Persons Unknown

Episode 1.09 : Static

  • Persons Unknown
    • Episode Premiere : August 07, 2010
    • Distributor : NBC
    • Genre : Drama
    • Seasons : 1
    • Show Period : 2010 - 2010
    • Production Company: Fox Television Studios
    • Official Site :

Cast and Crew

The Story

A fierce windstorm blows through the streets of the town. Janet's amazed to spy Joe, lying bald and naked in the middle of the street. Joe acts like a feral animal, and doesn't seem to know where he is. All he'll say is he's cold, so Janet takes him into the lobby and gives him a blanket. Charlie starts asking questions. Does Joe know what day it is? Did the Program people do this to him? Joe blinks, claiming he doesn't know what Charlie's talking about. In fact, he doesn't know who any of them are.

Wearing clothes, Joe enters the Shanghai Palace, asking to order food to go, No. 47, the Okra Special. Staring with hatred, the workers ignore him, so Joe proceeds to the kitchen to pound on all the old secret buttons, but nothing works. Looking up at the camera, Joe asks for Tom, getting increasingly worked up. Finally, a chef speaks angrily to Joe in Chinese. Realizing something's very wrong, Joe asks if Tom's dead, and receives a plate of food as an answer. Joe throws the plate at the wall and makes another appeal to the camera, begging Tom not to leave him like this.

A female worker monitors Joe at her station in what we'll come to know as The Institute's Comm Room. She follows Joe as he runs to the town square, yelling for Tom. A man whom we recognize as The Irishman by his accent, a.k.a. Ulrich, enters to berate his workers. Why hasn't the Director's secure line been established!? If it's not up before he returns to his station, there will be downsizing with extreme prejudice. The workers scurry back to work as Ulrich strides out of the room.

Erika finds Janet sitting at the bus stop, gazing at the portrait Joe drew of her. Janet claims she's fine, then allows that she's not; just when she thinks she's got a handle on everything, it all goes weird again. Erika believes that Janet is the strongest of them all. Everyone else has defeat written all over their faces; even Erika is getting worn down. The only reason "they" dumped Joe back in town is to mess with Janet, because she's the only one they haven't figured out, the only one who's not scared.

It's raining in San Nicasio. Kat and Renbe are holed up in a crap hotel room, lamenting their location, and trying to figure out what to do with no money, no cell phones and maxed-out credit cards. Kat decides she's going to find a job, so that in a month or so she can buy a plane ticket outta there. Suddenly, the manager pounds on the door. Renbe warns Kat not to answer, but she does, not expecting the policia, who drag Renby off to jail. Apparently, he's being extradited back to the U.S. for two counts of kidnapping and a murder charge.

Moira greets Joe, reminding him of her name, and inviting him to talk if he ever wants to. More to the point, when he has something to say about why they've been kidnapped, held hostage, and psychologically tortured, he should speak up. When Joe claims he can't help because he doesn't know anything, Moira cautions him not to keep up his charade - it won't end well. As Joe enters the elevator, the Night Manager hears an alarm ring on his desk. Panicked, he hurries to his office and locks himself in.

The Night Manager presses a button, and his old wooden desk converts into a high tech monitoring station, which indicates that Ulrich's on the line. What in the blue halls of hell is going on? Telling the Night Manager not to think or talk, Ulrich orders him to stand by for the Director. Angela wants to know if Joe is competent. The Night Manager reluctantly says no, Joe's acting "all weird." When Angela demands to speak to the ranking officer on site, the Night Manager informs her that it's only him now. Angela signs off, and Ulrich instructs the Night Manager to monitor Joe and report everything he does.

Renbe is miserable in San Nicasio's holding cell. There's a drunk guy sleeping on his shoulder, and a scary, enormous guy is trying to steal his shoes. Luckily Kat arrives in the nick of time to bail him out, funded by Father Luis, who intends to smuggle them across the border in coffins by nightfall. Back at The Institute, Angela rips Ulrich a new one for miscalculating with Joe, the most promising candidate for Level 10 they've seen in a decade. She knows Ulrich doesn't share her high regard for Joe, but he'd better get the situation under control.

Everyone except Joe is eating dinner at the Shanghai Palace. Charlie thinks Joe's return is a good thing since he's sorta on their side; McNair thinks they should steer clear of him; but Moira knows Joe's an asset. The question is how best to use him? Charlie hops to his feet when Joe enters, trying to charm his memory back. Charlie took a bullet for Joe, remember? Joe doesn't remember, and he's pretty mad that the Shanghai Palace only serves Chinese food. He hates Chinese food.

Janet follows Joe when he goes into the kitchen to make a sandwich. She tells him they were close, which he thinks is pretty unlikely, since she's not his type. Alarmed, Janet reminds Joe of his promise to get them out of the town. When she touches his shoulder in an attempt to encourage him to remember, Joe flips out. A rush of violent images mixed with images of Janet flood his brain. Wild-eyed, he grabs Janet by the throat, hurls her into the dining room, and goes after her with a knife. Everyone jumps up to pull Joe off Janet, but he breaks free and runs into the street.

Everyone returns to the lobby to make a plan. Erika wants to hunt Joe down, but Charlie points out they can't just kill him - Joe has value. For once, Janet agrees with Erika; the sooner they find Joe the better. After spying on this conversation, the Night Manager races back to his office to receive another call from Ulrich, who's hopping mad. Did the Night Manager actually call in a Code Red and override lockdown procedure? Wasn't he instructed to do nothing?!

The Night Manager calmly informs Ulrich that Joe's gone rogue, the rest of the guests have organized a lynching party, and he's barricaded himself in his office since the town is no longer secure. Ulrich accuses the Night Manager of whining, and orders him to re-integrate himself and find Joe within the hour. Of course, no one's able to locate Joe, who's spying on them all from the roof of the hotel. Back in South America, Father Luis pulls his truck to the side of a dirt road and serves sandwiches to Kat and Renbe.

Father Luis is just telling Kat and Renbe about local legends surrounding strange lights and Los Azulas (The Blues), when a bullet hits him smack in the forehead. He's dead, so Kat and Renbe take off running into the forest as two black jeeps full of blue coverall guys with automatic weapons chase them down. Back in the town, the Night Manager has decided to re-integrate himself into the scenario by packing his bags and getting the hell out... that is, until Joe knocks on his door, asking for the Okra Special.

When the Night Manager explains he's unauthorized to release any information, Joe grows impatient, claiming he feels like a jackhammer's working overtime in his head. Finally, the Night Manager admits Joe has had prior contact with the other abductees; Tom's dead; and yes, Joe did seem to have something special with Janet. When the Night Manager touches Joe's shoulder, Joe ignites. His head flooded with images, Joe grabs the Night Manager by the neck, drags him into the lobby, and literally wipes the bar with him, before throwing him through the window into the street.

Drawn by the ruckus, everyone rushes to the Night Manager's side. While tending him, Moira tells Janet that it's all happening because Joe loves Janet, and they can use that knowledge to their advantage. Catching on, Erika becomes adamant: no one's using Janet as bait! But Janet understands. They'll be sending a strong message to their captors, and she's the logical choice. She'll flush Joe out, insisting that it will only work if she goes it alone.

Back at the Institute, Angela bursts into the Comm Room in a fury. The Night Manager is being transported out of the town in critical condition, and it's a giant mistake she holds Ulrich responsible for. Meanwhile, Kat and Renbe are cold, wet and lost in the woods at night in South America. They're none too happy, and their lives may both be ruined, but they've discovered a new truth: they're in love.

Janet finds a near-hysterical Joe teetering on the edge of the hotel's roof. He warns her not to come any closer or he'll probably kill her, because "they" did something to his head. Pleading with him to fight it, Janet closes in, grabbing Joe just as he's tipping backwards. Of course, her touch sets him off again, and in an instant, he's hurled her over the side of the roof instead of himself. As Joe holds her dangling in midair, Janet remains calm, making Joe focus on her. They'll get through this together; the way out is the way through. Finally Joe pulls her up, and they both sit. This time when Janet touches his face, nothing happens.

Back at The Institute, Angela has watched the whole incident, which she finds "interesting and unexpected." Maybe there is something special about Janet... It all deserves some rethinking and special attention, which is why she's sending Ulrich to the town. After all, the hotel needs a new night manager. And no, he shouldn't consider this a promotion. When Ulrich leaves, Angela turns her attention to the monitor as Janet escorts Joe off the roof and into the elevator.

Ding! The elevator lands in the lobby. Janet warns everyone not to touch Joe, assuring them he'll be just fine. Moira claims it's not Janet's decision to make. Since Joe's actions affect the group, the group has decided he's a danger to all. Erika tells Janet to back away, promising to fix it so Joe never hurts her again. Janet sticks out her arm like a shield, inadvertently ramming her hand into Erika's nose. As Janet leads Joe away, Erika calls after them, "Sooner or later, that boy's gonna be the death of you."

Day finally dawns on Kat and Renbe, who've been trudging through the woods all night. Despite the fact that the jeeps full of blue coverall guys may still be chasing them, they decide to follow their tire tracks, hoping to find a way out. That's when they emerge from the woods to spy a very familiar looking little town in the distance...






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