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WashingTelevision: Hostages Recap, Season One, Episode Three, “Power of Persuasion”

An overstuffed episode has the characters revealing some of their secrets.

The President’s chief of staff leaks information to a reporter while Duncan and his stubble look on threateningly. Photograph by Giovanni Rufino for Warner Brothers.

Welcome back, ye merry few who are still watching this show. We’re on episode three of this journey, and my reaction is, as my favorite bloggers the Fug Girls would say, WORDS. This installment was stuffed to the brim with things happening seemingly for little reason other than to drive the plot forward. So to make it easier to follow, I’m just going to list them:

Jake asks his dad, Brian/Jimmy Cooper, for the drug money back so he can pay his dealer. Brian/Jimmy Cooper says no. So Jake gets beat up by the drug dealer! Kramer and Maria watch; Kramer feels bad, but Maria just laughs and calls Jake a dumbass. Maria goes to Carlisle and says Kramer is an amateur; Carlisle says Kramer can be trusted. Then Kramer sneaks out and beats up the drug dealer! And Maria sees him!

The President’s team advises him that his surgery by a civilian doctor is turning into a PR liability and he should cut his losses. So he wants to switch to a military hospital. So then Quinn thinks the whole plan to kill him is off, so he tries to have Carlisle killed instead. But Carlisle escapes! And he hides in the back of Quinn’s car and then tells him he’ll kill his family unless the plan goes ahead! So Quinn leaks to a reporter that the President wants to switch hospitals, and the reporter writes that the President is a hypocrite. But the President still wants to switch doctors! Until Ellen convinces him that she is The Best and that he would be dumb to choose anyone else. So then the plan is back on! Also Kate Burton has been replaced as First Lady by Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio.

Morgan is still pregnant and sad. Her boyfriend, Boyd (of course), tracks her down at school and says he’s in love with her and thinks about her all the time. She tells him he should have thought about wearing a condom. Not really, but she does tell him she’s pregnant. His face drops and she runs off. But then he goes to her house and Carlisle almost shoots him! But then he doesn’t! Because Boyd mistakes him for Mr. Sanders and starts babbling about how he is Morgan’s secret boyfriend and is in love with her and dropped out of high school but now works in construction and could support her if need be. Carlisle, holding a gun behind his back the whole time, dispenses some fatherly advice: Morgan is too young to get married, so Boyd should GTFO and never come back. Later Morgan finds out about this talk her “father” gave her boyfriend and is SO MAD at Brian/Jimmy Cooper! But he doesn’t know what she’s talking about!

Ellen is still mad about Angela getting “killed.” She overhears Carlisle talking to his daughter on the phone about an art fair and decides she is going to check it out to learn more about him. She manages to sneak away from the hospital and find the school, where she tells the school administrator she is Sawyer’s aunt. (The only truly scary part of this episode? How easy it was for her to get into the school and gain access to little Sawyer.) She tells Sawyer she used to work with Carlisle, and then tricks Sawyer into spilling about her family—including that her mother is sick. And that Carlisle is an FBI agent! As she’s leaving, Kramer shows up—and maybe sees her! But maybe doesn’t!

The Ski Mask Crew still hasn’t been paid, and Maria is Not Happy About It. She tells Billy she needs to get paid; he says he knows. He explains he trusts Carlisle because Carlisle saved his life back in the day. She still doesn’t look convinced.

Brian/Jimmy Cooper’s girlfriend is still hoping for them to go away on a romantic vacation together. Oh, and they work together. Ellen tells Brian/Jimmy Cooper that she found out Carlisle is FBI; he’s more impressed she managed to sneak away from surveillance. Can you do it again? he asks. She says yes; he says they are going to escape. She says that’s crazy, but he says he’ll stay behind as a decoy. She protests. He says, “You know I love you, right?” Then he confesses he’s having an affair. Why? I don’t really know. How do they have this conversation in private despite Brian/Jimmy Cooper’s microphone-equipped GPS chip? I don’t know that either. The episode ends with Brian/Jimmy Cooper’s nascent plot to extricate his family from the clutches of the Ski Mask Crew.

Some thoughts:

• Carlisle refers to Kramer as Sawyer’s uncle—are he and Kramer actually related? My guess would be Kramer is Mrs. Carlisle’s brother.

• Does anyone think Brian is capable of executing a successful plan? He’s even more ineffectual than Jimmy Cooper.

• There are so many characters now that some only get like three lines. But they still couldn’t hang on to Kate Burton, apparently.

• Percentage I think Toni Collette should be on a different show after watching this episode: 98. Maybe the show can just have Dr. Sanders come down with a wicked case of dissociative identity disorder—I’d love to see Gimme take on Duncan “Permanently Stubbled” Carlisle.

Did you tune in for last night’s Hostages? Let us know what you thought in the comments!

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