Blindspot: Will the Freshman Drama Tattoo Its Name on NBC Mondays?

Your “case of the Mondays” has been rendered irrelevant — at least in comparison to the horror show endured by Jane Doe in the premiere of NBC’s Blindspot.

In the span of one hour, Jaimie Alexander’s protagonist wakes up naked in a duffel bag in Times Square (then emerges face-to-face with a startled male police officer, to make things extra-humiliating), remains totally clueless about her identity, gets into a fistfight with a nasty landlord and takes a bullet fired by a Chinese terrorist.

And I haven’t even gotten to the tattoos.

As I’m sure you’ve learned through NBC’s ubiquitous Blindspot promos, Jane finds herself covered in ink at the outset of the series premiere, a series of symbols, words and numbers that seem to be clues hinting at a larger mystery. The most conspicuous tat of them all, though, is the name of FBI Special Agent Kurt Weller (played by Strike Back‘s Sullivan Stapleton), who becomes something of a protector to Jane in the show’s debut hour.

Blindspot Series PremiereIn between the countless interrogations and full body scans, Jane manages to pinpoint one tattoo in particular, which is written in Chinese — a language she recognizes (much to her own surprise). She understands the writing to be an address and a date, and before long, she’s working alongside Kurt and the rest of the FBI to take down a Chinese terrorist with plans to blow up the Statue of Liberty. (In a nutshell: The good guys win. And also, even though everyone seems to think it’s a terrible idea, circumstance keeps dictating that Jane tag along for all the case work.)

But the more intriguing elements of Blindspot‘s premiere are those that offer glimpses into Jane’s past. By the end of the hour, here’s what we know about our leading lady:

* The only tattoo that she actually had before some anonymous weirdo inked her entire body indicates she may have been a Navy SEAL — which would explain the spot-on marksmanship and badass martial arts moves that come out of nowhere.

* Before all of her memories were erased (with a megadose of a drug used on PTSD survivors) and she was stuffed into a piece of luggage, Jane had some kind of student/teacher relationship with an unnamed, bearded man who helped her hone those sharpshooting skills. In one flashback, we see a younger, long-haired Jane completing an outdoor shooting course with the man. In another, we watch as the man inserts a drug into Jane’s veins, telling her she’ll lose her entire identity once he does so. (Her response: “I know. But it’s my only choice.”) The same man is seen following Jane and Kurt as they make their way through New York City on the terrorist’s heels — and I’m willing to bet he had something to do with Ms. Doe’s body ink.

* In an exciting end-of-episode twist, one of Jane’s tattoos — “81899Z” — is revealed to be a case file number… pertaining to Kurt’s boss, Bethany Mayfair, who’s gotten herself into some real legal trouble. (We’re kept in the dark about most of the details, but the words “murder” and “embezzlement” rarely mean anything good.)

But enough from me. What did you think of the Blindspot series premiere? Grade the episode in our poll below, then hit the comments to back up your choice!

Comments are monitored, so don’t go off topic, don’t frakkin’ curse and don’t bore us with how much your coworker’s sister-in-law makes per hour. Talk smart about TV!

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80 Comments
  1. E says:

    Thought it was a solid pilot. It has me interested to see how it unfolds

    • m3rcnate says:

      I agree. I watched it when it leaked and felt it was pretty good for a network TV pilot and if the writing is solid and the story (tats, overall mystery of who is she, how she knows the FBI agent) is good then the show will be good. Also need the weekly “tattoo case” to be well written like POI does, not typical TV cases that you can easily solve in the first 15 minutes.

  2. A little too fast-paced, but some good twists in there. Has some promise

    • Midnight says:

      Agreed, it would have benefited from a little more breathing room before Jane goes into the field, but I’m interested to see where it goes. If anyone can sustain this premise, it’s Jaimie Alexander.

  3. Cobra says:

    A solid B+ premiere with some real potential to go places. Reminded me a bit of “The Bourne Identity” back when Jason Bourne was still trying to piece together who he was.
    I’ll continue on next week and see where it goes.

  4. CM says:

    The opening was good. The rest was mediocre. I’ve seen better pilots.

    Kurt Weller should have been someone from the tech side of the FBI. Having an alpha male and alpha female lead is going to be difficult especially since there was very little chemistry there.

    • Cobra says:

      I disagree. We need more shows where the big focus isn’t a “will they or won’t they” between the two leads.

      • Sara says:

        I’m already wondering when the two leads will get together, it’s not a bad thing. Lead actors coming together isn’t necessary, but if it works, it works. The focus becoming the possible romance gets in the way of the mystery, so if Weller’s feelings for Jane, or vice versa can enhance their story, go for it. Weller didn’t know he would live based on Jane’s shooting ability, but he seemed to have faith in her, I think that helped the plot. She’s going to see him as an ally, trust him and tell him things she wouldn’t trust others to tell, I think that will enhance the story.

    • Jenn says:

      I agree. I do not think I will continue to watch.

    • Alichat says:

      That’s interesting. I thought there was alot of chemistry between the two leads, but like Cobra I’m ok if they never do the “will they, won’t they”.

  5. Jenna says:

    Loved it! I’ve been most looking forward to this new show, and I wasn’t disappointed.

    • Jon says:

      I agree! That pilot was a wild ride, and the hour flew by. Jaimie was terrific and I appreciated the diverse and gender-balanced cast. Beautifully shot, and great action scenes. I think I’m in for the season…

  6. Rinti says:

    it was really really good, it has great potential

  7. Guy says:

    It was a solid premiere and kept me intrigued. It has potential, but at the same time, there’s also the potential it could turn into an overly convoluted and preposterous mess. I’ll keep watching for now though.

  8. Bwhit says:

    I really liked it and the two leads compliment each other nicely. I’m in!

  9. antisocialbutterflie says:

    I enjoyed it a lot, but it is kind of difficult to get past the numerous parallels to Jamie Alexander’s character in Kyle XY. I think I will probably need a couple episodes to let them develop the Jane character into its own unique entity before I will be able to move past it.

    • Winter says:

      I agree I can’t believe there haven’t been more references to Jessie from Kyle XY. Watching it the whole time I was going ok so she’s grown up Jessie with tattoos. I did like the show though.

  10. Kay says:

    Liked it. Will keep watching for now.

  11. John NYC says:

    That twist at the end?

    Nice touch.

  12. Baldy says:

    Any else get a black screen on last 7′ of “Blindspot?” South Fl Comcast/Infinity? Local news was fine, lost the feed at 53′

  13. John NYC says:

    For the moment it’s the one I’ll view first of the ten o’clock three.

  14. Hatton says:

    I thought it was a good pilot and will keep watching. The tattoo angle means they’ve got a lot of potential plot material if they plan to make it “one tat one memory” like the first show. My wife commented that Alexander had, “the perfect eyes for her situation.” This didn’t feel rushed (though the shaky style during the action scenes was jarring) and had this “I don’t watch series shows” grump on the edge of his seat. Worth at least a few more episodes!

  15. Kevin J Davis says:

    Really great drama. Lots of realistic action and intrigue. I can’t wait to see next Monday’s show.
    This series shows great promise!

  16. James D says:

    I thought it was excellent. whether it stands the test of time we shall see but for a pilot i thought it was very good. Looking forward to next week.

  17. Beth says:

    Love this show and cast, can’t wait to see what happens next😀

  18. donholley77 says:

    Jamie Alexander is going to be a star, just like Jennifer Garner was in ‘Alias’!

  19. Mr. Tran K says:

    I give Blindspot an A. It was mind blowing from start to finish and pure suspense. Jane Doe is really becoming the female Jason Bourne and I can pictured the series as a mix of Blacklist and Alias because of that great fight scene with Jane taken down a couple of Chinese goons. The one big reason throughout the series is the mystery man with a beard and I can’t wait to find out what’s he up to and his connection to Jane Doe via flashbacks. I’ll definitely be tuning in and it will be a great series because of the chemistry between Jane Doe (Jaimie Alexander) and Kurt Weller (Sullivan Stapleton).

  20. Carol C says:

    Very exciting and much better than I expected.

  21. Amy H says:

    Thought it was a great start, and showed a lot of promise.

  22. Rick Katze says:

    Saw the pilot earlier. Liked the concept. The writing will determine if it grows stale or not.

  23. Mr. Sunshine says:

    Haven’t watched the recording yet, but anything with Sullivan Stapleton is a win for me!

  24. Alyssa says:

    I thought it was pretty good. My thinking is that she’s a “bad guy” and maybe she was sent to infiltrate kurt’s team, but wiping her memories is gonna backfire because her real instincts will be to help people. So she’ll be a “good guy”. Something along those lines

    • John NYC says:

      Given her partner/teacher enticed the Chinese guy with some promises about the guy’s sister, to be a patsy in a setup first case for Jane to dangle at the FBI (to establish her bona fides?) and then when said Chinese guy awkwardly survives the plot of mass murder, he kills him, tends to say to me she’s on the bad side of things. One thing’s for sure: she’s no victim in this from what I can see. Circumstances? Maybe, but offing the guy they baited into their plot is crossing the line.

  25. Johnny says:

    This is my kinda show but the repeated, “You wait here.” “But I can help.” “No, you wait here.” “But I need to know.” …Got old real fast! As did her constant, sour, dire face. Still, I’ll keep watching. But really, there’s no new ground being covered here. It’s all been done before. AND I LIKE IT! :)

  26. It felt very similar to The Blacklist. Maybe too similar. Only now we are using tattoos. Ta-daaaa!

    • herman1959 says:

      Well, the EP said it would have a Blacklist-feel so I was prepared for that, but when “Jane” was taken to the safehouse I HAD to groan. Can we go back to hiding people in cheap motels because the safehouse thing is getting tired?

    • Shae says:

      thought the same

  27. Caron Faherty says:

    The last 15 minutes were black, seriously. ..not shown…nothing. Comcast Cable.

  28. Loving it! Im so excited about this show. JA plays the traumatised victim so well. I was happy to see moments where she took control.

  29. peterwdawson says:

    It feels like some weird hybrid of several dramas that already existed, in between John Doe, Prison Break and the Blacklist. John Doe, well, mysterious person with great skill and no memory shows up, check. Prison Break, tattoos that the FBI have to decipher, check. Blacklist, the FBI is trying to prevent dangerous individuals tied up in some mysterious conspiracy, check. Also really sick of the archtype of a mentally vulnerable but physically asskicking female lead, really didn’t feel like it brought anything new on that front either.

    Screw it, probably plays better to people who don’t want as much TV as I do. Most of my complaints are because I’ve seen this kind of thing before and it just doesn’t feel fresh.

    • Johnny says:

      FBI had nothing to do with the tats in Prison Break. They were the escape plans deliberately applied by the lead actor and decipherable only to him. The police, guards, FBI etc did not even know the tats meant anything – therefore nothing to decipher. Ur also partly off on Blacklist regarding borrowed concepts. Think of James Spader as the tatoos and girl combined in one. FBI get clues from him in pieces… yes to solve crimes about to be shortly committed. The consipracy threds there though are indeed a given (as is true of ALL these types of shows). As I said above though and agree, this has all been done before, in one form or another in many other shows. But its the kind of stuff I like and therefore will watch despite it.

  30. I absolutely loved it. I can’t wait to see how they use the tattoos. The show had a puzzle expert work on them so I hope there is some real mystery solving and guessing to come. I loved that they dared to go for two strong leads and alpha characters. Also that they decided to go for a strong, smart heroine, there are too many weakly written female characters on tv already. It will be interesting see how this plays out. I adore a good slow burn but only if it works with the plot and doesnt feel forced. And given the great chemistry Alexander and Stapleton had in the pilot I really cross my fingers we are in for that kind of slow burn.

  31. Owen says:

    I was seriously disappointed by it. I thought it was just an awkward mishmash of action set pieces. Jaimie Alexander was very good but I think when the only interesting character is the one who has no idea who they are there’s a problem. My apologies to Sullivan Stapleton but he was kind of a cipher. He didn’t seem to have any sort of connection with anyone. And not in a lone wolf-type of character way. More like a sleepwalking type of way.

  32. Terri says:

    Stupid premise — don’t believe (after revealing she MAY be/have been a Navy Seal that they don’t tell the powers that be in the Navy (covert ops/black ops or otherwise) they have a woman in their “possession” — the ONLY female Navy seal (did no one know she had gone missing???) with the tattoos — in this day and age of Homeland Security — surely that would have made them sit up and take notice and possibly take her into Navy possession. So many holes….

    • Bwhit says:

      I’m thinking the partner she was with in the flashback was a seal and trained her, that could explain it. Those holes are on purpose in my opinion because they aren’t going to show all their cards in the pilot.

    • John NYC says:

      Why predume she’s gone missing at all? The later scenes clearly reveal she’s running a long con on the FBI and a rather dark one at that given her partner murdered an innocent they coerced via his sister to be the fall guy for her first “save”.

  33. kirads09 says:

    Thought it was very very good. Would grade an A. Super impressed with Jaimie. I hope they don’t rush too headlong into hookup between the leads. Focus on the story rather than the ‘ships. Oh it is so good to see Marianne Jean-Baptiste again. (now can we please find Anthony LaPaglia a solid drama as lead again – please! Yes, old Without a Trace fan here.)

  34. Michael C says:

    For about the first 10 minutes, I was sure I was going to love it. By the end, I had some definite concerns. The biggest issue I had was the dialogue. I can get on board with the crazy premise and like the actors involved so far, but the writing has to be better than this if I am going to stick around for more than another week or so.

  35. Natalie Bassel says:

    Awesome and very intriguing. It looks to be a HUGE success. Cannot wait for next week’s episode. Excellent actors. Well done.

  36. Jerry says:

    Enjoyed it. Will watch it weekly.

  37. DD says:

    I thought It was really good but for some reason I think it would have been better with a female (non-romantic) lead as the FBI agent

  38. Lady K says:

    I thought Sullivan Stapleton anchored the show which a show like this needs. He is what is going to keep this show going from week to week and hold it together. Jaime Alexander played confused well but there was a certain amount of absurdity in the show – beginning with the Navy SEAL theory and the idea that a Jane Doe who showed up in a duffel bag in Times Square would be taken along on any terrorism related investigation (let’s not even begin to discuss security issues, just the liability alone would preclude a middle management government official from approving that) which has to be swallowed in order to follow the writers’ path. Like others’, I see absolutely NO chemistry between Sullivan and Jaime (and he rocks chemistry with women and men alike – check out Strike Back if you have never seen it as proof). I hope they never try and bring these two together and have them just work to solve the mystery. It will be way more interesting and quite honestly refreshing.

    • Carli says:

      LadyK, you are right on. I agree with you on the Sullivan chemissary thing.

    • Bella says:

      Neither do I. But that said I think some shows are ruined by pairings between the lead characters, so I’d be happy to see no romance between these 2.

      Great to see Sullivan again :)

  39. John NYC says:

    “In a nutshell: The good guys win.”

    Not really, Jane’s partner set’s the guy up to be the easy first case in Jane’s getting her credibility established with the FBI by pressuring the guy about his sister. Then since he didn’t blow himself and hundreds of others up to fullfill his part of the bargain: Jane’s partner kills him.

    “Good guys” are unclear at this point.

  40. Terri says:

    guess when [whoever it was] tattooed her body, they also did the lipstick and eyeliner tats!

  41. Jackie says:

    Loved it! The plot was original and the acting was great. The actors played off each other very well.

  42. Maryann says:

    Loved it! This one delivered all that it promised!

  43. ScottJ says:

    Finally caught up with this. It was completely ruined for me by the most wooden acting I have ever seen (Sullivan Stapleton), and some of the stupidest dialogue I’ve ever heard. Although by the look of the other comments here my opinion is pretty much a minority report.

  44. Pati says:

    Really liked it, I’m looking forward to the next episodes, great cast and now I get to see Sullivan Stlapeton twice a week

  45. MzTeaze says:

    It was ok. I was expecting more from Sullivan Stapleton since he’s the reason I tuned in. I am doing a countdown of when they will start trying to cover up her tats to save on the time putting them on for each episode.

    Also, they really heavily stole from the basic plot of Hanna (the movie). I’m just hoping the actor playing the bearded man isn’t who I think it is.

  46. Carli says:

    I love Sullivan, am a fan of strike back and this show is gonna be good! Sullivan is a class act. I find myself looking for his strike back partner but I just have to wait until Thursday to see Philip winchester in the player with Wesley snipes. Can’t wait really.

    • pati says:

      I feel the same way lol. I love Strike Back so much I hate that it is ending. But at least both Phillip and Sullivan have new shows. I hope the player does well too.

      • Luke Nash says:

        I too hope The Player is a hit and, in this crazy world of crossovers and shared universes, we can get a Blindspot / The Player crossover because Stapleton and Winchester have such awesome chemistry. Without them, Strike Back isn’t nearly as entertaining.

  47. Luke Nash says:

    Loved this so much! I have to say that it must be the longest continuous amount of time that Sullivan Stapleton has A) Kept his clothes on and B) Not said “Frak sake Mikey!” :)

  48. John Bernard says:

    I didn’t like it. It was also not at all sexy.

  49. Jim G says:

    Throughly enjoyed the pilot, I’m a big fan of Martin Gero’s work and Greg Berlanti’s as well. Looking at the article and comments, there were 3 points I found interesting, that did not seem to be mentioned, The first is why was Jane drawn to the Chinese symbol first, especially since the threat was imminent the second was that the person following Weller and Jane called the terrorist to let him know he was being followed and third the Chinese dialect was reasonably obscure and Jane was the only one available to translate. It appears that some sort of conditioning has been done to Jane, so that she will lead Weller and team through the “treasure map” on her body. Also the person behind it all has a timetable he wants followed or scenario he wants acted out and is willing to covertly interfere to ensure his timetable or scenario is completed.
    Like any show, the proof on success or failure, won’t be in the pilot results, but on the next couple of weeks and as this time slot has been a ratings battleground for the last couple of seasons, it will be interesting to see who comes out on top.
    I’m looking forward to the next episodes and where Gero and company will go from here.

  50. MLPR says:

    Really loved it, but does anyone know what Weller was looking at in the scene at the end when they hugged at the safe house? Was it a lump on Jane’s neck?? I couldn’t figure it out, but it seemed as if he was intrigued by whatever he was looking at.