This is an in-depth analysis of the first episode of NBCs Blindspot specifically relating to the tattoo thats uncovered along with Jane’s past and the progress in finding out who she is.
I wanted to do some individual posts for each and every tattoo that is explained / unlocked, this show is so damn intriguing and fuck i did not see the finale coming my jaw was on the floor. So yeah i just thought id go through the tattoos with a post each explaining what the significance of them were and what case it related to, the slow release of information about Jane’s murky and elusive past etc.
The episode (the pilot) starts off with Jane being found naked and tattooed in a duffle bag in times square.
The guys the FBI had sent out were expecting a bomb but get quite a surprise when she confusedly climbs out of the bag – they tell her to put her hands behind her head n get on the ground.
The first main piece of information they find is a tattoo on Jane’s upper back : the name of a very high up FBI special agent.
Jane is poked and prodded and examined in everyway possible – DNA marker scanning, facial recognition, bloods, finger prints, iris scans etc..
Followed by a full body scan to detail and capture all the tattoos.
Jane is then taken in for some in-depth questioning. They find shes in a possibly permanent state of chemically induced amnesia – her whole system was flooded with a drug that, with tiny doses can help PTSD victims (soldiers who’ve seen combat / rape victims etc.) her procedural memory is still there but the specifics are gone – for example “she knows what music is but doesnt remember the Beatles”.
Once they establish that she is telling the truth she begins to take part in her own case.
Patterson (our resident nerd) is on it – she and her team are analyzing the tattoos and trying to decrypt and decode them. The shrink treating Jane recommends that she have a look at their progress (or lack there of).
So we begin with the very first tattoo that is “unlocked” Jane see’s this & speaks what she reads – the chinese symbols give an address and a date : 399 WhiteStreet, Apartment 7, Chinatown.
Were shown that the tattoo is only about an inch big and its behind Jane’s left ear. This initially went unnoticed by the FBI because its was in an incredibly rare Chinese Dialect called “Wenzhou” or “The Devils Tongue” – Doctor Borden recommended that jane have a look at the screens showing her tattoos.
Once Jane has translated they bring up the address and see who’s living it it. Turns out to be one “Chao Zhang” who is a transportation engineer. From there the team heads out along with Jane, & since Chao’s roommate speaks no English and they forgot to bring a translator : enter Jane! Upon kicking in Chao’s bedroom door they find a little chemist lab set up – they smell sulfur, find sawdust & with a fancy tool that looks like a supermarket barcode reader find out its materials to make Class E explosives.
We see Jane figuring out she has some serious martial arts skills when the man abusing his wife goes for her and her quick reflexes take them both by surprise – this starts to make sense as they find that the large black opaque square tattoo on her shoulder was obscuring a navy SEAL tattoo. granted if she were navy she’d be in their database, but not if she was special ops.
They then find a video file on his laptop (that again they need Jane to translate) which they find early and is set to upload 4 hours later – talking about the attack on “the mother of Exiles” being just the start – saying that America has ignored chinese suffering for too long – America sits back and savours its freedom while atrocities are committed & familys are destroyed – today ‘The Reckoning’ has begun.
So the team have 3 and a half / 4 hours to figure out where he’s planning on setting the bombs up. Patterson sends Weller the emails that Zhang had been sending the government – Jane translates that he had just found out his mother had been killed in a chinese prison camp – he and his sister had been begging the US government for years to help her get released for years but they didnt. Kurt then puts together the loss of Zhang’s mother – with the mother of Exiles comment in the video and realises that Zhang’s planning on blowing up the Statue of Liberty! – they find Chao disguised as a Park Ranger. He shoots an unexpecting Jane in the arm.
After climbing a gazillion stairs up the Statue of Liberty Chao gets a knife around Kurts neck but is shot by a weakened but badass AF Jane.
Which – triggers her first memory : running an outdoor shooting course. A full chronological view of all of Jane’s flashbacks can be found here*.
this is the first glimpse into Jane’s past as everything we know about her is speculation – even her name “Jane Doe” was given to her by the feds as her memory had been wiped.
Our first peek behind the curtains is Jane running an outdoor shooting course. And a bearded man telling her “you missed two – do it again”.
Later on Kurt goes to check up on Jane – after she admits to feeling like nothing feels real to her anymore they hug.
And Kurt notices something that catches his eye. A scar on the base of her neck – just above the tattoo of his name.
The plot then thickens when in the last minute of the episode we see Chao waking up after his surgery – and someone pays him a visit.
Its the same mysterious Bearded guy that we saw in Jane’s Flashback shortly before. He tells Chao that the deal was him for his sister – he was supposed to die – we then see him leaving the room with the sound of sirens going off – Chao’s flatlined.
It then cuts to a further flashback of the same man holding a cannula attached to an IV bag – saying “Once i insert this, everything you were will cease to exist” (now this is being shown to us but made clear that Jane is not remembering this).
It then cuts to Jane* who says – “i know, but its my only choice” dramatic ay? We see the cannula go in and her pupils dilated AF.
& that is episode one people – so the things we know :
Jane Doe and the Beardy man have a past together – they trained together & he was the one who injected her with the memory erasing fluid that set her on the course she is on, granted Jane is not yet aware of this further connection.
Beardy man also had struck a deal w Chao Zhang – the engineer who constructed the bombs throughout the episode, the deal being Chao’s life for his sisters. So Beardy was conected to the irrevocable change in Jane’s life – meaning he was also connected to the creation of the tattoos possibly or at least was working in cahootes w whoever did them. Many many a questions – they put the perfect amount of info and flashbacks to make this reviewer damn curious.
Jane has high level language abilities and has some serious self defense skills – beyond your average martial arts classes – we suspect she may have been a SEAL as if she were special ops then her fingerprints wouldn’t be in any of the FBIs databases.