TV Review - Blindspot: Season 2
Jaimie Alexander (Kyle XY and Thor) stars as the woman with amnesia. Because she can't remember her name, she's nicknamed "Jane Doe." Jane can't recall the details of her life. However, she does retain certain skills like Jason Bourne. She knows martial arts and is highly trained in combat. She's also very good in ballistics. She can shoot any gun with great skill and precision. She can also speak and understand multiple languages. This season, however, some of her memories are starting to return. One memory in particular is that she was a soldier in the military who served in Afghanistan as late as 2013.
In the first episode of this second season, writer-director Martin Gero provides a lot of answers to questions raised from last season. Jane was born in South Africa. Her birth name is Alice Kruger and she has a brother. Her birth parents were killed and she and her brother were taken to an orphanage where an American woman named Shepherd, played by Michelle Hurd (The Glades and Law & Order: Special Victims Unit), adopted them. Shepherd renames Jane as Remy and renames her brother as Roman. Roman is played by Luke Mitchell (Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. and The Tomorrow People). Shepherd trained them to be in the military, as well as be a part of her rogue organization that's secretly working against the government.
Sullivan Stapleton (Animal Kingdom and 300: Rise of an Empire) co-stars as Kurt Weller, the FBI agent whose name is tattooed on Jane's back. He's as equally trained as Jane with perhaps some military in his background, but he had a pretty traditional upbringing in New York. He now works in the Manhattan office of the FBI. He does have one traumatic moment in his past, which affects him to this day.
Last season, Kurt had a boss. She was the aforementioned Assistant Director, connected to several, secret, government operations. Her name was Bethany Mayfair. She got killed, so this season Kurt is the boss. Kurt was promoted to Assistant Director. His team from last season remains the same. Edgar Reade, played by Rob Brown (Coach Carter and The Express), is haunted by a case from last season that resulted in young black men being sexually assaulted. Tasha Zapata, played by Audrey Esparza (Power and Black Box), is the one who is the least trusting of Jane, and Patterson, played by Ashley Johnson, a voice actress in a ton of cartoons, is the tech genius who can hack into and re-program any computer.
New to Kurt's team is Nas Kamal, played by Archie Panjabi (The Good Wife and The Fall). Nas is a NSA agent. It might be a cheap joke that Gero made her name the same letters as NSA transposed. Nas is of Pakistani descent who works to uncover terrorist groups. Nas believes Shepherd is the head of a terrorist group called Sandstorm that's responsible for a lot of death and destruction. Nas wants to use Jane to bring down Sandstorm.
The problem is that it's not clear whose side Jane is on. Shepherd is Jane's adoptive mother and Roman is her actual brother. Yet, Shepherd and Roman are a part of Sandstorm. While Sandstorm has deadly tactics, it did put the tattoos on Jane, which have resulted in Kurt's team busting some bad people. However, Nas isn't sure to what end, and if the busts aren't manipulations or ripples, pushing forward some terrible future goal by Sandstorm.
Gero has weaved together a complicated mystery, which he has carefully peeled back. The concern was that the mystery's answers wouldn't be satisfying, but Gero and his writers have done a good job to keep this thing engaging, as well as maintain a good dose of drama. The action scenes are crazy and intense, but generally very well-done. His shaky camerawork can be disconcerting in a lesser Paul Greengrass way, but Gero and his directors make it about the freneticism and anxious nature of the cases and perpetual ticking clock or time-crunch nature of each episode.
Five Stars out of Five.
Running Time: 1 hr.
Wednesdays at 8PM on NBC.