Blindspot left unique stamp on TV crime dramas to the very end

BLINDSPOT -- "Iunne Ennui" Episode 511 -- Pictured: Jaimie Alexander as Jane Doe -- (Photo by: Scott McDermott/NBC/Warner Brothers)
BLINDSPOT -- "Iunne Ennui" Episode 511 -- Pictured: Jaimie Alexander as Jane Doe -- (Photo by: Scott McDermott/NBC/Warner Brothers) /

The Blindspot finale was a fitting conclusion to a genre-bending show.

The Blindspot series finale has had TV crime drama fans talking since Thursday—and it was the exact right way to conclude a show that’s always been unique and special.

SPOILER ALERT: This article contains spoilers for the series finale of Blindspot.

During “Innue Ennui,” Jane Doe (Jaimie Alexander) was experiencing life-threatening ZIP-inspired hallucinations. After she and Kurt Weller (Sullivan Stapleton) defused one last ZIP bomb, Jane was seen enjoying a Norman Rockwell-esque retirement with her family and friends.

But then Blindspot pushed into Jane’s mind’s eye to show another ending, in which she collapsed and died just moments after defusing the bomb. Was the happily ever after with Weller and all of their loved ones another illusion in her head?

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Fans will have to answer that question for themselves.

“What we wanted for [the ending] to be was a bit of a Rorschach test,” series creator Martin Gero told Precinct TV in our interview, adding, “We wanted people to have the ending that they felt.”

Some will believe Jane died. Others will believe she retired to a Norman Rockwell-esque normal life. And still others may be frustrated by Blindspot leaving its ending intentionally vague. But honestly, it makes complete sense for a series that’s always been open to interpretation—and whose core themes have been perception and identity.

It started with the question “Who is Jane Doe?” and from that moment on, the writers turned the TV crime genre on its head by offering multiple possibilities in many key moments. First Jane was Taylor Shaw, then she wasn’t; as her brother Roman (Luke Mitchell) pointed out in “Innue Ennui,” she’s ultimately had three identities.

The audience’s perception of every character changed; not in the normal character development way, but in seeing them in a new light, or correcting something that had been established before. First Weller’s father had killed Taylor, then maybe not, then actually he did. As Tasha Zapata’s (Audrey Esparza) allegiances changed, so did she. Characters almost certainly dead were later on revealed to be alive—hi, Dr. Borden (Ukweli Roach)!

What do you see? What do you want to see?

Blindspot was constantly distorting and manipulating its reality. That didn’t always work, especially as the show’s scope got bigger with time skips and international conspiracies, but it made for a different kind of TV viewing experience. Audiences could never rely on anything and had the room to interpret everything. Cases of the week were clues to a puzzle, and in later seasons, secondary to ongoing story arcs. The format was different, the characters were in flux, and nothing was impossible.

It was the exact opposite of what a TV crime drama is—regimented—and that’s what made it such fun to watch.

There’s one other thing that should be said as Blindspot ends, though. What anchored the show in all this “choose your own adventure” type awesomeness was its incredible cast and crew, who are some of the best people in the business.

Each of these actors left their own fingerprints on their characters, giving them a spark of personality that made them as unique as the sandbox they were playing in. It went beyond the usual TV process of actors bonding with characters; it felt like all of these people embraced the most unique aspects of their characters and had as much fun going along for the ride as the audience did.

Blindspot emphasized creativity, whether it was in the actors making their characters that much more quirky, the writers playing toward the actors (like Ashley Johnson’s Patterson holding a Critical Role mug) or zany storyline ideas. What other show would have Bill Nye playing a fictional version of himself? Or come up with a delightfully meta board game poking fun at itself? It was like playing Dungeons & Dragons with a bunch of friends and Gero as the Dungeon Master.

And to a person, these were all people you’d want to go on an adventure with. Having spent time with them over the whole run of the series, I can say that from Martin Gero through the entire main cast and guest stars like Archie Panjabi, Blindspot was populated with amazing folks. Some of my favorite memories come from working with these people, who brought that same spark off-camera. They loved the show as much as the fans, and they always embraced the fans with open arms.

But that’s the legacy that Blindspot leaves behind—it was an exciting show with a great concept, yet ultimately it was about finding out who you are, who you want to be, and who you want to be with. The team stuck with one another, the fans stuck with the show, and the cast stuck with the fans. The ultimate message was that identity is what you want it to be, and no matter how vague the ending, as long as you’re true to yourself that’s what matters most.

Next. Behind the scenes of Blindspot finale. dark

All five seasons of Blindspot are now available to stream on Amazon Video.