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October 10, 2015

'Persons Unknown' - 'Exit One' Recap

by Bob Sassone, posted Jun 29th 2010 6:15AM
Persons Unknown(S01E04) "He's really a nice man if you don't get to know him." - Victoria, about her dad

Joe is supposed to be the cool, fearless one of the 'Persons Unknown' group, but there's a fine line between fearless and stupid. So Janet finds some sort of Italian bee and plays with it in her hand, and when she lets it go Joe crushes it immediately with his boot because one sting and he's dead.

So why stand there and talk to a woman who is playing with a bee if they are literally deadly to you and you don't have a hospital or even an EpiPen on hand? Hell, if I was that allergic to bees I'd be inside the Chinese food place all the time, with a giant phone book next to me in case bees showed up.

But hell, maybe he's not even really allergic to bees, since it looks like he's in on what's going on! Come on, admit it, you didn't see that cool twist coming, did you? It was well done, and while I don't think Joe is evil or anything like that (he's having doubts about "the process," whatever that is), this show just got a whole lot deeper.

Yet more confusing. So the reporter actually is Janet's ex-husband and the father of the girl? There goes my theory that the private eye used Photoshop. But have we had any inkling before this that he was the ex? I thought he was just an investigative reporter who smelled a story and wanted to figure out what happened to the woman at the playground. I didn't think he showed any emotion about Janet's kidnapping.

If I were Janet or Joe, I wouldn't have gotten into the cab. A mysterious cab shows up out of nowhere through the fence? The guy driving doesn't speak English? You don't know where you are? No thanks. And I don't know why Janet was allowed to bring someone with her when the message said that one person would be "checking out" tonight. Actually, if I was trapped in some town and I got that message, I would assume that "checking out" meant "dying."

I said a couple of weeks ago that this show was a lot like a reality show, with a group of strangers in one place for a period of time. Janet being able to pick one of her teammates to go on a trip with her reminded me of something you'd see on 'Survivor' after a challenge. I knew she'd pick Joe. I wonder if the kidnappers knew she'd pick Joe too, since they had a bunch of bees waiting for him at the cabin. Or maybe the kidnappers just think really quickly and would have had something waiting there whoever Janet picked. Why was Janet picked in the first place? And why didn't they realize that they'd just end up back in town like they did when they were in the van?

Sorry, I'm asking a lot more questions than I am providing guesses to what's going on, but I'm in the dark as much as the next viewer. But in a good way, because I trust where this story is going and I know it's going to be over in ten more episodes.

More thoughts:

• Why did Victoria call Joe "creepy" to the cameras? And why did she go from being spoiled to being slutty and nutty with Mr. Jerky, someone who attacked her? And she leaves without telling anyone else?

• It looks like whoever is behind all of this is pretty powerful, with security cameras inside the police station and the ability to control a swarm of bees. I'm wondering if this is some sort biosphere-ish experiment, with the "town" and the surrounding area under some sort of roof along with the invisible fence, and everything leads back to Mayberry 2.0.

• When Janet and Joe got to the cabin, you know what my first thought was? This guy.

• Mr. Jerky, "Freshairrre" is a stupid name for a theme park.

Do you think Joe is really allergic to bees or is that all part of the plot?

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I'm surprised there's so much feedback to this show here, since it's totally tanking in the ratings. As a network drama, it's more than a little cheesy, but enjoyable. I like it despite its faults. A little mystery and random weird happenings is always nice to see, and hopefully, we'll get some closure after its 13 episode run... unlike that OTHER show whose name I refuse to even mention anymore!

June 30 2010 at 9:57 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Also, it would have really been funny to see the looks on the handler's faces if she had actually shot Joe in the previous episode.

(insert image of gape-jawed security jock in front of a monitor) ... "Condition black... operative down"

June 30 2010 at 5:38 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Whoever wants them there wants them specifically. I'm betting that the backstory on each person will show that they somehow gained attention because they all posess a quality that this organization needs in them.

Up until now all we have know is that some group was fucking with them and may have wanted to kill them all in the end to erase all knowledge. But now it seems like they are not as expendable as we could have been led to believe. Torture and psychological shock training is common practice for spy organizations (good and bad).

Whatever the plot outcome, this show is actually pretty inventive, though none of the characters seems to show much initiative. Maybe that's a commentary on American passiivity.

June 30 2010 at 5:33 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Michael WIlliam

Awesome that the cab driver (first one) was M. Manesh -- Ranjit from How I Met Your Mother. My hope is that it was less typecasting and more of a fun bit of casting for those of us who watch way too much TV.

June 29 2010 at 11:49 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

am i nuts for thinking this is absolutly something to do with tori's dad? Some sort of government process that uses leverage to slowly break exceptional civilians for some reason we will eventually all agree is just stupid....and the ambassador had his out of control whore daughter thrown in just to mess with her head and teach her a lesson? So tori's father had no intention of making her stay for the entire process like everyone will have to try to, he just wanted her to break and seeing janet be selected to "leave" would be the thing that made her snap. The one person checking out was tori the whole time. The whole thing with janet and joe was to get janet to develop a deeper bond with the guy who's working on the inside. Oh yeah, and the whole allergic to bees thing was total BS. I wouldnt believe anything joe says, in fact im positive he's a yankee fan.
Though with that thought, that doesnt explain at all while whats his face was able to see chuck kill his wife. Whoever is running this process is obviously detail orientated, but i doubt they had a three camera shoot in chucks bedroom to have footage to play on that tv. The only explanation is that chuck is an insider also and they did in fact film chuck "killing" his wife to make that awesome jerk guy think he has a blackmail chip in his pocket. There has to be a second insider, right? Hotel guy doesnt count.
Last thought. I totally agree that no way in hell do i get in that cab. But even if you did get in the cab, is there anyway in hell you drink out of a coconut out of the trunk of that cab? And why coconuts? Do they do that over there? Keep coconuts in your trunk in case you need something to drink if you get a flat? Stupid idiot never heard of bottles of water? That entire sequence took me totally out of the show.
Last thing, i think we need a death watch. If this is going for the lost withdrawal group, they have to start killing people, right? Janet and joe i think are untouchable, though i would bet joe will get killed towards the end, especially if this is a one season and done show. But my money on first dead are the marine and the crazy chick, with the big bet on the marine. When people start getting killed off, the black guy is always first unless he's ll cool j.

June 29 2010 at 10:17 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Although I enjoy this show, the characters really irritate me just like they did in Lost. Why aren't they asking more questions and more fully exploring the town? I'd check every room, closet, and basement. They did do some of this, but I don't think they fully checked everything out as I would. Where does the hotel manager go when he's off shift? How does he get his instructions? There's so many obvious unanswered questions that I would be trying to get answers to if I were there. Some of them seem to give in too quickly.

I'd also be suspicious of everything, while also realizing that the only way to get out would be for everyone to cooperate. And after they tried to drive straight out, and somehow ended up back in the town, and the incident with the gas masks, I would question everything, and definitely not get in a cab expecting it to be a way out. Nothing is what it seems. (Half way through last nights episode, I guessed that one of them was part of the whole scheme, which turned out to be true at the end of the hour.) Finally, if they were more open with each other, maybe they could figure out why they were there. I don't believe they are there because the one woman's father is an ambassador. They must all have something in common, even if they don't know what it is.

June 29 2010 at 7:25 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

With them talking about a "process" I'm thinking this is supposed to be some kind of rehab. Maybe that's why Tori was able to leave?

June 29 2010 at 3:53 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

The first thing I thought when Joe and the Chinese food guy were talking about "doubting the process" was some weird cult that breaks down it's captives and relies on Stockholm Syndrome to keep the cult going. But I don't know, I do feel like there is a connection to everyone's family/past here (Janet's mom, Tori's dad, etc.). Whatever is going on, they've certainly got me hooked.

Oh, and I was also surprised that the reporter was actually Janet's ex, but it makes sense as to why he would keep pursuing the story when told not to.

June 29 2010 at 1:10 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

So years of survailance and planning has been about Janet and the, "process"? Will a mom shoot her way out or, take a cab ride to see her kid? Um.. yes. Hope it's building to something more than that.

June 29 2010 at 11:31 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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