Synopsis of 1×01: A Jane Doe is found in Times Square with no memory and mysterious tattoos on her body.

Rating: ?????

Ordinarily, I’m wary of procedural cop shows. I’m theoretically a fan of all the clever ways they come up with to create and solve elaborate crime puzzles, and I’m always in favor of high-chemistry ensemble casts, but there are so many of those shows that are so objectively similar, they’re not worth watching season after season.

Blindspot is not those shows. It is most certainly a crime procedural, but it’s overarching plot is not only limitless in it’s possibilities, but adds an almost otherworldly, whimsical element that cop shows rarely have. It’s borderline Spy-Fi.

Mostly. [NBC]
‘We have no idea what we’re doing’. [NBC]
The concept is not exactly original (looking at you, Nolan), but it is a refreshing change from the usual secondary long game of the cop show.

Protagonist Jane Doe is not trying to avenge her mother or her lover’s unsolvable murder, she’s not a tough, loose-cannon cop. If she has some tragic past, we don’t know about it yet. She literally has no idea who she is. She popped out of a bag in Times Square, covered from neck to ankles in fresh tattoos with no memory of her life whatsoever.

The most obvious tattoo is a huge one on her back bearing the name of FBI agent Kurt Weller. He’s called to the scene, but neither has any recollection of the other.

Stranger danger. [NBC]
Stranger danger. [NBC]
The rest of the story stems from a tattoo behind her ear, less than an inch long, written in an almost dead Chinese dialect, with an address and the next day’s date. Arriving at the house, Kurt and Jane uncover a plot to blow up the Statue of Liberty.

Which, thanks to Jane’s inexplicable language and combat skills, they thwart in a most dramatic fashion. Seriously. There’s an acrobatic fight seen inside the statue’s crown.

The experience triggers something in Jane though; In the first of two memories she recovers, a man is training her on an outdoor shooting range. In the second, he holds a syringe and tells her that if he injects her, her whole life will be wiped away. She says she knows, but she has no choice.

BLINDSPOT -- "Pilot" -- Pictured: (l-r) Jaimie Alexander as Jane Doe, Ashley Johnson as Patterson -- (Photo by: Virginia Sherwood/NBC)
‘I’ve made a terrible mistake.’ [NBC]
At the end, we see the same man in the hospital room of the Liberty Island bomber. They’ve met before. The bomber tells him everything went like it was supposed to.

We also see that one of Jane’s tattoos is the case file number of team leader Bethany Mayfair. A file that is entirely redacted except for the words “murder” and “embezzlement”.

Obviously something much more important is going on than just solving federal crimes. Multiple characters comment on the fact than anyone could have left an anonymous tip about anything, rather than going to all this trouble.

Jane was apparently complicit in her own amnesia, although it doesn’t seem like there was something she wanted to forget or erase (a la Memento), and it seems more like the mystery man probably manipulated her into believing she needed to erase her life, and then used a blank slate of a person to run a con on the FBI. Out of vengeance, as a form of terrorism, whatever. He’s making them chase their tails down a path he constructed especially for them.

Rude. [NBC]
It’s risky to set up a storyline with no narrative boundaries (beware of plot holes!) but it’s fun to see a show that can subvert it’s own genre whenever it wants. The acting is solid, the production design is above average, and while I wouldn’t use the word ‘groundbreaking,’ I’m excited to see where it goes.

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