Season One, Episode Nine
First aired August 7, 2010
Written by Christopher McQuarrie

Henry Robles

Directed by Michael Offer
Episode guide

Static is an episode of Persons Unknown.

Synopsis Edit

A desperate, physically healed Joe is returned to the gang, stark naked and suffering from amnesia, which the others doubt, arguing whether he's now a friend, asset or liability. The night manager fails to regain control and is beaten to pulp. The program's mean female director sends reluctant staffer Liam Ulrich to take over. In South America, Renbe and his lover-editor run broke but are bailed out of jail by a local clergyman, who gets killed during an escape into the wild.

Plot Edit

A naked Joe wakes up in the town as a hurricane of leaves sweep through the streets. Janet comes to see him and take him back to the hotel, where the other captives look at him in surprise. He tries to explain that he was outside in the cold, but has no idea what day it is. When they mention the Program, he's surprised that they know about it, and he doesn't remember them or anything that happened to him before.

Later, Joe goes to the Shanghai Palace and tries to order a "special," but the workers ignore him. When he goes to the entrance to the command center in the walk-in freezer, he discovers that the controls don't work and there's no sign a door was ever there. When he asks to see Tom, they direct him to a memorial photo. Joe doesn't believe it and addresses the cameras. Technicians record his words, but Joe gets no response.

In the Program control center, Liam Ulrich arrives and demands to know why his request to contact the Director wasn't established. He warns them that they will be down-sized with extreme prejudice if they don't get on it, and the technicians go to work.

In the street, Janet looks at the sketch Joe made of her and Erika approaches her. She admits that she isn't all right and that things have changed yet again. Erika tells her she's the strongest of them, the only one who isn't giving in to the constant pressure. She figures their captors dumped Joe back to mess with her, and that they are scared of her.

In San Nicasio, Renbe and Kat are in their cheap hotel room. Renbe is bored but Kat warns her that they're trapped with maxed-out credit cards, no phone service, and no money. She plans to get a job to get enough money to fly back to the States. There's a knock on the door and the hotel manager lets local police in to arrest Renbe on a San Francisco warrant for two murders and a kidnapping.

Joe returns to the hotel and Moira introduces herself. She says that she'll help him if she can, and he insists that he doesn't know anything. Moira doesn't believe it and warns him that the others don't either. Once she leaves, Joe gets into the elevator and finds the Night Manager there. The Night Manager tells him to ring for assistance if he needs anything, and hears the phone ring. Once Joe goes upstairs, the Night Manager runs for the desk and signs himself off-duty. He then goes in the back and dials a number. Panels open and Ulrich demands answers. He wants to know why the Night Manager hasn't monitored Joe properly, and puts the Director online. She asks if he feels that Joe is competent, and the Night Manager hesitantly says that he isn't, and he's the only living officer on-site. Ulrich is surprised to learn that his replacement hasn't arrived, and tells the Night Manager to watch Joe until he gets further instructions.

In jail, another prisoner talks to Renbe in Spanish and then starts to take his shoes. Kat arrives with Father Luis, and they get Joe out on bail. Outside, Luis informs them that he's gong to get them across the border.

The Director summons Ulrich to her office and demands to know why things are going wrong, particularly when they have a suitable candidate for the Tenth Level. As they talk, the Director's assistant serves tea, but it's cold. Ulrich insists that Joe isn't as important as she believes, but the Director disagrees. She tells him to keep her posted, and take her assistant with him.

At the Shanghai Palace, the prisoners discuss whether having Joe is useful to them or not. Bill prefers to stay in the town, figuring they have a sweet deal, while Graham believes they need to keep Joe at a distance. Moira disagrees, saying they can always eliminate Joe later. Joe arrives for the meal and Charlie approaches him, saying that they had a good relationship before Joe disappeared. Charlie points out he took a bullet for him and figures Joe owes him, but Joe ignores him and goes back into the kitchen. Janet goes after him and introduces herself again, and says that they were close. He doesn't believe it, saying she isn't his type. Janet reminds him that he said there was a way out, but he insists that he doesn't remember. When she touches him, he has a flash of memory of his re-education, grabs her, and grabs her throat. He throws her over the counter, grabs a knife, and tries to stab her. The others try to restrain him and he runs outside, screaming.

Father Luis drives to the border in a truck carrying coffins and the border guards pull him over. After a cursory search, they let him through.

The captives return to the hotel and Erika insists that they hunt down Joe and take him out. Graham is more interested in making sure they're all safe, and Erika notes that according to his file, he's never been worried about killing people. Bill says he's gong to go upstairs and sleep off the lunch, and ignores Erika until she suggests Joe might be waiting for him in his room. Charlie says there's no reason to kill Joe while he has better. Janet agrees with Erika that they need to find Joe. They're unaware that the Night Manager is watching them from his office.

Ulrich calls the Night Manager after he calls in a Code Red, and informs him that he's not authorized to report a Code Red. He informs Ulrich that Joe has gone rogue and the other guests are going after him, and the town isn't secure. Ulrich reminds the Night Manager that Joe is an asset, and they don't want to disappoint her. The Night Manager is unable to find Joe on the sensors, and Ulrich tells him to take care of the situation on his own. When the Night Manager objects, Ulrich tells him to reintegrate himself into the scenario and provide a full report in an hour.

The guests split up to search, unaware that Joe is watching them from the hotel rooftop. Janet and Erika go one direction, while Moira and Charlie go another.

Father Luis pulls over and Kat and Renbe emerge from a hidden compartment. Luis insists that their story is insane, but admits that villagers in the area have reported strange lights in the skies, and the mysterious "Blues." Renbe asks him where the villagers are. Before Luis can be found, men in blue coveralls arrive and shoot down Luis. Renbe and Kat run into the woods and take refuge in a gulch, and their pursuers run by, unsuspecting.

The Night Manager packs his bags and prepares to leave. He opens his door and finds Joe waiting for him. Joe wonders if he can help him, and the Night Manager offers the code phrase that Joe used to contact Tom. Joe demands answers and wants to know what week that they're in the cycle. The Night Manager explains that he's been there since the beginning and Joe is surprised to learn he's had prior contact with the participants. He asks about Tom, and the Night Manager informs him that he's dead. When Joe asks about Janet, the Night Manager admits that he knew her very well. When the Night Manager touches him, Joe viciously attacks him and finally throws him out a window onto the street. Joe considers the man for a minute and then walks away.

The others hear the noise and run outside. They take the Night Manager inside and tend to him, and Erika insists they have to eliminate Joe. Bill thinks they should let their captors take care of it. Moira blames Janet, noting that their captors inflicted Joe with amnesia to get at her. Janet agrees with Moira and agrees to offer herself as bait, over Erika's objections, and Graham promises to protect her.

The Director demands answers from Ulrich, who explains that steps have been taken to remove the Night Manager from the town. He insists that there are risks and Joe's reprogramming isn't entirely successful. She warns him that she's designed most of the scenarios, but Joe's attack is an error that she holds Ulrich responsible for. He assures her that it won't happen again, and the Director insists that it can't happen again.

Renbe and Kat try to find their way out of the woods, and Kat complains about being roped into the whole hunt. He admits that he's doing it for Megan, and to recover his own self-worth, but he loves her. She admits she loves him too and they kiss.

Janet goes out on the hotel roof and finds Joe, posed to jump. He tells her to stay away from him before he kills her, and Janet asks why he wants to do that. Joe warns that their captors have done something to his head, and she tells him to fight it. He warns that he can't and warns her back when she tries to approach. When he prepares to jump, Janet tells him that they'll win, but he says he has nothing left. Janet grabs him and pulls him back, and Joe attacks her again as he suffers more memory flashes. He throws her off the edge and holds her above the street, and Janet begs him to fight it and come back to him. Janet reminds him that the way out is the way through, and he regains control of himself and pulls her to safety.

On the monitor, the Director watches the exchange and is surprised. Ulrich points out that he was right to note that there was something special about Janet. The Director says they need to rethink their approach and she's sending him in as the Night Manager to conduct further observation.

Janet brings Joe into the lobby and she tells the others to stay away. Moira insists it isn't just her decision, and the group has decided that Joe is a danger. When Erika moves in, Janet hits her once, hard. Erika tells her to have it her way and Janet leaves with Joe.

Renbe and Kat find the road and tire tracks, and follow them to... the town.

Gallery Edit