Last week on"Hostages," Dr. Ellen Sanders and her family were kidnapped and held hostage by a group of current and former agents led by Duncan Carlisle. Promising to harm her family if she refused to comply, the captors ordered Ellen to accidentally murder the president during his surgery. Although initially feigning compliance, at the last minute, Ellen gave the President a dose of blood thinners causing a postponement of the surgery. Now both her captors and the government are demanding answers and payback.
Assassination. Kidnapping. Conspiracy. Revenge. All of these things come together to make one heckuva dramatic thriller. But sometimes it's hard not to notice some intentionally ambiguous dialogue meant to keep us guessing. Here are some of the best vague and suggestive lines from the episode:
"You need to come with us now."
As Dr. Ellen Sanders leaves the hospital after discretely slipping the president a blood thinner, she is intercepted by the Secret Service say, "You need to come with us now," harkening back to the days of Mr. Laszlo's arrest in Casablanca. If only Ellen had replied, "It seems that destiny has taken a hand," but alas she seems to have her mind on other things. She follows them to a room where she meets Agent Hoffman (Paul Calderon) who wants to find out exactly what happened. While Ellen nervously babbles about feeling terrible about this accident, Hoffman remains unconvinced of such innocence. Who had access to the room? How did Ellen know he'd been given blood thinners? Did anything out of the ordinary happen that day? Just a kidnapping and hostage situation, no big deal. But of course, Ellen remains quiet. Agent Hoffman exits the room for a moment at which point another agent (Jim True-Frost) comes up behind her and asks how "Morgan and Jake are getting along with their little house guests." How many agents are in on this plan? It's beginning to seem as though everyone knows what's going on, except maybe Ellen and her family.
Ellen returns home to find Duncan and Barkley awaiting her return, alone. *Cue the slow clap* "I knew you were resourceful, but I didn't see this coming," says Duncan, like any good all-knowing bad guy who's been watching their victim struggle through some sort of crazy tribulation. Ellen calls for her kids as Duncan taunts her. "Did you really think you could get away with this?" He saying, throwing a hood over her head and bringing her to Brian and the kids, who are all kneeling, blindfolded, bound, and gagged.
"One of them has to die. It's up to you."
It seems a bit early in the game to be introducing a "Sophie's Choice"-type situation, but so it goes. Ellen refuses to choose, so Duncan points the gun at Brian. Handing the gun to Ellen, he tells her she must shoot him. She nods, immediately turns the gun on Duncan and fires, but nothing happens. All-knowing Duncan is at it again. Of course he knew she would try that little trick, silly woman! "See, you are a killer," Duncan cockily concludes. He cocks the gun and fires, but we can't see who was hit.
But of course, everyone is fine. Duncan shot at nothing. Or perhaps he just missed and is covering up his lack of aim. Regardless, he claims, "Sometimes mind games are more effective." And it seems he's been playing games with everyone. Archer asks him why he didn't mention this plan had anything to do with the President. Apparently, Archer missed out on that plot point entirely - true blind faith. Duncan claims that tiny piece of information wouldn't have made any difference. Archer demands some answers. Who's in charge? An official inside the White House, that's all Duncan knows. Trust him? No. Looks like Duncan is blindly following instructions as well.
"Tomorrow you will return to your normal lives."
Duncan sits the family down and tells them they will continue with their lives as usual. So they're free?! No, naturally Duncan will still have full control because he makes Ellen implant GPS chips into her kids and husband. Ellen herself is not given a tracking device because Duncan believes she won't abandon her family, so is therefore not a flight risk.
Meanwhile, a phone buzzes. Calling Duncan aside, Sandrine tells him Brian has been sending text messages against the rules. As punishment, she threateningly shoves Brian into a car and drives off. They end up at the home of his mistress. She hands him a bottle of champagne sassily calling it, "just a regular Tuesday night." Begrudgingly, Brian goes into the house to meet his mistress, Samantha (Hilarie Burton).
"Do you love me?"
Samantha turns out to be something of a mistress cliché - a bit insecure, needy, unnecessarily giggly. Apparently she received some texts from Brian detailing his love for her, which seems to come as breaking news to Brian, so when she demands to know if he loves her, he chokes out a feeble, "Of course." She urges him to be honest with Ellen and break the bad news that he doesn't love her anymore. "But I do," he replies. Now he seems to be stuck in one of those quintessential cheating husband situations, in which his clingy mistress wants a commitment that he's not willing to make. Poor Samantha. Aka Peyton Sawyer from "One Tree Hill." Not to mention Brian hits it and quits it, immediately bolting out of the apartment and back to the car where Sandrine has been waiting.
"I put my faith in you. Don't make me regret it."
Duncan enters the bathroom to find Kramer rummaging through the medicine cabinet holding a bottle of Oxycodone. "Are you using again?" Duncan asks. "I put my faith in you. Don't make me regret it." So many questions. How long has he been clean? Why did Duncan give him a second chance? Did Kramer get buddy-buddy with Jake last episode because he saw Jake has a connection to a drug dealer?
"You have your reasons. I have mine."
Duncan sneaks into his father's house to briefly to see his daughter. This trip evidently brings up some memories for Duncan. Flashback to six months ago when Duncan meets Chief Of Staff Quentin Creasy for the first time. Creasy explains that this mission is more important than the life of one man; this will shape the world. But apparently Duncan doesn't care about Creasy's plans at all: "You have your reasons. I have mine."
"Why do you know so much?"
Brian returns home from his somewhat involuntary sexual escapades to find an overly emotional Ellen, who had assumed he was being tortured. Looks like Duncan's mind games are working. After their emotional embrace, Ellen receives a message notifying her that she has to take a polygraph test tomorrow morning. Unconcerned, Duncan says people beat those all the time. He gives her a quick lesson on how to pass a polygraph at which point Ellen, probably slightly impressed, wonders why he knows so much. And just like that, Ellen passes the polygraph test the following morning. Duncan is pleased with the outcome, but insists they're going about it the wrong way. He orders Ellen to place the blame on Angela (Toni Truck), one of the nurses assigned to the President during the time the dose of blood thinners was administered.
Convinced Angela's admission of guilt is the only way out, Ellen meets up with her. Believing in her own innocence, Angela wants to get a lawyer, but Ellen instills her with self-doubt. "I know you think you didn't [make a mistake], but it is your job to administer meds," says Ellen. She tries to convince Angela to admit her mistake because otherwise the Secret Service will rip her life apart.
"We need to end this investigation tonight."
After receiving intel that the government is searching every corner of the hospital for clues, Duncan calls Ellen at work to find out just how careful she was about covering her tracks. It turns out, she wasn't very careful at all. No gloves, no alibi as to why her prints would even be in that pharmaceutical closet. Duncan hangs up, turns to Kramer, and declares an end to this investigation by tonight. Dun dun dun.
Finding a note on her desk from Angela asking to meet for a drink, Ellen heads over to the tavern to meet her. Unfortunately, Archer got to her faster; as Angela sat waiting for Ellen, a man at the bar started bothering her, at which point, Archer swooped in to the rescue pretending to be Angela's boyfriend. Grateful, Angela offers to buy him a drink.
"Actions have consequences."
Next thing we know, Ellen returns home shouting at Duncan, "Where's the other guy? The black guy." Evidently, Ellen has not been polite enough to learn her captors' names. Morgan rushes in to turn on the news. Angela's car has been found abandoned and there's a suicide note on her Facebook page citing her accidental swap of the president's medicine as the cause. "You killed her!" Ellen yells. Calmly Duncan responds "Actions have consequences, Ellen."
OK, but seriously, these guys haven't really given her any reason to believe they actually killed Angela. After all, Duncan didn't actually shoot any of her family members even after he told her that one of them had to die. There's not much evidence to suggest these captors are cold blooded killers. At least, not yet.
What do you think? Will Duncan actually harm Ellen's family? Did Archer really kill Angela? Sound off in the comments.
"Hostages" airs on Mondays at 10 p.m. ET on CBS.