Synopsis of 1×02: The best laid plans are not always the easiest to fulfill as Ben struggles to prove that he was not responsible for the stolen files. Theo engages in cage fighting matches to work his way into the Green Zone. Laura wants to help those in need.
The episode begins with some backstory to Ben (Sean Teale) who grew up outside of all zones in a FEMA camp. Clearly he is an intelligent kid, as he reverse programs a retinal scanner in order to receive more food rations. He is forced to take care of himself in this way because of the suicide of his father, leaving him with no one. He befriends a young girl, Elena, who is able to leave the camp for the Red Zone. While the Red Zone is still a dark underworld, it beats a refugee camp.
When Elena leaves, Ben becomes involved with Reed (Damon Harriman), who in present day is a Human Resources Officer at SPIGA.
Returning to the present (well 2074), Chad Peterson (David Hewlett), who was framed by Ben in the first episode, is undergoing torture in the Quiet Room (the sound proofing padding on the walls leads me to believe that being left alone in the room might be more torturous than the tech involved).
Unfortunately for Ben, the man in charge of interrogations, Julian Morse (Dennis Haysbert), is not easily persuaded of Chad’s guilt. His suspicions continue to mount as Chad’s story under torture continues to present Ben as the mastermind behind their party night in the Red Zone, and Ben is found with an unauthorized tech, which he had used to make Chad sick.
When Ben himself is questioned by Julian, he is saved temporarily when Elizabeth Strauss (Julia Ormond) orders the memory wipe of Chad, before Julian can confirm any of his suspicions.
The sad truth of the situation, and one that builds on the dangers of this dystopian world, is that it is not only Chad who suffers under these suspicions; his entire family is evicted from their house and will be sent to the Red Zone.
Here, Laura (Allison Miller) steps in. She cannot bear to see these innocents harmed (what would she do if she knew their pain was caused by her husband?). She arranges with her mother to save the children at least, who will be adopted by trusted company employees. While this keeps them from deportation, it does show that pity is not something the corporation has.
In the Red Zone, Theo (Eddie Ramos) becomes engaged in cage fights in order to provide proper sustenance for himself and his boyfriend. Terrance (Ian Tracey) drops in on Theo, telling him that there is a cage match that could lead to fights in the Green Zone. Theo accepts, meeting his rival, Sayeed, and enjoying a real steak for the first time.
In the cage match, Theo and Sayeed battle, with Sayeed clearly being the favorite. However, Theo is scrappy, and he uses a bone from the steak to temporarily blind Sayeed in order to beat him. The win proves bittersweet, however, as Theo was not meant to win the fight and the recruiter from the Green Zone leaves. Terrance is rightfully upset by the situation and uses one of his own trophies to beat Sayeed to death. Theo is now his prize pony.
Returning to Ben, he believes himself to be safe now that Chad’s memory has been wiped and he has been sent to the Red Zone, but he soon realizes that some of the tech he hid temporarily is missing. In fact, his coworker, also in the running for Chad’s former position, has found it.