SPOILER: Do not read this interview unless you have seen the third episode of NBC’s “Blindspot.”
The third episode of NBC’s new thriller “Blindspot,” which airs at 10 p.m. Mondays, may have come with a big answer: It seems Jaimie Alexander’s memory-lacking, tattoo-laden Jane Doe may be the grown version of Taylor Shaw, the girl Sullivan Stapleton’s Kurt Weller has been searching for all these years. But it also came with many more questions. Naturally, for a show obsessed with puzzles, the details are vague.
In an interview with Variety, series creator Martin Gero sheds some light on operations Orion and Daylight as well as whether Marianne Jean-Baptiste’s Bethany Mayfair is as trustworthy as we first thought. But can we believe him?
Which is more of a problem for Jane: Orion or Daylight?
They’re both pretty big problems for her, in different ways. Let’s say Daylight.
Can you elaborate on why that is?
No. (laughs) Orion and Daylight are pretty big deals throughout the whole show, so it’s very difficult to talk about them so early when the audience is just beginning to piece together what they are, if that makes any sense.
There’s a very loose celestial connection in the names. Am I reading too much into that?
Well, Orion could be a lot of things. I don’t want to tell you what to look for, but I would not go too far down that path.
How much does Mayfair know about Jane? She had that clandestine meeting at the end of the episode and she immediately dismissed Patterson (Ashley Johnson) when she brought in the file for the operation.
I think we can take Mayfair at her word about how she knows about Jane. She’s very worried about who did this to her and why and now has some very personal stakes on who did this and why. There was some information on Jane’s body about Daylight, which is very troubling for her and Carter — the guy who we met and who will meet in subsequent episodes who is played by the extraordinary Michael Gaston — and so, she’s legit. I think she does believe Jane that Jane doesn’t know anything.
What was the decision behind revealing the Taylor Shaw connection so early in the season?
I don’t like to drag stuff out and that’s something I hope fans get to appreciate through the year. We’ve come up with an extraordinarily complicated backstory, of which the Taylor Shaw story is a small part of. Everyone figured that we would not say who Jane was until the end of season 1. We’re going to move much faster than that.
And also, stay tuned. Nothing is as straight ahead as it seems. Even if she is Taylor Shaw, where has she been for the past 25 years? What happened to her and why? It’s only the beginning of the mystery and not the end.
The show, especially the first season of it, is really about Weller and Jane. Not only who did this to her and why, but also [for them to learn] how to be around each other. It’s a pretty intense thing for her to have a sense of who she is and him to have found this girl whom he’s been obsessed with finding for 25 years now. Emotionally, it teems up a lot of fun stuff for everyone.
Well, is this a red herring? We know you like to have fun with episode titles. Episode 103’s title, “Eight Slim Grins” is an anagram of “the missing girl,” but episode 104’s title, “Bone May Rot” is an anagram of “or maybe not.”
(Laughs) We’ll just have to see next week.
It’s tough. I’d love to tell you, but I don’t think anyone really wants to know. To be honest, that’s why we do the episode title thing. For the people who would like some spoilers, they’re there. For us, it was a way to code spoilers into the show so that people who wanted them could have some fun and do them. And also, this is a show for people who love puzzles and why wouldn’t you bake some Easter eggs into the show?
How many other people involved in the production are in on these clues? Does the costume designer, Marie Abma, dress Jane a certain way to highlight the tattoo needed for each episode?
As the scripts come out, they require certain access to parts of our body and our fantastic costume designer dresses her appropriately. If she has to show something on her arm, we’ll keep her on a T-shirt as opposed to a hoodie. It’s a collaboration between everyone to make sure we’re showcasing the right tattoos every week.
Jane worried in episode 102 that these tattoos might be a trap. So far they’ve been fairly helpful. Are the tattoos our friends?
That’s a pretty big question. I think one of the fun things about the show is there will be an ongoing conversation about the motives of the people who did this to her. In some ways, there must have been an easier way to communicate this information.
Why have they done this is one of the biggest question of the entire series. Our characters talk about this every episode and it should definitely be something that viewers try to track on their own. As we move forward in every episode, it emerges a theme about the cases about the type of cases that these tattoos lead to that’s telling.
I imagine your writers’ room is just a maze of chalk outlines and string.
The room is plastered with the tattoos and what we plan on doing with them. It’s a pretty big and complex cast as the show goes forward and just keeping track of who those people are and interactions with everyone … it’s like the garage from “True Detective.”
Will the Ruggedly Handsome Man (Johnny Whitworth) ever get a name?
Yes. He’s gone but not forgotten.