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TV REVIEW: ‘Hostages’ S01E02 Invisible Leash



‘Hostages’ S01E02 Invisible Leash
‘Hostages’ S01E02 Invisible Leash

‘Hostages’ S01E02 Invisible Leash

  • Directed by Jason Ensler
  • Written by Rick Eid and Jeffrey Nachmanoff

Catch ‘Hostages’ on CBS, Mondays 10/9c and catchup at


In week two news ‘Hostages’ took a dip in it’s ratings, enough that critics are placing heavy bets on it being an early victim of the cancellation axe for this season and I’ll admit that I’m a little worried that’s the way it’s going to go… but then most of the shows I like end up cancelled sooner or later.

The problem with ‘Hostages’ is still the immediacy of the story, we already know the full premise and from there on all that’s left is a series of massive plot twists to keep the characters confused and the audience tuning in to see what can possibly happen next. In fact the soapyness of this show is starting to remind me of last years ‘Ringer’ starring Sarah Michelle Gellar that held on for a full season of ridiculous twists and turns that only the most hardcore of fans would tune in for.

This week Dr. Ellen Sanders is dealing with the fallout of her successful attempt to halt The Presidents surgery in the pilot.  Essentially the entire episode is spent menacing the family in the exact same way they the pilot played out only now there’s very little chance to actually murder The President.

Collette plays Sanders really well and I find her believable throughout whether she is playing the consummate professional at work or a protective and scared mother at home.

McDermott also makes for a believable character as Duncan Carlisle but the problem is that he and Collette has more chemistry than any of the other actors on the show which doesn’t help to make Collette’s marriage to Tate Donovan’s Brian any more believable.

The crew hired by Carlisle to blackmail the Sanders family are all very nondescript but there’s motivations and obstacles peppered throughout this episode to try and flesh them out. Likewise the Sanders children have their individual stories broadened in this episode in an attempt to make them more ‘real’.

The writing of this show is certainly solid following on the from the pilot and the story doesn’t allow the viewer any chance to take a breather from the pretty intense feeling of menace that the show creates but therein lies its downfall. I can see literally nowhere for this show to go after The President story is resolved, the only way I can see the ‘Hostages’ brand going on would be to use it as an anthology show much like ‘American Horror Story’ and have a different hostage style situation evolve through each season. The format isn’t necessarily flawed, it’s just not the kind of format that is built for serialised television in the long term.

Keep watching because you know it’s going to be a good mystery whilst it lasts!



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