Reviews

Blindspot (2015) TV Pilot Review

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Blindspot follows a young woman found naked and covered in tattoos with no memory of her past. The FBI soon gets involved as they discover the names of one of their agents inked on her back. Together they work to uncover the complex mystery of her origin and what the tattoos mean.

Warning, there may be spoilers ahead.

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As far as premise goes, Blindspot remains my favourite of the fall premieres. As soon as I read about the show I was intrigued and couldn’t wait to see the trailer. Unfortunately I was left a little underwhelmed when the promo was released. Perhaps it was because I’d had such high expectations or maybe it was because the quality of promos were so high this year. Thankfully the pilot was much better, probably because it had the time to showcase the complex story.

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BLINDSPOT — “Pilot” — Pictured: (l-r) Sullivan Stapleton as Kurt Weller, Jaimie Alexander as Jane Doe — (Photo by: Virginia Sherwood/NBC)

Plot wise, I can’t fault the first episode of Blindspot. It’s easy to follow and yet intelligent enough to keep us interested. There are plenty of twists and turns and quite a few suspenseful moments, as you’d expect from a show like this. The first scene, where Jane Doe is found in Times Square, is possibly one of the greatest openers of an episode of television. It really sets the tone for the entire episode. They execute the story well and I’ve actually found myself even more interested and drawn into the show after viewing the pilot.

Often in pilot episodes it’s difficult to maintain a great story whilst also establishing the core characters, and things are no different with Blindspot. Whilst the brilliant Jaimie Alexander as Jane Doe is given a lot of screen time enabling us to get to know her a little bit better, the other characters are not so fortunate. Perhaps the biggest casualty of the episode is Special Agent Kurt Fuller played by Sullivan Stapleton. He’s meant to be the male lead yet after 43 minutes I couldn’t tell you anything about him other than he works for the FBI. We get no hint of back story or personality traits that help define what type of man he is. Sure he’s heroic but he’s an agent so we already knew that. For us to connect as an audience I feel we need something more. Stapleton is a very talented actor and I really hope that he gets a chance to develop the role in future episodes.

As for the secondary cast they didn’t really get enough screen time to truly assert themselves but that’s pretty standard for a pilot. Ashley Johnson, who plays Patterson, probably faired the best; she came across as highly inquisitive and intelligent in her pursuit for answers yet remained caring and sympathetic to the vulnerable Jane Doe. Of them all, she was the most well rounded character. Perhaps the most interesting character though is the unnamed man who trained Jane Doe and is responsible for her losing her memories. Johnny Whitworth is so good at playing these morally ambiguous characters that he makes it look pretty easy.

That ambiguity is probably one of the best things about Blindspot. So far we know that Jane Doe agreed to have her memories wiped. But did she do it for the greater good or is it something more sinister? And whilst we know that the tattoos may save lives, if Whitworth’s character is orchestrating the whole thing what are his motives? What is his end game? More importantly what was Jane Doe’s pre memory loss? I think it’s a great thing in a show when you have to question the morality of your lead character. It makes them so much more interesting. And Blindspot really does that so well. That’s the most interesting aspect of the show for me and why I’ll be tuning in for episode 2.

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Blindspot has laid a solid foundation for the season. I’ve actually watched the episode twice; once at San Diego Comic Con, once this week when it premiered. I enjoyed it much more the second time and had a greater appreciation for the story. However the issue of the characters is something that stood out both times and needs to be addressed before the show can reach its potential. But with such a great plot and an outstanding cast of actors, Blindspot could be one of the standouts of the 2015/16 television season.

Pilot Rating- 3.5/5

Categories: Reviews, TV

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