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WashingTelevision: Crisis Recap, Episode Four, “We Were Supposed to Help Each Other”

The parents insist on not listening to the FBI, and of course things go wrong.

The only thing these sisters have in common is a colorist. Photograph by Chuck Hodes for NBC.

Here is my tip for you, potential kidnappers of the world’s most privileged children: If, by any chance, you find yourself needing to make notes on how to build an improvised explosive device (IED), do not write at the top “Improvised Explosive Device (IED).” I mean, you can, if you like, but it’s going to be a little bit incriminating if you ever get caught.

Still, Gibson’s thorough, you can give him that. His nefarious plan in this week’s episode, whose title I can’t be bothered to type out again, involves a congressman, the congressman’s wife/chief of staff, and a senator, all of whom are parents of two missing Ballard kids. Remember last week’s general, who revealed under torture that some kind of proof of Operation Lennox lived in a CIA vault? Well, these congresspeople have all been assigned to go get it, in a way that is totally ridiculous and clearly a poor idea on many levels. (It involves one of them wearing a suicide vest in the lobby at Langley, one of the most secure places on earth.)

These ridiculously stubborn parents who insist on doing the opposite of what Agents Finley and Dunn tell them to do are making life very difficult for the FBI, who’ve ostensibly put everyone under surveillance. But Gibson and his merry team of hackers laugh in the face of FBI tails, so they simply create distractions by calling the police and telling them Ballard kidnappers are driving around in black SUVs, armed and dangerous. This trick is going to wear thin after a while.

Meg, when she isn’t talking out of the side of her mouth like a rich person’s impression of Katharine Hepburn, is busy palling around with FLOTUS, whom she persuades to get her access to secret FBI stuff. Meg’s reasoning is that she has bajillions of people who work for her who have PhDs and stuff who’ll be much more likely to find the kidnappers than the underpaid and inefficient FBI will. That’s kind of rude to her sister, but never mind.

The kidnappers have a new creepster in their band, who appears to have a thing for Amber (he notices she’s hooking up with her teacher, for one thing), and who hits a kid so hard with the barrel of his gun that the kid has a heart attack and almost dies. Douchey lacrosse kid has started cutting up his “meds” and snorting them before breakfast, and I can’t say I entirely blame him. Oh, and Kyle kisses Beth Ann when he finds her with a razor, about to self-harm. I found the way Kyle seemed so reverent about cutting more than a little alarming. Maybe ease up on the glorifying next week, NBC.

The kidnappers also round up the kids into teams and make them pack bundles of Meg’s cash into bags surrounded by coffee beans, so sniffer dogs won’t be able to smell all the cold, hard currency. The team that packs the most boxes gets to sleep in beds and eat dinner; the team that loses doesn’t. These kids, with the exception of Kyle (who is quite easy on the eyes and obviously over 25), are really boring.

Something else happened that was totally silly involving Mrs. Yarrow, the senator’s wife, giving a TV interview from inside a locked room at FBI headquarters. Would the FBI really be so sloppy? How would the TV crew be allowed in? Do doors lock from the inside in important government agencies like the FBI? Anyway, Congressman Worth and his wife end up at Langley, another secret government agency they shouldn’t have this much access to, locking themselves in yet another secret room while they argue over which one of them is going to wear the bomb vest. Senator Yarrow is there, too, and he gives them a USB drive he’s taken from the secret CIA vault Francis wants access to. The kidnappers have said it should be Mr. Worth in the vest, but he knows a sniper will probably shoot him in the head if he does, so his wife mans up, puts it on, and walks into the Langley lobby, where a sniper promptly aims a gun at her head.

Finley, ever the hero, puts himself between the sniper rifle and Mrs. Worth, and her husband runs outside to text the information on the USB drive to Gibson—and then gets shot (you can’t argue with fate). Finley watches 0.2 seconds of the shaky, blurry night-vision footage from the USB drive and immediately deduces that it shows civilians being murdered (he really is smart, this one). Gibson also reviews the footage from his secret den, while his partner shakes his head at the “lack of control.”

The Worth kid and the Yarrow kid are sent back to their parents, and Amber is given something to read for the kidnappers, which makes her realize she’s probably never going home and sends her into the arms of her creepy teacher. Then the new creepy kidnapper tells the kids to go and wash up, because they all stink of money. This show.

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