Overview A possible super soldier appears to have her memories erased, but not to the point of forgetting how to walk, talk, and show her combat skills. Alongside her memory loss though comes dozens upon dozens of tattoos, all of which may very well be relevant clues to stop terrorist attacks, and possibly expose some…


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Overview

A possible super soldier appears to have her memories erased, but not to the point of forgetting how to walk, talk, and show her combat skills. Alongside her memory loss though comes dozens upon dozens of tattoos, all of which may very well be relevant clues to stop terrorist attacks, and possibly expose some really bad people.

Characters & Story

What is known as Jane Doe (Jaimie Alexander) is found in a duffel bag in the middle of Times Square. Naturally, a bag being placed in the middle of time square is odd enough, but it being a nude woman with tattoos covering all but her face, feet, and her fingertips, this is really odd. However, what brings the government into it, and especially the FBI, is when it is discovered that Special Agent Kurt Weller’s (Sullivan Stapleton) name is tattooed on her back. Thus leading to long period of scanning, interrogation, and speculative discussions on why this woman is in the state she is in.

The answer? A drug known as ZIP which is supposed to alleviate memories which could cause PTSD symptoms, which was used to a point that the has chemically induced amnesia. Making it so that she can’t remember something as simple as her name, or whether she is a coffee or tea person. However, when it comes to knowing Chinese, close quarters combat, and how to handle a gun in a high-pressure situation, her memory of what to do is intact.

Something which puzzles everyone from Agent Weller, to his assistants Agent Zapata (Audrey Esparza), a tech expert; to Agent Reed (Rob Brown); and especially director Mayfair (Marianne Jean-Baptiste). But with her helping to stop a bomb plot on the Statue of Liberty, in more ways than one, thanks to her tattoos and knowledge, it seems she is to be used as a tool for counter-terrorism. Though, considering the handful of flashbacks she has, it seems there might have been a time she was working for the other side.

Praise

My first experience of Jaimie Alexander came from Kyle XY and though it maybe the nostalgia talking, I remember her fondly on that show. One reason being, she took a character which was so basic, yet so volatile, and made you feel something for her. It partly comes from the way Alexander’s face trembles, the look in her eyes in which it seems she is trying to not show how badly she is suffering, and facial expressions which show the eagerness of a child wanting to learn what is going on in the world around her. This combination brings this Jane Doe to life and with the complexity of her having memories training for a man, yet named, who maybe the mastermind behind the plots Jane Doe maybe trying to stop in the future, we are set on a rather interesting tale.

Taking the focus off Alexander though, another thing I liked was the diversity. Which spans from Asian, to Hispanic, to Black, and each playing a different part. The villain of the episode is a man named Chao Zheng (Yung-I Chang) who, unlike most villains, isn’t a clear cut “Death to America” type. His reasoning behind wanting to blow up the Statue of Liberty are understandable. Not to the point you’d root for him, or feel strongly sympathetic, for after all he is a terrorist, but you can understand his frustration enough to know why he decided to perhaps be so drastic.

Then, when it comes to supporting players, while Agent Reed hasn’t had an opportunity to really shine yet, Agent Zapata has proven herself to be a tech expert, and a Hispanic women strongly into science. Which, for some, may not be major, but every little bit of showing Blacks or Hispanics as more than what often is associated due to the negative portrayals in the news is necessary. If only because it counterbalances what some may believe is commonly seen.

Leaving one last character, Director Mayfair. Someone who, as of now, is worthy of praise for she is a Black woman who is the head of her department, but also because she holds a secret. One which could lead to her downfall, but also makes you wonder why in the world are the words “embezzlement” and “murder” associated with her name? Alongside a lot of lines blacked out.

Criticism

Let me be perfectly honest with you. Most of the praise above comes from the high which comes from this show not mirroring the main issues I have with The Whispers, which are a high focus on white characters and having very few minor roles regulated to people of color. However, if you really look at the pilot objectively, what you’ll find is a good basis, but a show which could potentially burn out fast. IF only because it has the slightest hint of “Didn’t I see something like this before?” For example, the whole tattooed body being evidence for crimes to happen made me instantly think of The Whispers; her having her memory wiped and becoming some sort of FBI agent sounds so familiar but I just can’t think of what show or movie did it before; and while everyone involved are interesting, there isn’t a strong enough sense of mystery that it makes you want to really sit down and try to create theories as to why Jane Doe wiped her memories, much less when she rediscovers them, what she may do.

Overall: Stick Around

Though this show likely may tank once Jane Doe’s memories return, the build to that moment, so far, seems like it may be interesting. Plus, Alexander performs well in the title role and you got to love people of color having characters which aren’t fully playing second fiddles to everyone else. Though, with a premise, and possible trajectory, which may seem familiar, and is likely doomed to reduce you to eye rolls, again, the lifespan of the series doesn’t seem unlimited.


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