Review: The ‘Blindspot’ Pilot Delivers
What’s one of the telling signs that a show is good? When you look at the clock and the show is almost over, yet it feels like it just started. A good show goes by fast and leaves you wanting to watch the next episode. I felt that was 30 minutes into the pilot episode of Blindspot.
The set-up is pretty simple: A mysterious duffle bag is found in the middle of Times Square. Attached to the bag is a tag that says to call the FBI. If that doesn’t throw up a red flag, I don’t know what does. Eventually, as you’ve seen in the previews, a gorgeous woman (Jaimie Alexander) covered in tattoos gets up out of the bag with no memory of anything at all. A tattoo on her back has the name of an FBI agent (Sullivan Stapleton), so naturally he is brought in.
What happens is what you expect to happen: She is questioned up and down. She is photographed and scanned up and down. There is no evidence of her on any database at all. This type is set up could lead to so many possibilities. All of her tattoos could lead to multiple storylines and plots along the road which is why it’s simple, yet genius from a storytelling standpoint.
Blindspot is very reminiscent of NBC’s cult-hit Chuck. In Chuck, an ordinary guy working as a tech geek in a big box store gained amazing abilities after viewing a heavily coded string of clips that was sent to him on his computer. Not only did he have knowledge of every single secret of the government, he also had the ability to speak any language, and could kick ass in every different fashion of martial arts. Jane Doe — which is what Jaimie Alexander is named in the show — slowly shows that she can read and understand Chinese, and when attacked, she kicks the crap out of her attackers without knowing how she did it.
What really stood out in the show is Alexander’s acting ability. I’ve really only seen her in the Thor movies, an episode of Agents of SHIELD, and in a few episodes of Covert Affairs. In Blindspot, she nails every emotion of a person that’s literally clueless about everything around her. She knows what music is, but doesn’t know The Beatles. She’s terrified because she doesn’t know her face, where she’s from, what to do, or who to trust. It’s like she just walked out of the forest. There was one moment in the pilot where she gets put up in a safe house and she just stands there not knowing what to do. After waking up in a bag in the middle of Times Square, being poked and prodded, and then standing in a room alone with your thoughts, how else could you react? And when you have no memories other than from when you woke up, what thoughts do you even have? Alexander brought all of those emotions to the screen flawlessly.
The pilot for Blindspot was executed effectively enough to make me look forward to the next episode. It sets up the entire tone and backstory for the writers to slowly unveil the secrets of just who Jane Doe is. With luck, Blindspot will be a hit like The Blacklist. They both have fantastic pilots that left the viewer wanting more and more information after it was over.
Blindspot will debut Monday September 21st at 10 p.m. on NBC after The Voice.
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Jeff Sorensen is an author, writer and occasional comedian living in Detroit, Michigan. You can look for more of his work on The Huffington Post,UPROXX, BGR or by just looking up his name.