Welcome to Pilot Perception, our feature in which we break down the first episode of each new show in order to help you decide whether it’s worth your time.
The Pedigree: The show was created and written by Martin Gero (The L.A. Complex), and Mark Pellington (Cold Case) directed the pilot. Gero and Pellington executive produce along with Greg Berlanti (Arrow), Sarah Schechter (The Flash), and Marcos Siega (The Vampire Diaries).
The Cast & How You Know Them: Blindspot stars Jaimie Alexander (Thor, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.), Sullivan Stapleton (Strike Back), Marianne Jean-Baptiste (Broadchurch), Rob Brown (Treme), Audrey Esparza (Black Box), Ukweli Roach (The Royals), and Ashley Johnson (Much Ado About Nothing).
The Premise: A woman whose memory has been chemically erased appears in Times Square, naked and covered in tattoos that form some sort of map to a complicated conspiracy that the FBI must solve, as she tries to figure out her identity and what happened to her.
What Works: Jaimie Alexander is definitely the highlight here — she’s made a role that could too easily be a blank cipher or a manic pixie tattoo girl into something compelling, and I genuinely care about how she creates or recreates her identity in the face of her memory loss. I also expected her to get memories back but hide that fact, and I’m happy that, so far at least, that’s apparently not the direction the show’s headed. The rest didn’t … not work, exactly, but didn’t stand out to me either.
What Doesn’t: This episode felt very, very slow — at one point I looked at the clock and was astonished at how little time had passed. That’s not great for what’s supposed to be an action-packed, high-stakes procedural. And while I am interested in the central identity question, the tattoo treasure hunt left me weirdly cold. I’ll give it another episode or two, but this premiere just didn’t grab me.
Our Favorite Line: “Even if nothing ever comes back, you can still find yourself.”
You Might Like This if you like procedurals with a big central mystery, like The Blacklist.
If You’re Interested: If you missed the pilot, they’re rerunning it a few times this weekend on various NBC family cable channels (E! Bravo! USA! Syfy!), so check your local listings, or catch it on Hulu, or on the NBC or CTV sites. Then set your DVR for Monday – 10/9c in the U.S. or 9/8c in Canada.
(Photo courtesy of NBC.)