As CBS’s ‘Hostages’ begins the home stretch of its first (and only) season, I’ve stopped wondering just how crazy this show can get, and started wondering if I’m the only one still watching this thing. Episode 9, entitled ‘Loose Ends’, continues the madness by offing two supporting characters and giving us a connection between characters that no one could have seen coming – unless, of course, you watched the previews for this week’s episode!
The episode begins where the last one left off, with Ellen and Duncan in Nina’s hospital room, where the good doctor threatens to pump Duncan’s wife with a lethal dose of morphine. Before anything can happen, another doctor enters the room, and the situation is quickly defused. The premise bothers the heck out of me, though. First of all, Ellen is not a doctor at this hospital and is, in fact, wearing a lab coat from her own hospital – yet the other doctor never questions that she works there. Secondly, Ellen Sanders’ name and face have been plastered all over the national news for weeks because she’s going to operate on the President… and this other doctor doesn’t recognize her?
Meanwhile, Brian Sanders has been called in to talk to the head of the Secret Service, Hoffman. Hoffman has finally started to suspect that someone is planning to assassinate the President. He also suspects that the Sanders family is both in danger and knows something about the events transpiring. Brian denies it, but doesn’t do a very good job of doing so – further raising Hoffman’s suspicions. While Hoffman is smart enough to figure out that there’s a plot against the President’s life, he’s not too bright about whom he reveals his suspicions to. He tells both Duncan and Duncan’s Secret Service contact Logan (who’s also in on the plot) about it.
Logan meets with Duncan and tells him that they need to get rid of Hoffman. Duncan isn’t crazy about killing an innocent (even though, you know, he’s killed a few already – this show isn’t consistent with its morals), but agrees to go along with Logan’s plan. Logan hires a few local thugs to kill Hoffman, and Duncan sets up a meeting with Hoffman so that the thugs will know where he’s at. Watching from across the street, Logan and Duncan see a large truck block an alley the thugs are driving down just before they’re about to kill Hoffman. But Hoffman gets a call that his wife’s cell phone has been found at the scene of an accident, and races off. We then discover that Kramer is driving the large truck and that Sandrine has made the phone call to Hoffman. Duncan has double-crossed Logan to save Hoffman’s life.
Back at the White House, Chief of Staff Creasy gets a phone call telling him the plan to kill Hoffman didn’t work. He’s already promised Col. Blair that he’d take care of Hoffman, so now he suspects that Blair may have put him on his hit list as well. Panicking, Creasy arranges a parking garage meeting with Hoffman to both spill the beans about the assassination plot and try to cut a deal. He tells Hoffman to arrange it with the Attorney General, as he’s the only other person in Washington that Creasy trusts right now.
At the Sanders’ house, Duncan tells Ellen that the floor location of the President’s scheduled surgery has been changed, and that she needs to get the poison she’s going to inject him with into a locker on that floor before it goes into lockdown. Ellen manages to get it there on time, but also takes a small sample of the poison herself, to have it analyzed. She learns that it really isn’t poison at all, but a drug that will preserve the President’s bone marrow after his death. Ellen is now determined to get a blood sample from the President to analyze – which she manages to do before the end of the episode. If you already know where this is headed, hang on… I’ll catch up with you at the end of this recap!
That evening, there’s a party at the White House with most of our plotters in attendance. Creasy shares a toast with Blair, who has invited Creasy to come to his house afterwards for a gathering. Creasy seems tremendously suspicious about this. He then runs into the First Lady’s sister, Vanessa, who tells Creasy the Biblical story of Moses and how he never reached the Promised Land. She then tells him how sorry she is, and it’s at that point that Creasy realizes the champagne he’s been drinking has been poisoned. Minutes later, he’s dead on the floor. Those in attendance think he’s had a heart attack.
Hoffman has gathered up all his files and is off to see the Attorney General, but makes the mistake of asking Logan to accompany him. About halfway there, Logan claims that the car has a flat tire and gets out to change it. Hoffman gets out of the car too, only to be shot several times by Logan, who takes the money out of Hoffman’s wallet to make the murder look like a robbery gone bad. Logan then takes the files and hops into a car that arrives to drive him away from the scene.
The episode wraps up with Ellen getting the results of the President’s blood test. She discovers that he has both a rare blood type (AB-) and that his bone marrow is a perfect match for Nina’s. Yes, Nina is the President’s daughter! Ellen confronts Duncan about this, and he admits that she is, but the President doesn’t know she’s alive. Duncan also says that if the President did know that she was alive, he would kill her. Wait… what?!
I realized this week that ‘Hostages’ reminds me a lot of the later seasons of ’24’, where storylines would just keep getting crazier and crazier, and viewers had no choice but to throw logic out the window to enjoy the ride. There are just six episodes left (including a two-hour finale that CBS has decided to air against the NCAA Football national championship game in January… so set those DVRs!). At this point in the story, I’m just waiting for the aliens to land…