‘Hostages’ 1.08 Recap: “Our Families’ Fates Are Intertwined”

For a show that has already stretched believability to its breaking point, one wouldn’t think that CBS’s ‘Hostages’ could get any crazier. Well, strap yourselves in, folks. This week’s episode takes suspension of disbelief to a whole new level. If the preview for next week’s episode (which I won’t reveal here) is any indication, there’s a whole lot more to come.

When we last left the Sanders family, Brian had stabbed Duncan with a syringe full of the chemical that was supposed to kill the President during his upcoming operation. Duncan told Ellen a few episodes back that the injection would kill the President instantly, but that certainly doesn’t seem to be the case here, as Ellen makes a small incision on Duncan’s chest to get the poison out of him. Remember how laughable it was a few weeks back when Brian got shot in the chest and made a full recovery in less than one episode? Well, this week, Duncan is back up and walking around after the opening credits! Boy, that Ellen is one hell of a doctor.

Last week, we learned that the First Lady has a younger sister, Vanessa, who had an affair with the President at some point, and whose husband had been killed – possibly by the President himself, although that hasn’t been revealed yet. This week, we’re introduced to another new character, Col. Thomas Blair (played by Brian White from ‘The Shield’). The Colonel, whom I believe has a ranking position in the National Security Agency, has been called into the President’s office along with Chief of Staff Creasy to discuss a secret information-gathering operation on Americans that the President wants to reveal to the public before the scandal gets out. Soon thereafter, we discover that both Creasy and Blair very much want to protect this program, and that Blair is part of the assassination plot. They also refer to a third party they’re working with, who later turns out to be none other than the First Lady’s sister.

In the recap for the previous episode, I mentioned that Kramer and Sandrine shared a kiss at a local bar. What I forgot to mention was that, upon exiting the bar, Kramer was arrested for the death of the limo driver several episodes back. His dad, who is a lawyer (not to mention in on the whole assassination plot), gets Kramer out of jail, and decides that young Jake Sanders will be Kramer’s alibi. A police detective interviews Jake, and Jake insists that Kramer took him to an out-of-town skateboarding park to show him a few tricks. The detective doesn’t look like he’s buying it, but Kramer remains a free man – for now.

Ellen learns what hospital Duncan’s wife is staying in, and tricks Archer (who’s out of prison and back to being the worst surveillance man ever) into thinking that she’s helicoptering off to a different hospital, when in fact she’s going to see Duncan’s wife. When Ellen finally confronts her, Duncan’s wife thinks that she’s the doctor who has talked Duncan into continuing her chemotherapy. She tells Ellen to get out of her room, but Ellen pumps her with enough morphine to knock her out for a while.

Back at the Sanders home, Morgan’s boyfriend (the father of Morgan’s unborn child) shows up and claims that he knows what’s going on in the Sanders’ household. However, he doesn’t actually know about the hostage situation. Instead, he thinks that Morgan is being abused by her father (whom he also believes is Duncan, by the way). When he sees Morgan and Duncan fighting in the kitchen area, he reveals himself and pulls a gun on Duncan, who waits for the right distraction and pulls his own gun. Upstairs, Sandrine can see all this transpiring on their computer monitors, so she gets her own gun and heads downstairs. Sandrine fires at the boyfriend at the same time he fires on her. Fortunately, Sandrine is wearing her bulletproof vest. Not surprisingly, Morgan’s boyfriend was wearing no protection, and dies instantly. Gee, a lot of innocents are being offed for the sake of saving Duncan’s wife, aren’t they? Of course, this show isn’t interested in addressing those types of moral questions.

When Archer realizes that Ellen has given him the slip, he calls Duncan and tells him what hospital she really went to. Duncan races to the hospital and catches Ellen there. Ellen grabs a syringe hooked up to the wife’s IV and threatens to give her an overdose (thus killing her) if Duncan doesn’t listen to her. The episode ends with Duncan asking Ellen what she wants.

If you thought this episode was crazy, the preview for next week (again, which I won’t spoil) suggests a relationship between two characters that no one could have seen coming. I’m guessing that the producers of ‘Hostages’ – aware very early on in the run that the show wouldn’t be renewed for another season – are just throwing all their ideas about the storyline and characters into this season, knowing that they can do pretty much anything plot-wise at this point. I’ve already mentioned that most of it is unbelievable, but it sure has provided for some entertaining TV. Unlike most hour-long dramas, which are afraid to advance or change their characters in any significant way, ‘Hostages’ just gets wilder and wilder every week.

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