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'Hostages' Recap: Ellen Goes Undercover And Stages An Exit?

10/08/2013 11:57 am ET | Updated Jan 23, 2014

On last week's episode of "Hostages," with Duncan's encouragement, Ellen tried to convince her friend Angela, the nurse in charge at the time, to claim responsibility for the "accidental" dose of blood thinners administered to the president. In an attempt to smooth over the situation, Archer paid Angela a visit, and the next thing we know, Angela is reported missing with a suicide note claiming full responsibility.

On this week's episode, the government officials, captors, and hostages deal with the implications of her disappearance, but there are some plot points that demand further explanation. And we want answers. Here are some questions that arose during the episode:

Who is this adviser and why is the president listening to her?

A staff member approached the president explaining that there are a number of rumors and conspiracy theories circulating around Angela's disappearance. She reminded him that hiring Ellen as his surgeon was supposed to be a public relations win, but instead it made to be causing more harm than good. The president thought on this for a moment and makes a decision -- while he likes Dr. Sanders just fine, he wants another surgeon from Walter Reed Medical Center.

That's all fine, but who was this woman who made the president of the United States change his plans? Apparently, she wields a great amount of power. Perhaps Creasy should try to get her on his side.

Why didn't Duncan look around before making a private phone call?

Duncan made a phone call to his daughter, a generally benign activity, but he seemed to have forgotten that he's in the process of holding a family hostage because he didn't even close the door. Ellen didn't even have to be very stealthy about listening in the doorway, seeing as he was facing the opposite direction. "Have fun at the art fair," Duncan told Sawyer. Armed with this hefty piece of information, Ellen creeps away down the hallway and immediately relays this information to Brian.

How did no one seem to see this shooting?!

"I'm at the meeting spot; I got your message," Duncan said to his father, only to be told that his father did not send him any message. This could only mean one thing -- it's a trap! Next, we saw a sniper on the roof aiming at Duncan as he walked through a public plaza or the like, emphasis on the word public. Duncan realized he's been set up just in time to dodge the sniper's bullet. Assuming Creasy masterminded this ambush, Duncan vowed to "bury that son-of-a-bitch."

But really, did no one see this shooting? Other than Duncan, no one seems to react, and of course, Duncan hardly reacted because he's too cool to be bothered by near-death experiences. He continued on to visit his dad, who reminded him that it doesn't matter who gave the order, "it only matters why." Duncan figured this must be a sign that the president has decided to change surgeons making everyone a liability. Infuriated, Duncan called Quentin Creasy in an attempt to get him to change the president's mind. Unfortunately for Duncan, Creasy screened his call while mumbling "I thought Carlisle was supposed to be dead."

What does Agent Hoffman know?

While on her way to work, Ellen was intercepted by Agent Hoffman. After expressing his condolences for the loss of her friend, he asked her a series of questions demanding her whereabouts the night of Angela's disappearance. Ellen launched into the whole story of how she tried to get Angela to come clean about her possible mistake, how she played a benevolent angel, but Angela was too upset over the matter. "Don't blame yourself doctor. With something like this, how could you possibly know." Although Agent Hoffman's words seemed reassuring, his tone and gaze suggest otherwise, as if he can see right through her lies and excuses. What does he know?

How does Duncan's heroic behavior really prove he's trustworthy?

Maria has questions and she wants answers. She still doesn't understand why she should trust Duncan, and likewise doesn't understand why she hasn't gotten paid. Hoping for some answers, she approached Archer, who, for the most part, dismissed her questions by saying, "I said I'd take care of it." Demanding more information about Duncan, Archer finally gave her a bit more of the story. Apparently, 13 years ago, Archer was working for a US petrol outfit near the Colombian border when they got attacked by militants. Duncan was the lead negotiator on the case. After leading a raid to rescue the hostages, Duncan learned Archer was being held separately. According to Archer, Duncan shot his way through and saved his life.

Maria's response? "Impressive, but I still need to get paid." Although a testament to Duncan's heroism, Archer's description of his own rescue didn't answer any of Maria's concerns. It only seems to indicate he's brave, maybe stupidly so, and can handle a gun. There's no indication he's credible. Only time will tell.

Where did Morgan find this guy?

After managing to avoid Boyd thus far, Morgan finally told him she's pregnant. Upon realizing the gravity of the situation, Boyd goes to her house to speak with Brian -- who he's never met -- but instead finds Duncan, who practically shoots him on sight. In a proclamation of love, Boyd explains that he dropped out high school, but is now getting his career back on track. Considering Morgan lacks some innate human sentiments, it's really unclear where she found such a sappy, overly concerned boyfriend. Seeing where this is going, Duncan, assumed the role of Morgan's father and stopped him mid-speech. He told Boyd he's too young for marriage and should move on. Duncan ended the conversation saying, "You've got guts, kid. I respect that, but stay away from my daughter." Poor Boyd.

How did Duncan get into that car?

Creasy walked back to his car only to be ambushed by an enraged Duncan Carlisle. While holding a gun to Creasy's forehead, he said, "Since you wouldn't take any of my calls, I had to find a way to get your attention." Creasy claimed innocence, but Duncan didn't care what he had to say. At this point he only cares about what happens next. In case Creasy was planning on pulling any shenanigans, Duncan shows him a picture of his wife, threatening to kill her if anything goes wrong. Creasy immediately called someone to ensure the president keeps Ellen as his surgeon.

To further guarantee everything goes as planned, Creasy met with a reporter. Calling their whole conversation off the record, he explained the president plans to switch to a surgeon at Walter Reed Medical Center. Asked why he's not worried about the fallout of such a move, Creasy maintained he's just trying to protect the president. Duncan watches them from afar.

Did Duncan really not think of this possibility?

Sporting scrubs and a surgical mask, Ellen escapes from the hospital, while under close surveillance by Archer. Duncan seems to be falling short of his position as all-knowing captor. Shouldn't he have foreseen this? A surgeon disguised as a surgeon -- good one.

Tara Gregson? Is that you?

After finding out the name of Duncan's daughter's school from an illicit -- also unnoticed -- phone call to Brian, Ellen entered the school's art fair introducing herself as Jane, Sawyer's aunt, transforming her into a different character. Toni Collette is such a talented actress, but this show doesn't do a great job of showcasing her abilities. We can see a glimmer of one Tara Gregson as she embraces her new personality wholeheartedly. Her face contorts a little and her voice changes and suddenly she's Jane, harkening back to her days on "United States of Tara."

In an attempt to gather more information on Duncan, Ellen presses Sawyer to learn more information about her mother. After learning of her sick mother, and subsequently making the little girl cry, Ellen had her draw a photo of her family. From this, she learned Duncan is an FBI Agent named Carlisle.

Why can't Jake just tell his dad the truth about the money?

Unable to convince his dad to give him back his money, Jake had nothing to give Nico the drug dealer. After getting into another fight with his dad over the "beer money" -- which is truly a lame reason to need the money back -- Jake stormed off the lacrosse field only to find Nico and his crew in a black SUV waiting for him. Unfortunately for Jake, he's not too quick on his feet or with his fists. He told Nico he'll have his money soon. While initially feigning understanding, Nico knocks Jake on the ground, punching and kicking him in the ribs. Maria and Kramer looked on but did nothing, mainly because Maria locks Kramer in the car. Although later on, Kramer tracked down Nico and tossed him around a little, as Maria secretly watched him.

Even after getting the living daylights beaten out of him, Jake lied to his dad. OK, but why would it be so horrible to explain the truth? He's already grounded! He can't leave his house, can't hang out with friends, and has a tracking device implanted under his skin. Clearly, Jake is not the Einstein of the lot.

So we're really drawing parallels to a painting of President Garfield?

Once President Kincaid learned the story of his surgeon swap leaked, he decided he can't go through with it because it would undermine his liberal stance on healthcare reform. However, the first lady remained unconvinced and calls Ellen in for a chat.

Once Ellen arrived, she stared intently at a painting of President Garfield. The first lady entered the room to explain that Garfield was only in office for 200 days before he was assassinated in 1881. Just as things were getting really uncomfortable, the president entered and the weird President Garfield anecdote is tossed to the wayside.

After the president explained his logic behind switching surgeons, Ellen said he's making a mistake. Reminding him that she was the one who caught the error that could have killed him, she claimed she's the best thoracic surgeon they're going to find.

Next thing we know, Creasy met with Duncan and declared everything is back on track and Ellen will perform the surgery. Once again, Creasy tried to convince Duncan he had nothing to do with the plot to kill him. And once again, Duncan remained entirely unconvinced.

Will they escape?!

Back at home, Ellen excitedly told Brian what she learned about Duncan's identity. But Brian took this progress one step further. If Ellen managed to escape from the hospital, why can't they all escape their captors entirely? He offered to stay behind as a decoy in the hopes that Ellen and the kids can escape, but Ellen wouldn't hear of it. Feeling now is the perfect time to reveal his own indiscretions, he said, "You know I love you, right?" closely followed by "I'm having an affair with Samantha." With Ellen in tears, Brian said, "Let me do this." Suddenly, Ellen seemed to be considering it.

What do you think? Can Ellen and the kids escape their captors? Will Ellen let Brian act as a martyr? Sound off in the comments.

"Hostages" airs Mondays, 10 p.m. ET on CBS.

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