“Looking for a globe-trotting adventure story while you wait for Indiana Jones 5? Then Blood and Treasure on Paramount + is for you,” says Melissa Villy
Blood and Treasure originally premiered on CBS in 2019 before moving to Paramount + for its second season. The story follows a group of treasure hunters trying to find lost artifacts before a terrorist who wants to use the artifact in an attack does. One part Indiana Jones, one part National Treasure, and one part The Mummy (1999) the series combines adventure, action, humor, pop culture references (including a few of the above), history, and a side of romance for an enjoyable and binge-worthy series.
Danny MacNamara is a former FBI agent specializing in the trafficking of art and ancient artifacts. When his mentor, Dr. Castillo, is kidnapped by the terrorist Karim Farouk (played by The Mummy‘s Oded Fehr) just after finding the tomb of Antony and Cleopatra, Danny goes on the hunt to rescue her. He requests the help of an Egyptian-born master thief and former flame Lexi Vaziri whose father was killed in one of Farouk’s bombings. Lexi reluctantly agrees to help, as long as he promises they’ll catch Farouk this time around.
The two embark on an increasingly high-stakes hunt for Dr. Castillo and the missing artifacts. Their mission is complicated by the fact that the Nazis previously raided the tomb and stole Cleopatra. And no one knows where she ended up after WWII. And by the existence of a mysterious secret society that means to keep the artifacts a secret. The hunt takes them across Europe, Northern Africa, Canada, and the Caribbean as they try to track down Cleopatra and Antony before Farouk. In season 2, their hunt takes them across Asia as they hunt for a relic associated with Genghis Khan to stop another terrorist calling themself the Great Khan. “Tracking bad guys through their treasure is what we do,” Danny says at the end of season 1.
Lexi and Danny have a complicated relationship. We see how they first met via flashback when he arrested her for stealing an artifact in Paris. Other flashbacks reveal the progress of their relationship. And how it ended after a disastrous event she blames him for. Their relationship while on the hunt starts on the antagonistic side, with constant bickering and banter and a few will they or won’t they moments. Several characters repeatedly refer to Lexi as Danny’s girlfriend. To which they both simultaneously respond with “not my/his girlfriend”. By the end of season one though, after having to confront ghosts from their respective pasts, they’ve settled their differences and become a couple once again.
Of course, every treasure-seeking duo needs a team of allies. They are aided in their quest by Father Chuck Donnelly, a Vatican priest and old friend of Danny’s. As kids, the two went to Catholic school together back in Boston. Chuck hides the two at his apartment from the Interpol agents chasing them and helps them uncover information in their quest. Chuck isn’t a typical priest. He’s street-wise, and wise-cracking making references to Airplane and The Princess Bride and watching Red Sox’s games when he’s not on duty. (Chuck is seen in his vestments or in Red Sox-branded attire at all times).
He’s more interested in doing the right thing for the people he serves than serving the church’s agenda. In season 1, he convinces an uptight Interpol agent that bending the rules in the name of justice and stopping a terrorist is justified by the laws of God if not man. And in season 2 he goes up against the Vatican itself as he uncovers a decades-old cover-up with the help of a nun.
SHAW & COLEMAN
The team is rounded out by ex-criminal and gun runner Aiden Shaw/Dwayne Coleman. Shaw gets caught up in the hunt for Antony and Cleopatra when he’s hired by Farouk to fence some of the treasure. But he ends up getting burned by Farouk instead. So he teams up with Lexi and Danny, albeit reluctantly at first. His skills and connections come in handy as he decides to use his misbegotten skills for good. While he does complain that doing the right thing is ruining his image and reputation, he admits he likes helping take down the bad guys with his particular skill set. His occasional nuggets of history knowledge gleaned from Discovery Channel documentaries supplement Danny’s knowledge while always managing to surprise the group. Shaw is portrayed by Michael James Shaw who played Corvus Glaive through motion capture in both Avengers: Infinity War and Endgame.
I started watching this show when looking for something to binge after being laid up for a few days with a bad back. And once I started, I wasn’t able to stop. I couldn’t wait to see what happened next in the team’s hunt and who would end up betraying them. As a lifelong Indiana Jones and The Mummy fan, this series has satisfied my need for a modern treasure-seeking adventure. When Danny used the alias Henry Jones, I laughed so hard I had to pause the show until I recovered. Seeing Oded Fehr play the bad guy rather than the noble Maji Ardeth Bay was a bit weird at first. But he does play an excellent bad guy.
I’ve got one episode left and I’m hoping it gets a season three that takes us to a different continent.
All episodes are now streaming on Paramount + in the US.
I’m Mina, the Jedi Librarian. I’m a Program Specialist Librarian, lover of all the books, and a lifelong Star Wars fan. I’m also secretly a Jedi.