CBS usually chooses more of the same every TV season, so I commend them for actually picking up a non-procedural show. I’m so pleased. Also, I often have a hard time watching shows on CBS because I think they move really slowly. Sorry to CSI and NCIS fans, but your show bores me to death (even against other procedurals like SVU. Hostages moves at the speed of a show that could be on any other station. It’s bordering on cable quality.
Hostages presents us with a hero, Dr Ellen Sanders (Toni Collette), and a villain, FBI Agent Duncan Carlisle (Dylan McDermott). Ellen is supposed to operate on the President tomorrow, but not before her family is taken hostage and she is told that she must let the President die. Duncan is the mastermind behind the plot to kill the President, and we quickly come to realize that he has had this masterpiece planned for quite some time. As he tells us, they have thought of everything.
In interesting fashion, all three of Ellen’s family members are hiding something. Her husband (Donovan) is unfaithful, her son (Ward) is a drug dealer, and her daughter (Shephard) is pregnant. Secrets! Duncan can use these secrets to get her family to convince her to kill the President. Struggling with this decision in such a short period causes Ellen to buy herself more time at the end of the episode, and get the surgery postponed. This, of course, is how we get our season.
What really works here is the dynamic between Toni Collette and Dylan McDermott. Both of them are seasoned TV veterans, and both do a fantastic job of carrying the series. It will be interesting to see how they develop as the season progresses, and the motive to Duncan’s actions are revealed. This is not a perfect pilot, as we are left wondering who a lot of the supporting villains are, as well as the fact that I don’t think either of the children are likeable. I’m still excited for next week.
FINAL GRADE: B+
STARRING: Toni Collette, Dylan McDermott, Tate Donovan, Quinn Shephard, Mateus Ward, Sandrine Holt, Rhys Coiro, Billy Brown, James Naughton