‘Blindspot’ Episode 1 Review: Tattoos, Amnesia, and Chasing Clues

Jaimie Alexander Naked in Bag Blindspot Photo
Jaimie Alexander as Jane Doe in ‘Blindspot’ (Photo by Virginia Sherwood / NBC)

NBC’s new dramatic series Blindspot premieres on September 21, 2015 at 10pm ET/PT with Jaime Alexander and Sullivan Stapleton in starring roles. The pilot episode opens with a large canvas bag found abandoned in the middle of Times Square with a note attached that reads, “Call the FBI.” The streets are cleared and a member of the bomb squad approaches the bag to investigate. Just as he’s about to touch it, the bag moves and the zipper slowly works its way open. A naked woman (Alexander) completely covered in tattoos and looking lost and confused emerges from the bag and is immediately taken into custody.

Next, we’re introduced to the second key player in the series as FBI Agent Kurt Weller (Stapleton) is seen involved in the harrowing takedown of an armed suspect holding three women and a baby hostage in Kentucky. Minutes after that arrest and rescue, he’s picked up by helicopter and transported to where the woman from Times Square is being held. Why? Because his name is tattooed prominently on her back. She has no idea who she is, how she came to be in a bag in Times Square, or where the tattoos came from, and the FBI hopes Agent Weller can shed some light on why his name is on her body. Unfortunately, it’s a mystery to him as he’s never seen this woman before.

As Dr. Bordon (Ukweil Roach) explains, there’s a drug in Jane Doe’s system that has induced a permanent state of amnesia. Every memory prior to the minute she climbed out of the bag has been effectively – and efficiently – erased. There’s never been a recorded case like hers before, so there’s no way to know if she’ll ever get any of her memories back. A team’s quickly assembled to help Agent Weller try and figure out who she is and who could have possibly done this to her.

Written by Martin Gero and executive produced by Gero, Greg Berlanti (Arrow), Sarah Schecter (The Flash), Marcos Siega (The Following), and director Mark Pellington (Cold Case), Blindspot has an intriguing premise and solid acting from its leads. Alexander is completely convincing as a woman branded by a mysterious stranger (or strangers) and left scared, confused, and frustrated. Alexander brings a depth and realism to the character that pulls the audience in. Alexander is equally compelling as the Jane Doe who’s exploring her tattoos in the mirror with a look of complete and utter terror at her inability to understand her situation and as the Jane who starts to consider herself more than just a victim and begins to attempt to take charge of her life.

Alexander’s role is physically demanding as it turns out Jane’s background involves some combat training. There are multiple layers to Alexander’s performance in the pilot and more sure to come as Jane figures out what she’s capable of.

Sullivan’s Agent Weller’s in a difficult position as there’s an unknown connection between himself and this tattooed stranger. Sullivan portrays Weller with the perfect tough guy demeanor without being too over-the-top or FBI caricature-ish. There’s also solid chemistry between Alexander and Sullivan, and they’re well matched as a team.

The pilot sets up the premise that each of Jane’s tattoos provides a clue to a particular case that will be investigated by the FBI with Jane’s assistance. Hopefully, Blindspot can keep up the level of intensity it established in the pilot throughout the season. And, hopefully, the answers to Jane’s situation won’t be doled out too quickly as the idea of discovering Jane’s talents over the course of a season is more intriguing and entertaining than the prospect of being presented with the answers a few episodes in. That said, the final act of episode one might have provided a tad too much information, but we’ll have to see how that plays out. Based solely on the pilot, Blindspot is a compelling drama worth checking out.

More on Blindspot: Interview with Jaimie Alexander, Greg Berlanti and Martin Gero