'Blindspot' Boss on That Finale Cliffhanger: 'You Should Be a Little Worried' Someone Dies
[Warning: The below contains MAJOR spoilers for the Season 4 finale of Blindspot, "The Gang Gets Gone."]
Just like Patterson (Ashley Johnson) tells the team, there's good news and there's "utterly horrifying" news after that Season 4 finale. The good news is there will be a Blindspot Season 5. The utterly horrifying news is that we don't know if everyone from the team will still be alive.
Creator Martin Gero told TV Insider they "wanted to end with a bang," and they did just that. The team not only failed in its attempt to take down Madeline (Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio) but also ended up in its most challenging position yet.
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After Dominic (Chaske Spencer) took down the power grid, Jane (Jaimie Alexander), Weller (Sullivan Stapleton), Reade (Rob Brown), Zapata (Audrey Esparza) and Patterson flew to Iceland to fix it, only for Madeline to use the resources at her disposal to manipulate the situation and make it look like the agents were the bad guys and had a vendetta against her. Facing arrest, the team must jump from the plane and rely on each other and one of Rich DotCom's (Ennis Esmer) friends to complete their objective. They did, but it was easier said than done.
The team turned on each other mid-flight, with Reade upset after learning about Weller's deal with Weitz (Aaron Abrams) to protect Jane, Weller calling Jane his only family among them, and Zapata pointing out she'd covered for Reade in the past. But by the time everyone reunited in a safe house, they were back on the same page, ready to go on the run to clear their names.
But will they all be alive next season to do that? Back in the United States, Rich and Weitz tried to do what they could to help the team, but Rich was taken into custody. As for Weitz, he could only stand by and watch as Madeline declared she was going to be leading a civilian oversight community during a press conference. Then, the team was located, and a drone strike was greenlit for their location.
In the final moments of the episode, Jane, on first watch outside, could only watch as the safe house exploded.
So what comes next? We spoke with Gero to find out how worried we should be about the team and what to expect from the drama's final season.
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That was a crazy cliffhanger. What went into deciding this — the team on the run and the drone strike — was how you wanted to end the season?
Martin Gero: We wanted to end with a bang, quite literally. The team on the run was one thing, but I think we needed real jeopardy. We had hopes for a fifth and final season and so it's entering the show's endgame. We didn't want them to come out of this completely clean. There are consequences to what Madeline has backed them into and how different their life is going to be now that they're on the run.
They do seem to have a built-in escape route under the house, though it didn't look like any of them knew they needed to use it. How worried should we be that at least one person didn't make it out?
I think you should be a little worried. It was a pretty big explosion. Even if they did make it to the tunnel, it's pretty dire.
Even if they all survive, the team's problems are far from over. They need to clear their names, and that's probably going to be the biggest challenge they've faced so far as a team, especially after that fight on the plane, right?
Yeah, absolutely. I think they were about to fall apart and then being framed by your government has a way of gelling people together. It's going to be a season unlike anything we've done before.
This isn't going to be the type of thing where we're going to reset the clock by Episode 2 of Season 5. They are on the run for the majority of Season 5. Season 5 is about them trying to get their names back and trying to take Madeline down now, who is ever increasingly in a seat of growing power.
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What did you want to accomplish with that fight on the plane and how reconciled are they after it? Is it going to come up in Season 5?
Everyone brought up solid issues. Reade's concerns with how far the team has fallen. It's fun for us because we love our characters and we're in it with them, but when you take a step back, they were all very straight-laced FBI agents that have made a lot of tough choices that were the right ones at the time, but when you look at it, they've really strayed from the path a little bit, so the next season is about them accounting for that and not only trying to clear their names for themselves but also trying to get good with themselves.
It was easy for Madeline to place blame on the team for what they'd done and what she'd said they'd done and have people in high enough places to give herself a position of power. What is her plan going forward? To just take down the FBI? Does she have something else up her sleeve?
It's not like the FBI's totally taken down, but it's severely diminished already, so I would guess she has something else up her sleeve.
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Jane and Weller had a rocky season, but they were in a really good place relationship-wise at the end of it, even working together to take hostages in the museum. Can you talk about the journey you wanted to take them on, personally and professionally, this year?
When we decided to make her Remi for the first part of the season, we knew we really needed to service that relationship in the back half of the season, so that the fans who love "Jeller" have something to tune in for, and for us, it's important, too. It's probably the most important relationship in the show and so we really put it on the rocks in the first part of the season, so it was very important to us that they be rock-solid.
Also, we knew going into Season 5, should everyone survive, that's a relationship that they'll lean on each other for something like that. They need each other. They need to be strong going into Season 5.
If everyone survives, can they have that life in Colorado they were talking about?
They're going to try. That's what Season 5's about, trying to get back to a place where that is a possibility for them.
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How important was it to have Jane reconcile the parts of Jane and Remi this season? How might that help her in Season 5?
I think it's incredibly important. A lot of Jane's present-day issues lied in her treating the past like it was a completely different person, and for us, Season 4 was greatly about, for Jane, at least, the journey to reconciling that she is one person and that one person grew out of another. The people we are in the past don't define us, but they certainly shape us and it's a mistake to just kind of pretend that never happened.
So for her, also, you're right, going into Season 5, where they're on the run, they're essentially operating outside the law, I think they'll have to rely greatly on Jane and Remi's memories on how to survive in those situations.
Personally, Reade and Zapata aren't in the worst place at the end of the season when it comes to their relationship. We even see him questioning her about playing him regarding Keaton in the finale. Can those two make it work with all the distrust between them?
I think so. I think Reade is at wits' end, and I think he's lashing out at everyone, including the people he's closest to, which is Zapata, but I think there's that moment at the end of Season 4, where she just places her hand next to his and he smiles. I think there's great warmth there, and so there's a possibility, if they should survive, for that to grow.
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Patterson is looking to adopt. Is that partly why you explored her relationship with her father more this season?
Absolutely. Patterson is looking for a fuller life than what she has, and that's something that we've established from way back. When there was a time jump between Season 2 and 3, she had moved out of law enforcement entirely, so she's been looking for something different and a great purpose.
Now, obviously, all of that is put on hold into Season 5, should she survive. There's more pressing matters right now than her adopting, but I think definitely a closer relationship with her father over the past two years has made her realize she wants more.
Rich DotCom has been such a fun character to watch over the years. It was interesting to see him in the finale, because he could have just run and left the team to do what he had to to survive. How much of a struggle is it for him to not turn on them?
I think the team is the first family he's ever known, and he loves them and is fiercely protective of them.
It's been such a fascinating journey with that character. He started out as one of the baddest bad guys that we'd ever encountered, and now he really loves us. He really loves the team. And I think the team, although they would be hard-pressed to admit it, I think they love him, too. And so he's found his home and he's going to do everything he can to protect it, so I don't think there was any question of him leaving.
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What can you say about the situation he's in now? Is he with Madeline's people or legit law enforcement?
That remains to be seen. I don't want to give away too much for the Season 5 premiere, but yeah, the Season 5 premiere is a lot about where Rich is and if we can help him or not.
Weitz is clearly in over his head. What did you want to do with him this season and specifically in the finale?
That's another character that's been so fun to play with. He starts as a great antagonist and then I think this season, the fun of that character is we got to a place where he was kind of annoyingly useful and kind of on our side and then just not being sure. I think that's the thing. We're just never sure with Weitz. He can do a heel turn real quickly, and so it's a character that leads to great story because we just never know where he is.
And so that's the arc we wanted to do this season, was to bring him into the team, make us begrudgingly kind of... not respect him, but at least count him as an ally, even though we know he's always just worried about himself, and then the latter half of the season when he's essentially blackmailing Weller, he's back on his bulls--t, and us not knowing — again, it's never a question of whether we can trust Weitz or not, it's about identifying what his self-interest is. And if it lines up with our team's, then he's an ally, and if it's against our team, then he's a villain.
Along those lines, is he someone who can still help the team, whoever may be left, or is it better for them if he just stays out of it?
You'll have to see. He's definitely stuck in a very neutered position back at the FBI, and so it's potentially a situation where they both need to take Madeline down, and maybe that's something they can help each other with.
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Knowing next season is your last, how are you approaching it compared to previous years?
Every year, we typically spend about a month before we start working on the season talking about what the next season will be. So when we're working on Season 3, we always spend a month talking about, "Well, what's Season 4?" so we know what we're going towards. So in many aspects, that hasn't changed.
But we started talking January of last year about how we finally end the show. I've had an idea a little bit about how I wanted it to end, and of course, I'm working with an enormous team of amazing collaborators of not only writers, but editors, directors, and producers, and we all just started having a conversation about, "How do we end this in the most satisfying way for us, and how do we end this in the most satisfying way for the audience?" And we're thrilled about the ending we've come up with and are just incredibly grateful that NBC has given us the opportunity to do this final season.
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It's going to feel like a slightly different season as far as how it works structurally because it's really driving towards a single thing, which is an ending, which we've never done before. We're always driving towards a cliffhanger, whereas this is, there's a finiteness in the season that allows us to take some risks in the storytelling and with our characters that we wouldn't necessarily be able to do if we were hoping for a sixth and seventh season.
Blindspot, Fifth and Final Season, Coming Soon, NBC