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June 09, 2010

Persons Unknown 1.1: "Pilot"

TV: Persons Unknown

I watched the Persons Unknown pilot last night, and - it was okay! I wouldn't necessarily want to commit to watching it for years, but since they're saying it's a miniseries, I'll go with it. It was well-done and creepy enough to make me want to find out what happens. And hey, Jason Wiles is hot. There are worse ways to spend an hour a week during the summer.

The really bold thing Persons Unknown is doing is pledging to solve all of its mysteries by the end of summer. I applaud them for this demonstration of respect for their viewers - but now let's see if they stick to it. I've made a list of the questions I was left with at the end of the pilot, and each week I'll track them (and add to the list, I'm sure) to see what gets answered and what doesn't.

The seven, and a little of what we know about them:
Joe - was in New York
Janet - runs a home daycare in San Francisco, young daughter Megan, missing husband
Charlie Morse - works for Capital Investments, has a wife with some sort of emotional issues
Sergeant McNair
Moira - Crisis intervention counselor
Tori - Drunk young woman - comes across as a party girl; do we know anything else about her?
Bill Blackham, car salesman


First, the obvious: Where are they? Who put them there? Why? And are we really calling the bad guys "Them"? Related: Who's watching the cameras? (Presumably "Them.")

Questions about the hotel:

1. Why are the keys in the Bibles, specifically?
2. Why did the elevator suddenly appear?
3. What's with the music in the lobby?
4. How did Bill get out before everyone else?
5. What's with the Night Manager? Does he know who They are? What has happened when he's done this before?

Questions about the town:

1. Where is it?
2. Why is it deserted?
3. Is it even a real town or some sort of set?
4. What exactly stopped them from leaving? At first I thought it was some sort of force field, but they clearly think it's related to the implants in their legs.

Questions about the Chinese restaurant:

1. Where did the van come from?
2. What do the restaurant workers know? They can't actually know nothing - do they remember how they got there? Who told them to make the food?
3. Where does the food come from, literally?
4. Was it really the best McNair had ever had, or was he saying that to encourage the others to eat?
5. Okay, the fortunes: We have no idea how many were lying. If they weren't lying, one was in Chinese and one was all numbers. Why? Charlie's was specific - about his wife - and Janet's told her to kill her neighbor. How did They control who got which fortune?

Questions about the characters:

1. What's the deal with Janet's husband, and the P.I. guy at the beginning? How was Megan found and identified after Janet disappeared? Is Janet's mother as creepy as she seems, or more so? (I mean, is what we think is going on with her actually what's going on?)
2. What does Moira have in her bathrobe pocket? It looked like it might be a hospital bracelet or something.
3. Why won't Joe talk about himself?


1. What exactly is the deal with the implants in their legs?
2. At one point I thought I saw a weird green flash - different from the other camera flashes - but I'm actually not sure whether it was part of the show or some sort of cable glitch.

And hey, how had I missed until now that both Jonathan Frakes and Tim Matheson are directing episodes of this?

Posted by Kat at June 9, 2010 11:00 AM

Jason Wiles is in it? I haven't seen him in anything but an 'In Plain Sight' ep in ages. Still probably won't watch it....but maybe.

Posted by: Carrie K at June 9, 2010 05:11 PM

Speculation not spoilage. Aware I may be wrong. YMMV blah blah blah. I'm not one for disclaimers but insert whatever you want here if it floats your boat.

Why did the elevator suddenly appear? Cuz they were about to set off the smoke detector and "THEM" didn't want them to. OR "THEM" were satisfied that these ppl had bonded enough, if that's a goal "THEM" have.

How did Bill get out before everyone else?
I felt they explained that kinda. He found the key in the book. Joe did too. I guess some ppl the first thing they do in a hotel room is check the Gideon Bible. I don't do that, but maybe for some ppl it's a lark, or maybe some ppl are spiritual. It is kinda amusing, that practically every hotel room seems to have a bible in it. For regular travelers, maybe it's a kind of touchstone.

What's with the Night Manager? The last thing he said was more telling than the rest. By now he's come to expect it. I'm theorizing that he used to be like the new recruits. the Night Manager has come to accept his new "THEM" Overlords and does what they tell him to do. In return there's something that he gets out of it, for accepting these 'jobs' without question. What that is, is open to speculation.

The same with the Chinese cooks. They're all trapped here same as our seven, but they've been at it longer and have come to accept their lot. They may not have been here literally, but I'm willing to bet every major shop they showed will become significant to one or more of our major characters. Someone's gonna become the sheriff. Someone will become the taxidermist. Someone will run the clothiers. Et cetera.

The "THEM" seem to be trying to build a small microcosm of society from the people they gather there.

Posted by: ZachsMind at June 10, 2010 05:46 PM
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