My Favorite Scene: Creator Martin Gero on the Moment 'Blindspot' Became More Than an Action Drama
By Philiana Ng
No one loves a great scene more than the person who first dreamed it up -- the writer. We're asking shows' creators and writers to tell ET all about getting to see their most cherished moment on their series make it from script to screen.
For Martin Gero, creator of NBC’s Blindspot, the scene that proved the show was much more than an action drama was an episode early on in the freshman season. Already a breakout hit, thanks to its leads Jaimie Alexander and Sullivan Stapleton, as well as its intriguing government conspiracies and explosive revelations, Gero felt the show needed a burst of new energy and most importantly, some levity.
That’s when he came up with the character of Rich Dotcom (guest star Ennis Esmer), the smooth-talking playboy villain who had such a memorable introduction in the ninth episode, “Authentic Flirt,” that he returned later in the season, quickly becoming a fan favorite. Here, Gero explains why the creation of Rich Dotcom turned the tide for Blindspot.
For me, any Rich Dotcom scene is my favorite scenes. His introduction in episode nine, where we were just finally meeting him and you were like, “What is happening?” and the reaction that Weller and Jane both had -- to see Sully and Jaimie react to this insane character and track that for the rest of the episode was such a treat.
It was one of those moments that was so important for the season because it felt like we could do lots of stuff, and the show could have a lot more color than we thought it did. It was a risk that paid off.
For Rich Dotcom, [when] that episode [came around], we were just stuck. We needed a Bond villain and everything we were writing was an inferior Bond villain. We were like, “How do we do this in a way that’s all our own?”
I’ve been friends with the actor who plays Rich Dotcom, Ennis Esmer, for 15 years now and there was a moment where I was like, “What if Ennis was the bad guy? What if it was somebody with a crazy energy like that?” And I just started writing, and the fact that he was available and it could all work out, it felt like one of those lightning bolt moments.
It gave Jaimie and Sullivan the ability to play off something that was even crazier than what their situation was. So it gave them all sorts of new gears to play in their performance and to show off how great they were together. It was an exciting moment.
One of the things I was proudest of last year was that by the end of the season, we were doing so many different types of episodes. Episode 17, we didn’t even have a case until halfway through the episode -- it really focused on our characters and what they were doing in their lives. Episode 18 [which marked the return of Rich Dotcom] was fun and hilarious, and episode 19 was about a school shooting.
They were all, tonally, so different but it all felt like the same show. That was really great for us to feel as writers, that this can be whatever we want it to be and the audience will go there with us.