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October 10, 2015

'Persons Unknown' - 'Identity' Recap

by Bob Sassone, posted Aug 22nd 2010 8:00PM
Persons Unknown(Season 1, Episode 10) "There's no success or failure. Only results." - Joe

Before we get to this week's review, let me tell you about the next episode of 'Persons Unknown.'

There isn't going to be one.

Well, let me clarify, there isn't going to be one on television. NBC is doing something interesting -- and by "interesting," I mean stupid -- with the next episode ('Seven Sacrifices') of the show: they're putting it online this coming week and not on TV next Saturday. Why? Well, they want to end the show a week early, so they're putting the next episode online and then the two-hour series finale will air next Saturday.

Look, I understand that the show is getting low ratings. That's why it was shoved to Saturday nights from the original Monday night slot. But why do this at the very end of the series run? Next week's episode will be the 11th of 13, and they're screwing fans by putting it online only?

Well, I guess it's better than the alternative, not being shown at all (we've seen that happen many times before). So I guess we can look at it as having an extra show to watch next week!

As for this week, they really faked us out (if I'm reading what happened correctly). Everyone gets a gift and a meal and is actually poisoned by new concierge Ulrich, and the Lady at HQ tells him that they have to do it and Ulrich assures her that it will be quick and painless. So we think they're going to kill everyone, but then we see the bodies in the bags taken to the vault. But how can it be our gang when we still see them passed out in their rooms?

Well, we find out that it wasn't our group, it was another group, and another town! One that looks identical to our town. Looks like Ulrich (and the concierge before him) is in control of that experiment too. Guess it didn't end too well for those participants.

Now I just wonder if this town is also in South America just like the town where Mark and Kat found these bodies (and Stefano, alive, with a box of thumbs, which is going to be the name of my band if I ever start one).

So Ulrich is turning out to be creepy. The man that Joe once shot after getting another fortune cookie message that had the same message that Janet got earlier in the season is now very much alive and in charge of the town. Janet looks like she's the next Joe, and I'm not sure where that leaves Joe. The Lady at HQ seems to think he's still important but Ulrich might go crazy and eliminate Joe so he can...I don't know, be with Janet or whatever he wants to do. I wonder if his Janet obsession will mean the end of the experiment?

I loved this episode. There's a lot of interesting stuff happening with the characters and it's almost a shame that the show will be over next weekend. This was the most 'Lost'-ish of the episodes, with the strange gifts making the gang think of things that had happened in their pasts (both good and bad). Moira got the scarf and Graham the belt he beat his dad with. That brought them closer together. Joe got his Bible back. Blackham got an old football and his coach's obit, while Charlie got a newspaper that talked about his disappearance and the investigation into his finances (which brought Charlie and Blackham closer). Erika got a poster of her son's run for school President -- and we found out that she's actually Teresa, not Erika. And Janet got her old teddy bear, reminding her of nights in the closet listening to her parents argue.

Like I said, good and bad. But Janet also got to talk to her now-nice mom, because Janet is "special."

Note: I'll have a review of the online episode when it's available to watch, and also the two-hour finale next Saturday at 8PM.

More thoughts:

• Why was the gang put to sleep? Was it simply to fake us out about the bodies in the body bags? And why didn't they realize they were drugged when they woke up? I did go over to my stove to cook my dinner (chicken) at one point so maybe I missed something?

• If the gang seems to be in this experiment as a group, why was Tori killed? If she is indeed dead. I'm still not sure if Joe's conversation with her in the weird room was a hallucination, someone impersonating her, or the real thing.

• The military men that got the bodies in the town didn't seem very competent, overtaken by a reporter, an editor, and some guy who just got out of a body bag. They couldn't shoot straight either.

• How do these kidnappers have the footage they have? Not only did they have footage of Janet as a child, the footage seemed to be directed and well-lit, with multiple cameras and style.

[Follow Bob on Twitter.]

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The town where our intrepid group is located isn't in South America. In one of the first episodes, can't remember which, Graham pointed out that because of the stars, they have to be in the Northern Hemisphere. (It might not have been Graham, but I'm pretty sure I remember that being said early on.)

August 24 2010 at 11:03 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Were the reporters & Tori's boyfriend in a duplicate town? When they were racing out of town in that vehicle & being pursued by the "blue people" with guns ablazing,the scene cut immediately to Moira & Graham sitting in that gazebo outside.Nothing in sight,no sounds of racing vehicles or guns whatsoever,just quiet.

August 23 2010 at 5:45 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Michael's comment

Different town or different time period?

Watch Episode 11 if you can. I'm not sure if this can be watched outside of the US on any other source other than Hulu. I think people were complaining on NBC's site also.

August 23 2010 at 7:14 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

This is idiotic! Ep 11 online only? What do viewers outsied the USA do? We are blocked from Hulu and from video on NBC and other networks (at least we were the last time I tried).

August 23 2010 at 12:23 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to rohod's comment

Crap! I see that I spelled "outside" incorrectly on my earlier post! Kudos to you folks for not crapping all over me for that. On some boards that I've seen, the topic would suddenly change to how some guy can't spell.

August 25 2010 at 1:20 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Thank you for the link to Hulu's episode.

I can't believe that NBC didn't advertise that Episode 11 wasn't going to be shown. I just watched it and WOW! Pretty significant episode, and one not to be missed. It also sets up the series finale quite dramatically.

Question: Is this it? Is this series gone for good after the finale? This show is one of the better-written series out there, and I can't believe it's going to end when crap reality shows like "America's Got Talent" are more popular.

The Earth is doomed.

August 23 2010 at 4:32 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

so, did the gang get poisoned with happy juice? it seemed as if everyone was much more compliant and nice (like Blackham and Charlie) than they were before. or, maybe the effect of seeing these touching gifts and then being poisoned made them much happier people... it's interesting.

August 22 2010 at 10:16 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Persons Unknown:Seven Sacrifices - Season 1 : Ep. 11
online @ Hulu already

August 22 2010 at 9:54 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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