First aired: 24th November 2015
Sullivan Stapleton – Special Agent Kurt Weller
Jamie Alexander – Jane Doe
Rob Brown – Special Agent Edgar Reade
Audrey Esparza – Special Agent Tasha Zapata
Ashley Johnson – Patterson
Ukweli Roach – Dr Robert Borden
Marianne Jean-Baptiste – Assistant Director Bethany Mayfair
Synopsis: Times Square New York and a duffel bag is found in the city by a beat cop. On the bag is a tag which reads ‘call the FBI’. Bomb squad check it for explosive residue, when cleared they approach again to open it, it opens by itself and a naked woman, covered in a multitude of tattoos gets out, clearly unsure what has happened to her. She is confused, terrified and clearly traumatised by the whole thing.
Rural Kentucky and several woman are being held against their will, chained to radiators. A FBI team, led by Kurt Weller breaches the house and subdues the kidnapper, leading to all of the women being rescued and met by paramedics. As the team, including Agents Zapata and Reade leave, they are met by agents from New York who bring the three to the New York Field Office. The reason for this is that one of the many many tattoos on this woman is his name. After a brief medical exam and some blood tests, it is reveled that the tattoos are fresh, less than a week old and that her memories have been chemically removed. After being scanned all over to get images of the tattoos and generally being treated as anything other than the person she is, the newly named Jane Doe is left in an interview room before Kurt meets with her and by this point, she is more than a little angry. Weller talks to her, the pair connect and Weller believes her when she tells him that she has no idea who she was, or who she is now.
The next morning, the team are analysing the tattoos on Jane’s body from the scans the previous day. One leads to an address in Chinatown and the current date, which comes with the revelation that Jane actually speaks Chinese. At the address, the team find a laptop, containing a plan to kill what appears to be a politician in an act of anguished revenge. While the team sift through the evidence, Jane is left in the hallway and gets involved in an domestic abuse situation, by demolishing the abusers, before she is aware what she is doing. Kurt pulls her away and comforts here, in her discomfort at the ease in which she became violent. In the apartment above, the team find more information that leads them to believe that the suspected terrorist Chou, isn’t targeting a politician, but the Statue of Liberty. The team follow him there and there is a final shootout, Jane is injured, but is able to shoot Chou, saving Weller’s life.
Back at the office, the team debates the mystery of Jane and her tattoos, whilst at the hospital where he is being held, Chou is killed by someone connected to Jane, someone who knows who she was and why all of this is happening.
Notes: I found writing this difficult, because it’s really hard to know what to say, to know whether or not I liked it, or whether or not it’s any good. It’s parts are solid enough, the actors are a mix of good actors I’ve seen in other stuff and pleasant surprises. It’s weird watching the drunkard from the Australian show Secret Life of Us being shown as a high-level FBI agent. Sullivan Stapleton isn’t really given much to do here, except be stern and heroic and comes across as capable, but the character comes across as a bit flat. Jamie Alexander is also given little to work with, but that’s the point and she delivers a confused and frightened performance that highlights her plight, without making her entirely a victim. There’s some hand-wavy science about procedural and narrative memory, explaining her ability to walk, talk and remember when to go to the toilet and after a lot of set up, we get the threat of the week, with a Chinese national planning an act of terror. It’s all very ….. yeah. That’s kind of the problem. The cast is mostly blank, with little time given to any characters outside of Weller and Jane, a double sized pilot would have given that kind of time so Patterson, Mayfair, Zapata and Reade wouldn’t seem so, well pointless. There’s a lot to like, but this pilot didn’t really land for me. When I watched it originally, I watched as part of a binge, so the shortcomings were resolved as we went along, but as a single episode, I don’t think it did its job.
Does it work? Yes, part mystery and part action heavy procedural.
Does much need fixing? Yes, we have a paper thin supporting cast in a show that clearly needs to be an ensemble.
Does it stand up? Yes, its good for what it is.
Do I want to watch the next one? Not based on this episode alone no.
Did I enjoy it? For the most part.
Overall: 3/5 A solid C, it’s a show that got better, but really needed to have either a bigger, or a better first chapter.