‘Blindspot’ Creator On Helicopter Stunts, Lou Diamond Phillips

blindspot episode 7 Jaimie Alexander as
Courtesy of Giovanni Rufino/NBC

SPOILER: Don’t read this unless you’ve seen Episode 7 of NBC’s “Blindspot.”

The seventh episode of NBC’s “Blindspot” raised the bar for action sequences — add flying a helicopter to the list of things Jaimie Alexander’s Jane Doe didn’t know she could do.

The episode also introduced Lou Diamond Phillips as the much-hunted Saul Guerrero, thus allowing the audience, and Sullivan Stapleton’s Kurt Weller, to learn that Mayfair (Marianne Jean-Baptiste) hasn’t been as forthcoming as she seems. Also growing suspicious: David (Joe Dinicol), the seemingly always available (now ex) boyfriend of Ashley Johnson’s brainiac Patterson.

Fittingly, the anagrams-of-titles theme continued this week and “Sent on Tour” can be reworded to mean “Trust No One.” Creator Martin Gero answers some of these questions for Variety. But can we trust him?

 

Jane flew a helicopter!

By the way, we did that all for real. It’s not a single greenscreen shot in that entire sequence. Jaimie was at the controls of a real helicopter. We had a Weller double sit next to her and actually flew it, but Jaimie took off and powered up. We put Black Magic and GoPro cameras inside the cockpit and fired up. That was a good afternoon (of filming) because we just had to make everything super fast.

We had the idea in the writers’ room because we had the helicopter in the pilot and we were like can we take it one step further. That’s the first time Audrey (Esparza, who plays FBI Agent Zapata) had been on a helicopter and that’s a heck of a first helicopter ride — firing an M4 and sitting next to Lou Diamond Phillips.

Is there anything Jane can’t do?

There’s stuff she can’t do. It had been so long since we’d discovered a special skill for her so we decided let’s make it be a big one.

Why is she afraid to fly? Is this a fear of ceding control or more?

She doesn’t know she can fly at the beginning of the episode and she still doesn’t do well with turbulence. I know pilots who hate to fly when they’re not the pilot. I think it’s a control thing for her.

The anagram of this week’s episode title is “Trust No One” — does this mean David, Patterson’s (ex) boyfriend, shouldn’t be trusted? Is he coming back for more?

It’s very possible. He’s in a bunch more episodes.

With those titles, they also read as a complete sentence. It has to do with this episode and it also has to do with the greater poem we made up for the episodes.

But this was a big episode for Jane because she finally cracked Reade (Rob Brown). He really started to see her value and see her as a three-dimensional person. Reade has been the most vocal critic of the insanity of following the tattoos, but I think even he can’t argue that they (are legit). We set up the tattoos early and it really does show you that the tattoos are there to help for the most part — which is a question in and of itself.

Speaking of characters coming back: Johnny Whitworth, who plays the late Ruggedly Handsome Man, tweeted a photo of the two of you together.

That was a picture from Episode 2. I think Johnny is very engaged and is very excited about the show and the show’s fans. It would be so fun to have him.

Johnny joked that you’ve led an interesting life. Is it just a coincidence that Saul Guerrero’s last name is just a few extra letters away from yours?

Yeah, there’s no Martin Gero Easter egg hidden in the show. Johnny and I are both very, very handsome and we both have beards but I think that’s where the comparisons stop for the show. We just had a bunch of names and I think it was the room that chose (Guerrero). It sounded dangerous and warlike and it’s fun to say. And sure, it’s sounds like Gero, so why not. This whole show is just a platform for my narcissism — if you use this like, please put, “he said joking.”

Why did you decide to cast Lou Diamond Phillips in this role?

I’ve been such a huge fan of his and we talked about him right away when we did this part. He’s an extraordinary actor and has such a great way with dialogue. He’s so smart and we really needed a character who can take the team apart after spending 20 minutes with them and there’s not a lot of people who can do that. And also, I worked with him on “Stargate: Universe” briefly and have nothing but extraordinarily positive experiences with him.

And we’ll be seeing more of him, as well? Is he going to be able to get up to more mischief behind bars?

You’ll just have to wait and see.

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  1. DougW says:

    Really enjoy the series, though I wish someone would smile once in a while. Most workplaces have at least one person with a sense of humor, no matter how serious the job.

  2. Bob Price says:

    Good episode, lots of action, but gulped on one scene. Four highly trained and armed FBI agents are stymied by a wimpy padlock like those on a school locker. They struggle to figure the combination on a lock any teenager could pop in three seconds.

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