53° Good Afternoon
53° Good Afternoon

'Blindspot' review: A winning story unspools, tattoo by tattoo

In a still from

In a still from "Blindspot," Jaimie Alexander, left, is seen as Jane Doe and Ashley Johnson as Patterson. Credit: Virginia Sherwood / NBC

THE SERIES "Blindspot"

WHEN | WHERE Premieres Monday night at 10 on NBC/4

WHAT IT'S ABOUT A beautiful, naked woman (Jaimie Alexander) covered in tattoos -- have we got your attention? -- is found in Times Square. She's lost her memory, has no name or ID, and so the cops call her Jane Doe. But even more mysteriously, on her back in big bold letters is this name: "Kurt Weller." Cops figure maybe a terrorist, or certainly a very evil person, kidnapped and then inked up poor Jane. But why? Weller (Sullivan Stapleton) is a hotshot FBI agent, and he's called in to figure out what this all means and answer one key question: Why his name?

MY SAY With Weller's perfectly stubbled jawline, a raffish slash of a smile, and killer blue eyes, you may wonder why the bad guy didn't tattoo a picture of him, instead of his name, on Jane. Along with a little heart with an arrow through it.

That would've been just as ridiculous -- but at least fun, and campy. In fact, there's a whole lot of ridiculous in "Blindspot" beginning with poor Jane. (Jane: Who, for some reason, kept reminding me of the great old Groucho Marx song, and even "Heisenberg.")

But judge not "Blindspot" by the tattoos or ample silliness, or even distant possibly unavoidable comparisons to "Prison Break" and its own inked plot. Judge this by the characters, and especially the story and setup. By those measures, this is pretty darned good.

Another Greg Berlanti ("Arrow," "Flash," "Supergirl") production and created by Martin Gero ("Stargate: Atlantis"), the spirit of "Blindspot" is much more aligned with a comic-book sensibility than a standard prime-time thriller. The story begins at a specific point in time, on crowded Times Square, and from there it unspools, with precision. Each of us -- viewers as well as Weller -- know nothing about what's going on, or what's going to happen.

But scene by scene, tat by tat, we learn just a little something more. The parsing of detail is effective because by the end of Monday's pilot, I was surprised by an unexpected reaction: I actually wanted to know what happens next week.



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