EXCLUSIVE: 'Blindspot' Boss on the Reveal of the Mole, Roman's New Reality and the Big Cliffhanger
By Philiana Ng
Warning: Spoiler alert! Do not proceed if you have not watched Wednesday’s Blindspot fall finale. You will be sorry. Everyone else, proceed!
What just happened?!
After teasing a double agent among the Blindspot team, the identity of the FBI mole was revealed in the series' fall finale: the unassuming psychiatrist Dr. Robert Borden (Ukweli Roach). Turns out, he had a history with Jane (Jaimie Alexander) years before she was found tatted up in the middle of New York City in the pilot, which turned out to be the catalyst for the creation of Sandstorm. Making matters worse, Borden’s betrayal also effectively ends his romance with Patterson (Ashley Johnson).
Wednesday’s episode also brought Jane’s relationship with her brother, Roman (Luke Mitchell), to new heights. After he chose not to kill his sister at Shepherd’s (Michelle Hurd) request, Roman immediately seemed to regret his choice -- to the point where Jane made the decision to inject him with the same memory-erasing serum that she was injected with.
“There are even more questions that have come up,” creator Martin Gero tells ET after the intense fall finale. “The biggest one of all is, what is this all about? What is Shepherd’s endgame?”
“The end of this season will be -- I don’t want to say a mad dash -- but the [team] is very terrified of what Shepherd’s plan is,” he adds. “They understand the scope of what she’s already done and now they’re in the dark, trying to use Roman, trying to use Weller and his connection with Jane, and trying to root out what is going on and what this has all been for.”
Following Wednesday’s midseason closer, Gero jumped on the phone with ET to discuss the aftermath of the dramatic cliffhanger (aka The Gunshot Heard ‘Round the World!), Jane’s decision to wipe away Roman’s memory and what’s next.
ET: Borden is the FBI mole! Why did it make sense for him to be the guy?
Martin Gero: He was an early choice for us. We knew we wanted someone else in [the FBI] keeping an eye on Jane, someone under deep, deep cover who wouldn’t be in constant contact but could raise an alarm bell if something came up. For those who remember, Borden was the only other new person to join the team in the pilot; he was the only other unknown entity at that point. On top of that, he was perfectly situated to guide her through the stuff she needed. Even convincing her not to quit the FBI when she’s had enough and telling her to lean into her relationship with Weller, planting in her head that there’s something there, and convincing Weller to open up about Taylor Shaw to give her all she needed to take advantage of that. It makes the most sense that it was him.
We also got answers about the months before we found Jane in the pilot, when she wakes up in New York City, and learned that Borden actually had a history with Jane. What was the significance of showing that in flashbacks?
When we really dug into the why of Borden, we came up with this interesting backstory and it was always in the back of our heads, like, how are we going to get all of this information out? Their meeting is the early days of Sandstorm and why Jane becomes radicalized and why Borden becomes radicalized, and it’s so human that I think it’s pretty understandable for a lot of people in a weird way. We came up with a crazy idea, which was inspired by Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon -- to have this reveal and go back in time a couple of years for an entire act of the show and get all of Borden’s backstory. We were nervous about it, because it’s a risk storytelling-wise but I think it pays off.
Where does Borden and Patterson’s relationship stand, now that Borden’s secret is out?
Well, they’re definitely going to break up. (Laughs.) “Borderson” is over and Patterson is pretty furious. He’s acted despicably towards her and Patterson’s had a rough go with guys on the show and I think she really is seeing red this second half of the season and is very singularly minded to try to bring him down, now that this has all been revealed to her. She feels terribly betrayed and taken advantage of and violated.
The cliffhanger leaves us wondering who got shot: Borden or Patterson. What can you tease about where we pick up?
We’re going to pick it right back up. That’s the first scene we start with. Right away [you’ll find out who the victim is].
Roman makes a big decision when his mother, Shepherd, forces him to kill his sister, Jane. How does that affect his relationship with his mom?
I don’t think he’s on Jane’s side, he really buys into the philosophies and the dogma that Shepherd preaches and that Sandstorm’s all about, but he can’t kill his sister and it’s extraordinarily cruel for Shepherd to back him in a corner. I think he snaps and, in a weird way, instantly regrets it. He can’t believe he shot his mother and it’s all over for him now; what does his life look like? He hates the FBI; he doesn’t want to go work with the government. Jane has slowly realized over the course of the season in a weird way that [having her memory] zipped was a real opportunity for her to reset her life and escape her past. She’s painted into a corner and realizes that maybe this is the only way to save her brother.
Jane makes the decision to inject the same serum used on her to wipe away his memory. We saw the effects of that for Jane, so will Roman have a similar aftereffect?
That’s what the back half of the season is about for those two. Will he flourish like Jane did after or is his damage too deep-seeded? Is this something that everyone can bounce back from or is it going to be a horrific process for him? And also, keep in mind he’s a known terrorist now. The FBI is not going to be tickled to have him on the team, which he won’t be. It’s going to be a very, very different experience for him and a really hard one.
Shepherd’s still out there in the world and now she’s gunning for Jane and Roman. Is she going to be even more terrifying when she does come back around?
What’s scary is we stop being able to keep tabs on her, so it’s going to difficult for us -- we’re working in the dark suddenly and all we have is Roman, who doesn’t remember anything. It’s tricky. Meanwhile, she’s gotten Borden back and Borden steps into being her right-hand man. It’s scary but we’re going to keep a lot of plates spinning. The one thing that our team does have is they know Weller is important for some reason. They try to chase down that lead: Why is Weller important? And maybe that will give a hint to what Phase 2 is all about.
Especially when Shepherd revealed that she and Roman knew Jane was acting as a double agent for the FBI and played that card when it was beneficial for her, was a sign that she’s ruthless.
She’s a formidable foe, certainly. She’s got an enormous amount of discipline and that’s always terrifying.
Anything you can say about where Nas and Weller may go?
Nas and Weller have an enormous amount of respect for each other and I think they understand the struggles of leadership. The back half of the season really sees Jane and Weller rekindle a deeper friendship that they’re now able to [have]. They’re out from under the trauma they both caused each other at the beginning of the year and are able to start to reconnect.
While it wasn’t a big part of the episode, Weller’s baby with Alison served a minor role in the fall finale. Will we see a birth this season?
I don’t think we’ll see the birth. The timeline of the show, for this season at least, doesn’t take us to the birth. Weller is trying to balance what’s going on with Sandstorm, what’s going on at work, what’s going on with Jane, what’s going on with Nas, what’s going on with Ali, so he’s a very conflicted guy at the moment and spread maybe a little thin. I don’t want to get too much into it, but Ali plays a part in that.
What’s the temperature of the team following this traumatic experience they just went through together?
It brings our core group together even tighter. They’ve been through so much together now, they’ve been through this traumatic experience and they want to rally around each other and bring this to an end. While the world is falling apart, they find solace with each other now more than ever.