Propelled by forward momentum, this new action thriller leads with its interesting cast.
The promos for Blindspot give you the opening scene of the Pilot: a police officer finds a bag left abandoned in Times Square with a tag advising “Call the FBI.” But the NYPD Bomb Squad is stunned to see an attractive naked brunette unzip the bag from within -on her body a canvas of strange tattoos.
It’s a memorable opening scene. Jane Doe (Jaimie Alexander) has no idea how she got there, nor how her body came to be so painted. She has amnesia. But one tattoo leads police to Special Agent Kurt Weller (Sullivan Stapleton) who is busy busting crime in rural Kentucky. Flown by chopper to NYC, he has no idea why his name has been written onto her back.
In the middle of the two seemingly-disparate characters is the very forthright Assistant Director of the FBI Bethany Mayfair (Marianne Jean-Baptiste), who places Jane Doe in an FBI Forensic Lab in order to get to the bottom of the mystery. But Jane comes with no identifiable prints, DNA or facial recognition. It doesn’t take too long before everybody realises her body art is a puzzle of some sort (did they not watch Prison Break?).
Matters become more urgent when one Chinese tattoo carries today’s date and a city address. Could it be the person who left Jane naked and alone in a bag on the street?
What unfolds across the first hour of Blindspot is a mix of action, procedural and intrigue as our heroes follow a trail of clues and jeopardy, for both themselves and the city at large. Moving from one dangling carrot to the next, this works with considerable momentum -almost an Amazing Race of mystery clues.
At its heart is the sympathetic character of Jane, a woman trapped within her own existence but lost without a sense of identity and purpose. She is cleverly paired with Kurt Weller, the strong, silent type who takes control and figures out stuff none of us mere mortals could ever deduce without the aid of a decent scriptwriter.
The cast are the glue that keeps this together. Aussie Sullivan Stapleton ticks the boxes as the hero of the piece, while Jaimie Alexander will show she is more than just a victim.
“Is that why they chose me? Because of what I can do? Why me?” Jane asks.
No surprises for guessing that unresolved sexual tension looks set to play its part too.
I love that Broadchurch‘s Marianne Jean-Baptiste has been cast to oversee the investigation, although her US accent is not always on point. In this role she is once again not somebody to mess with.
Blindspot draws upon a high-tech look (the police station looks more like an ad agency) and there’s a sizeable amount of technology on display, snappily captured with hand-held cameras and montages.
Recent high-stakes procedurals like to uncover a shopping list of cases one by one, while driving a deeper story arc –The Blacklist, The Following– and the tattoos of Jane Doe, albeit reminiscent of Prison Break‘s ‘Michael Scofield,’ look set to do the same. By the looks of things she has enough for about 3 seasons etched onto her skin.
Hopefully the entertaining balance of action, mystery and performance means we can make it to her navel before the novelty begins to fade.
Blindspot airs soon on Seven.