Just when you thought things couldn’t get any sillier on ‘Hostages’, Ellen’s sister comes for a visit this week, and we learn that stupid runs in the family. On top of that, two of our bad guys decide to hold up a poker game to acquire some fast cash. What is this, ‘The Sopranos’?!
Last week, the brief story arc that involved the Sanders family trying to escape from their hostage takers wrapped up, so – naturally – the writers had to come up with something else to distract us from the fact that this show is really supposed to be about an assassination plot on the President (who hasn’t even been in a scene of the series for about two or three weeks). That distraction from the main storyline begins when Ellen’s sister, Lauren, makes an unannounced visit to the Sanders’ home.
As soon as Lauren comes in the door, she looks down the barrel of Duncan’s gun. Ellen, however, quickly explains that Duncan is a member of the Secret Service, who are there to guard the family until the surgery on the President takes place. This defuses the situation, although Duncan makes it clear to Ellen that he wants Lauren out of the house as quickly as possible.
Remember the gunshot wound that Brian Sanders suffered just 24 hours prior, the one that almost ended his life? Well, sure enough (as predicted right here, folks), he’s up and around this episode and even drives his daughter to the hospital to confirm her pregnancy. The only signs of his injury are that he winces when he gets up or down, and a surgical scar on his chest (which must be right over the bullet hole, because there are no other signs of injury). While daughter Morgan is finding out that she’s really pregnant, the nurse notices bruises on her arm (given to her by Sandrine) and a cut on her back (where the microchip was removed) and automatically assumes that she’s being abused. Look for a Child Protective Services subplot in the weeks to come.
Ellen is brought in for questioning about the disappearance/suicide of her nurse friend, and Duncan winds up being the agent asking her the questions. (He’s been brought into the investigation by the Secret Service.) The Secret Service also figures out that Archer was probably the one last seen with the nurse, and connects Archer with Duncan, but Duncan is able to quickly explain this away by saying that Archer was a paid informant for the FBI. Later, he’s even able to convince the Secret Service that it wasn’t Archer at all, but just a similar-looking man. The Secret Service’s head honcho, Hoffman, seems to buy Duncan’s explanation.
Sandrine still owes $50,000 to Victor (a.k.a. “Bobby Briggs”). While Duncan says that he’ll get her the money, he can’t get it to her by morning, when she needs it. Out of the blue, Kramer mentions that he knows of a high-stakes poker game that some rich businessmen have when their wives aren’t around. If Sandrine dresses up like a slutty hooker, they might be able to steal the money. Sounds like a plan… to get Sandrine into a tight-fitting dress, at the least. The two make it into the house hosting the game – Sandrine pretending to be the dealer hired for the evening, and Kramer as a robber who takes her hostage and threatens to kill her if they don’t turn over their money. The pair manages to make it out with the cash.
Back at the Sanders’ home, Ellen and her sister have a conversation about a stint that Lauren recently had in a psychiatric ward. This, of course, is some much-needed exposition for the home viewer, as shortly thereafter Lauren finds a gun in Ellen’s purse (Ellen and Brian have been thinking about killing Duncan) just as Duncan enters the room. Outraged that Ellen has been hiding a gun from him, he ties Lauren to a chair until he can figure out what to do with her. Instead of killing her, he gets the family to go along with having the doctors from the psych ward come and pick her up. When Lauren starts yelling about how the family has been taken hostage, she comes off sounding crazy, and she’s taken away from the house.
‘Hostages’ continues to be highly silly, but highly watchable fare. Very little in this series falls into the realm of believability, but I can’t say that the show ever bores me. It’s pretty fast-paced and constantly throws new (albeit ridiculous) twists at the viewer. The ratings for the show were actually up 8% this week over last, but don’t get your hopes up – this series is still as good as gone once this season is over.