Painkiller Jane

Season 1 Episode 1


Aired Friday 10:00 PM Apr 13, 2007 on Syfy

Episode Fan Reviews (18)

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out of 10
197 votes
  • Into the future of humanity we go.

    What and exciting episode. I think the characters are well done, very complex and interesting. The episode was fast paced and easy to follow. I thought it was fantastic that Jane's curiosity sort of forced her into the elite club of neuro hunters. I'm certainly looking forward to seeing all of the different 'abilities' the neuros might have. It'll also be interesting to see how Jane copes with her new team and the demands of this job. I think the show is very well written and I will definately be putting this on my television watching agenda. Can't wait to see what they come up with next.
  • I was somewhat excited about seeing this show.

    All I can tell you now is that it isn't love at first sight. I'll give it a chance but there's something off about it. I'm not sure how the did it but they managed to make an attractive lady like Kristanna Loken look completely fugly and over-butch. She got off some witty lines and I know this show isn't supposed to be a fashion statement but the gritty element isn't working for me here. The cast didn't really move me either. You know what this show reminded me of? Mutant X. That's really bad. But the funny thing is that I watched Mutant X for a couple of seasons.

    Also, I know that Painkiller Jane was invented first but the story is too similar to Heroes. We have a bunch of folks who were tampered with and now they have special powers.
    *rolls eyes*
    They even have a Mohinder character.
    *rolls eyes and they get stuck. slaps self.*

    Another thing that was annoying is Jane Vasco revisiting her mother's funeral. It was too much of that and too much of her "happy place".

    I'm going to wait it out and give the show a chance but they better do something serious. This one may be in trouble.
  • With all the recent hits, couldn't they afford better actors?

    I watched this episode the day it was first shown on Sci-Fi, and boy was I disappointed! I miss the days of SG-1, Stargate Atlantis and Battlestar Galatica, back-to-back on Fridays. It was working! Great ratings, great revenue! Why did they change? Anyway, back to this show...The acting is some of the worst I have ever seen in a show with this much hype. (I will grant that the smaller bit characters were far better than the leads...but the leads just tanked!) There were so many glaring inconsistencies (her age in flash backs, the falling sequences are the most notable, but other things kept nagging at me as well) and problematic dialogue, that I almost forgot about the wretched acting and blamed the whole mess on the writers. Eventually producers, directors and casting are going to realize that hotness does not equal goodness when it comes to women. I wanted to like this show, I really did.
  • Certainly not mind-taxing or emotionally involving, and definitely nothing new, but entertaining all the same.

    So you might think my rating is slightly high. I must say I agree, but then when taking into account that I was going to award a 10, I think I owe an explanation. The basis of my rating for this episode was purely on entertainment value, and how it kept my attention, I'll go into detail a bit.
    I didnt really know what to expect from this show. But what I didn't expect was for it to be a highly serious, mind-challenging show, with relatable characters. And I was right. It wasnt!
    The plot was simple and unoriginal, the characters were two-dimensional and shallow, and the writing was altogether a total cheese-fest, but despite all this, I really liked it! Like I said I didnt expect anything that was gonna make me question my life or something cutting edge, and Painkiller Jane is certainly not those things. It's so clear that this show was based on a comic book, and I think that adds to it's charm. I'm not gonna say that it doesn't take itself seriously, because believe me it DOES (and sometimes to laughable effect) but it's a decent enough show, and even if the titular character is a bit unlikeable and I felt nothing for her, this is entertaining TV nonetheless and the definition of a guilty pleasure.
  • Lots of potential!

    Jane is a DEA agent who is and learns that she can't die and has powers. She is now an undercover secret agent coming to terms with this powers. And must try to get others with powers like hers. Who only use their powers for evil. Andre is her boss and Connor the muscle in the group. So far lots of potential that will get there. I hope!
  • This series had so much potential... Yet it turned out to be to one of the worst ever in TV history. What a waste!.

    Bad gone worse!

    or in the words of walkinintherain:
    "Unbelievable - even for a comic book fan! How about the oft-noted neuro scene at Vonotek? Besides the obvious lack of blood nor reaction to bullet impact from Jane, why didn't the neuro simply have the enemy team fire on each other? Why didn't she have Jane shoot herself rather than her?

    The country's most supersecret organization - "even the feds don't know about us" - is breached single-handedly? The HQ has no way of detecting whether anything is sending a homing beacon from within its walls? Wow. I think Microsoft has better security.

    Of course, both these scenarios could be explained in future episodes - I never read these comic books. So far, though, so VERY weak."
  • Maybe it's because I've heard so many bad things about it and I wasn't expecting much, but I liked it.

    Maybe it's because I've heard so many bad things about it and I wasn't expecting much, but I liked it. It felt like very similar to Resident Evil (which is by the way one of my favorites): not too many actors, no emotional bonding between them, feels like they're alone in a deserted city, they're fighting monsters, and even the background music is similar. You know the great instrumental track Marilyn Manson - Seizure of Power, well it wasn't as good, but I like this kind of soundtracks. I've seen people complaining about the impossible things which happened here, come on, isn't this sci-fi? Well here's the thing, if someone doesn't like it, don't watch, I like it, I watch, good for me, huh? :) I'm sure I'm gonna watch the next 4 already aired episodes very soon.
  • Unbelievable - even for a comic book fan!

    Um..OK, the country's most supersecret organization - "even the feds don't know about us" - is breached single-handedly? The HQ has no way of detecting whether anything is sending a homing beacon from within its walls? Wow. I think Microsoft has better security.

    And how about the oft-noted neuro scene at Vonotek? Besides the obvious lack of blood nor reaction to bullet impact from Jane, why didn't the neuro simply have the enemy team fire on each other? Why didn't she have Jane shoot herself rather than her?

    Of course, both these scenarios could be explained in future episodes - I never read these comic books. So far, though, so weak.
  • A Pilot That Ropes You In... "What this pilot did, that all good pilots should do, was rope in the viewer so that at the end, we want to see more. We have a lot of questions and we want answers..."

    It's hard to review a television pilot - most of it, by it's nature, needs to be exposition, and that leaves little room for character development or overall story arcs.

    What this pilot did, that all good pilots should do, was rope in the viewer so that at the end, we want to see more. We have a lot of questions and we want answers.

    As a side note: I believe to compare this pilot episode to the TV movie of 2 years ago is unfair. I'll readily admit that I didn't watch the movie, nor have I read the comics/graphic novels (although I just might after this), but a series is quite different from a movie and 2 years is a long time in the TV industry, and new choices had to be made (writers, casting, etc.).

    I think that the Painkiller Jane Pilot was cast well and was well written and directed with a interesting cyberpunk visual flair - and I definitely want to see more. For a pilot, that's considered a success.
  • Digression not only from the orignial comic book series, but also from the original TV pilot 2005

    This pilot was not what I expected. It didn't follow either of it's predecessors (neither the comic book series, nor the 2003 TV pilot), which I found somewhat annoying. This constant reiteration of the character is starting to spoil any charisma. I suppose, if you haven't read any of the comics, or seen the 2003 pilot movie, this storyline might be acceptable.

    Unfortunatley however, Kristanna's acting resembled a newborn deer taking its first akward steps.

    Painkiller Jane is supposed to portray an emancipated ballbusting badass vigilante babe. The likes of Sarah Conner from Terminator or (as annoying as she may be) Starbuck from Battlestar Galactica (2003).

    Kristanna mastered to come accross as kind of a spoilt (sugar-) daddy's girl that is used to getting what she want's due to her looks, not her wits, and doesn't accept anybody elses opinion until hybris teaches her better and she lands flat on her nose.

    What was up with her: "Just because my supervisor cleared you, doesn't mean I did!"? wtf? At least if her female partner had died in the shoutout, she'd have a stake in clearing up the case. Like this she was simply disobeing orders (from all sides), just to prove she can do whatever she want's to do. Why? Spoilt brat rebelling againts daddy...

    The only thing that kept me watching (and the reason I gave it a 7 rating) is the fact that Kristanna Loken sure is some eye candy, which made the pilot an acceptable pastime (which is the main reason I even tuned in in the first place + I hope the show won't get cancelled right from the get go). Sure is superficial, but isn't that the reason why she was cast in the first place?

    Don't get me wrong had there been an alternative SciFi show pilot with a better plot, I would have watched that instead. But a lack of any real competition, made me revert to this default Time-killer Jane.

    Couldn't believe she was mentioned in the credits as on of the co-executive producers. Probably gave her some levay with her role (not for the better).

    My only hope is, that with time Kristanna will be able to pick up some acting skills along the way and start giving her character some depth. My main concern is whether she will be able to shake of her own real life character (Kristanna Loken), which I thought was shining through way to obviously, and start ACTING another character.

    For now this is all from your Dexter M0rgan.
    Wanted for multiple murder of bad TV shows
  • A DEA Agent becomes involved with a black ops team while she is investigating a drug buy at a night club. The black ops team leader notices that she has a quality above an average DEA Agent, and coerces her into joining his team due to her ability's.

    When I first say the previews for this show I thought this would be a run of the mill fill for SciFi. However I was impressed with the episode, maybe due to the fact that I think Kristanna Loken is a looker IMHO. Anyway I will watch the continuing episodes to see if they hold up to my standard's which are quite high when it comes to any show. In any event the next two or three episodes will tell the tale. I would like to know how she is able to be inflicted with death shots and recover and if the episode become more interesting or as I stated before "run of the mill". We'll see. Thanks for reading. DonZ
  • Written from the p.o.v. of someone who's never read the original comic book.

    I didn't have any expectations before watching the episode, so I can't really say that I'm disappointed, or anything. There are, however, several things which I didn't like. First of all, the voice in the background. She speaks (or rather reads) too fast, like a kid on a stage, who wants to finish it as quickly as possible and run away. As she speaks she's trying not to carry any emotions, and again not very successfully, since it also gives the impression that she is reading this stuff from a sheet of paper. Secondly, most of the actors are too stiff and it shows in the dialogues. They sound very artificial and unnatural.

    Thirdly, they are cutting from one scene to another, when they could extend ones and leave out the rest. It would give the episode less randomness and perhaps some more coherence.

    Finally, while I understand that this is a pilot episode, and they need to attract attetion, I think they tried to show too much at a time. In a 1,5-hour pilot they could have done the same things much better, and I don't think that an average viewer would either mind the length or lose interest. I'm going to continue watching the show to see how it develops. I don't really mind that it reminds me of "Heroes" so much, cause this is the kind of show that I will enjoy even if it turns out to be a cheap rip-off.
    The score 3 is just for starters.
  • Wow, compared to the pilot they chose to ditch, this is terrible.

    What an awful version of PKJ.

    The voice overs are soooo forced, so pretencious. Stereo types abound. And then the over bias of the female lead. It was truley painful. THEN we have the opening sewuance with her falling through a window, which turns out to NOT be what happened... worse than the 1930's flash-gordon type clifhangers where they rewind things and show something differant.

    Let's see: Stoic commander, computer nerd that's good at his job, but no one wants to listen to, male thug who's sexist, an ex con and offensive, but preasumably good at his job also.

    Oh, and then we have a 180lb (ish) person still standing after lots of gunshot wounds. (Okay, so she heals fast, but the shear force of impact from those rounds would have floored her long before it did).

    Wow, they had a long hard time thinking up these characters.

    It sucked.

    The original pilot at least was entertaining.
  • Trying to figure out who they ripped off more...

    Part Matrix, part Sneakers, part Heroes. I had heard some good stuff about this series, so I had to check it out. With shades of William Gibson and Philip K. Dick, Painkiller Jane was just as sloppy and disjoined yet intriguing as many of those master's works. However, it also seemed childish and sophomoric at times. I definitely saw some potential, but in weighing the pros and cons, I’m having difficulty deciding whether I’ll be back. With so many quality shows with somewhat similar themes such as Lost and Heroes out there at the moment, is my schedule free enough to wait and see if this series can find its feet? They have a long long journey ahead of them. I’m not sure I’ll be able to pencil Painkiller Jane in for very long… Better step it up substantially next week, guys!
  • Had a lot of potential. The writing, directing, and acting all twisted the show into a terrible pilot. Will give it another chance, though.

    I like the SciFi channel. But if it doesn't shape up, I fear that it may lose many subscriptions- definitely mine at least.

    The writing for Painkiller Jane Pilot.....Atrocious.

    1. How many SciFi shows will have voice-overs preaching cheesy messages? What, just because Grey's Anatomy made it work, you can too for every new show? Get original already.

    2. Get your costuming right. No one wears hats indoors if they don't have too. You want me to believe that some guy is wearing a hoody while WORKING?

    3. Jane could use a little muscle. While Loken is not fat- her body has no tone. She is supposed to be able to take pain, keep moving, and perform feats that require muscle. Not a lot. But some. That flash of her arms and shoulders- unimpressive. We don't need a 6-pack buffed out Painkiller Jane- but we do need a moderately muscled Jane. At least look the part. Did you see how much the guys worked out for 300? THAT was determination. Loken needs to do just 1/5 of the work they did- and she will have the body required.

    4. A script riddled with cliches. Why did they have the tech guy refer to the dude as "Boss" so many times? No one does that. No Boss, and no one keeps referring to their co-workers by their official titles. No "You don't know what you're getting into." No "Agent Vasco" or "Vasco" every damn time. At least in The Dresden Files, Murphy says "Harry." Did you see Casino Royale? They had only the required amount of secret agency material for the James Bond world in the script- the rest was human and believable. This script looked like a vanity project, without any insight.

    5. How many of the SciFi shows are going to have the crappiest lighting? Seriously? Battlestar Galactica, The Dresden Files, and now Painkiller Jane? At least Eureka was lit well. Every set has so many dark corners. Get some good lighting.

    6. Get some better writers. If I was given the script, I could have edited it to make a passable show at least. For free- anything to avoid these painfully bad broadcasts. You need better writers. This was the script that got the greenlight for a 22 episode season?

    7. Fix the CGI. Terrible, shoddy camera work too.

    8. How many shows are you going to make that can be viewed as separate chapters? Eureka, The Dresden Files, and now Painkiller Jane. Battlestar Galactica at least has a great overall story arc. Get some over all story arcs into your show.
  • Cliche, Corny, unrelatable, and just plain silly in parts, Painkiller Jane is nothing like what I have come to expect from TV shows nowadays. From the multi-screened 'hacker' setup directly from the matrix, to the stiff acting, PJ will pain heroes fans.

    I couldn't believe it. The ads have been everywhere, and the story actually sounded pretty awesome. I've not read the comic books, so I made my own links to the story. Painkiller Jane, from the ads at least, looked like Max Payne mixed with superhero stunts. I was excited.

    Oh noes. The acting. "looks like they've [the rules] just been broken" Oh, the humanity. I was waiting for an "I'll be back" through the rest of the episode. Seriously, who writes this stuff? Granted, its probably half and half with the actor, but wow... I'm not 7. I want a good story, or good action. I got neither. Unless the story gets some actual life in it, I'm done with this series. Go pick up another Firefly series or something Sci-Fi Channel!

    What it's like: 90's action/superheroes movies

    What it's not like: Heroes, batman begins, films with characters you can relate to at least a little

  • Kristanna Loken plays Jane Vasco a DEA agent who uncovers a secret organization tracking down "neuros" freaks with superhuman gifts.

    The summary sounds better than the pilot. LOL. Very much a sloppy pilot episode. I don't know about the comic but this just seemed like the standard cop stuff you see in other show.

    Kristianna Loken is a Dea agent on some sort of drug sting. She encounters a guy who uses a drug to make it appear that makes it look he multiplied into three beings. One of them is an alleged government agent named Andre McBridge. McBride tells her a far fetched story that this is using some sort of genetic drug to make her hallucinate. Vasco shoots down all the imitations and then finishes her assignment. When Vasco gets her hacker friend, Chuck, to get info on McBridge, the deputy committee releases her from the case.

    McBridge pops up and offers to give her a job with his organization but doesn't tell her exact details. Then McBride and his crew to their surprise see that Vasco has found their hideout. Unable to hide their identities, they decide to tell about her their for people with "Neuros" apparently this is some of neural drugs that controls the actions of people. Vasco decides to align herself with them seeing as she can't have her old job back.

    Then when Vasco is mysterious "killed" she is alive (for reasons that are NEVER explained but probably in the next episodes). McBridge and company despite having an alleged organization that answers to nobody don't know what the hell is going on either. They opt to keep on using Jane to find more "Neuros" out there while Jane tries to figure exactly what happened to her.

    The pilot was ok but can't say it was that great. The acting was just barely passable. Kristanna Loken is hot but sometimes her acting is bad to average. Likewise, the action could have been better this was more like drama than action. Probably in the next episodes, we'll see the action pick up as Jane becomes comfortable with her new regeneration powers.
  • If you got shot 40 times, how much would you bleed? Apparently not at all, but you'd be a bit sweaty.

    At this point I should be used to SciFi taking a great story and slapping way too much eyeshadow and hairspray on it, but they stole my Painkiller Jane from me. This means war. They couldn't just ruin it once with that craptastic made-for-tv-movie from 2005, no, they wanted to rub salt on the wound and make a TV series.

    Granted, the show is better in hundreds of ways, but if you're going to splash blood across all the online and television promos, you had better give us some in the pilot itself. So when Jane gets shot 50 times and there's not a single stain on her white tank top, I wonder why I'm watching cloned-action-tv-series number 357. You can't take a comic book character whose main costume element consists of bloody bandages and then give us clean clothes. We get it: she heals. But that's not amazing if we don't see her get hurt first (and staggering through a strobed action sequence doesn't cut it).

    I'll probably watch another episode, but if it's as clean as the pilot, I'm taking SciFi's warehouse of hairspray and torching it.