"Persons Unknown" creator Christopher McQuarrie knows how to pull the long con - he's the mastermind behind the Oscar-winning screenplay for "The Usual Suspects." That could be either really good or really bad for this summer miniseries.

"Persons Unknown" creator Christopher McQuarrie knows how to pull the long con - he's the mastermind behind the Oscar-winning screenplay for "The Usual Suspects." That could be either really good or really bad for this summer miniseries.

With only the pilot episode to go from, it's hard to tell if we're going to get Keyser Soze-style twists or if we'll just be hoodwinked by the kinds of stories McQuarrie's churned out since "Suspects" ("The Way of the Gun," "Valkyrie").

The plot revolves around a (somewhat stereotyped) group of kidnapped strangers waking up in a strange hotel. None of them knows what the hell is going on I think.

They set out to find some answers - about their captors, each other and how to get out of the ghost town where they're trapped - but they only wind up with more questions.

The one thing they know is someone is watching their every move through a Hal 9000-type eye in the sky.

Pilots are generally uneven, and "Persons Unknown" is no exception. Steadicam shots and dark, ominous tones (minus the camp) create a palpable tension. But some of the dialogue is forced, and a few of our characters are overactors.

The investment here is minimal. Viewers only have to sit through 13 weeks of shows to get answers, so here's hoping the payoff's worth it. I'm a sucker for a good mystery, and there's enough potential here that I'm thinking McQuarrie can pull this off.