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TV Review: Blindspot 1.1 “Pilot”
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Blindspot NBC Jaimie Alexander promo

Blindspot
Season 1 Episode 1: “Pilot”
Created by Martin Gero & Greg Berlanti
Directed by Mark Pellington
Written by Martin Gero
Starring Jaimie Alexander, Sullivan Stapleton, Audrey Esparza, Rob Brown, Marianne Jean-Baptiste, Ukweli Roach, Ashley Johnson
NBC
Air Date: Monday, September 21, 2015, 10pm

Thor actress Jaimie Alexander strips off her Asgardian Lady Sif armor in exchange for a fully tattooed physique as amnesiac Jane Doe in NBC’s new one-hour drama Blindspot. And how Jane makes her entrance on the show is eerie and compelling.

A large duffle bag is found on the crowded nighttime streets of Times Square, the heart of “see something, say something” New York City. A tag hanging on it reads “Call the FBI.” The NYPD bomb squad is dispatched but they won’t be finding a bomb. Instead, as they approach the bag, the zipper starts opening from the inside. What emerges as if from a cocoon is a frightened, naked women who’s tattooed from neck to toe. And, she has no memory of who she is… or of anything else.

The FBI dub the unknown woman Jane Doe and proceed to poke, prod, and scan her, making sure to image all of her tattoos. Who is this woman and what is the reason behind the tag for the FBI? The first clue turns out to be in the large upper back piece she has with the name “Kurt Weller,” an FBI agent (Sullivan Stapleton). But Agent Weller has no idea who this woman is or why his name is inked on her. It soon becomes clear that Jane’s tattoos are not mere body art – they are coded messages.

The pilot follows the standard police procedural format with a case to be solved and a criminal plot be thwarted all by episode’s end, but there’s also an overall story to be uncovered over the course of the season and possibly beyond that. As the FBI’s top-notch forensics team analyzes each of Jane’s tattoos, searching for clues regarding her true identity, Special Agent Weller and his team are out in the field following up on leads, reluctantly keeping Jane in tow. While Alexander’s raven-haired green-eyed mystery woman keeps us enthralled with her every step, Weller eventually turns into a cranky cop type who spews cliches. He started out as a compassionate investigator who was endearing enough for me to overlook the five-o’clock shadow that I’m sure doesn’t conform to standard FBI policy. But, halfway through the premiere, he starts to give off that “this isn’t my day” vibe. I’m guessing he probably really needed a cup of coffee, but never got it.

Weller also turns out to be the show’s token skeptic. Even though Jane repeatedly proves that she — and not just the messages she carries — is a valuable asset to the investigation, Weller continues to try to leave her sitting on the sidelines. Why bring her along with the team only to leave her sitting in the car? But, before you ask those types of questions, you have to first believe that the FBI would have even let her out of the building to go anywhere except off to Guantanamo Bay.

As you can imagine, with Weller being Blindspot’s leading man, he does have his redeeming qualities. There’s the aforementioned kindness and empathy towards Jane in the beginning, as well as the fact that when he goes to question a suspect, he doesn’t automatically start pummeling them when things get chaotic. Oh, and he has a special “hero” moment during a bomb threat. There’s a reason Weller’s name was so clearly displayed on Jane’s back and we’ll likely slowly find out why as the season goes on, along with discovering more about Jane’s past and her unique abilities. By the end of this first episode we do get a small glimpse into Jane’s recent past.

Blindspot has an intriguing premise, like Criminal Minds meets Christopher Nolan’s Momento, set in New York City, taking full advantage of its popular landmarks, which become characters in themselves, sharing some of the best screen time. On the other hand, most of the supporting cast so far blends into the background so much that even Weller’s partner, Agent Edgar Reade (Rob Brown), makes a crack about his colleague rolling the window down when leaving him behind in the car. If not for that quip, I think I’d have quickly forgotten about this character, so I’m going to take this as a sign that there’s something better in store for Agent Reed. Oh, and I’d be remiss if I failed to mention the delightful appearance by Growing Pains actress Ashley Johnson, now all grown up and playing the FBI analyst scanning the tats. I’m hoping to see more of her in future episodes. As for our leads, though we hardly know anything about Jane Doe, Alexander makes us like her and root for her, even though at this point she could possibly be terrorist. And, yes, Sullivan Stapleton’s Agent Reed was up and down in his debut, but something tells me we’re going to love him too eventually… hopefully.

Blindspot airs on NBC on Monday nights at 10, and is a production of Warner Bros. Television and Berlanti Productions.

Video

BLINDSPOT | Trailer | NBC Official Series [HD]


A vast international plot explodes when a beautiful Jane Doe (Jaimie Alexander) is discovered naked in Times Square, her body covered in tattoos in this new, one-hour action thriller.

Blindspot – Who is Jane Doe?


As a part of NBC’s fall shows in 2015, NBC’s Blindspot, premiering Monday September 21, follows Jane Doe as she tries to uncover the truth about her identity and the meaning behind her mysterious new tattoos.

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