Jaimie Alexander has been getting a lot of ink thanks to her starring role in the freshman NBC drama "Blindspot," which airs Mondays at 10 p.m. Of course, it's nothing compared to the ink she sports on the show as a Jane Doe, a woman with more than 200 tattoos who mysteriously pops up -- out of a duffel bag -- in Times Square. But tats not all, folks: Each marking serves as a clue for FBI agents.
Alexander's role brings to mind another marked woman, "Lydia, the Tattooed Lady," who was immortalized in song by Groucho Marx in the 1939 movie "At the Circus." (For the record, there is no Lydia in the movie.) Let's see how each woman stacks up as a work of body art.
Tattoo artists have got Alexander's back when it comes to featuring some prominent images, including "Kurt Weller FBI," the name of the agent played by Sullivan Stapleton, who wants to unwrap her mystery, and a Navy SEAL emblem.
On Lydia's back is a veritable lesson in world history, according to Groucho: "On her back is the Battle of Waterloo. Beside it the wreck of the Hesperus, too. And proudly above waves the red, white and blue."
Hips don't lie
A spiral adorns Alexander's hip, and hopefully viewers will find out what it means.
The message is clear, though, about what the tattoos on Lydia's hips mean: "She once swept an admiral clear off his feet. The ships on her hips made his heart skip a beat."
The tattoo "81899Z," a case file number pertaining to Weller's boss, was an important clue in wrapping up "Blindspot's" premiere episode.
Lydia also has some important digits on her person as noted by Groucho: "Here's Nijinsky a-doin' the rumba. Here's her Social Security numba."
Not all of Alexander's tattoos are in English. In the first episode, a tattoo written in Chinese turned out to be an address and a date that helped the FBI trap a Chinese terrorist.
Lydia also offers a glimpse to the whereabouts of some criminal types: "And on a clear day, you can see Alcatraz."