Review: Blindspot is a prettier Blacklist

How does this sound for the idea for a TV show? A mysterious person shows up at the FBI and becomes a source of information for them. This mysterious source allows them to stop terrorist plots, uncover in criminal conspiracies, and prevent a whole slew of nastiness of various kinds. One of the pieces of information supplied by this mysterious source leads to a particular obscure FBI agent. We have no idea why the agent is connected to the source and neither does the agent themselves. A special task force including this agent is assigned to the task of dealing with the source’s information. That task force includes the linked agent. Each week a new clue or tip is revealed in a new plot is foiled all the while trying to figure out the source of the source and the connection to the named FBI agent.

NBC liked the pitch and they gave a green light to “The Blacklist” in 2013 as it has been a big ratings hit for them. The third season premieres October 1. NBC apparently likes that particular pitch so much they’ve created an entirely new series with the exact same premise. This one is called “Blindspot” because who knows… maybe having a title that starts with the letter “B” is also key to its success.

In the opening scene, a large duffel bag is found abandoned in the middle of Times Square bearing a tag saying “call the FBI”. The bomb squad investigates and for some strange reason despite every protocol you’ve ever seen of a bomb squad call out on TV they send an actual human being in a bomb suit to investigate the package. If this was Podunk Mississippi may be so but this is New York City and certainly the bomb squad has remote control robots to do this kind of thing. So much for accurate portrayal of police procedures. The bag begins unzipping itself and up pops a woman closed them nothing but tattoos. The guy is a bomb suit pulls out a gun and tells her to freeze. Seriously… If you were the bomb disposal unit approaching a potentially explosive device to be carrying a gun on you so that if you did happen to get blown up, your gun would start firing off bullets in odd directions taking out innocent people?

It turns out the woman has amnesia and can remember absolutely nothing about her past life. She is examined by doctors and they come up with some pseudoscientific mumbo-jumbo that explains how her memory was erased. Even though the doctors seem to completely understand condition they cannot predict how long the amnesia will last because “we’ve never seen anything like this before.”

One of the tattoos on her back is “FBI agent Kurt Weller”. And according to the plot description above, he has no idea why his name is tattooed on this woman’s back.

As the opening episode proceeds, we learn that the woman speaks fluent Chinese including some rare dialects. There’s evidence she may be a Navy seal even though they acknowledge that the seals don’t take women. She proved herself to be especially adept at martial arts at a level you can’t learn at your local dojo so she’s obviously some sort of trained operative. The first tattoo that they decode lead them to a terrorist plot which they managed to foil just in time.

Obviously each week they will decode a new tattoo that will lead to another criminal plot which they will file just in time. The continuing story that runs throughout the series will be to answer the questions who is this Jane Doe? Who did this to her? If they wanted to tip off the FBI why didn’t they just phone it in?

Other than the fact that it’s a total retread of Blacklist it looks like it’s going to be a pretty good show with lots of action and mystery. Jane Doe is played by Jamie Alexander you may recognize as Lady Sif of Asgard from the Marvel Thor films and guest shots on Agents of SHIELD. She’s much easier on the eyes then James Spader. Agent Weller is played by Sullivan Stapleton who is no stranger to the action genre being famous for playing Sgt. Damien Scott from the Cinemax action series Strike Back which is currently wrapping up its final season.

The Blacklist was getting a little boring to me with too many layers of mysteries upon mysteries and secrets upon secrets. It was getting a little tough to follow all of the little subplots and James Spader although was initially interesting is wearing a little thin for me. For now I’m going to watch both and if I end up quitting one of the two it will probably be The Blacklist that I drop just because it’s getting a little bit old. Bottom line is I’m giving Blindspot a rating of “I’m Watching It”.

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