Blindspotting – Season 1 Episode 1 Recap & Review

The Ordeal

Episode 1 of Blindspotting begins in Oakland, 2018. Fireworks explode overhead as everyone heads out to celebrate New Year’s. One person who’s not celebrating though is Ashley. When she returns home, she finds her boyfriend Miles arrested for drug possession. He’s there for a month.

With a lack of money and unsure where else to turn, Ashley leaves to move in with Miles’ folks. This house is run by the eccentric Mama Rainey. The first time we see her, she heads home and finds her daughter Trish parading around the living room wearing very little.

She’s with her sex worker friends, snapping photos and posing. She likens this to art; but Rainey quickly tells her to put clothes on given their new guests are arriving.

Those guests come in the form of Ashley and her son Sean. It’s only a temporary respite though, and they’re intending to shack up for a month while Miles serves his time.

Ashley immediately heads upstairs and finds a ring from Miles among his belongings. Realizing that he’s going to propose to her, Ashley is overcome with emotion. As the day continues, including a dazzling, vibrant sideshow outside, one thing becomes apparently clear. Ashley hasn’t once told Sean about his Dad being in prison.

After saving her “sister” from being mugged, Trish and Ashley come to blows. Trish is unhappy with Ashley’s refusal to show any sort of faith in her business. All this time Ashley has been unwilling to help the girl out, believing she has bad credit and would subsequently mess theirs up.

Well, with Miles now in prison and Ashley essentially homeless, the shoe is on the other foot. Trish makes that abundantly clear when she confronts Ashley that night. She also reminds the girl that she’s just baggage and not, in any way shape or form, family.

The Episode Review

This film-to-TV adaptation kicks off Starz’s latest artistic venture with a look at Oakland in 2018. In doing so, the series showcases ideas around race, class and culture. The existential crisis Ashley is feeling following her world being turned upside down is, so far at least, explored really well and the bites of poetry and artistic cutaways actually do well to help this stand out.

Sure, you could say some of this is a little pretentious, like the body popping moving truck guys or the constant shots of scantily clad women in Mama Rainey’s house, but it all feeds into a culture and world that’s very alien to Ashley.

This fish-out-of-water play is probably the strongest element of Blindspotting, with the jazz undertones feeling at odds with the style of humour this show is gunning for.

Still, Blindspotting is undeniably different – and that’s always a good thing in this field. We’ll have to wait and see where the story takes us in the coming episodes but so far, Blindspotting looks to be another good offering from Starz.

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