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WashingTelevision: Crisis Recap, Episode Three, “What Was Done to You”

Thirty-six hours in, the kidnappers are focusing on someone within the White House.

True Detective season two. Just kidding, it’s Dunn and Finley racing through a hotel. Photograph courtesy of NBC.

We’re now 36 hours into the Ballard School kidnapping, and even though the parents of the missing children are among the most powerful people in the world, and even though one of them has already been caught assisting the kidnappers under duress, only now has it occurred to the FBI to start keeping an eye on, duh, the parents. This makes things fairly complicated for Agent Dunn—does she keep an eye on herself, since no one else knows her secret? It’s also nice to finally know that we’re operating under a kind of 24x12 time here, where each episode comprises exactly 12 hours where neither Dunn nor Finley nor anyone in the employ of the government gets any sleep.

Frank Beckwith (which feels like a very House of Cards-y name, don’t you think?), the President’s chief of staff, is next on Gibson’s call list, and because it’s impossible for the kidnapping team to smuggle a burner phone to him as they have with all the other parents, they instead place a call directly to him on a national security line. Much easier. Gibson wants Beckwith to call his very important friend General Osborne and set up a top-secret meeting. On the agenda? Truth and pain. How they didn’t make that the title of the episode, I have no idea, but yes, it’s most certainly a summation of Gibson’s greater mission here.

Dunn goes to interview the President and the First Lady and doesn’t think Finley should go, because he lost their son and all, but luckily they aren’t mad, because they know he got shot by Hearst and did everything he could and lots of other platitudes. The parents are being used by the kidnappers, Dunn tells them, and she works for those kidnapped kids, not the President, so if something shady happens, she will most certainly be investigating, no matter how big his Oval Office is. The President tells her that he swore an oath to the American people that he will not betray, even if that means letting his son die, so she’d better bring his son home before that’s a decision he’s obliged to make. Oh, and FLOTUS wants Finley to hurt the kidnappers whenever he does find them.

Outside the White House, people have been placing candles and signs by the gates as a vigil for the kids, which is something that would never be allowed to happen. Go to the White House if you don’t believe me and try leaving something on the ground by the gates and see what happens. Why exactly this is a rule is clarified when the candles start exploding and someone finds Gibson’s finger in a bag, prompting a distraction that allows Beckwith to escape from Dunn and Finley. The head of the FBI is NOT HAPPY with this and shuts down all traffic in Washington, as well as Metro (Metro!). There’s a very awkward, obviously paused video of a train stopping, mid-platform. Also, no taxis are allowed to pick up passengers, which would probably start a mutiny. Luckily Gibson has thought ahead and organized a guy on a motorcycle to pick up Beckwith and bring him to his meeting with General Osborne.

The guy on the bike, Mr. Freud, is another Ballard parent who owns a bunch of car dealerships and therefore has access to lots of vehicles. He’s also a former soldier who was kidnapped and tortured many years ago, and when he gets to the meeting with Osborne and Beckwith, Gibson tells him on the phone to “do to the General what was done to you,” as in torture him with what appears to be a car battery. It’s very grisly. There’s a red and green light, and Osborne has an earpiece, and Gibson talks in his ear and tries to get him to confess about Operation Lennox and a massacre in which lots and lots of people died. Osborne at one point guesses that it’s Gibson on the phone, but Gibson pretends he’s someone else who’s actually broken Gibson for information. Meta!

Finley and Dunn have figured out Freud’s a target by interviewing Anton, the endearing but dorky kid Finley saved who just happens to have a photographic memory (this kid is going to be so rich one day), and tells them about some DPW trucks parked outside his house last week at 3:15 PM. By reviewing surveillance, they track those same trucks to Freud’s house, and somehow (I got lost here) figure out that Osborne is the target when the President comes out of his bunker and starts talking about advanced weapons systems. They’re able to start tracking Osborne’s phone, even when Gibson creates a bunch of fake clones to confuse them, and Dunn and Finley race to the hotel where Osborne’s being tortured, right after they deal with some institutionalized racism on the way.

They get to Osborne, who’s somehow gotten hold of a gun and shot Freud twice, and even though they try to reason with him, Gibson’s in his ear, taunting him about court-martials and his family—so Osborne shoots himself before they’re able to intervene, but not before telling Gibson that the footage he wants is hidden in a top-secret CIA vault (#48). Because there are no vaults at the Pentagon to hide things in, I’m sure, so all military personnel have to stash their super-top-secret things at Langley. How will Gibson access this vault? We get a glimpse of his playbook, with lots of doodles about “Pepco” and “Dulles,” and also what I’m sure are two parents with CIA links for next week’s episode.

Some thoughts:

It was fun when Kyle tried to go all Hardy Boys with Beckwith’s son and the horrible lacrosse kid. It was less fun when he almost got suffocated by the kidnappers. But he’s no pampered son of privilege, this one—or he is, but he’s also kind of proactive, which I appreciate.

The FBI really need to get Anton on their team, forthwith.

Gibson made something called “egg in a hole,” which looked pretty delicious, but was ruined when he started going on and on about all the wealthy parents at Ballard and their $100,000 ski weekends or something. “I want to break the people at the CIA the way they broke me,” he tells his kidnapping team. “And save the children. They’ve been kidnapped, and they need to be saved.” Everyone looks pretty confused at this point, which is fair.

What did you think of last night’s Crisis? Let us know in the comments.

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