‘Blindspot’ Creator on Episode Six and the Man with the Tree Tattoo

The opening scene of this week’s “Blindspot” was probably not what viewers of the NBC hit have come to expect. Instead of fights, either emotional or physical, there was just lead Jaimie Alexander’s mysterious Jane Doe having a rather romantic encounter with an equally mysterious man with a tree tattoo on his arm. Was it a fantasy about Sullivan Stapleton’s Kurt Weller? Was it someone from her past?

Viewers had to watch the entire episode to find out. But series creator Martin Gero talked to Variety about this encounter and what this means for Jane. He also shared details on the episode’s epic fight scene and how he makes his writers happy. (Hint: It involves churros).

Tonight’s episode opens with a much more romantic vibe than the other episodes’ openings.

For us, this is an episode about Jane and Weller taking the pause. They’ve been at a very heightened situation, to say the least, over the past five episodes of their lives.

It’s about Jane feeling like they got too close too quick. They almost kissed in the last episode and that might stir something inside of her and she has this dream. The dream was really important and it seemed crazy to put it in the middle.

Tree Man, for lack of a better name, comes in at the end as well. What can you tell me about him?

Tree Man, played by Francois Arnaud, is a real important guy to her. You’re going to be learning a little bit about him over the next three or four episodes. He’s someone from her past. Is the dream about her relationship with him?

Does he have any connection to the recently deceased Ruggedly Handsome Man (Johnny Whitworth)?

He might have. She’s a very important person, so she’s someone who gets a lot of attention.

Weller puts a stop to Patterson when she questions him about the case related to the mysterious Daylight operation, which is a secret from Mayfair’s (Marianne Jean-Baptiste) past. Does he know about Daylight?

No. He just trusts Mayfair implicitly. [But] he will confront her about it in the next episode.

He and Mayfair seem to have this blind trust in each other.

It’s not blind; it’s earned. He and Mayfair have this close working relationship. Over the years of working together, she’s earned his trust and he’s earned hers. That’s more fodder for the next couple of episodes.

Jane’s steganographic tattoo, which is a big reveal this episode, looks like sunbeams … Or is this an inkblot test?

[Laughs] Yes. The good news is that tattoo is the center of the next episode, so you won’t have to wait too long for it.

One of the show’s writers, Brendan Gall, Tweeted last week that the cemetery scene almost killed you all. Now you have this episode, which has a shoot-out with trucks exploding. Talk about filming that.

We have an extraordinary team of writers and producers here and we’re quite a bit ahead of the game as far as scripts and outlines, so we’re able to identify when we know we’re going to do that.

We don’t use a lot of computer-generated effects on this show. Everything we do is for real; if we’re going to blow up a truck, we’re going to blow up a truck. Drew Jiritano, who is our special effects coordinator and [episode director] Rob Hardy sat down.

Drew just over-delivers every time. He and his team are so excited about the show and have such a passion for blowing things up and giving us amazing action sequences. It made the local news because the explosion was so enormous. It shook buildings. It’s one of the biggest explosions I think ever captured for a TV show.

We know Zapata is in debt to her bookie and took a bribe from Carter in last week’s episode in exchange for sharing details about Jane. But she didn’t pay her debts until the end of the episode. Was this out of guilt?

I think she’s trying to figure out any other way to pay because she knows the second she hands that money to the bookie she’s done a bad thing. It was a way of her delaying it and keeps it not true for just 12 hours longer. She’s pretty ashamed at what she’s done.

I know this is a weird question, but I saw a few Tweets go by about you watching the show while eating churros. What’s up with that?

[Laughs] We live-Tweet the show every week and I feed everybody at my house and there’s a very nice person who comes over and makes churros because they’re delicious. I did it once and now I can never not have fresh churros at my house. My house perennially smells like fried dough and cinnamon, which is not the worst thing in the world.

Blindspot” airs Mondays at 10 p.m. on NBC.

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