Ellen fakes out the terrorists by agreeing to their murder plan, and then tells her family it was just something of a weird joke. Then her sister shows up fresh from the mental ward, and before Duncan can do the quick figures on how to get rid of her, Aunt Lauren sets up shop in the den.
When Duncan shows up at Ellen's latest Secret Service debrief -- thus tipping his hand about how he has every job -- Ellen gets desperate, and with Lauren poking around and noticing things like the gunshot wound in her brother-in-law's abdomen, Ellen decides she's going to break into the gun-nuts' house next door and steal a pistol with which to shoot Duncan.
Five seconds after sneaking the gun into the house, Aunt Lauren finds it in Ellen's purse, which necessitates a lot of strong-arming and sexy hollering from Duncan before he finally ties her up and forces her to watch Ellen's family have Chinese takeout for dinner. When she's good and riled up, they call in her psychiatrist to drag her back to the hospital, still raving about how Ellen is a hostage and everybody is in danger: Definitely the most poignant story-of-the-week we've had so far.
Meanwhile, Beardy decides to help Sandrine get her money so that man will stop kidnapping her and beating her up, and we learn also that she has a young son: It involves being a private card-dealer for some rich dick poker game, which Beardy then robs. Not a complicated plan, but one that takes all episode and involves not only Sandrine in a dress but also leaving Jake tied up in some abandoned haunted mansion for almost the entire episode. (Morgan, who is five weeks pregnant and her usual sunshiny self, doesn't need babysitting. She just parks it at the kitchen table and cries the whole time.)
At one of his many other jobs, Duncan does a good deal of tapdancing around the fact that his friend Archer is clearly the person who kidnapped and later accidentally murdered Nurse Angela, but since he is the toast of every national agency, they mostly let it slide. The only problem now is that a PD is looking into Archer's due process, and the only conspirator in the right place to play both sides of that one is G-Man, who may not entirely know what is going on.
Next Week: I hope to check back in with the White House people. I kind of miss Quentin Creasy, but more importantly -- speaking of sisters -- the First Lady's sister Joanne Kelly is finally coming into the story next week! I love that girl. So we got that going on, and another attempt at killing the unkillable Duncan Carlisle, which should be the usual hilarious shitshow. And then it seems like maybe Ellen knows Soy-Soy's grandfather? Which is either a dumb coincidence like this show is made of, or possibly the explanation for most of the coincidences so far. What it doesn't explain is how she doesn't know this is all for Nina, who is great, and for whom I think you would at least consider doing some amount of treason.
Ellen Sanders and her family are hostages! Of Duncan Carlisle, who is a hostage of cancer and also the White House Chief of Staff. She and the children escaped for about five seconds, but then each member of the family sabotaged their escape individually, so now they are back being hostages. Her husband is shot in the gut and there's still almost two weeks left before she has to kill the President again, but I'm betting she will screw that up too.
Meanwhile, Nurse Angela who we thought died, died. This non-surprise twist in a surprise we never knew about in the first place was treated as though it were every bit as shocking as Duncan's revelation that Ellen is a serial killer who likes to stab people and then watch 'em bleed out. A thing that, once revealed, made her selection for this murder plot much more understandable, both to her and to us. If you knew the story of her stabbing rapists and holding them captive until they died -- a thing that is no big deal to her -- you too might think she could handle the basics of this show and avoid fucking everything up, every time, for absolutely everybody involved.
You would be wrong.
Ellen: "Family meeting. I have decided to murder the President of the United States."
Family: "Is this a joke or something?"
Ellen: "You tell me. I trust Duncan Carlisle okay?"
Duncan: "I am super trustworthy. Note how I never lie, and you always do, and then I shoot your husband in the gut."
Tate: "Was that a lie, though? Seriously."
Ellen: "Let's say yes but honestly, I have no idea."
Sandrine: "Where is my money so people will stop kidnapping me? And where is Archer."
Duncan: "Archer is in jail. I set him up for reasons."
Sandrine: "But what about my money? You know I'm not gonna drop this."
Duncan: "I know. You are a real drag with that."
Beardy: "Was Sandrine just in here talking about money some more? That is like her main deal."
Duncan: "I know. It's like she doesn't care about my fantasy cancer drugs at all."
Beardy: "I think you should pay her off. She tends to get kidnapped and beat up."
Duncan: "Whatever you do, don't help me with this situation."
Ellen's crazy sister drives up in a taxi and lets herself in with her key. The exact opposite of what you should do if your sister's family is being held hostage by a rogue FBI Agent, FYI. She is from Broadway. If you are wondering why a great stage actor is on this crappy horrible show, feel free to ask anybody else who is also on this show. They are all great actors who have made a bad decision.