5.9

Hostages Review: "2:45 p.m." (Episode 1.04)

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<i>Hostages</i> Review: "2:45 p.m." (Episode 1.04)

I’ve always liked Tate Donovan. I enjoyed him as Marissa’s dad on The O.C. Loved him as the beleaguered Tom on Damages. I even watched NBC’s awful Deception last year because of him.

So I say this with the utmost respect for his career—his character on Hostages has to die. While watching “2:45 p.m.,” it was difficult to become invested in Ellen’s escape plan since I was fairly confident there was no way Ellen and her children were going to escape.

Other riskier shows might have gone in that direction and propelled the show into a completely unexpected situation. But Hostages plays it safe. So Brian will most likely survive the shooting. The series is tanking in the ratings. It’s easily being beat by NBC’s The Blacklist. And I fear it is too late to turn things around. Most viewers have already checked out. The whole show is shaping up to be one big missed opportunity.

The other problem plaguing the series is its complete disregard for logic. Ellen makes it to the bus station to meet her children. She sees them. She’s late. They look anxious. And the first thing she does is call Brian to tell them they are all fine? First of all, she would go to her children first. Secondly, would she use her cell phone, which would allow Duncan and his crew to track her location? And finally, wouldn’t she wait until they were at least on the bus and the bus had actually left the station to announce that they had pulled off their escape?

And Brian would give his mistress the envelope with the passports and cash in it? He wouldn’t even seal it or put it in a wrapped box or something? Sure, this led to a fun scene between Ellen and Samantha. But Brian couldn’t find anyone else to do this for him? His firm doesn’t have a messenger company? My guess is Samantha may be the next to go.

The big reveal of the night is that we saw Duncan’s wife Nina. She has leukemia and is confined to the hospital because she’s getting chemotherapy and her immune system is weak. She wants to stop treatment and go home. Duncan tells her that he has a plan to get her controversial, experimental treatment. This is somehow all tied to Duncan’s desire to kill the President.

Perhaps he kills the President and the new President will approve the treatment? Or maybe it’s just an excuse to convince Nina to stay put? We knew they were close, and now it’s obvious that Kramer and Duncan share a bond beyond being hostage-taking buddies. He knows all about Nina. “Tell her I love her,” Kramer tells Duncan. If I cared enough about the show, I would double down that Kramer is Nina’s brother. Didn’t Duncan refer to him as Sawyer’s uncle last week?

I would also double down that Angela’s alive. The Secret Service keeps telling us they haven’t found a body. Her mom came to get her things and I feel like the speech she gave Ellen was supposed to be some sort of secret message.

If the show could get an ounce of logic and make me believe that the central characters are at risk, we may have a show here. Until then, Hostages is simply spinning its wheels.