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Title: Blindspot: Season 1

Movie: :4stars:
Video: :4stars:
Audio: :4.5stars:
Extras: :3stars:

HTS Overall Score:82

“Blindspot” was one of those TV shows where I said to myself “I gotta watch that someday” when I saw the initial trailers last year. I mean, who isn’t intrigued by a trailer where a beautiful woman crawls out of a duffle bag in the middle of New York City covered head to toe with tattoos, with whispers of secrets yet to come from said tattoos. Well, fast forward 6 months or so and I realize that the first season is dropping onto Blu-ray and this little reviewer eagerly raises his hand like the over achiever in grade school.

“Blindspot” is an interesting series, that seems to borrow from quite a few other shows, but in such a way that it doesn’t feel like a rip off of said shows (which tend to be “The X-files”, “24”, “The Blacklist” and several other police thriller series). The series does have its share of clichés and flaws, but the raw chemistry between the main cast and the ever present tactic of revealing just a little bit of information per episode towards the main mythos makes for an incredibly entertaining ride.

Jane Doe (Jaimie Alexander) is the naked woman in the duffle bag, completely unaware of who she is and where she came from. The only identifying marks on her tattooed body that make any sense is the name of FBI Agent Kurt Weller (Sullivan Stapleton), which immediately begs the question of WHY that name is there. The FBI takes over her case with that information in mind, and it soon becomes abundantly clear that the people who wiped Jane’s mind have bigger plans in mind for her and her tattoos. Each and every tattoo seems to lead them to a different crime in progress, which makes Jane a valuable asset to the bureau, and soon it is even clearer that Jane is not some nobody. Her physicality and hand to hand combat skills along with linguistics along with weapons and tactics belie the fact that she was some sort of black ops agent.

With each tattoo bringing out a new case, they also start tugging at the hidden string of Jane’s past. She and the FBI both want to figure out who she is and where she came from, but each thread they pull at hints at something more, but seems to leave them with more questions than they started with going into the thread. What makes the show so unique in this aspect is how the series creators dole out the answers per episode. Many of the episodes seem episodic, with a tattoo reveal of the week aspect to it, but each and every episode reveals just a little more about Jane’s past.

Jane and Kurt obviously have a past together, and that little tidbit of information is actually revealed in the first handful of episodes, although there is little satisfaction from that information as it is cleverly disguised amongst the rest of the shrouded mystery that is Jane’s life. And Jane is not the only one with secrets and tragedy in her life. Weller is dealing with the aftermath of a horrible kidnapping that happened 25 years ago, as well as dealing with a father who is dying, Agent Zapata (Audrey Esparza) has a gambling addiction that puts the entire New York Office of the FBI in grave danger from outside interests including the CIA and DOJ, Agent Reade (Rob Brown) is holding some secrets regarding his personal life and professional life away from the rest of the cast. Then there’s the adorkable tech agent Patterson (played by the lovely and adorable Ashley Johnson) who ends up getting her boyfriend involved in the cryptograph of the tattoos with dire consequences. In fact the only person in the entire office who isn’t sporting a deep dark secret is FBI psychologist Dr. Robert Borden (Ukweli Roach), who of course ends up having one of the biggest secrets of the entire department (naturally).

Side characters play just as an important role as the main characters, though, as you will come to know quite a few in the 23 episode series. CIA agent Thomas Carter (Michael Gaston) is one of the more reviled and annoying characters, but ends up being a little less despicable than you originally thought, but then there is FBI inspector Jonas Fischer (John Hodgman) who shows up as one of the most loathsome characters in the show and REMAINS a nasty thorn in the side until he is taken care of (his smarmy and twisting character is one of the best “you love to hate me” characters in the whole show).

As much fun as the show is, there is still a few flaws in the design. Most of these are fairly cosmetic and part of the suspension of disbelief for secret agent and action shows, but still they are a bit bothersome at time. The show seems to follow the standard cliché that a villain can be caught in one to two days of investigation, instead of taking months and sometimes years like a normal case, but that’s something that needs to happen for the show to wrap up quickly each week. Also it’s slightly eyebrow raising to believe that Jane, a veritable unknown, somehow manages to get clearance in the FBI to work as a consultant on her own case, as well as be trusted enough to walk around with automatic weapons and full access to the FBI database. Same thing goes for Kurt and Jane’s obvious romance. It plays out a bit stereotypically and rehearsed, but the saving grace comes in the form of the show’s revealing of Jane’s deeper past and her current mission and reason for being brain wiped.

The episode rundown is as follows

A Stray Howl
Eight Slim Grins
Bone May Rot
Split the Law
Cede Your Soul
Sent on Tour
Persecute Envoys
Authentic Flirt
Evil Handmade Instrument
Cease Forcing Enemy
Scientists Hollow Fortune
Erase Weary Youth
Rules in Defiance
Older Cutthroat Canyon
Any Wounded Thief
Mans Telepathic Loyal Lookouts
One Begets Technique
In the Comet of Us
Swift Hardhearted Stone
Of Whose Uneasy Route
If Love A Rebel, Death Will Render
Why Await Life's End


Not Rated by the MPAA

Video :4stars:
Shot on Arri Alexa cameras, “Blindspot” maintains a very strong and straight forward encode that teeters on the edge of being fantastic. The FBI field office leans toward a teal color grading, with sterile whites and blue/grey steel infrastructure that screams “business”. Outside of the office the colors and detail opens up quite a bit and favors warmer, and sometimes darker, colors. Skin tones are accurate and show off a cornucopia of incredible details, while the dark shadows maintain a healthy detail level while introducing a little bit of black crush too. The cityscape is usually seen at night, while the daylight bits are where Jane and Weller end up going outside of the city (for the most part). It’s a great transfer, and while there is some digital noise and a few moments of overt softness, the encode looks really well done.

Audio :4.5stars:
While the video encode and the series is quite good, the highlight of the set is the rip roaring and aggressive 5.1 DTS-HD MA lossless track. From the moment the show starts you know you’re in for an experience as the track grabs ahold of the listener with a heavy duty bass line and wildly directional mix. Audio queues come from every which way and the action in the track keeps the listener looking over their shoulders as bullets fly past the ear, or doors slam from the left rear and the mumble of fellow agents is blended in seamlessly with the main dialog. Vocals are crisp and centered up front, and never seem to suffer from any type of imbalance with the bombastic surrounding experience. LFE is tight and powerful, adding lots of weight in just about every scene, ranging from the pulsing score, to the heavy automatic weapons used in raids, to the thud thud thud of helicopter blades.

Extras :3stars:

• Pilot Episode Commentary with Series Creator Martin Gero and Director Mark Pellingham
• Deleted Scenes
• Casting the Team
• Oscar: The Handler
• Weller Takes Action
• Double Vision
• Rich Dotcom
• Make it GO Boom
• Tattooed Clues
• Blindspot! 2015 ComicCon Panel
• Bound and Gag Reel

Overall: :4stars:

“Blindspot” isn’t perfect TV, but it is certainly a great piece of popcorn entertainment that brings about the feeling of the heyday of “24”, “Alias” and the fun that is “The Blacklist” in an ongoing police/criminal procedural with serialized roots. Jamie Alexander is fantastic as the enigmatic Jane, struggling to find out who she really is, as well as hold onto her own secrets that may be too much for people around her to bear. The action is high, the suspension of disbelieve is sometimes tested, but I was never anything less than entertained for the whole season. Audio and video are great and the show actually has an impressive array of extras on the discs. Well worth a watch.

Additional Information:

Starring: Sullivan Stapleton, Jaimie Alexander, Rob Brown
Created by: Martin Gero
Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1 AVC
Audio: English: DTS-HD MA 5.1
Studio: Warner Brothers
Rated: NR
Runtime: 978 minutes
Own it Now Digital HD, Blu-ray™ and DVD 8/2

Buy Blindspot: Season 1 On Blu-ray at Amazon

Recommendation: Recommended

More about Mike

1,784 Posts
I loved season one, however moving forward to season two made me grow tiered of the show.
There is a running theme that Jane is, starting to have flashbacks about her past inclusive of a man that is involved in these flashbacks. I don't think I'm giving too much away by saying she does meet this man and he starts to tell her a small bit of who she is but holds back the vast majority of information. Each week he talks to her and each week he said's I can't tell you everything I can only give you a little piece of what went on," if you do this for me". The if changes every week and rarely does he give away any cool secrets that she has not flashed back to and after a few episodes of this week it's very tired. Either teller or don't is absolutely no reason to drag this out. Secondly it would appear that a lot of her ink is relatively new and predicts things that may happen shortly. This also becomes tedious as the way they discover these items is almost impossible and once again for me at least becomes really tedious in not only how they figure these things out but what occurs as a result of these tattoos.

Accordingly, I have stopped watching it as I would rather view reruns of Colombo.
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