Smoke and Steel
Season One, Episode Seven
Smoke and Steel-icon
First aired July 24, 2010
Written by Michael R. Perry
Directed by Rod Hardy
Episode guide
The Truth

Smoke and Steel is an episode of Persons Unknown.

Synopsis Edit

Now Joe Tucker is unmasked as one of the manipulators, Bill Blackham and Erika Taylor see that the gang abuses him horribly, despite his claim to have been 'promoted' years after his own abduction. Colleague Tom X is ordered to extract him at gunpoint, but ends up fatally shot himself. Next the survivors find their elaborate personal files planted in Joe's room, and shortly after removed again. Stefano D'Angelo promises his organization will get Mark Renbe and his lover-editor back safely, but it's Franklin Fairchild's connections who arrest them and the ambassador explains he's member of an omnipresent, almighty organization, invisible even to himself, which generously made his career and ordered Tori Fairchild's execution.

Plot Edit

Joe shows Janet the hidden monitors and paints most of them over, much to Tom's dismay. She is upset that Joe didn't tell her about them earlier, and he insists that he did it for her protection. Janet doesn't buy it and demands that he help them get out, but he warns her that he's now in the same boat that the rest of them are. When she wonders why he and the others keep them captive, Joe insists that it's for good reasons.

Janet briefs the others and relays Joe's explanation that their captors have been abducting people for fifty years. He comes down and tells them that the program operates like a foundation, dedicated to peace and progress. They analyze the information and make bets on people, people selected because they might have great influence on the world. Joe insists that they do it to do good, but his other captors don't believe him. Bill punches him and stalks off, saying they're all scum if they believe anything Joe says.

Joe goes to see Tom in the command center, and wonders why he let him in. Tom warns him that he's risking not only himself but the lives of Tom and his fellow captives when their superiors decide to wipe the entire town. He warns that Janet will drop him the second she gets out of the town, but Joe doesn't believe it and says that Tom is the only person he still trusts.

At the hotel bar, Bill pours drinks for everyone and suggests that they can use Joe as a hostage to make their escape. Janet points out that they are all hostages, and a similar plan failed when they tried to take the Night Manager hostage. She insists that Joe isn't the enemy and Erika wonders how she can still defend him. Erika figures that she's in love with Joe, and warns that none of them are safe until Joe is dealt with. Janet insists that she's on their side.

That night, Joe comes to the Shanghai Palace to meet with Charlie. Charlie tells him that he doesn't need to get back to his wife because he's dead. When he was abducted, he considered it a trade up because he figured the kidnappers would kill him as well and he didn't mind. Charlie is worth $80 million, and offers to get Joe anything he wants in return for arranging his escape. He offers his hand on the deal, but Joe just walks away.

In Italy, Kat and Renbe meet at a café and discuss the attempt to kill them. She admits that she now feels motivated to get to the bottom of the case. They meet with Stefano and show him the photo of Janet, Tori, and Joe that Renbe got from Franklin. They figure if they can identify Joe, they can find Tori. They start going over the list of persons abducted on the same day as Janet and Tori, but the police arrive outside. They slip out the back and split up, and Stefano warns them not to use any thing that can be traced to the. The police catch Stefano and his henchman as they go the opposite direction.

In the town, everyone notices as the lights flicker. Janet asks the Night Manager what's going on, and he figures that she knew. They hear screaming outside and Janet goes out to discover that Erika and Bill are forcing him into the pain fields. When she tries to stop them, Bill considers shoving her in, but Erika knocks him away. The others arrive and tell Joe to turn off the field, but he insists he can't and offers proof. He then turns around and deliberately walks into the field. Janet finally pulls him out, and Joe asks for the chance to prove he's what he says he is. Bill and Erika agree, but warn him that he'll be on a short leash.

Later, Janet comes to see Joe and asks what they're going to do. She warns him that everyone else wants him dead, and admits that she doesn't know who he is anymore. He insists that she can trust him, and she knows it because she saved him. Janet says she doesn't know why she saved him and leaves.

In Italy, men follow Renbe and Kat down the street. They run through the park and bump into an old man in a wheelchair. He and his nurse draw guns and take them away.

Joe tries to contact Tom via the hidden cameras, but his friend isn't in the bunker. When he gets no response, Joe blacks out the hidden cameras. He then gets in the elevator and goes downstairs, and Erika takes Janet and breaks into Joe's room. As Erika turns the place upside down, Janet finds a sketch he's done of Janet. Erika takes it and figures Janet's emotions are getting in the way, but Janet insists on leaving.

Renbe and Kat are taken to see Franklin, who explains that he was part of a powerful nameless organization for 30 years. He was an apartment manager when they found him, and turned him into the man he is, and he plans to continue obeying his superiors. Franklin believed in what they were doing, until they killed his daughter, and warns that if they find out he's talking to the reporters, they'll all be dead in a week. He tells them that one person, Dr. Angela Barragan, has made it out of the program alive and is working at a hospital in San Nicasio South America. Franklin wishes them luck and leaves.

Janet finds a secret compartment in Joe's nightstand, a compartment containing files on all of them. There are photos of Megan, and canceled checks, private psychiatrist notes, and dental records on Janet. There are also complete files on the others.

Back in the command center, Tom watches as the captives escort a cuffed Joe out. On the desk next to him is a memo on Joe. The captives take Joe to the jail and lock him in a cell despite his objections. She offers to remove his cuffs but isn't in hearing his side of the story, whatever it is. She leaves with the others and turns off the lights.

Janet returns to discover Erika reading through her files. They realize that Charlie and Moira have gone missing and go to find her. Bill stays behind and reads the files, and realizes that Erika read his file, which confirms he ran a halfway house for parolees. As Moira comes in, Bill insists that the parolees wanted to be a part of society again, but Erika knows that he blackmailed them. However, she promises she won't tell anybody because she likes Bill. However, she wants a favor in return and warns that he'd better do it, and Bill agrees.

Moira comes in and reads her file, and admits that her life looks like a failure. Erika tells him that it's nothing compared to Graham's, and whispers something to him. When Graham comes in with Charlie, Erika says she'll tell Moira the rest later. Moira looks at Graham and then walks out. Graham goes after her and Moira says that Erika read the file, and it says that Graham killed people for money. He admits it's true but that it's not that simple, and Moira walks away.

Charlie comes to see Joe and gives him a bottle of Cherry Coke from 1983. Joe insists the files were planted by his superiors, and Charlie claims to believe him. He figures that Joe believes in what he's doing and gets the key, and asks for Joe's word that he'll do what he can to get them all out. When Joe agrees, Charlie frees him as Tom watches nervously on the monitors.

As they go down the street, Tom comes out with a gun and tells Charlie to go to his room. Joe tells him it's okay and Tom says that he's taking Joe to his office to be red-carded. He explains hat the program saved his life, and Joe remembers that Tom used to be someone who wanted to change the world. Joe wanted the same thing, and wonders if that's what Tom wants now that he plans to kill Joe. Tom insists he has no choice, and that he planted the dossiers in Joe's room to turn Janet against him when it was clear that Joe was abandoning the program for her. Charlie has doubled back and hears Tom's confession, and follows him into the Shanghai Palace. He attacks Tom, who shoots him in the leg.

Once Joe gets Charlie stabilized, Tom orders him into the command center. As they go, Joe asks Tom to write his mother and tell her that Joe died in an accident. Janet sneaks in and throws boiling water into Tom's face. He falls onto the stove and is set on fire. Joe puts him out with a fire extinguisher.

As Renbe and Kat try to leave the country, they're arrested at the airport.

Moira and Graham take Charlie to his room. Afterward, Moira agrees to hear Graham out. He explains that a bombmaker killed three of his friends in Baghdad while he was on assignment. A contractor offered him $100,000 to kill the bombmaker. It turned out he was an account who was going to blow the whistle on the contractor's company.

After they are strip searched, Stefano arrives and tells them he's made arrangements to get them out of the country. They follow his instructions and board, unaware that Stefano is in the cabin up front.

Janet and Joe return to his room, and discover that the files are gone. She admits she overheard that gave up on the program because of her. When Joe complains about his back, he goes into the bathroom to get a hot towel to put on it. Janet talks about how she missed her daughter's birthday and she needs to escape. Joe tells her it's possible now that Tom is dead, but it will take hard work. Janet considers what he's said, but goes into the bathroom and discovers that Joe has vanished.

Series Arc Edit

According to Joe, The Project has been going on for over 50 years, and it run by a think tank, who makes wagers on the outcomes both inside and outside The Town.

According to Tom X, he and Joe are still part of the project even though the are not actually Abductees.

Gallery Edit