Hostages Review: Power Plays

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"Power of Persuasion" left me breathless on several occasions, adding another consistently suspenseful Hostages canon.

Duncan had his work cut out for him this week. From the assassination attempt on his life to moving political pieces in his favor, it's no wonder Ellen managed to escape right under his nose.

Persuading the President

Ellen's investigative work was definitely the highlight of the episode, if only because she proved that it was possible to escape Duncan's psychological grasp. Then again, it was truly only a function of the fact she's not implanted with a GPS... but that's a point worth returning to later.

Let's talk about what we learned from Sawyer. Clearly it wasn't much more than we as the audience already knew, but for Ellen and her family it was monumental and likely shocking. What she will do with it is to be determined, yet I will say that I was a little shocked at how easily Sawyer trusted this person she had never met. My only guess is that it was because she vaguely reminded the little girl of her mother, if only in the fact she was blond and perhaps close to her mother's age. 

I was only disappointed that the little girl didn't reveal what ailed her bedridden mother. Then again, how much can you really expect from a girl of that age to reveal to someone who is, for all intents and purposes, a complete stranger? If the information had been revealed, I was looking for Ellen to inquire about Sawyer's mom via her likely sprawling network of medical professionals in the hope she might be able to treat Duncan's wife and liberate her family in the process.

Then again, that's complete conjecture and doesn't do much to explain in what way his wife's illness might be impacting his decision to hold her family hostage. It does reveal, however, that Duncan is not, in fact, a cold blooded murderer, but a father clearly on some kind of mission, which we and Ellen are still unaware of.

I would also argue that Duncan is still unaware of how high this thing goes. He is at the mercy of whomever for his life, as the near-assasination we witnessed is evidence of. I am starting to get the feeling that perhaps Duncan's involvement in this plot is somehow a function of some policy decision made by the President which somehow led to or indirectly caused his wife's ailment. I know I keep harping on the wife, but you don't put a man's wife in an apparent coma, especially in a political thriller, and expect it not to mean something. I am starving for answers, which is no doubt the goal of any writer on a program of this type. Bravo, writers, bravo.

Another noteworthy point related to Duncan's role in this episode were his methods of intimidation, and by extension persuasion, that involved Quinton. Clearly Duncan isn't afraid of Quinton in any respect, which begs the question of who it is he is scared of. If he's willing to use a gun on the President's Chief of Staff to force moves to be made, then there has to be someone else he's  more afraid of than him. This thought intrigues me.

Aside from the points related to the political plot, I have to say that Duncan's interaction with Boyd really caught my attention for reasons I can only imagine relate to his daughter. He really ripped into Boyd, who seemed like really nice guy who was willing to step up and be a father, a rarity in this day and age. I really believe he was tapping into himself as a Dad and how he would relate to the situation if it involved his own daughter. Not only that, but it seemingly eliminated a loose end in a person who would want to be around the hostage family more, which Duncan couldn't risk. Then again, I am hoping Brian will catch on to his daughter confronting him and begin to delve into that a bit, despite the revelation it might uncover.

Brian had a revelation of his own, which, of course, he revealed to Helen. It may have allowed him to justify why he thought it best to play decoy, but it still seemed a little misplaced to me. I don't quite know what I expected the revelation to do, but the sooner people start coming clean to each other in this family the better. It will slowly undermine the holds each captor has on his respective captive, allowing the family to regroup and act, especially if they can keep the Duncan revelation to themselves for now.

Brian's plan, however, brings back that nasty little point about those GPS trackers each family member save Ellen is implanted with. Has Brian forgotten that his children can supposedly be tracked via these devices. It's a dangerous thing to forget, as his whole plan falls apart. It only worked for Ellen because Ellen isn't implanted. I really hope the writers haven't forgotten this, because it's going to undermine what has so far been a very believable psychological game being played, even as it begins to unravel. Oh the power of a small but crucial detail!

What do you think is next for the Sanders family?

Power of Persuasion Review

Editor Rating: 4.0 / 5.0
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Rating: 3.4 / 5.0 (37 Votes)

C. Charles is a TV Fanatic Staff Writer. Follow her on Twitter.

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Hostages Season 1 Episode 3 Quotes

My daddy works for the FBI.


Quinton: You're safe---for now.
Duncan: Good. That means you're safe, too---for now.