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WashingTelevision: Hostages Recap, Season One, Episode Eight, “The Good Reason”

An episode with morphine poisoning, gunfire, and a ripped-from-the-headlines NSA plot somehow manages to be less than exciting.

This week on Hostages, Carlisle is still trying to convince his wife he’s going to find her a “miracle cure,” which somehow involves the NSA and the President’s sister-in-law. Photograph by Mark Schäfer for CBS.

Farewell, Boyd, we hardly knew ye. Seriously, I really don’t know anything about Morgan’s baby daddy except that he is reasonably fertile and has terrible instincts for life choices and facial hair. After his misguided heroics this week it looks like we won’t be seeing much more of him, but this is Hostages, where anything can happen at any time because I’m pretty sure the writers are constantly drunk, so who can predict? To the recap.

We pick up where we left off last week, with Brian/Jimmy Cooper stabbing Duncan “Schick Happens” Carlisle in the chest with a syringe full of deadly poison. Ellen rushes over and starts trying to help him, as BJC falls to the floor in pain from his still-healing stomach wound. Ellen says they have to help Carlisle because otherwise the people running the whole operation will kill them, but BJC, quite reasonably, is like, He has a needle sticking out of his chest, let’s just go with it! Instead Ellen puts Carlisle in a bathtub full of ice as he starts convulsing. Cut to them having coffee together the next morning. Carlisle seems totally fine. “I see the whole picture,” Ellen tells him. “We are in this together.” Carlisle has one more lesson to impart: He’s pissed she went to his daughter’s school and tells her threateningly, “My family is off-limits to you.” Irony! Later BJC is still kinda mad that Ellen is just, you know, taking the side of the guy who’s holding them all hostage, but Ellen buys the conspiracy theory and says she needs to figure out who the higher-ups are. She’s going to start by investigating Carlisle’s wife.

Kramer is chilling in a holding cell with some weird tile walls as a detective questions him about the limo driver he offed. Kramer says he’s never seen the guy before, and then his dad shows up and pulls a Sandy Cohen, saying he’s Kramer’s lawyer and the interview is over. Burton gets a private detective (or something) to bring him the evidence against Kramer, namely surveillance footage of him leaving the scene of the crime. So they decide to conscript Jake to lie to the police and say Kramer took him to a skate park that night—even though in the surveillance photos Kramer is clearly in the car with Sandrine rather than a teenage boy. When Jake is done being questioned, Kramer asks how it went and says he owes Jake one. But apparently he doesn’t owe Jake the truth, because when Jake asks if he actually killed the guy, Kramer lies. Duncan confronts Sandrine about the casino robbery, but she says he still owes her that $50,000. He says she’ll get paid “when this is all over.”

Oh, good, more scenes with the President! He’s meeting with Vanessa (his wife’s sister, in case you forgot), and apologizes for creepily hitting on her in the last episode. She says not to worry about it and is weirdly kind of flirty. Quentin comes in with a dude in full military brass, whom he introduces to Vanessa as “Colonel Blair” of the NSA although it’s clear by the look they exchange that she and the colonel already know each other. After she leaves, the President tells Quentin and Blair that he wants to end Operation Total Information, which, surprise, surprise, involves the NSA spying on the American public. Quentin starts blustering, but Blair is like, I get it—this program was in place when you became President so you want to control the message as you end it, and the President is like, yes! After the meeting, Quentin and Blair have a private meeting, and we flash back to when they first meet each other. (Did anyone else think for a minute that they were going to be secret lovers? Just me? Okay.) Blair says their “mutual friend” speaks highly of Quentin. I don’t really know what’s going on with these scenes, so I’ll just tell you: The mutual friend is Vanessa, so they’re all in on the plot to assassinate the President, and it has something to do with not ending Operation Total Information.

In another plot that is . . . happening, Morgan’s baby daddy, Boyd, scales a fence and breaks into her room to rescue his lady love. He thinks her dad—whom he thinks is Carlisle—is abusing her, and says they’re going to run away. And he’s bought a gun. Morgan says she’ll meet him outside the house, but when she tries to sneak out, Carlisle catches her and really does sound like an abusive dad. So Boyd comes out, gun drawn, and threatens him. Then BJC calls and leaves a voicemail that’s like, “Hi, it’s Dad!” so Boyd’s poor brain gets confused, giving Carlisle enough time to draw his gun. Sandrine, upstairs, sees the standoff on the in-house cameras and runs downstairs, surprising Boyd, and they shoot at each other. They both fall, but Sandrine is wearing a bulletproof vest so is fine. There might have been a scene where Sandrine is shown in the camera feed zipping Boyd into a body bag, but it was hard to tell and doesn’t seem to matter all that much, so let’s move on.

Carlisle is still ostensibly cooperating with Agent Hoffman, who suggests that maybe the Sanders family is being threatened. Carlisle says if there’s a conspiracy they should keep it between the two of them and promises to investigate, and of course tells Hoffman everything is kosher. But Hoffman privately contacts BJC to explain his theory that the family’s in danger and he wants to help.

In the hopes of finding out more about Carlisle’s wife, Ellen spins an elaborate web of lies to get to Beth Zion Hospital, where she’s being treated. Carlisle’s wife—I forget her first name, so let’s call her Anna—says she knows all about Ellen, except she thinks Ellen is the doctor who’s going to administer this so-called miracle treatment for her cancer. She starts to get agitated, but Ellen turns on her morphine drip so she passes out, giving Ellen a chance to look at her medical records. Meanwhile, Archer has been tailing Ellen and figures out she’s at the hospital, so he calls Carlisle, who shows up. He’s pissed, but Ellen has her hand on the morphine drip and says she took off the safety valve and could make Anna OD. But then wouldn’t she go to jail? Anyway, Carlisle says, “She’s innocent,” and Ellen replies, “So is my family.” Carlisle asks, “What do you want?”

Some questions:

I’m back to being confused about who exactly Burton is. Anna refers to him as her father, so maybe he is Carlisle’s father-in-law after all, and Kramer is Anna’s brother? Or maybe the writers just forget who’s who on this show. I know I do.

What’s the point of Boyd being dead? Just to not have to invent storylines for him anymore? Also I’m no doctor, but Carlisle forcing Morgan to fall onto her stomach during the shootout could not have been good for the tiny plot contrivance gestating inside her.

Why does Kramer lie to Jake? Why does Sandrine still need all that money even though she just robbed a casino? Why am I still trying to make sense of this?

What happened to the Sanderses’ dog, anyway?

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