Think you’ve had a bad day? Try waking up inside a duffel bag in Times Square with no memories of who you are, or why your body is covered from head to toe in mysterious tattoos. In NBC’s new action mystery Blindspot, from Greg Berlanti (Arrow, The Flash), that’s what our heroine in has to deal with in the exceptional opening of the show.
Jaimie Alexander (Lady Sif in the Thor franchise) stars as the unnamed (as of yet) mystery character of the show, and brings with her the qualified ass-kicking skills for the job. When the largest tattoo on her back leads her to FBI Agent Kurt Weller (Sullivan Stapleton), he reluctantly draws her into the investigation of her own identity, when it appears the tattoos are leading them to stop a terrorist attack.
The premise of Blindspot is much better than the actual pilot episode itself. The show is the distant cousin of the Bourne film franchise mashed up with Fox’s Prison Break, but the first episode drags at many points and takes forever to reveal plot points the audience has already figured out in the first five minutes. There’s decent chemistry between Alexander and Stapleton, but the script constantly has Weller arguing to keep Jane Doe out of the investigation to protect her – so many times it becomes annoying. The audience knows she’s the heroine and Wells is a good guy looking out for her and doing his job. Establish that once and move on, don’t cram it down our throats three or four times when you could be developing other plots and characters.
The pilot epiosode was written and directed by Marc Gero (Bored to Death) and when Blindspot finally gets moving there’s a few solid hand-to-hand combat actions scenes, a couple of decent chases, one laughable explosion, and a pretty implausible climax at a famous New York landmark. The show takes itself very seriously, which is only a problem when it goes beyond any type of realism. Berlanti and Co. should know that it’s perfectly okay to have a little fun in your show about a super soldier gal with tattoos that can predict the future.
As mentioned before, Alexander and Stapleton bring a lot of charisma to their roles, but the script slaps their characters with a few real clunker lines of dialogue that are stereotypical TV clichés: “This is just the beginning…” yadda yadda. The supporting cast is also filled with B-plot TV cliché stock characters including Patterson (Ashley Johnson), the quirky tech girl, Edgar Reade (Rob Brown), the FBI agent that can’t get any respect and cracks bad jokes at the craziness around him, and Bethany Mayfair (Marianne Jean-Baptiste), Wells’ stern FBI boss with a good heart that knows more than she lets on.
Alexander is fine actress that is well deserving of her own starring vehicle and the ideas presented in this show are pretty intriguing, but the episode plays it too safe in order to appeal to network viewers. Hopefully Blindspot will pick up the pace and focus more on the overall mystery and less on “case of the week” activities in coming episodes, but if Blindspot’s first episode is the show putting its best foot forward – viewers might find they’re the ones forgetting the show.