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Primetime Show Reviews

"Persons Unknown" season premiere  by Carrie
On NBC Mondays at 10/9c

Janet Cooper is in the park with her young daughter, Megan.  Suddenly, Megan wanders away from Janet.  Desperate to find her daughter, Janet frantically searches the park.  Unbeknownst to Janet, Megan hasn’t been abducted.  Megan calls out to her mom, but strangely, Janet is the one who has been kidnapped.   And so “Persons Unknown” begins …

When Janet wakes up in an unfamiliar room, she wonders what happened to her daughter.  Janet empties dresser drawers, breaking one apart to use a screw to open the door’s lock.  Janet hears a voice coming from the hall.  Joe Tucker breaks into Janet’s room.  Janet doesn’t trust Joe.  However, Joe tells her that there’s a key taped inside her room’s Bible.  Janet grabs the Bible from the bed, and sees that Joe isn’t lying.  Joe doesn’t remember how he got there and neither does Janet.  Others start hobbling out of their adjacent rooms –Charlie Morse, Sergeant Graham McNair, Moira Doherty, and Tori Fairchild.  All come from different backgrounds.  The logical explanation for their abductions would be money, but Joe rules that out since he isn’t worth much. 

In the meantime, Mark Renbe is investigating Janet’s disappearance.  A visit to her mom isn’t helpful since the two weren’t on speaking terms.  However, Megan is staying with Janet’s mother for the time being.

After some disagreement, Joe and Charlie decide to start a fire to let off the smoke detector.  Janet notices that the elevator is moving.  Everyone hides as the door opens.  The six strangers board an empty elevator.  The elevator stops at the hotel lobby.  All six wonder what is going on.  They leave the hotel and check out other businesses.  No phones work in the sheriff’s office.  The town is deserted.

A seventh man, Bill Blackham, is waiting in the sheriff’s office, and threatens to shoot the others.  When he realizes that they aren’t his kidnappers, Bill drops the gun.  Janet and Joe make a decision to leave the abandoned town.  When they approach the town’s perimeter, Janet and Joe pass out on the street.  McNair runs over to them but he has the same fate.  The remaining four strangers hurry back inside, fearful that the others were shot.

As night begins, a van pulls up outside a Chinese restaurant.  Restaurant employees get out of the van and head in through the back door.  Janet, Joe, and McNair are conscious.  Moira discovers that all seven have implants in their legs – a tranquilizer of sorts.  The restaurant manager asks the strangers to come inside and have dinner.  After some arguing, they all sit down at a round table.  After the meal, fortune cookies are placed on a platter in front of them.  Tori spins the platter.  Charlie is devastated to read his because it makes a reference to his wife.  All the other fortunes are vague, but Joe thinks it is strange that Janet’s fortune is an Irish one.  After dinner, the seven return to the hotel.  Oddly, there is a night clerk inside.  The man admits that he wound up at the hotel just like the others.  Janet walks away from the group to stare at her fortune.  It reads: “Kill your neighbor and you’ll go free.” 

And did I mention that an unseen person is watching the entire thing through a hidden surveillance camera?

The “Persons Unknown” pilot was enjoyable, with twists and turns throughout.  Normally, I don’t get invested in new shows since their cancellation rates are so high.  I am betting that “Persons Unknown” will draw viewers during the summer season.  The show is a 13-episode series (according to TV, so viewers won’t be locked in for a long period of time.  Plus, the plot is intriguing.  Who are these strangers stuck in an abandoned town?  Who put them there?  And most important – why?  I am looking forward to finding out.

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Updated 6/20/10 


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