Joseph "Joe" Strong is an angel in Midnight, Texas. He is an easygoing, talented tattoo artist with a strong moral compass. Joe currently lives with his husband and their dog. He has supernatural powers of an angel, such as retractable wings, and has been living among man for millennia, awaiting for the fulfillment of the the prophecy to stop the apocalypse.
In Pilot, Joe leaves Strong Angel Tattoo for a morning run and see the stranger, Manfred Bernardo driving through town and they catch each others' gaze. As the Midnighters get together for the Fall Annual Picnic, he and Rasta, his and Chuy's dog, play fetch. Shortly after, Rasta begins to bark and alerts Fiji. After the discovery of Aubrey Hamilton's body down at the edge of the river, Sheriff Livingston informed them all not to leave town as they would be by for questioning.
A couple days later, the Sheriff question them about Aubrey. Joe indicates that she didn't approve of their lifestyle and that the fact that Chuy was Mexican. Livingston presumes that Joe didn't like her for that, though Joe maintained that he didn't like how her judging him made him feel, though he didn't just her back as that was the Christian way.
The next day, Joe returns to the river's edge, looking over the crime scene. As he looks down, he removes his shirt and wings begin to sprout from his back, forming over his arms. He begins to run, and flies over the river, seemingly worried and concerned over Aubrey's death and what's to come. Later that night, he and Chuy join their fellow Midnighters on the street. They witness Livingston and Gomez charge Bobo Winthrop with the murder of Aubrey's death. They continue to watch on as the police officers haul him into their cruiser. As they gather around to block the cruiser, he nods to Manfred as the town's witch, Fiji Cavanaugh takes matters into her own hands by telekinetically levitating the cruiser off the ground, though Rev. Sheehan calms her and they all allow them to pass, unobstructed.
In Bad Moon Rising, Joe meets with the other Midnighters at the pawn shop just after Bobo was arrested in Aubrey's murder. They discuss how they will bring Bobo home and he reassures that it shouldn't be too difficult considering he didn't kill Aubrey. Before they can continue, Manfred enters, asking for help with a poltergeist infestation at his house. Once he mentions a demonic force, Joe is intrigued and he and Fiji agree to help him out.
The following morning, Manfred, he and Fiji enter the house, still crawling with ghosts. Manfred mentions that Aubrey's there and Joe asks if he's going to speak to her. Joe, and Fiji, watch on as Manfred allows her to possess him so that he can see who and how she died. Once he began to cough up water, considering Aubrey drowned, he and Fiji pulled him from the house, saving him, and takes him to the Inquiring Mind to recover.
Joe agrees to take Manfred to Davy to speak to Sheriff Livingston about Aubrey's murder. As he leaves, Chuy stops him and asks if he went flying. Joe doesn't deny it and tells him that he was worried about Manfred's arrival and Aubrey being murdered. Chuy pushes him for more details and he relents; he fears that it going to be the end of everything they know and love. He tells Chuy that he loved him and heads off to pick up Manfred. They stop briefly at the Gas N Go to fill up Joe's truck with gas and he talks with Shawn. Once in Davy, Joe sits in with Manfred as he recounts Aubrey's murder. Livingston believers that there can be a simpler explanation, i.e. that he killed her, though Joe defends him telling the sheriff that he wouldn't have come if he was involved. On their way back to Midnight, Manfred tells Joe that he hopes that the information he provided help. Joe tells him that he has faith.
The next day, Joe looks out from his and Chuy's home from above the Strong Angel Tattoo shop, watching as the Rev. reverts back into his human form. Later that night, Joe and Chuy continue their conversation was the previous day. He explains that evil, supernatural and human, is being drawn to Midnight, fraying the veil until it breaks. He uncovers a painting to reveal a hellish depiction of demons tormenting humans. He admits that he's seen it happen a millennium ago, though he believes that Manfred is apart of a prophecy: that a man with a gift of vision will bridge the living and the dead to bring forth an army.
In Lemuel, Unchained, Joe sat in the Chapel awaiting the Rev's arrival upon learning that a nest of vampires had just settled in Midnight. He had never visited the Church before but there was a first time for everything, especially with Chuy being in El Paso for Nail-Con. Rev had his doubts that Joe stopped by out of loneliness. Joe confessed that he was a fallen angel. Now, he's living a grounded life with Chuy, which he sought to protect at all cost. Not only did the vampires threaten this, but they were only the beginning. He was speaking to Rev as a neighbor, a friend, and a reverend who would keep his secret. Joe revealed that the veil in which Midnight sat upon was fraying. It was drawing evil to town. Rev admitted to feeling that evil during his last transformation. Joe wasn't sure how much longer he and Chuy would remain in Midnight but after they're gone, someone needed to know the truth because the Midnighters are going to have to make a choice, to leave or to fight.
Manfred joined them in the Chapel, worried and out of breath. He claims that the vampires killed the hardware store owner, Henry. They needed to warn everyone in town as waiting until morning was no longer an option with the vampires prepared to attack. A little while later, after gathering most of the Midnighters and locals, Joe waited near the door for Manfred to return with the Lovells.
Unfortunately, he would later discover that Manfred and the Lovells weren't going to make it to the Chapel due to the increased street presence of the vampires. Instead, they found sanctuary in Manfred's house, which Fiji had rendered inhospitable to the dead. From Rev, he learned that Manfred was willing to risk his life in order to save Lemuel, but for the plan to work, they needed divine intervention in the form of Joe. While Manfred distracted the nest, Joe flew in the skies above unnoticed. He lands in the bell tower, shinning down the UV light emulating crystal, thus setting all the vampires ablaze.
As the sun rose that morning, just moments after the decimation of the nest, the Midnighters convened in the streets. Manfred questioned how Joe got the light up there, to which he claimed that he snuck in. He then thanked Manfred for his bravery, having saved the town while putting his own life at risk.
In Sexy Beast, after Manfred narrowly escapes the grasps of a yet unidentified creature, Joe, Chuy, Fiji, Creek, Lemuel, and Manfred assembled together at Home Cookin'. Joe drew an illustration of the unknown creature as Manfred provided descriptions of the beast. He described the woman as having multiple rows of sharp teeth and a spider web tattoo on her shoulder. Her mouth also widened, Manfred referred to it as a gaping hellhole. She was also eating her victims. Lemuel surmised that the creature in question was a Succubus, which is an ancient supernatural hunter that feeds from men that have caused pain. According to Lemuel, Succubus haven't been in Midnight for over a century, so the Midnighters began to wonder why one would suddenly show up after all that time, and behave so recklessly. Joe and Chuy knew the answer to this question but remained quiet. They shared a look, both knowing that the Succubus' arrival and behavior were due to the fraying veil.
The Succubus was leaving a trail of bodies, which would bring law enforcement back to Midnight. They needed to stop her before she did any further damage. Joe and Chuy informed the group that the only way to stop a Succubus is with Dragon's breath, at least according to medieval folklore and Wikipedia. With no possible way of getting ahold of such an element, Fiji offered a possible solution. At The Inquiring Mind, Fiji created a tincture, which was essentially a chemistry-based potion that would remove the Succubus' glamour. Without her physical attractiveness, she wouldn't be able to seduce her prey. The Midnighters deduced that she would be headed to a bar called The Cartoon Saloon, considering it was the best place to find all the town's men on a Thursday night.
Upon the potion's completion, they headed into the Saloon, each Midnighter with their very own container of tincture, needing only to get a drop of the mixture if the Succubus' mouth. Joe and Chuy searched the back as the group split off. Chuy made note of the recent attacks Midnight has undergone at the hands of supernaturals; the first being vampires, and now they had to worry about a Succubus. Joe then admitted to exposing himself during the vampire attack. The nest was going to kill them. Joe couldn't continue to take such risks. Although he failed to elaborate, Chuy mentioned that these risks Joe were taking would result in them being found by someone or someones. Joe insisted that no one was going to find them, and at that moment, they had greater concerns.
The Midnighters headed out into the parking lot after receiving a text from Creek, telling them that she found the Succubus. Having been sprayed with the tincture, Joe stated that they needed to get her out of site, in which Lemuel picked her up and sped off to the nearby woods, where they Midnighters soon joined him. They witnessed Gina turn from a beautiful young blonde to a hideous monster. After Lemuel knocks her into a tree, the Succubus gets back onto her feet and runs off into the night. However, they soon learned that she was actually hunting down Connor, who had followed them into the woods. After failing to reason with her, Manfred burns the Succubus alive with a propane tank as it was the closest thing he could find to Dragon's breath, quick thinking, Joe said.
Back at Home Cookin', Joe and Chuy discussed the fraying veil over dinner. They both surmised that the veil was effecting supernaturals, causing them to behave even more aggressively. Chuy wondered if the pull would be too powerful to fight. He was concerned that he would be pulled in. Just before kissing him, he told Chuy that they had plenty of time to be scared but for that night, they were safe, and it's all they need to worry about.
In Blinded by the Light, the Midnighters gather at the chapel following the discovery of another missing girl, named Aerin. Hopefully, she was out partying, and not lying in a ditch somewhere. Either way, they needed to find her. Fiji wonders if it isn't something supernatural causing this. With Manfred's psychic energy off the charts, and the Rev finding dead insects and rodents off Witch Light Road, they begin to speculate. Worried that the Midnighters are asking too many questions, all of which he had the answers to, as they were pertaining to the fraying veil, Joe redirects their attention to the missing girl, who he was going to look for by the old ranches.
Joe returns to the church with no luck in finding the girl. Rev confronts him about the promise that Joe is forcing him to keep about the veil. Fiji is going mad because she hears demons. Manfred is self-medicating because he sees spirits at every turn. Rev believes that the others deserve to know the truth, and that they're not going crazy. Nothing Joe says is going to stop what's coming. Eventually, they'll know everything, but Rev's concern lies with the fact that it may be too late by then, demons could be crawling out of the veil. Joe was simply trying to protect his family, however, he was doing this at the expense of everyone else. The Rev knows that he sent Chuy away, presumably because the veil was too dangerous for him to be around. This was an impossible choice for Joe. He wanted to help, but if it got out that there was a fallen angel in town, "they" will come for him, and that's the last thing anyone would want in Midnight. With that being said, all he could do to help is keep looking for the missing girl.
Later that night, the Midnighters regroup at Home Cookin, where Fiji brings forth the possibility of a demon being at the center of the murders. She had been hearing the demon in her house. Manfred saw it as well when they were cleansing his house, but they banished it back to the veil, or so they thought. Joe attempts to steer the conversation back towards the missing girl, but Fiji continues to make her point. They assumed they banished the demon, but there was no proof of this either way. Lemuel explains that demons are malevolent beings; not of their earth. The attack on Connor was too sloppy and human-like, meaning a demon was not responsible. Joe sits nervously as they continue to discuss the fact that Manfred was experiencing an increase in ghost sightings and Fiji was seeing demons. Rev then enters the Midnighter's room, but not as a man of God. Instead, he came as Emilio, a Midnighter and a friend. He was doing something wrong for reasons he believes to be right. His conscience would no longer allow him to remain silent. Rev exposes Joe's secret of the fraying veil, without exposing Joe.
He joins the Midnighters in the pawn shop as they initially interrogate Shawn Lovell for the recent murders. However, it wasn't until afterward that they discover that he was simply protecting Connor, the actual killer, who had Creek with him. The Midnighters grew concerned with Creek's safety, especially after considering what Connor would do to her after she finds out that he's the killer. Manfred suddenly exits the shop, with the Midnighters closely behind. He plans on hopping in his RV and randomly searching the Texas roads until he miraculously comes cross Creek, hopefully before Connor can hurt her. Bobo agrees to join him, however, Olivia, Lem, and Rev attempt to explain the unlikelihood that this would actually accomplish anything since there was too much ground to cover. Realizing that he's Creeks best hope, Joe takes off his jacket and his shirt, sprouting his wings in front of the Midnighters for the very first time, thus outing himself as an angel. Joe then takes flight in search of Creek as he could cover ground much faster than any of them.
He finds Creek and Connor driving down an empty Texas roads. Joe lands ahead of the vehicle, flashing a bright white light, which brings it to an unexpected stop. Creek and Connor exit the truck, she heads towards Joe, as Connor runs into the field. Joe tells him that he needed to stop, but Connor didn't care because he didn't want to change nor did he feel guilty for his actions. Joe tells Creek that she's safe, just before looking to Lem, and signaling him with a head nod. Joe, Creek and Lemuel head back to Midnight, where Manfred, Bobo, Fiji, Rev, and Olivia wait for them to return. Unfortunately, Connor did not survive. Joe exits the truck wrapped in a cover, and he presumably returns home.
After attending the cleansing and honoring of the recently dead, just outside the chapel with his fellow Midnighters, Joe is approached upstairs, in the tattoo shop by Rev, who presumes that Joe is angry at him for revealing his secret. On the contrary, Joe is grateful. If Rev hadn't done what he did, Joe wasn't sure if he would have gone after Creek, though Rev likes to think he would. He used his light to save Creek, meaning "they" would be coming for him, which means he should probably call Chuy to inform him of the bad news. Rev thanks him for his actions and tells him that the Midnighters will always have his back. Joe then leaves a message on Chuy's phone, telling him that Midnight was no longer safe. If they found out who Chuy truly was, they'll kill Joe and exterminate Chuy. Joe pleads with him to stay away for both of their sake, as war was coming, and he needed to stay to fight.
In Angel Heart, Joe and his former angel mentor, Bowie, vanquish demons. In this battle that took place over a millennium ago, nothing was left in its wake but smoldering flames and arid land. Bowie stands at the top of the hill, taking a deep breath in the face of victory. There was no better feeling to Bowie than having slaughtered the demons. However, Joe wasn't quite sure of how he felt, though he wasn't nearly as enthusiastic as his mentor. She had been fighting demons for millennia. The first time was always difficult, but after doing it an efficient amount of times, he'll gain skills and confidence. Only then will their task of killing demons become more pleasurable. The group that they had just killed out of the veil were rough, but Joe handled them bravely. He appreciated Bowie saying so. While this was their first battle together, it wasn't their last.
While painting in the studio above the tattoo shop, Joe is angered and surprised by Chuy's sudden return to Midnight, despite his initial warnings against it. Joe told Chuy to stay away because it wasn't safe for either one of them in Midnight, but Chuy would rather be in danger together than safe apart. Chuy's aware that Joe exposed himself to the Midnighters, but he understands why it was necessary; Creek's life was on the line. Nevertheless, he was forced to use his angelic light in order to save her, meaning it was very possible that "they" will be able to track him down because of it. Joe has no plan to deal with the threat should he be found. Chuy suggests a less risky plan than waiting in Midnight for them to arrive. Chuy wants to come clean to the Midnighters with everything, and ask them for help. Doing this would put everyone else in danger, Joe states. However, they were already sitting on a veil to hell, they couldn't be in any more danger than they already were. It's just been him and Chuy for so many centuries, maybe it was time they finally invite people in.
Joe receives a call from Manfred, telling him that someone was eyeing the shop. Joe looks out window to discover that it was Bowie. She was ancient, and far more powerful than himself, meaning they were screwed. Chuy instructs him to calm down because he had a plan, which consists of them hiding in Olivia's panic room-like closet. He is notified by Manfred that Bowie is headed towards the Gas N Go. With the coast clear, Olivia unlocks the closet door, releasing them both. Joe tells Manfred to get over to Olivia's apartment as soon as possible, and to avoid Bowie at all cost. Angels can read minds, so she could use what Joe just told Manfred in order to track them down and kill them. Manfred asks if they should tell Creek or Madonna, but Joe saw no reason to worry them since angels guarded humans, unlike supernaturals, who Bowie shares a deep hate for. He asks Lemuel how he was doing, but considering that he was awake during the day, it's safe to say that he wasn't doing well. With Bobo and Fiji joining them, they began to wonder the reason for the sudden meeting. Joe is prepared to explain everything, but not before the others arrive.
With Manfred finally making his way over to Olivia's apartment, Joe decides to proceed with the meeting despite the fact that the Rev has still not arrived nor was he returning calls. Joe and Chuy need their help. Joe explains to them that Bowie was in Midnight, and she was hunting Joe. Olivia questions why they should be afraid of an angel. Angels weren't only protectors of humans, they also kill demons. Bowie enjoyed the latter above all else. She was an old mentor and friend of Joe's. He walked away from that life a long time ago, without so much as a word, and Joe was sure that she was still hurting over this. However, he confesses that leaving the fold and be fallen isn't necessarily why she wants him dead. She could have possibly forgiven him for those treacheries. Bowie seeks to kill Joe because of who he fell in love with. Fiji comments "a man?", but he is actually referring to the fact that Chuy is a demon, which none of the Midnighters were aware of.
Joe first saw Chuy at the marketplace, haggling with some pretty sketchy silk road traders. Chuy wanted a porcelain, but he left after they asked for more than he had. However, that did not stop the traitors from attacking Chuy, and taking all he had. Luckily, Joe intervened, spreading his wings, and scaring the traitors off. He saw Chuy bleeding black blood as he helped him up, which is a trait commonly associated with demons. They not only beat Chuy, they also stole his sandals. Joe wonders why he didn't just tear them apart. Chuy told him that maybe they needed the sandals more than he did. This is the moment that everything changed. Bowie had always told him that angels were superior, and that demons were evil, furthermore, the killing of demons was a service. Chuy disproved all of this.
Chuy elaborates on his demonic side. He's only half-demon. His mother was human. He and his mother were close. She taught him to control his demonic nature. Their connection kept him strong, and now Chuy's connection with Joe keeps him strong. While Lem and Fiji were furious that such a significant secret was kept, Olivia and Manfred were less bothered. Considering that Joe saved Creek, they were all willing to help and return the favor, but before doing so, they need to know how best to handle an angel. They were tough. Angels can read minds, and use your secrets against you. They also possess a certain level of immortality. Humans can't kill them, but fellow angels and demons can. However, Joe wasn't strong enough, and sending Chuy in to deal with Bowie was not an option. The last time he changed, it took three years to get him back. Chuy turning would put everyone in danger. With that being said, they still needed a way to stop her. Manfred suggests that they send her to hell, where there are demons that can handle her. He recalls the exorcism that Fiji performed at his house. The mirror acted as a portal, allowing them to see into the other side of the veil. They can recreate the portal, and use it to trap Bowie. While Fiji prepares for the spell to create a portal, Bobo and Joe get the mirror in place. Joe informs them that all angels possess the ability to read someone's thoughts. Fiji wonders if he's ever read one of their minds, which Joe says that he hasn't. He wouldn't abuse that power, and he hadn't used it in centuries, but Bowie wouldn't hesitate to use it, whether it be to gain information or just humiliate someone.
Joe approaches Manfred in the shop as he retrieves a jar containing the finger of one of his ancestors, uncle Roland. Legend has it that he pushed a demon back to hell with it. But as soon as he touched the demon, his finger fell off. Joe comments that Manfred has a colorful past. Manfred used to think that they were just stories that his grandmother made up about the great Bernardo Clan and the evil they battled. Joe asks Manfred if he ever thought that it wasn't a coincidence that he shows up in Midnight, right as the veil frays. Manfred thinks that it's either a coincidence or really bad luck, but Joe believes otherwise. Joe informs Manfred of the prophecy. When the veil starts to tear, a hero will rise, who will lead an army to fight the evil that emerges and seal the veil forever. A man with a gift a vision, who can bridge the worlds between the living and the dead. All the signs point towards Manfred, but he denies the supposed prophecy, calling Joe crazy if he truly believes it. Bowie then calls Manfred from Creek's phone. With Joe still in hiding, Bowie gives Manfred thirty minutes to find him or else she would start killing people, starting with Creek. After hanging up with Bowie, Manfred tells Joe that he wants him to surrender.
Perhaps he was being selfish, but Chuy wants another century or two with Joe, and so Joe explains to him that Manfred was their best chance at accomplishing that. They share a kiss goodbye before he joins Manfred in the next room. Just so they were clear, Manfred tells Joe that they're doing whatever it takes to get Creek back. Joe understands.
Joe calls to Bowie from outside Home Cookin', where she is holding the town's residents hostage, including Rev, Creek, and Madonna. He asks when did she start harming humans, to which she replies right around the same time he started hiding behind them. She confesses to having fallen like Joe, making her a soldier without a country. She left after their oppressive ways became too much to bear. Bowie recalls the two of them battling demons together on that very ground together, before he betrayed her. Joe didn't feel as if he betrayed Bowie, he merely fell in love. Joe claims that he was never who she thought he was nor was he who she wanted him to be. He makes one last attempt to reason with her. However, she possesses not an ounce of mercy or compassion, nothing would prevent her from killing Joe. Fortunately, Joe was simply providing a long enough distraction for Fiji open the portal and Lem got into position. With the portal open, Manfred brings down mirror, which was Lemuel's cue to push Bowie into it. Regrettably, this plan fails as Bowie uses her light to destroy the portal before it can drag her in.
After witnessing Bowie humiliate Manfred and Creek after earlier reading both of their minds, Joe flies in and knocks her out of sight. Although he had no legitimate chance of defeating her in combat, with no other options, Joe was forced into fighting. Joe and Bowie flight. They battle each other while flying throughout the Midnight sky. The two angels end up crashing through the roof of the church. As they trade blows, Joe apologizes for hurting her. Little did he know, Bowie's anger stems from a place of humiliation. They fight from end to end of the church. Joe says it isn't about Bowie, but she begs to differ. Her top student, someone she bragged about, decided to run off with a demon. Joe comments that he would do it again. Infuriated by his comment, Bowie hits him a few more times before dragging him out the church, and tossing him on the dirt road.
An angel dying was a sight to see, Bowie informs the Midnighters as they surround her and Joe. Setting up to end Joe as her hands emit an angelic white light, Bowie pauses after hearing a demonic growl. They look over to see that Chuy has fully transformed into his demonic form. Bowie could not believe that Joe left her for such a monstrous looking being. Chuy runs towards Bowie at full speed. He tackles her onto her back, and hovers over top of her. Bowie screams for him to get off, though he does not obey. Bowie starts to cough up large amounts of blood as Chuy bites into her throat, killing her in the process. Following her death was a bright purple explosion that could be seen throughout town. Chuy turns his attention elsewhere, knocking Joe over as he runs towards Lemuel. After taking down Lem, Chuy targets Manfred, but Joe intervenes. He holds Chuy down while threatening to carve out his heart should he continue to pose a threat. It will destroy Joe if he has to kill Chuy, but he'll do it if he has to. Chuy said that their connection was strong, so Joe pleads with him to find that connection. Thankfully, Chuy gains control and reverts back to his human form, sobbing in Joe's arms while he holds him close.
The Midnighters head back to Home Cookin', where Joe asks Chuy how he's feeling. Chuy feels terrible, but it didn't matter to him since Joe was still there with him. They set to leave, but not before Joe looks to Manfred, and tells him to stop by the studio later, so they can talk.
Manfred drops by the studio that day, as earlier requested by Joe. They observe the painted depiction of what's to become of Midnight should the veil break completely. Joe still believes that Manfred can fix it all, and lead an army to seal the veil forever. Manfred doesn't understand how he's supposed to be the leader when all he can do is see dead soldiers after it's too late. Joe reminds him that he arrived to Midnight just when they needed him, but Manfred is still unconvinced. Joe was in Midnight during the initial fraying of the veil. He saw what it looks like when it breaks altogether, so he needs to believe that Manfred is the one from the prophecy, because if he's not, then Midnight is doomed, at least according to Manfred. Joe points out that Manfred's still in town despite the fact that Hightower, the man who chased him to into hiding, was dead. Joe of all people should understand why Manfred's still in town; because of Creek. Later that day, Chuy enters the studio under duress. The veil wears heavier on Chuy's demonic side, so he and Joe prepare to leave Midnight.
Joe possesses the skills of a standard angel in Midnight, Texas, such as immortality and flight. Joe has been an angel for 1000 years. He has been shown to grow large white wings from his back on several instances and soar the sky. However, Chuy typically warns him against doing so.