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Episode 13: Fight or Flight
CBS  ·  50 minutes  ·  Original Broadcast: December 16, 2013

Directed by: Bill Johnson  |  Written by: Rick Eid & Jeffrey Nachmanoff

Official synopsis: Ellen reveals to Duncan that she will not kill the President but will help him get what he needs, as long as he gives her something in return. Meanwhile, Nina finds out about Duncan’s plan and flees the hospital.

Episode Recap
Please note that recaps feature spoilers on the individual episode.
This recap was written by Wednes for Geek Binge, December 16, 2013

Another week of Hostages brings with it another bunch of blandly written confrontation scenes between people I just can’t bring myself to care about. * sigh * In “Fight or Flight,” we’re reminded that none of our hostage takers trust each other. Ellen the Smooch-Machine and her serially unfaithful husband present a unified front, and Col Blair gets an unwelcome surprise. Oh, and a certain attractive someone loses his temper.

“Fight or Flight” opens right where last week’s episode left off, with Nina asking Duncan if Brian’s accusations were true. Was her incredibly sexy husband holding a family hostage just for her? Duncan’s stammering is almost comical, but doesn’t last long. Of course, if anything other than ‘No” comes out of his mouth, Nina has to know that it’s all true. Francie Swift is still awesome as Nina, despite the bland direction she’s clearly getting. Nina wants no part of kidnap plots and people dying-so she grabs her jacket and leaves the hospital without even telling her doctor.

Ellen and her terrible husband decide to tell Duncan that she no longer agrees to murder the President. For really realsies this time, not like all the other times she gave her word one way or another. Duncan is understandably upset, but he’s got more than that to worry about. Ellen claims to have a plan to get the POTUS’s bone marrow if he’ll let her family go. I can’t begin to imagine how that’s supposed to work.

Sandrine (AKA Latina Girl) has fallen into the trap set by her partners-in-crime, more or less. They know that she’s selling them out, and that she’s been hired to kill them once the POTUS is dead. She tries to get flirty with Kramer some more, I guess to cover her tracks. Kramer doubts her, but wants to believe her to. Archer is half-past give a crap with her, and of all the hostage takers, she’s likely to be the one who dies first. She has agrees to plant bombs on all their cars while sneakily (not really) insisting that she gets paid before they die. She’ll probably turn out to love Kramer for real, because that’s the boringest choice.

Vanessa has been telling Col Blair all along that she’s gonna help him take the White House for his very own. Yeah, an African-American president… that’s likely. Blair seemed to buy it though, until his meeting with the Vice President. The V-POTUS makes it clear to Blair that the person he wants for his running mate was Vanessa, not him. She’s the evil kingpin turning this whole thing to suit her own needs. Col Blair is totally shocked by this, though I can’t imagine why.

As you’d expect, Nina goes directly to Gramps to ask him what’s up with the decade after decade of lies. He stammers some crap about her own good. She’s not having it, but the next thing we know, Duncan has her locked in a room. Because he’s gonna do terrible things to possibly save her life whether she likes it or not. Later, Nina’s doctor comes to Gramp’s place looking for her. Gramps lies despite SoySoy ratting him out. This puts Duncan in a terrible humor.

As the episode continues, there’s the usual sneaking around to no avail, pseudo-tense scenes between people we know are lying to each other, and everyone acting alternately sneaky, angry, and scared. Whatevs. When Duncan goes back to the Sander’s house and starts screaming at everyone, I really hoped something was going to freaking happen for a change. There’s a struggle, and some panic, and then Jake does something totally out of character. Then he gets shot. OMG Noooooooo!

No. He’s fine, of course. As usual, none of the tense stuff we see actually means anything. Duncan has taken Ellen up on her stupid, unexplained idea that she can get bone marrow from the POTUS without him being dead. She is still a doctor, right? Or did she get hit on the head by one of those giant schematic books? The fact that Ellen and Brian allowed the shooting of Jake to be staged in front of Morgan? Gross. Letting her think her brother is dead at all, let alone for hours? Gross. These people are all terrible. And all pretending they “had no choice.” Balls.

Nina enlists SoySoy’s help to get out of that room by saying she accidentally locked herself in. The kid is even stupider than the adults on this show, so it seems like it will work. Gramps goes looking for the kid, and finds only an empty bedroom. Unlike everyone else on this show, Nina appears to have made a clean getaway. Across town, Duncan and Archer put on fake identities to go talk to more mysterious people who are excited to help them kill the President. “Donald Carter” is trying to enlist assassins for a “once in a lifetime opportunity,” but they are skeptical. The boys take out all their big guns and waggle them around until finally, they acquiesce. Turns out, they’re the diversion. These guys will probably all die so Duncan et al can get away.

Ellen has a meeting with the First Lady, telling her that POTUS has a marker for premature dementia. FLOTUS appreciates her candor, as you might imagine. This is all part of Ellen’s plan to get Kincaid’s bone marrow. She’s actually enlisting the help of the President’s wife. Ick. Elsewhere, in a local dive bar, Morgan and Brian meet up with one of the Lone Gunman (okay, not really) to get new identities. The whole thing is really putting a cramp in Morgan’s style. But that’s okay, because Morgan Sanders no longer exists.

“Fight or Flight” ended with the kind of montage that made people start hating True Blood. Archer is snooping around when he finds Sandrine’s stash of murder bombs. Oh noes! Gramps and Duncan share their dismay at Nina’s escape. Duncan sends guys after Nina. Oh noes! She is stopped at the airport. Oh noes! Col Blair is there to meet her. Oh nooooooes! Hostages is still lamer than the lamest thing you can think of-but it’s almost over.

Guest Cast: Chance Kelly (Billy Collins), Michael Pemberton (Boone), Larry Pine (Burton Delaney), Brady Smith (Vice President Jay Grant), Francie Swift (Nina), Jim True-Frost (Logan), Brian White (Colonel Thomas Blair), Bronson Picket (Dr. Kagan), Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio (Mary Kincaid), Lola Cook (Sawyer), Ross Degraw (Man in Hat), Mark Thudium (Steve), Jeremiah Zinger (Agent Wilson)