Surprise! 'Hostages' Is Full of Hostages

Whoa, the series premiere of the CBS drama-thriller Hostages was… something. We're all about any cast that includes Toni Collette and Dylan McDermott, but man, what a strange premise. It'll be interesting to see how this show plays out, to say the very least.

Here's the deal: Dr. Ellen Sanders (Collette) has been assigned to perform surgery on President Kincaid (James Naughton). We know Ellen is a qualified super-doctor because she explains what's wrong with the President using an overwhelming amount of medical jargon within the first few minutes of the episode. We trust her. Ellen's family is taken hostage by Duncan Carlisle (McDermott), FBI agent, because he wants her to kill President Kincaid during the scheduled operation. The Chief of Staff appears to be working with Duncan as well. Shenanigans ensue!

If a show is called Hostages, we expect to see some hostage situations. And boy howdy, did this episode deliver! The following were held captive against their will during the pilot:

  • Ellen, husband Brian (Tate Donovan/Jimmy Cooper), daughter Morgan (Quinn Shephard), and son Jake (Mateus Ward) are held by Duncan and his goons (see above if you need a refresher). This is the crux of the entire series.
  • Hours before the President/Ellen plot line unfolds, FBI agent Duncan has to negotiate a hostage situation. We learn that Duncan isn't afraid to take risks; he shoots a man who looks like the hostage, but Duncan confidently points out the man's "boots don't match the suit." The hostage and the captive had switched outfits! Classic.
  • A mystery maintenance man creeps into Ellen's office and steals a family photograph from its frame. He holds the picture hostage against its will... until he decides he's detained it long enough. Mystery maintenance man returns the photo to Ellen.
  • Jimmy Cooper finds a fat wad of cash and holds it hostage. He happens upon it in the locker room after coaching Jake's lacrosse team. Jake claims that it's the for a beer/fake ID run. Jimmy Cooper refuses to give it back to Jake. Which brings us to the next hostage situation…
  • Jake is held hostage by his drug dealing drama. That locker room moolah? Jake owes it to drug dealer Nico. Jake is more distraught over Nico's threatening texts than he is by the weapon-toting strangers hanging out in his house. Learn to live in the now, Jake.
  • Jimmy Cooper receives a text from a "JC." The text reads: "Can you talk?" Did Jimmy Cooper send Jimmy Cooper a text message? When Ellen asks about the text, he says it's the pasta timer. Typical Jimmy Cooper, getting hostage'd by the pasta timer!
  • Sike! Jimmy Cooper is an emotional hostage to his illicit affair. And Duncan uses this information to benefit the main hostage plot. Ugh, way to be the worst dad, AGAIN, Jimmy Cooper!
  • Ellen knows she can't operate on President Kincaid if she's missing a digit. She attempts to slice off a finger, but she's held hostage by her inability to severely mutilate herself.
  • Duncan has a daughter named Sawyer. So cute! Oh wait. He calls her "Soy-Soy." That girl will forever be held hostage by that terrible, terrible nickname.

Can't wait to see how many hostage situations unfold next week, but more importantly: How is Ellen going to get away with not operating on President Kincaid?! Fingers crossed she can turn the hostage tables/she doesn't take a chainsaw to her arm in a moment of desperation.

Image: CBS