I really do like NBC’s Blindspot. The central premise is absolutely nuts but it’s a good kind of crazy. It’s the kind of crazy that is more fun than frustrating. The Blindspot pilot was very generic but it has steadily improved since then, becoming more and more its own animal rather than yet another crime procedural. I’m in for the mystery that Blindspot is telling no matter what the answer ends up being. Yet there’s one aspect of Blindspot that has always bugged me and it’s the central relationship of Weller and Jane.
Part of my dissatisfaction with Weller and Jane is my utter lack of interest in Weller. A bigger part of the disdain comes from the very beginning of the pilot and the sinking feeling that Blindspot was going to go a very cliched route. Blindspot suggested very early on that there is “something” between Weller and Jane and that “something” is of a romantic nature. As of “Split the Law,” it looks all but confirmed that Blindspot wants to hook up its leads. This is a terrible idea.
Doomed by Predestination
The main problem with Weller and Jane’s relationship that it is completely manufactured. From the awkward face touching scene in the pilot, Blindspot wanted you to know there is spark between this mysterious women and her FBI handler. It has never once felt organic though. The actors Jaimie Alexander and Sullivan Stapleton play well off each other when they are co-workers. When their guns are drawn and they are shooting and punching bad guys in the face, Weller and Jane come to life. Blindspot comes to a screeching halt when these two have to share their deep seeded feelings for one another.
All Weller and Jane’s scenes seem perfunctory. The two leads of this show are attractive and work well together professionally. So naturally, they must be meant for each other romantically. It all fits a very well-trodden TV convention, but it’s also boring. It would help if the actors or characters had some undeniable chemistry but they don’t have it. Jane often seems uncomfortable by Weller’s advances than receptive to them.
Opposites Attract and Likes Repel
Jane and Weller are essentially closed off characters. Jane is allowed to show more emotions as she comes to grips with the horrors in her past, but she doesn’t have a clearly defined personality yet. NBC’s Blindspot is the story of Jane becoming a fully defined character. She is deciding through her recovered memories and her experiences who she wants to be as a person.
Similarly Weller is too cut off as a character to be an interesting mate for Jane. Whether it happens in the real world or not, on TV we love to see the story of two opposites attracting. There is tension and excitement. These two people shouldn’t work together but they do. Weller who has forcibly developed a lack of personality to do his job effectively and deal with his past pain. He is in a way a mirror image of Jane. Jane’s lack of self was thrust upon her (at least she thinks) but the end result is the same. There is no butting of personalities, there is just emptiness there. That’s what I feel when watching Weller and Jane’s more emotional scenes, nothing.
It would be better for both characters to be with someone who pushes them out of their comfort zones. Blindspot needs a character with an enormous amount of self-confidence and challenges Jane and/or Weller to be a different person. This is who they should be matched with, not their gender swapped equivalent. As it is Jane and Weller are too insecure about themselves to challenge the other on anything. At least they wouldn’t challenge each other on anything of a personal nature.
The “forbidden” nature of a workplace romance can be exciting in fiction. On Blindspot though, it just feels icky. Weller’s fascination with Jane doesn’t seem right or healthy. It’s obsessive. It endangers the team and it is something that should be stopped. Jane has no memories, she is a blank slate. She should be allowed to be her own person. Weller is desperate to put his belief that Jane is his first crush, Taylor Shaw, onto her. It’s not a healthy dynamic for either character.
It’s not as if this is just my interpretation of the events as viewer. The characters have commented on Jane and Weller’s unconventional relationship. Weller’s boss, Mayfair, has noticed it. Agent Reade, Weller’s partner, has expressed doubts. Yet no one has done anything to halt it. It gives the overall impression that Weller is right and these other naysayers are standing in the way of true love. In actuality if an FBI agent ever developed this strong of an attachment to their asset, they’d be removed from the case immediately. Though I recognize it’s probably not the best idea to put a real-world lens to Blindspot. There is no way anything like this show could happen in real life. Still it doesn’t make Weller overbearing affection to Jane any less uncomfortable to watch as a viewer.
But what do you think? Do you like Weller and Jane as a couple? Do you think that Blindspot might be able to make an actual relationship with them work? Would Jane and Weller be better with different characters? Does Blindspot even need a romantic subplot?
Blindspot airs Mondays at 10pm on NBC.
(Images courtesy of NBC)