BLINDSPOT

Crime Scene - - CONTENTS - By JONATHAN WRIGHT

A mys­te­ri­ous tat­tooed woman and an FBI agent join forces in this US drama.

In Times Square, a duf­fel bag is left aban­doned. But it doesn’t, as you might ex­pect at the be­gin­ning of a new crime drama cen­tred on a spe­cial­ist FBI unit, con­tain any­thing so mun­dane or pre­dictable as a bomb. In­stead, a naked woman emerges. But why is she there? Why is she cov­ered in tat­toos? And what do the tat­toos, which in­clude the name of spe­cial agent Kurt Weller (Sul­li­van Sta­ple­ton) writ­ten across her back, rep­re­sent?

Suf­fer­ing from drug-in­duced am­ne­sia, “Jane Doe” (Jaimie Alexan­der) her­self isn’t much help. The mystery only deep­ens when Jane re­veals the kind of com­bat skills associated with a Navy SEAL, and her tat­toos prove to be a kind of elab­o­rate trea­sure map of­fer­ing clues about crimes.

If the premise for writer and pro­ducer Martin Gero’s ac­tion se­ries seems to be stretch­ing credulity be­yond break­ing point, the re­sult is ac­tu­ally con­sid­er­ably bet­ter than you might ex­pect. In part, that’s be­cause Blindspot never rests too heav­ily on its high-con­cept ori­gins, but in­stead gets its leads out and about in­ves­ti­gat­ing new cases, all keyed off by Jane’s ink, every week. Gun bat­tles, con­spir­a­cies and dis­rep­utable peo­ple do­ing das­tardly things abound, which is fun. Mean­while, a story arc re­volv­ing around Jane re­cov­er­ing frag­ments of her mem­ory presses on, tak­ing plenty of twists and turns. Throw in strong sup­port­ing per­for­mances – no­tably the pres­ence of Mar­i­anne Jean-Bap­tiste (lately seen in Broad­church) as Weller’s force­ful boss, FBI as­sis­tant di­rec­tor Bethany May­fair – and there’s much here to ad­mire.

Which isn’t to say the se­ries is any­where near per­fect. At times, no­tably in the early episodes, there’s the sense of a show too ob­vi­ously still find­ing its feet, of writ­ers work­ing out how it should be paced, es­pe­cially in the de­vel­op­ment of the cen­tral, and some­times dif­fi­cult, re­la­tion­ship be­tween Jane and Weller. Slightly ick­ily, the cam­era some­times lingers a lit­tle too voyeuris­ti­cally on Jane’s tat­tooed body.

More sub­tly, you might find your­self ask­ing if this would be a bet­ter show if it had been made for HBO or an­other pay chan­nel, where it could take more cre­ative risks, rather than NBC. Not a se­ries that leaves an in­deli­ble im­pres­sion, then, but a pol­ished and – ahead of its sec­ond sea­son this year – promis­ing main­stream of­fer­ing.

The sea­side date went OK, but it was time to leave while the bod­ies dis­tracted ev­ery­one.

Jane cov­ers her tat­toos if a plot doesn’t re­quire them.

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