Blindspot was one of my favorite new shows from last year, partly as the premise was so solid. Jane Doe, an attractive young woman, late 20s, early 30s, is found in Times Square. In a bag. Naked. Covered in tattoos. She has no idea who she is or why she’s in the bag, but one of her tattoos is pretty easy to understand — she has the name of an FBI agent tattooed prominently on her back. Fast-forward a few plot developments and she is now on the FBI team trying to decipher her tattoos as a couple of them lead to anti-terrorist takedowns.
The rest of the season was wheels within wheels within wheels. She was contacted by an outside group who told her they put her there, and via a video recording of herself, she learns it was her idea. They’re trying to stop a corrupt government conspiracy within the U.S. and to bring to justice those who operate above the law in the name of the law. Part-Jason Bourne, part Snowden, part Tom-Clancy-style conspiracy behind every cubicle wall.
By the end of the season though, everything was going to hell in a handbasket. Jane was revealed NOT to be a long-lost child (the child’s body was found), even though Jane had claimed to remember something earlier. She was arrested and taken away, but not before the head of the task team had been killed by the group behind Jane’s infiltration. Jane was trying to play both sides and it blew up for everyone.
The season reboots with Jane in a black site being interrogated aggressively by government types who turn out to be the CIA. Apparently when the FBI arrested her, the CIA snatched her and took her to the black site to be tortured for 3 months. She escapes, is on the run, and so with the CIA half out of the picture, time to enter an agent of a secret group within the NSA that knows all about Jane and the group that was running her as an operative. She wants payback for a lost partner that the group killed, but most importantly, she wants Jane back running operations with the same group as if she was never blown. It’s a weak premise — it was the FBI who arrested her after all, not the CIA — but she is supposed to claim that a renegade member of the group kidnapped her and tortured her for the three months, not the CIA or the FBI. Ignore the fact that they already have inside knowledge of what is going on most of the time anyway, Jane goes back “undercover” as a double or triple (or is it quadruple?) agent.
All of last year was around “who is Jane?”. That’s revealed this episode, although no way to know if actually true. She’s a former child of South Africa trained as an assassin and adopted by a military woman from the U.S. who raided the orphanage. Code-named Shepherd, she introduces herself as Jane’s mother, and another operative as her brother. Jane is in like Flynn. Which is good cuz she’s on the outs with the FBI team (one of whom willingly shoots her at Jane’s request to prove her cover story). The episode ends with the big reveal…the group is indeed planning something big — they have a full sized ICBM rocket stashed somewhere in the countryside.
I am not completely sold on the reboot approach. I loved last year, but the pieces came fast and furious in this episode, almost like an exposition dump. I would have thought a bit more should be teased out, but presumably the show-runner has a full schedule of reveals for the year. Let’s hope Season 2 runs as well as Season 1.