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WashingTelevision: Hostages Recap, Season One, Episode Nine, “Loose Ends”

The body count continues to climb, and Carlisle’s big secret is revealed.

The Duncan Carlisle side-eye means he’s got secrets. Photograph by Jeff Neumann for CBS.

This episode picks up right where the last one left off, with Ellen holding the morphine drip of Carlisle’s wife. She wants to know why he’s trying to kill the President, and he says, “The reason doesn’t matter,” which she accepts at face value. Okay, not really—she says, “It does to me,” and then another doctor comes in and is like, Why are you holding my patient’s morphine drip? Carlisle covers for her, and as they exit the room he tells her she needs to go home to her daughter because he maybe kinda sorta got her boyfriend killed.

Brian/Jimmy Cooper is talking with Agent Hoffman, who says the only explanation he has for Ellen trying to assassinate the President is that she’s under duress. BJC sighs heavily and almost looks like he’s going to talk, but then says, “I don’t know what you’re talking about.” Hoffman thanks him for his time but is still suspicious, so he starts looking into the records of the hospital where Ellen works and figures out someone doctored them (no pun intended) to make them more favorable so the President would have his surgery there. He tells Bill Jones, which apparently is the crooked Secret Service guy’s name; Bill tells Quentin, and they decide they need to kill Hoffman with Carlisle’s help. Also Hoffman is married all of a sudden, because I guess that makes him more sympathetic or something.

In the present, Carlisle informs Ellen her surgeries have been moved to a new floor so she needs to plant the lipstick poison he gave her in the pilot in someone’s locker. (Why? Didn’t follow; it’s not really important.) Ellen uses the opportunity to have the poison analyzed in a lab. Turns out it’s not poison at all—it’s a bone marrow preservative for leukemia patients. She also tests the President’s blood and finds out he has the same very rare blood type as Carlisle’s wife, leading her to conclude she’s the President’s daughter. Carlisle confirms, and when she asks why he can’t just, you know, politely request some bone marrow, Carlisle says the President doesn’t know she’s alive—but if he did he would kill her.

Jones and Carlisle lure Hoffman to Anacostia and hire some random black gunmen to kill him. But unbeknownst to Jones, Carlisle has concocted a plan to save Hoffman’s life, so he gets away. Jones calls Quentin to tell him, and Quentin, realizing their plan is going to crap, calls Hoffman and fills him in on the assassination plot so he can save himself. It’s all for naught, though: Vanessa (remember her?) and the evil general/colonel/something are one step ahead of him. Vanessa poisons him during an event at the White House, causing him to suffer a “heart attack.” Apparently the plan is for the colonel to be President someday. Also, surprising no one, they are sleeping together. Things don’t end happily for Hoffman, either: He gathers files together to take to the attorney general to negotiate Quentin’s deal, and makes Jones drive him. Jones shoots him dead and leaves him by the side of the road. Adios, Hoffman—I kind of liked you.

Other things that happen: Kramer and Sandrine have started banging, or are about to, and she also used to sleep with Archer, who has developed a habit of calling every character a patronizing nickname. (Seriously—he calls Jake “big guy” and Kramer “tough guy,” and tells Sandrine she’s “a big girl.”) He’s suspicious that they are “running errands” for Carlisle without him and gets Jake to tell him the real story of the limo driver’s death. So I guess Archer is the antagonist now. Also Boyd is really dead, but it’s hard to tell because Morgan is the only one who seems to care even a little bit.

Body count: Angela, the limo driver, Boyd, Hoffman, Quentin (maybe?)

Some questions:

Remember BJC’s mistress and how she was at one point instrumental to the plot? What happened to her?

Why does Carlisle save Hoffman’s life? Why is he all of a sudden the warm and cuddly type of villain again? Things made marginally more sense when he was a borderline psychopath.

What is going on with this NSA plot?

Where is the First Lady? Why go through the trouble of casting Kate Burton and then replacing her with Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio if FLOTUS is only going to appear in one episode?

Are you still watching Hostages? Share your thoughts/questions/gripes in the comments.