In the pilot of Blindspot, Jane Doe and the FBI found their first clue amid the myriad of tattoos on her body. Behind Jane’s ear was a Chinese tattoo with an address on it. The residence revealed a connection between the ink and a man named Chou who wanted to blow up the Statue of Liberty. Jane has her first “triggered” memory; target practice in the woods.
At the start of A Stray Howl, Chou dies from a “stroke” after surgery (the man was shot in the pilot episode) and later it is discovered that he was murdered. Patterson (Ashley Johnson) finds another tattoo that is connected to the first tattoo (that Jane translated).
The newest tattoo spotted by technician is deciphered using the vigenere cipher which is a poly-alphabetic substitution code. It spells out a name, USAF Major Arthur Gibson (Robert Eli). The Jane Doe team go to Gibson’s Brooklyn address. Gibson answers the door and refuses to speak to the group on his doorstep.
As the FBI and Jane leave, the house explodes. There is no body and it turns out that Arthur is up to no good and has kidnapped a little girl in order to steal a government drone which he uses to kill those who turned against him. As Gibson continues to target people, Weller rushes to find the child and Jane has more memories pop up in her mind.
The drone pilot kills his former commander and tries to kill the colleague who turned him in to authorities. As the FBI team rush to shut him down, they learn that Gibson plans to kill all the other domestic drone pilots along with thousands of other employees at the government facility.
Kurt Weller’s past is brought up via a discussion with his sister. Their father was accused of abducting and murdering a childhood friend of Kurt’s 25 years ago; Taylor Shaw. Although his dad was cleared of the crime, because the child was never found the stigma has hung over the man for years.
The missing girl was Kurt’s best friend and he has been full of guilt about her disappearance for years. The issue of Shaw has also clouded his relationship with his father. Weller sees the scans that Patterson did of all the tattoos on Jane’s body and he notices a scar which identical to one that the girl Taylor had.
A scar that the young Kurt inadvertently gave to his childhood friend. The presence of this identical wound, convinces the FBI agent that Jane is Shaw. Later his boss orders DNA tests done to see if he is correct.
Jane has another “triggered” memory while shooting several weapons at the range. One, a silenced pistol, prompts a flashback of shooting a nun. Jane is horrified by the memory and is concerned that she may be a terrible person. As the episode progresses, the flashback lengthens and she sees that the “nun” was a man disguised as a holy figure and in the memory she is receiving a flash drive from the body.
Weller and Jane team up to tackle the vengeful Air Force pilot. They track the man to a tall building, with the help of Patterson, and Kurt goes up to face Gibson. The Major is armed and the two men exchange gunfire. Gibson escapes and uses the elevator to get away from Weller.
Once he reaches the ground floor, he fires an entire clip of ammo at Jane, who is in Weller’s car. The man drives off and Jane quickly follows.
A Stray Howl, which could apply to Gibson as he was a would be whistle blower, reveals more about Jane Doe. She is proficient with many different weapons and can drive using advanced techniques. For example, when she is pursuing Major Gibson in Weller’s SUV she uses a pit maneuver (a police pursuit tactic) to stop his vehicle. Weller saves the girl that Gibson kidnapped after Jane crashes the SUV.
By the end of the episode Weller is convinced that Jane is his missing childhood friend. Agent Reed (Rob Brown) exhibits some major trust issues with Jane Doe. Jane sees the man from her flashback, played by Jimmy Whitworth, and later he shows up at her apartment.
Jane recognizes that she and Weller have some connection and Kurt tells his sister that he believes the tattooed woman is Shaw. Sarah (Jordana Spiro) tells her brother that their father is dying of lung cancer and he needs to see him before it is too late.
This is a taut and well constructed thriller which may boil down to a “tattoo a week” set up, but thus far it is working brilliantly. Alexander’s character is a giant cipher which appears to work as a crime prevention tool. The chemistry between Sullivan and Jaimie is spot on.
On a sidenote, it seems that so far Jaimie Alexander is doomed to have her face covered with dirt in many of her scenes. It should be pointed out at the “Lady Sif” actress may be one of the few female performers who still looks gorgeous covered with muck.
Blindspot airs Mondays on ABC. This is a well-crafted thriller that has a more than capable cast and an interesting premise. Tune in and see where this illustrated woman’s journey takes her.