John Doe – Pilot

by Alan Rapp on February 11, 2021

in Television Reviews 

  • Title: The Equalizer (2021) – The Equalizer
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John Doe - Pilot television review

Throwback Thursday takes us back to the early 2000s and a man who knows everything… except his own name. The 2002 Pilot episode of John Doe (Dominic Purcell) introduced us to a character awaking on a deserted island off the coast of Seattle. Color blind, with an odd scar on his chest, and with no memory of his past, John Doe does seem to have a remarkable knowledge and understanding of everything else. With the help of a few bets at the horse track and some Wall Street trades, the protagonist puts together some quick cash but is no closer to an answer to who he is or what happened to him. Seeing a missing girl in color, John obsesses on her case bringing him into contact with Police Detective Frank Hayes (John Marshall Jones) and Lt. Jamie Avery (Jayne Brook), both of whom are initially skeptical about accepting his help. Identifying that the girl was taken by her father, who had faked his death, Doe is able to return her safely but never discovers why he saw her image in color.

Along with setting up the character’s odd nature, and starting the ball rolling on his cases with the police, the show’s first episode also sets the stage for the rest of John Doe’s life when he walks into a piano bar and starts playing earing a job and finding a place to live above the bar. This introduces two other series regulars in Digger (William Forsythe), the owner of the club, and Karen Kawalski (Sprague Grayden). We also see John putting his new wealth to use in investigating the island where he awoke and the odd symbol on his chest. However, the biggest clue to his former life comes by chance when an unknown woman on a passing boat shouts out “Tommy.” With the show only lasting a single season, John Doe would end with most of its secrets intact offering a premature end to the unusual take on a detective show.

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