Blindspot Review: “A Stray Howl”

(Episode 1.02)

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<i>Blindspot</i> Review: &#8220;A Stray Howl&#8221;

One week later and we’re already getting (seemingly) closer to figuring out who Jane Doe is. This second episode contains a couple of significant reveals, and one wonders if there is a hidden twist, but Blindspot manages to build upon its premise and take off its training wheels, moving us deeper into the mystery of Jane Doe’s past and her connection to FBI Special Agent Kurt Weller.

The big question lingering on Jane Doe’s mind this week is her mysterious past and how it affects who she is now. All she remembers at the beginning of the episode is the flashback we saw in the pilot of her running through the woods shooting targets. While she’s in the FBI shooting range with Kurt, she experiences another memory flash after firing a silenced pistol. In the flashback we’re taken to a memory scene in black and white. A long-haired Jane Doe is in a church approaching a nun from behind—and she shoots the nun in the back with a silenced pistol. This is not the Jane Doe that we recognize in the present. This woman—pre-memory wipe—is cold blooded. Throughout the episode, Jane’s struggle with the morality of that particular memory shows that whoever she was, is certainly not the person she is now. It echoes a similar plotline from The Bourne Supremacy, where Jason Bourne had a mysterious memory of assassinating a couple in Berlin. It’s great to see further character development in Jane as she fears how her possibly evil past affects who she currently, is while trying to save people.

This week’s episode definitely made up for Kurt Weller’s lack of character development from the pilot. Not only do we meet Kurt’s sister and nephew, but now we even get one particular backstory involving an event from his childhood that may link him directly to Jane Doe (plot twist!). In a surprisingly big reveal, we learn that Kurt, as a child, used to know a girl named Taylor Shaw. She officially went missing 25 years ago, but is suspected of having been killed by Kurt’s father. Not only that, but Kurt recognizes a scar on the back of Jane’s neck that matches a scar he remembers Taylor getting when they were children. From this particular non-tattoo detail on Jane’s body, Kurt is convinced that Jane must be Taylor, which is why she has his name on her back. Certain details as to how she went missing, Kurt’s specific relationship with Taylor as children and how Kurt’s father was involved are not clear, but the audience will likely learn little by little throughout the season.

What’s really surprising is that the few details we are given regarding Kurt’s past lead to quite a huge reveal considering we’re only two episodes in, which hopefully means the show has even bigger twists and turns waiting for us. The part about Kurt’s father as a possible murderer is randomly thrown in, but it definitely hooks your attention. As for Jane’s possible connection with Kurt, the answer is either not going to be complicated, or it will be something entirely different. If Jane is a lost childhood friend of Kurt’s, it’d be ridiculous for them to reveal that anytime soon. Maybe she is Taylor, who was kidnapped and trained to be an assassin, or maybe she isn’t Taylor and that scar was placed on her neck to psychologically mess with Kurt. If this show is going to smartly play around with the mystery, nothing should be as it seems.

While we may have gotten some good bits from this episode, its A-story was nothing special. Another mysterious tattoo was decoded and another mysteriously-connected-to-Jane-Doe-suspect was chased after and stopped. Admittedly, it revolved around a great topic dealing with the idea of U.S. military drones used to attack people on domestic soil, but it didn’t have the same all-or-nothing drive that last week’s premiere had with the attempted bombing of the Statue of Liberty.

If audiences were having second thoughts about watching the show after viewing the pilot, this week’s episode should have solidified viewers’ interest, and encouraged them to keep watching. Blindspot has thrown some intriguing questions up in the air that demand answers. As long as the overall story arc continues to trek forward and answer questions while also providing more surprises, the series should only get better from here.