Hi, everybody, this is Bluzgirl and I’m filling in for this week’s episode of “Persons Unknown”. We’ll get back to the regular awesome recaps and drinking game when Copyhacker’s wonderful vacay is over. In the meantime, I’ll try to keep us all up to speed with the story. And we can resume our regular indulging next week.
Besides, a little sobering up time can’t hurt
As a Lostie myself, I recognize and appreciate all of the parallels pointed out by Copyhacker and all of the commentators. There is also a lot of “The Matrix”, “Dollhouse”, and a million other (stolen) contrived references, but last week’s episode just screamed “Bourne Identity/Supremacy/Ultimatum” to me. All about “The Program” and “Are you going to stay with The Program”? Maybe I just believe all that because if stalking meant never having to leave my couch and always having easy access to cold beer and hot pizza, then I would totally stalk Matt Damon. And, although everyone wants to remember Alan Ruck as Cameron, I prefer honoring his acting tour de force in either “Speed” or “Twister’.
Rabbit is good , Rabbit is wise.
Okay, enough nonsense. Last week, Joe was re-programmed (or was he???), Tori is still alive (or is she???), Bill learns to be humble (or does he???), Kat convinces Mark to continue his search (or does she?? Well, yeah, actually she did), Joe used to be a priest, but more of a Fr. Rambo than a Fr. Flanagan and McNair tries to put the moves on Moira and FAIL. And on to this week..
This week it opens with an extremely windy street in the “Town Unknown” and Joe is lying in the street naked. Janet approaches Joe as Moira watches from the lobby. Leaves are swirling, round and round, from “Trees Unknown”. Janet tells Joe he needs to come to the hotel. As they come in to the hotel lobby, Joe says, “It’s cold, I’m freezing”. If I had a dime for every time a naked man used that excuse…Rabbit/Cameron gives him a blanket and asks him what happened out there. McNair and Bill come into the lobby and after Bill tells him Joe is back, McNair remarks that he’s not glad that he’s back, but maybe they (and we) can get some answers. Janet asks Joe where he was and all he can say is he doesn’t know. They ask him if it was The Program that did this to him, which I assume is the whole shave and a hair cut—two bits and he says, “ You know about the program?” Janet says, “You told us”. All Joe can say is he doesn’t know any of these people. And not in a “we know each other, but over the days and weeks, we’ve grown apart and now we need to follow our own paths” kind of way. He literally doesn’t know who they are.
I just don’t feel we want the same things anymore
Fully clothed Joe enters the Chinese restaurant asking for food to go, specifically the number 47, the “Okra special”. All of the employees ignore him, probably because they had a huge run on okra and they’re completely tapped at the moment until the next okra truck comes in. Joe goes into the food storage room, tryiing to get into the control room and calling out for Tom. He goes back out and asks the cooks about Tom. They tell him that Tom is dead and offer him the 46, but Joe is so not in the mood for a Happy Family and tosses the plate against the wall.
He yells for Tom in one of the ceiling cameras and says, “Don’t leave me like this”. And we see a control room of people behind monitors and computers watching everyone in the town.
We need to find out if Joe is a True Beauty
Some swarmy middle management type enters the control room and stares down all the voyeurs and starts berating them, as middle management tends to do. He tells them he made a simple request to get the comm office back on line and if the director finds out, there’ll be hell to pay.
Back in town, Janet sits outside, longingly looking at the drawing Joe made of her and Ericka comes out to check on her. Good thing, too, because Ericka hasn’t annoyed me at all so far and it just didn’t seem right. Janet tells Ericka she thought she was getting a handle on this place (really?) and then things got weird again (they’re out of okra again???). Ericka tells her she’s the strong one of the group. And since Janet is the only one They haven’t figured out, that has pissed them off and that’s probably why they dumped Joe back in the town. To mess her up. And since Janet’s the only one they haven’t “gotten to”, that scares them. Really? Janet has that much depth and enough layers in her psyche to piss off The Program?
A regular onion, this one
And now it’s back to the made-up South American country and Mark and Kat are hanging out at what appears to be a seedy hotel and Mark is whining about how he hates it there. Kat reminds him they are stuck–credit cards maxed, cell phones don’t work and they have about 200 pesos to their names. Kat tells him her plan is to get a job and after about a month, they’d have enough money to get a couple of plane tickets. She speaks passable Spanish and there really is nothing a poor, made-up country needs more than a tabloid editor. Easy peasy. Just then, there is a knock at the door. “Housekeeping–want me to fluff your pillows?” No, actually, it is the police with a warrant for Mark’s arrest. Apparently, he’s wanted by the San Francisco police for 2 counts of murder and 1 count of kidnapping.
And one charge of stealing Kat’s heart. Awwww
Back in the other made up town, Moira re-introduces herself to Joe and tells him if there is anything he feels he needs to talk about, then she is there for him, which sounds really sweet at first. But then she gets all up in his grill, telling him they are not buying his charade of not remembering anything, so he better think long and hard about telling them what he knows. Because as she says, “It will not end well”. I hope that’s not a spoiler alert for the final show. Joe then runs into the night manager and their pleasant little exchange (“Ice? Sheets? Anything you need?”) turns the manager frantic after Joe gets on the elevator and he runs back into his office and locks the door. He uses some old rotary phone to pull out his hidden computer and just like that he’s video chatting with swarmy middle management guy. SMM guy starts questioning the night manager (or did he get promoted to day manager?) about what the hell is going on there. It turns out the manager was supposed to be monitoring all of Joe’s movements and he must have failed. Now, he has to face the director. The director gets on the on line and asks the night/day manager if he believes Joe is competent. Does anyone else think the director is about the least intimidating character on this show? I mean, everyone makes her out like she’s some badass and all I can think of is some kind of disappointed department store clerk.
“I can not take this return without a receipt” Dang, she is a total badass
She wants to talk to the ranking officer on sight or someone with behavior observation training. The hotel manager tells her that it’s just him–no one else is alive. The SMM is incredulous and says, “The replacement hasn’t arrived?” I guess this guy doesn’t watch his own monitors. He tells the manager to hold tight, watch Joe and they’ll get back to him with further instructions.
And now we’re back in the jail cell with Mark. He’s busy dreaming of breaking out of there and broadcasting opera from the warden’s office, when one of his cellmates starts harassing him. Just when the cellmate starts grabbing Mark’s head, Kat and the priest from Joe’s old parish come in. Methinks Mark just got himself out of being bitchified, fake poor Spanish speaking country’s jail style. Father Luis leads them to his truck with a plan to get them across the border. Only catch is, they have to ride in the back of his truck in coffins.
Back in the scary department store lady’s office, she’s berating the SMM, by telling him that things are going to hell in a handbasket. She tells him that for the first time in a decade, they have the most promising candidate for the 10th level (???) and she is telling him they can’t afford any mistakes. SMM shares with her he doesn’t not see the same potential in Joe Tucker. The director tells him he needs to keep his personal feelings out of it. She then tells her admin assistant the tea she just served was cold and demotes her instantly to refuse management. Anbody else notice it was obvious the tea cup was empty?
Refuse management?? Nooooooooo…oh, well, okay then…
Now our townies are back in the Chinese restaurant, making me hungry with all that fine cuisine, discussing the merits of keeping Joe around. Rabbit/Cameron certainly thinks it’s a good idea to keep him, as he knows where all the buttons and levers are. They all argue that if he is an asset, they can use him to help get them out of there. And Moira, getting tougher and tougher every episode, says if he becomes no use to them, they can eliminate him. Yikes. Our little wallflower is really perking up this week. Just then, Joe walks in. Rabbit/Cameron pulls him aside and reminds him they had a pretty good relationship going before Joe mysteriously disappeared and that he even took a bullet for him. He tells Joe he feels owed for that. Joe interrupts him and complains there is only chinese food there and he hates chinese food. He goes back into the kitchen to get a special order. Janet follows him and asks him if he remembers her at all. He says he does not and she tells him they used to be close. He tells her he doesn’t believe her because she’s not his type. LOL. Ours, either, Joe. She tells him it’s imperative to remember because he was going to help get them out of there. She hones in on his special non-chinese food and when she touches his shoulder, he flips out. He sees flashes of his re-programming and starts to strangle Janet.
I told you, I like blondes!!!!
The other townies drag Joe off of Janet and he runs out of the restaurant. How much freaking MSG is in that food? Holy cow.
Father Ruis, with our hidden heroes burrowed safely in their coffins in the back of his truck, arrives at the border and talks to the border police. He’s munching on some nasty onion thing and either what he told the officer or his nasty onion breath works, because the officer sends him on through.
In town, our group heads back to the hotel lobby and start making plans for crazy Joe. Ericka wants to track him down and take him out. McNair is more concerned about the safety of the group. Does Joe have supernatural strength now? It seems this group could overtake him, but then again—look at this group. Bill decides this would be a good time to take a nap. Chinese buffets do have that affect on people, so that makes sense. If there weren’t some loony bald guy running around in a fit of MSG rage. Ericka reminds him they don’t know where Joe is and that he could be waiting in Bill’s room for him. Which would explain why Janet is not his type. That does the trick and Bill decides to stay with the group. Rabbit/Cameron doesn’t really want to kill him and Ericka disagrees. Janet agrees with Ericka that they need to find him fast. Meanwhile, the hotel manager is listening in and before long, the control room tries to get him on the line. Apparently, the manager called in a “Condition Red”. Which is way more ominous then “Condition Fuchsia”. He gets yelled at for calling that in as his duty was just to watch and not become actively involved. The hotel manager tells SMM that Joe has gone rogue and the rest of the hostages are organizing a lynching party. Furthermore, he tells him the town is no longer secure and that he’s barricaded himself in his office. Clean sheets and ice replenishment is totally off the table now, folks. SMM reminds him the not-scary Director thinks Joe is an asset. SMM asks him where Joe is now and the hotel guy can’t see him on any of the monitors. SMM tells him he’s on his own and he must take care of the situation himself.
The townies are looking for Joe, but clever boy, he’s up on the roof watching them.
I can see my house from here!
Back with Father Ruis, he stops the truck and lets Kat and Mark out of the coffins to have a random, roadside picnic. No, really. Just as they’re breaking out the tablecloth, fried chicken and jello salad, shots ring out and the first one kills the priest instantly. See? Roadside picnics with strange priests never turn out well. Jeeps filled with the “blue guys” start chasing Mark and Kat. Are the blue coveralls significant to this show? I would think a nice taupe with black trim would be way more effective on bad guys than baby blue. Mark and Kat hide under a bridge and almost instantly, lose their aggressors. So, maybe blue brings out their eyes, but their capturing and killing skills are suspect.
While our heroes have outwitted (for the time being) the witless blue group, the hotel manager has decided he’s going to pack up and leave. As he’s trying to leave his room, he runs right smack into Joe. “Can I help you, sir?” And then he offers him the okra special. Okay, I’m thinking this okra special is way more than a delicous chinese veggie dish. Joe asks him what okra is, thinking it’s some sort of code word. The hotel guy simply tells him it’s a vegetable. Joe then asks what week they are in. The manager tells him he’s been there from the start. So, then Joe realizes he’s had prior contact with these participants. That news seems to bum him out. He really didn’t think Janet was the bees’ knees, which as we know is very dangerous for him. Joe asks if Tom is dead and if he really knew Janet before. Yes and yes. Now, how about a nice cup of tea?
But it’s Earl Grey!
So, Joe kills the hotel manager and now the townies are really going to be ticked. Same sheets? No ice? They carry the manager inside and talk about what to do next. Moira thinks They are all doing this because of Janet. She believes that Joe loves her and that’s why he’s gone nuts. Janet denies this, but Ericka tells her it probably is true and that she can’t help being who she is. I am still underwhelmed by this seeming fascinating draw Janet seems to have, but hey, maybe she’s kick ass at canasta or something. Moira wants to use Janet as bait, which of course enrages Ericka, but really almost anything enrages Ericka. They decide that using Janet to draw Joe out into the open is the best plan. Janet wants to do it alone.
In the control room, the Director storms in and demands answers from now-named Mr. Ulrich, formerly of SMM fame. She wants answers. Ulrich tells her that there must have been a problem in Joe’s reprogramming. Wow–maybe he should be “bright eyes”, because this one is as sharp as they get. The Director is not happy with his answers and holds him responsible.
In the forest, Mark and Kat are still walking and trying to find a road, a Denny’s, something! Kat is telling Mark how just weeks ago, she had a nice life and now look at her. They share a tender moment when after Kat accuses Mark of still being in love with Janet. Mark assures her he is only in love with her. And he hates canasta anyway.
Does this moonlight bring out my highlights?
Janet finds Joe on the ledge of the roof and he warns her to stay far away from him. Joe tells her if she comes any closer, he’ll kill her. She asks him why and he says They did something to his head. And to his facial hair, but he’s clearly not upset by that. Janet tells him to fight it and he doesn’t think he can. He gets ready to jump off and she tells him if he does this, They win. He tells her They already have and he has nothing left. She goes to grab him and the flashing returns to him and he starts beating the tar out of her. He grabs her and holds her over the ledge.
Kind of something we all have wanted to do
She brings him back by yelling at him to fight it and to come back to her. She tells him once again, “The way out is the way through.” That clicks with him and he pulls her back on the roof. The Director is watching this whole exchange and she tells Ulrich that was interesting. He responds that there is the belief there is something out of the norm about her. She agrees and then decides to send him into the town as the new hotel manager. He needs to make one on one contact. He does not seem too excited about that, because working with the general public basically sucks. But he knows not to offer tea to a homicidal re-programmed rogue maniac.
Janet and Joe come back into the lobby where the others are waiting to kick his ass, but Janet stands between them and her man. She got over that whole “dangling off a roof” thing pretty darn quick, so maybe there is something unique about her. If “completely emotionless” is unique. And she hasn’t even mentioned her daughter, so you can tack on “fleeting maternal instincts” to her impressive resume. She tells everyone he’ll be okay. The group tells her it’s not her decision. Ericka gets in her face and gets clocked by Janet. Yay, I say!!! Ericka deserves that if only for the stupid name tat on her arm and her ridiculous nickname for Janet.
Kat and Mark are still walking and they finally come to a clearing and wait for it…wait for it…
They are so screwed
Overall, I think this was a decent episode. It didn’t really move the plot too much further, except for the twist at the end, but it did hold my interest. Then again, I’m kind of like a kitten with a ball of yarn–doesn’t take much. What did you all think? The previews for the next episode look pretty action packed, so that will be good. Your regular capper will be back to fill you in.
Thanks for putting up with me!