'Hostages': Duncan and Ellen Switch Daughters For The Day

Monday night's episode of Hostages had a less stressful vibe than the Nurse Angela Saga of last week. During the previous ep, I kept shouting, "WHAT IS HAPPENING?" into the wind. Historically, whenever I ask a TV program that question, it means I'm obsessed with it. It looks like Dylan McDermott and company have passed the test. Call Kelly Clarkson, because I love this beautiful disaster. This week's episode had everything: Toni Collette in an INCREDIBLE purple dress, Jake acting like an idiot, and yes, hostage situations.

Moments I yelled, "What the duck?!" (thanks, autocorrect!) during the episode:

  • Ellen crashes Sawyer's elementary school art fair and grills the kid for information. Her alias for this rendezvous is "Jane." Soy-Soy thinks that is "a funny name." Uh, your dad calls you "Soy-Soy," so I'd keep my commentary to myself, little one.
  • Surprise! Jake has yet to move on from the Nico crap. Jake is so stressed out over Nico that he would rather stay home with the Hostage Squad than go to school. Jake, are you hearing yourself?
  • Someone tries to shoot Duncan and misses, THANKFULLY. Duncan assumes the hit was hired by the devious Chief of Staff, so he TAKES THE CHIEF OF STAFF HOSTAGE. Duncan forces him to call off any attempts on his life as well as convince President Kincaid not to switch surgeons. The Chief of Staff tells Duncan that he didn't hire the assassin, but Duncan is too much of a prankster to trust anyone, so the CoS remains on his poop list.
  • Well, well, well. We finally meet the infamous Nico (and his quilted jacket). He predictably corners Jake at school, goes off on him about the drug money, and then kicks him a bunch. When we next see Jake, he is a bit bruised and sort of scratched up, but he's not missing any limbs or, you know, Nico's HOSTAGE, so I don't get why he's behaving as though Nico is going to cut his nose off. To be fair, I doubt the Hostage Squad will cut off any noses either, but they are infinitely more menacing.
  • When asked by Agent Something-Something about Nurse Angela, Ellen plays up the Duncan-approved, "Yeah, Angela was soOoOoOo broken up about the blood thinner, she had me worried about her mental well-being" act. Look at Ellen fibbing away!
  • And then, because Duncan has created a monster, Ellen persuades POTUS and FLOTUS to keep her on as the surgeon. Where did this master persuader version of Ellen come from? Just last week, we watched her nearly lose her mind over (but subsequently demolish) a lie detector, but now she doesn't even sweat lying to THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES. I understand that she's doing what she has to do to protect her family, but DAMN has she risen to the occasion.
  • Morgan tells her boyfriend that she is with child. The BF decides to pay a visit to the Sanders household, but there's a catch: he's never met her family. The BF assumes Duncan is Morgan's dad and proceeds to tell him all about the pregnancy and his plans to marry Morgan (whoa, ease up buddy). Duncan commands him to leave and give up on the Morgan thing, but the BF asks, "what if I don't want to?" He's as intense as can be about it. Uh, total foreshadowing of the BF taking Duncan, the Sanders family, and the Hostage Squad as hostages.

Next week: Ellen and the kids make a break for it and she says she's going to cut out those damned tracking devices. I'm sweating already.

Photo: Nicole Rivelli/CBS