedi brothers. Still, they have to keep Maya safe because she might know about the next target. Franklin is waiting on Maya’s grandmother to arrive from a refugee camp in Germany, and wants Maya in a state safehouse until she arrives. But Dr. Borden is worried about what all the unfamiliarity will do to Maya’s psychological health. He apparently has a house his aunt left him in the countryside, and suggests the serene environment will be good for Maya. Patterson wants to go because she likes cottages; Weller and Jane join to keep Maya safe.

On the way there, Jane and Weller have a weird conversation where Weller basically says he doesn’t want kids due to the danger of his job and Jane thinks he’ll be an excellent father. Meanwhile, Maya is in the car with Borden and Patterson and changes it to a country station. Elsewhere, armored men in a car realize happily where Maya is. Is the radio station a way to signal her family?

In Borden’s house, the team struggles to feed Maya until she finally eats some chocolate. Borden suggests that Maya might be more comfortable with Middle Eastern food, so Weller and Jane drive down to the market nearby. On their way, Weller admits to Jane that Allie dumped him because of her discomfort over Jane.

Back at FBI Headquarters, Reade basically tells Zapata to stop looking into Tom Carter’s disappearance. But when she asks why, he only says, “It’s complicated.” This angers Zapata, since he has no right to dig into her business without revealing his own. But they’re interrupted by Mayfair with news that the Arabic translator is on the phone. Mayfair tells Maya’s grandmother that her daughter is dead and she says that she was killed due to Maya’s drawings. It turns out Maya’s drawings can identify every member of the Akhmadi family. Maya is the target.

Reade and Zapata rush to Borden’s house to get her to a safehouse, and call Weller and Jane to tell them they might be in danger. Patterson realizes this as well when the power goes out. Luckily, the junction box is a mile down the road so they have time to barricade themselves in. She gives Borden her spare gun, then goes around the house collecting potential weapons. (Borden is fixing the house up, so he has lots of construction equipment.) But they forget about Maya momentarily – and unfortunately, she goes outside just as the cars full of terrorists show up. Borden grabs Maya and Patterson shoots and saves their lives.

I have to say, Patterson is a total badass in this episode, taking charge and working to keep everybody safe. Borden does save Patterson’s life by killing her potential murderer with a nail gun – but he’s totally shocked and has clearly never done this before. Unfortunately, the house is quickly surrounded by terrorists and there’s no place to go until Weller and Jane show up. With the terrorists still in the house, Patterson and Borden get Maya onto the roof and Jane coaxs her down. Patterson then uses a lighter and some science to blow up the house – jumping off the roof right before it explodes.

Later, Franklin is absolutely furious and demands to take Maya to the safehouse. As Weller argues that a member of his team should come with her for her health, Maya slams a sketch onto the windshield of Franklin’s car. All the other people are standing outside. Borden recognizes the ring Franklin is wearing and realizes Franklin was the one after Maya; Maya only sketches things she’s seen before and Franklin hasn’t seen her while in FBI custody. Franklin immediately pulls a gun to Borden’s head and seems ready to kill him despite the several guns trained on him. That’s when Maya opens the door, knocking Franklin away from Borden so Weller can shoot him. Maya essentially saves Borden’s life.

Back at the FBI, we learn that Franklin was apparently funneling state funds to the Akhmadis in hopes that they would rise up against Assad. The team at Borden’s house was Franklin’s team to kill Maya. Ugh! Luckily, this story has a happy ending – they’ll pretend Maya is dead to protect her from future assassination attempts. And Maya and her grandmother are finally reunited.

There are other positive endings to this episode. Patterson apologizes to Borden to blowing up his house. He says he’ll rebuild it, so she offers to paint his walls. This could be the start of something new! Patterson and Borden have been flirting the whole episode and are both pretty nerdy, so I ship it. That said, it’s a tad odd since Borden is an FBI psychiatrist. To be fair, he has never officially treated Patterson. Also, is she even ready to date yet after what happened with David?

Zapata also admits to Reade the truth because it affects both of them, leaving him to decide whether he’ll tell her his secrets. She thinks Mayfair knows something about Carter’s disappearance she’s not telling them and says she’s going to get some answers. Still, she doesn’t tell the whole truth – mainly that this suspicion was planted by an ADA.

Of course, this is Blindspot so it can’t be a 100% happy ending. Jane ends up putting in the flash drive ostensibly to save Weller’s life since he’ll die if she doesn’t cooperate. She joins him for his family game night, but leaves early – and last we see her, she’s standing outside of Oscar’s house.

But the worst is Mayfair, who goes on a date with Alexandra. They start with a drink in Alexandra’s hotel room, and Mayfair leaves to get ice because she’s nervous about moving quickly – a fact Alexandra picks up on. Unfortunately, when Mayfair returns, Alexandra is lying dead on the floor. When Mayfair picks up the ringing phone, a disguised voice reads, “Stop looking into Tom Carter’s disappearance or you’re next.” Poor Mayfair!

I have mixed feelings about “Swift Hardhearted Stone.” I love how badass Patterson is and I love her chemistry with Borden. These are two of my favorite characters on the show, and I was thrilled to see Borden throughout the case for once instead of shoved off to the side. Also, they seem to have pretty good chemistry and I miss the easy romance Patterson had with David. It would be good to see it again with Borden. Another positive was the art – the beginning in particular was filmed in a more artsy way than usual, and Maya’s drawings were absolutely gorgeous. I liked actually watching Blindspot in a way I’d never noticed. Plus, the case was really interesting.

Unfortunately, this episode also had several minor issues that pulled me out of the story. When they go to the apartment with Nermin’s body, the agents walk down the street with long guns. That would surely freak people out in New York (and I say that as a New Yorker) but nobody on the street even notices. It was weird that Weller said, “We’ll all go,” when deciding who to bring to Borden’s house – but Zapata and Reade were left in New York. That seems telling about Weller’s feelings for Jane, as does the fact that he said Allie broke up with him because of her. That’s so awkward! Who does that?

Also weird was the fact that Jane and Weller were in one car on the way to the house and went to the market together, while Borden and Patterson were paired up. Don’t get me wrong – I love the chemistry, and Patterson is a badass – but it makes far more sense for one science person and one weapons-heavy person to be paired together. It was especially odd that there was nobody who was really able to protect Maya in the car. And while I liked the sentiment that Jane and Weller could find Middle Eastern food, how would they possibly cook it? Don’t you need a lot of things? And finally, the Franklin reveal was not that surprising, since he was so important to the government but played such a minor role in this episode. I get that Oscar and co are after shady ventures disguised as legitimate ones, but it’s all getting a little too easy.

Liked this? Check out last week’s recap!

Written by Sasha Graffagna

Image via NBC

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