Last time on Hostages, Brian/Jimmy Cooper decided that his family needed to escape the clutches of the Ski Mask Crew, and that he was going to use himself as a decoy because he’s a terrible cheating husband. We pick up basically where we left off, with BJC trying to convince Ellen they need to make a plan and follow through (that’s what Brian Boitano would do). He says the Ski Mask Crew are just improvising at this point, which is true. He also says he’s not going to be the decoy because he feels guilty about his affair, which is “meaningless”; he’s doing it because he loves his family. Ellen rolls her eyes into a flashback to four years ago, when they were a happy couple just about to buy the house they’re in. She’s over the moon; he says she needs to stop smiling so he can negotiate price.
In the present, Ellen is baking muffins, because Duncan “I’m Too Sexy for My Razor” Carlisle has told the family to act normal. When she’s getting the second tray out of the oven, she burns her forearm. Duncan tells Kramer to get her med kit, then puts a bandage on her arm. While his back is turned, she steals a scalpel from the kit, then yells at the kids that it’s time to leave for school. As they pull up in front of the school, Ellen looks in the rearview mirror and sees Archer’s shiny black car following them. She tells the kids they’re going to escape that day. “Where are we going to go?” they ask. Ellen says they’re going to take a 2:45 train to Montreal, and that they need to sneak off campus to the train station. Morgan says it’s not that easy to ditch school, and Ellen is all, Hello, you are whiny teenagers, I know for a fact you know how to ditch school. Then she hands Morgan the scalpel and says they need to cut out their GPS chips.
At the hospital, Ellen sees a little memorial set up for Angela with a picture frame containing what basically looks like the actress’s IMDB photo. Flash back to five months ago, when Ellen was just about to be hired to perform surgery on the President. (Remember that whole thing that’s the underlying premise of the show? Okay, good.) Angela says the Secret Service has been grilling her, and Ellen says she wants Angela to be a part of the surgical team, and they squeal together, and then we’re back in the present and Ellen’s face is filled with guilt and sadness.
Back at Chez Sanders, Maria is still suspicious of Kramer because she saw him beat up the drug dealer who beat up Jake. Carlisle calls Kramer and says his wife is awake (so she’s not comatose, I guess). “Tell her I love her,” says Kramer. So he and Carlisle are related! Turns out Mrs. C. has leukemia, and the chemo isn’t working, so she’s decided to stop treatment because she wants to enjoy her life. Also in that annoying TV cliché, she still has all of her hair. Carlisle says he’s found a doctor who can help pursue “experimental therapies.” She asks if they’re legal; he and his stubble say nothing, and she says they shouldn’t spend all their money on trying to cure her, but he begs her not to give up.
At school, Morgan is taking the lead on the Great Escape Plan. She tells Jake to meet her in a utility shed during third period, then manages to get the school nurse out of her office so she can steal bandages and hydrogen peroxide. As she’s pocketing the last of it, the nurse comes back in, and Morgan lies that she needs something for her nausea. The nurse starts needling her about being pregnant and suggests prenatal vitamins and not drinking, which, really? What high school nurse is going to take it upon herself to advise a teenager on her not-even-confirmed pregnancy? Anyway, Morgan runs out to the shed, but Jake isn’t there, so she goes back into school and bullies his friend into telling her where he is. He’s hanging out with the stoners behind the school, which seems super random but is actually smart, because he convinces one of them to call in a bomb threat so the school gets evacuated and they can escape. Meanwhile BJC is getting the family passports from the bank, but when he tries to withdraw cash he’s told there are holds on all the accounts. So he goes to his mistress/employee Samantha and asks her for $300 in petty cash. Then later he orders her to deliver the envelope with the passports and cash to his desk in his other office (?), where Ellen is going to pick it up. Samantha says he doesn’t get to treat her like his secretary because she is the Office Manager, dammit; he says it would be hotter if she actually were his secretary; I cringe and cover my ears. Ellen, meanwhile, doesn’t trust BJC to get the cash together, so she pawns her wedding ring for $600, which raises Archer’s suspicions. He tells her to check in every 15 minutes; she freaks and tells BJC to call off the escape plan, but he tells her he’ll make sure it works.
In another flashback, we see Ellen coming home with Champagne and telling BJC she will be operating on the President. He asks her if she took the job; she says of course she did. But BJC is not happy—he tellingly says first that the family will be “under a microscope,” and he doesn’t need people poking into his tax documents and phone calls, then lamely follows with, “Plus we hardly ever see you now as it is.” What shady business deals is he hiding?
In the present day, Samantha drops off the envelope late, giving her enough time to run into Ellen. She apparently looked in the envelope and wants to know why Brian is taking the fam on an impromptu vacation to Canada. Ellen’s like, “None of your beeswax, and also I know you’ve been boinking my husband,” and leaves Samantha looking shell-shocked.
Carlisle has apparently been cleared from the investigation into the hostage situation from the pilot (you know, the one where he was the FBI agent, not the hostage taker), and is receiving a new assignment: working on an inter-agency task force to look into Angela’s disappearance. It’s led, unsurprisingly, by Secret Service Agent Hoffman, who’s also investigating the possible presidential assassination attempt. Carlisle asks if they’ve met before; Hoffman says no but Carlisle comes highly recommended by someone in the White House. He says Angela was last seen with a man at the bar, and hands Carlisle a sketch of Archer. Uh oh.
BJC is at the house with Kramer, and beats him with a lacrosse stick so he can escape. Then he somehow makes it to the hospital, gets into Ellen’s car, and tears out of there, leading the Ski Mask Crew on his tail while Ellen heads to the train station. He of course gets caught, and when Ellen sees he’s not at the train station she calls him. But instead she gets a video chat from Carlisle, who turns the camera toward BJC and shoots him in the stomach. “He’s still alive, but I have no idea how long he’ll stay that way,” he tells her. And the episode ends on her staring, horrified, between her kids at the train station and her husband bleeding on the ground.
Hey, some legit violence happened! Props to the show for introducing some actual stakes.
Angela’s mother visits Ellen to pack up her things. Don’t we think the Secret Service would tell her that her daughter’s currently being considered a missing person?
Seriously, at this point it seems easier for the Ski Mask Crew to just kill the whole family and find another doctor to kidnap and intimidate.
What are these experimental treatments Carlisle is talking about? And what could it possibly have to do with the President of the United States?
If the kids have to cut out their GPS chips, why doesn’t Brian have to? Are we supposed to believe each chip is tracked separately by a different member of the Ski Mask Crew? That seems incredibly ineffectual.
Did you watch last night’s Hostages? Let us know your thoughts in the comments.