NBC‘ Blindspot Pilot TV Show Review. Blindspot: Season 1, Episode 1: Pilot‘s main premise, like The Blacklist and the canceled Bionic Woman remake, instantly grabbed the viewers’ attention with three plot elements: a.) wiped memory, b.) tattooed naked girl, and c.) Time Square.
What keeps the viewer engaged throughout the episode is the intrigue that is created by the episode’s opening enigma. This intrigue revolved around these questions: 1.) Who is Jane Doe?, 2.) What is her past?, and 3.) Why tattoo Jane Doe’s entire body with cryptic tattoos?
Though all of those questions were broached within the pilot episode, only small segments of 2.) and 3.) were revealed, the correct course of action to wet the viewers’ appetite and keep them coming back for more.
The same formula was employed in The Blacklist with Raymond Reddington’s list and his hidden agenda and in Prison Break with Michael Scofield, his tattooed escape plan, and exoneration desires for his brother.
Puzzles intrigue and Jane Doe (Jaimie Alexander)’s body was covered in them, an X marking a specific spot (e.g. a location, time, file) or point into her past.
I thought it was curious that a special ops individual would stamp themselves with the military branch they were formerly affiliated with. Why would this person want anyone to know that they were a United States Navy S.E.A.L.?
When the S.E.A.L. background of Jane Doe was revealed in Pilot, it raised more questions than it answered. Don’t S.E.A.L.s publicly train during Basic Underwater Demolition/SEAL (BUD/S) school? Wouldn’t the sole female among men during the hardest physical training on Earth make news? How would the NAVY conceal her training? S.E.A.L.s train out in the opening during the beginning 6-month training course in Coronado, California. Wouldn’t a wannabe S.E.A.L. that dropped (one who rang the bell) talk, especially about something unusual like a real-life G.I. Jane? Blindspot would have you believe no, they would not talk. Since this was not outside the realm of possibilities, the viewer “went with it.”
The balancing act Pilot preformed between revelation and skill usage was effective. This was exemplified in Jane Doe’s first fight scene. That fight scene set a good tone and the bar high for the remainder of the season. Watching Jane Doe guard, hit, and lock-up an opponent on reflex bespoke volumes about the type of memories actually being suppressed, those beyond the mundane.
Will Jane Doe’s approachable demeanor change when violent memories (potentially warfare memories) begin creeping to the surface? Will there be a personality shift as past traumas take hold in her mind once more? Only time will tell but if they do, they will make Jane Doe even more compelling because her personality and reactions will change right in front of the viewer’s eyes.
It was necessary from a foundation-laying standpoint to see Jane Doe so stripped of identity in Pilot that she couldn’t even remember her likes and dislikes when it came to anything. The worlds of food, drink, and experiences were virtually all new to her. She was like a child in those respects, in need of a guiding hand.
The Jane Doe present in Pilot was not a willing participant in her extensive tattooing, causing her to lament their presence. It was as though she had been violated (in her mind, she had been) and had to look at a reminder of it every day, non-stop. As she cried, she must have thought: “What else happened to me that I can’t remember?” It was sad but it was also a plot and character-driven moment. Those tears belonged to a human being, one who was vulnerable, peaking through from behind the ink.
Jaimie Alexander was offered many TV roles coming out of Thor: The Dark World and her appearances on Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. It’s easy to see why she ultimately choose Blindspot as the project that she wanted to pursue. Jaimie Alexander gets to discover, create, and explore Jane Doe right in front of the viewers eyes as the viewer discoveries and learns more about her as well.
That journey began with this episode, hitching FBI Special Agent Kurt Weller (Sullivan Stapleton), a man in search of answers, and FBI Director Bethany Mayfair (Marianne Jean-Baptiste), a woman hiding a sizable secret (a guess from her facial reaction to a clue only she recognized and her resultant body language) along for the ride with her.
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