Although hardly a week goes by on ‘Hostages’ without a few new twists and turns, this week’s entry feels very much like filler, as the series gears up for its final few episodes. Still, despite being one of the lowest-rated shows on CBS, ‘Hostages’ remains consistently entertaining, if almost always implausible.
As this week’s episode gets underway, Col. Blair has taken Duncan hostage in order to have a few words with him. He tells Duncan that he knows he was behind foiling the New York assassination attempt on the President. Duncan, however, manages to convince Blair that he’s still the best man for the job, and Blair decides to keep Duncan’s own assassination plan in place. Little does Duncan know – yet – that Blair has gotten Logan (Duncan’s contact in the Secret Service) to recruit Sandrine to spy on him.
Brian tells Duncan the police want to question him and gets permission to go to the police station. However, the real reason Brian is going there is for another one of his attempts (he seems to have a new idea every few weeks) to spill the beans and save his family. Of course, Duncan isn’t that stupid. No sooner has Brian gotten to the station than Burton arrives to talk him out of it. He tells Brian the story of Patty Hearst, and how she came to love her hostage-takers. Then he shows Brian a photo of Ellen kissing Duncan. That’s enough to get Brian to leave without saying anything to the cops.
Back at the Sanders’ house, Brian confronts Ellen about her newfound loyalty to Duncan, and she confesses to kissing him – although she insists that she’s not romantically attached to him. She tells Brian about Duncan’s dying wife, Nina. She also explains how the President is an evil man and deserves to die. Brian tells Ellen that she doesn’t have the right to decide who gets to live and who gets to die, no matter how good or evil they might be.
Duncan, Archer and Kramer now suspect that Sandrine may have switched sides on them. Archer has already spotted her meeting with Logan, and confirms his identity when Duncan shows him a photo. In order to find out if Sandrine is leaking information to Blair and his team, Archer has her and Kramer go on a stakeout on a person inconsequential to the assassination plot (though Sandrine doesn’t know this). Later in the episode, when Blair asks Duncan why he’s investigating the person, Duncan knows Sandrine can no longer be trusted.
Because of the assassination attempt in New York, the President has assigned a new Secret Service agent to lead his detail, meaning that Logan is no longer close to the President. Duncan and his team need to take the agent out of the picture – but, of course, Duncan doesn’t want to kill him. Instead, he sets the guy up on a chance encounter with a beautiful woman at a local bar. Duncan is also there, and makes chit-chat with the agent long enough for the woman to arrive, introduce herself, and start flirting with the agent. Waiting outside for the two to exit the bar, Duncan meets with a close friend in the D.C. police, whom Duncan has recruited for this job. When the agent leaves the bar and gets in his car to give the girl a ride home, the detective comes over and tells him he’s under arrest for solicitation of prostitution. As the agent tries to identify himself and show that he has a weapon, a struggle ensues, the gun goes off, and the detective is killed. Duncan is now responsible for yet another death of an innocent. (Those playing the drinking game at home, take a swig!)
Meanwhile, in Brian’s latest attempt to save his family, he decides to call Nina at the hospital and reveal everything Duncan is up to, including the fact that she’s actually the President’s daughter. Ellen also seems to have a change of heart, after saving a man who had shot and killed a police officer in an operation at the hospital. The son of the criminal comes to thank Ellen for saving him, even though he knows that his father is a horrible man. This seems to convince Ellen that what Brian told her is true – and that she really has no right to play judge and jury with the President’s life.
The episode concludes with Duncan going to the hospital, where Nina reveals the conversation that she had with Brian. She demands to know from Duncan whether all of it is true.
Well, there are only two more airings to go. (The finale will be two back-to-back episodes in early January.) This week’s episode seems to consist of a lot of set-up for what will happen in the final few episodes. Since the series is guaranteed to end, I hope that the producers and writers don’t just give us a standard TV ending, where the President is somehow saved, but Nina still manages to get cured). I want something wild, crazy and memorable. I still think that when this series hits home video (or Netflix) that people will discover it and wish they had paid more attention to it. It’s by no means great TV, but the show has been a fun rollercoaster ride that reminds me of the one-season ‘Kidnapped’ that aired on NBC back in the mid-2000s.