Rogue Veteran Wreaks Havoc on ‘Blindspot’

September 30th, 2015 7:58 PM

Viewers of the second episode of NBC’s Blindspot, “A Stray Howl,” were treated to the same disdain for America’s military that permeated the new drama’s pilot. Fresh off blaming America for a plot to kill civilians by blowing up the Statue of Liberty, Blindspot then set its sights on veterans, specifically those who may be suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).

Rogue veterans screwed up by their service, a government cover-up of a secret drone program that had killed American citizens on American soil, intimidation of whistle blowers, this episode had it all. Channeling Senator Diane Feinstein (D-Calif.), who once said military personnel shouldn’t be able to purchase “assault weapons” because they might have PTSD, Blindspot quickly fingers a mentally broken veteran as the episode’s villain:

I served with Major Gibson both in Afghanistan and as his commanding officer here in New York. He's a hell of a pilot.

I thought he was injured, moved to a desk.

Once a pilot, always a pilot.

So, what happened to him?

Gibson's injury was psychological. He had a mission gone bad. There was collateral damage.

How many civilians died?

I'm afraid that's classified.

So, a lot then?

Gibson was never the same. His PTSD got worse and worse until eventually, we had to ground him.

What exactly did he do when he got back stateside?

I'm sorry, but I can't say much more. But unfortunately, even the desk work got to be too much for him. We had no choice but to discharge him.

When was the last time you spoke?

A few months. After we let him go, his marriage ended. He couldn't hold down a job, he grew increasingly paranoid. I think he blamed me.

So, why'd he blow up his own house this morning?

I can't begin to imagine.

Look, ma'am, I'm racing to contain a potentially volatile situation, so I need to know what you know.

I've told you everything I can. I wish we could have done more for him. He was a good man.

But Major Arthur Gibson (Robert Eli), described by his superiors as “one of the most efficient killing machines the Air Force has ever made,” isn’t just reacting to stress. As the episode unravels, it’s revealed Gibson was part of a top secret drone program operating and acting on American soil. The program had “taken action,” but American civilians were killed in the crossfire. When Gibson tried to blow the whistle, he was frozen out and targeted for personal destruction. Pushed over the edge by his commanders, Gibson wants revenge – and what better way could there be to expose the program to the public than by blowing up the building where his colleagues operated?

Oh, my God. How did he get his hands on this?

He kidnapped the daughter of an avionics specialist who helped him hack the drone.  That girl's still missing, so she needs our help.

This is terrible.

The program wasn't last resort, was it? You'd already been using it.

Five confirmed kills.

How much collateral damage?

Drones are messy.

What, so Gibson wanted to stop it?

He was one of our best pilots, but even he couldn't stomach the loss of American civilians. (Weller)

What, he was gonna blow the whistle?

Yeah... Yeah, he asked me to help. But, um, I turned him in. They stripped his clearance, they pulled his pension. Threatened his family. We pushed him over the edge, we destroyed his life.

So, Gibson was a good guy. He just wanted the killing to stop.

He killed ten innocent people this morning. Good guys don't do that.

In Blindspot’s first episode, the military was lambasted for not being proactive enough, ignoring atrocities in China. In the second, the military sparked disaster by acting too aggressively, killing American civilians in the process. One thing is clear: in NBC’s Blindspot, our men and women in uniform will never be heroes.