Day before the surgery, Nina's been kidnapped by Colonel Blair and Ellen's demanding a divorce. Or rather, that her new identity be one free of both hostage-ness and the bonds of marriage. After Morgan and Brian spend the episode getting to Jake's safe house cabin -- only murdering one person along the way, in one of the show's more satisfying all-time sequences -- Morgan admits that she knew about the affair but, unlike her horrible mother, didn't think it was that big a deal because she would probably cheat on Ellen too, just for sucking so much. Then all three of them are taken hostage again by Archer, who has gone rogue.
The reasons for this are complicated but basically dumb: Duncan doesn't want anybody to know about his plan with Ellen to not actually kill the President, so he spends the entire episode trying to get Nina back so she can't be used as collateral. This involves acting crazy with Sandrine, acting crazy with Kramer, and acting crazy with Archer. But since he loves Kramer and Kramer loves Sandrine, it's only Archer that ends up feeling like he's in a polar vortex. Once Duncan warns him for the eleventh time that Ellen might screw up at killing the President, he decides to take the hostages hostage just in case.
Meanwhile, Sandrine leaves the team about a dozen times and keeps coming back, which is almost as fun as her fresh and breezy new hairstyle. First she leaves because everybody is mad at her for almost blowing them up, a thing they keep getting mad at her about. Then she comes back so they can track Nina's location using her cancer medication, which was also a pretty cool sequence, and then she leaves again. Then Duncan and Kramer immediately get themselves taken hostage at Nina's location, so she saves them, and then leaves after getting yelled at some more. Then she comes back one more time for a cryin' and kissin' sesh with Kramer, but sticks around to help murder the head of the NSA to prove she's a good person or something.
What? Yes, it's time to kill Colonel Blair. Why? Because he has spent the last fourteen episodes trying to murder and/or kidnap each and every person on this entire show, and currently has Nina and Soy-Soy in custody to make sure Ellen and Duncan don't fuck up like they have done in every previous episode. Kramer tracks Nina's kidnap house to the ownership of Vanessa Moore, but by the time Duncan threatens to kill her she's already aware that Blair is going to kill her, so she awesomely plays dumb (about her masterminding this entire deal) and awesomely gets Duncan to help her kill her boyfriend, the head of the NSA, so she can finally be Queen of America.
Meanwhile, Duncan pep-talks Ellen into psyching out the First Lady through applied feminism, so now she's fully up in her head and they're ready to steal her husband's bone marrow (in case he has imaginary dementia, remember). By episode's end, the FLOTUS has still not turned out to be the last twist, and G-Man Logan is still alive, but everybody else is in place and hurtling toward surgery day, which is tomorrow, which is today, which is happening right now in another recaplet on this website.
I can't wait to find out what happens but especially I would like it if there were an actual surprise or two. I think it would be nice if G-Man Logan survived, or Ellen and Duncan Carlisle ran off together, or Samantha the Mistress turned out to be another sister or daughter of the President. Or if either of my prophecies -- that Ellen will settle down and realize being a mother is more important than being a surgeon, or that FLOTUS is actually the whole deal -- came true. Most of all, if Sandrine was like, "Psych! I am actually the whole deal!" and then shot Kramer in the guts. Wouldn't that be great? "I'm a ten! You are a five at best!" Kapow!
Or if Ellen did something cool. It would make this entire awful mess worthwhile if Ellen would do like one cool thing, ever. But I don't have my fingers crossed on that one. That dream remains nothing more than a hostage that slipped our grasp long before it all began.
Ellen enlisted the First Lady to smuggle her husband's bone marrow out of the hospital on the big day, using the lie that he might have some vague genetic marker for dementia that might one day lead to massive corporate deregulation that would eventually become a conservative value on par with institutionalized white privilege and controlling women's bodies. While Vanessa was setting Colonel Blair up to look fishy to his own Conspiracy, Duncan figured out that Sandrine was working with G-Man to murder everybody in the endgame, and then Blair took Duncan's wife hostage to make sure nobody screwed up.
Nina still thinks this is all part of Duncan's big plan to take her hostage so she won't stop him from taking everybody else hostage. Her faith in Duncan is as touching as it is misplaced, resting as it does on the twinned axioms that A) Anybody is listening to Duncan Carlisle at this point and B) anyone has been listening to Duncan Carlisle at any point.
NSA Spook: "Stand here in this gorgeous mansion while I take off your blindfold."
Soy-Soy: "Don't bullshit a bullshitter. What's the con here?"
Nina: "Is this normal protocol? Is this how my husband Duncan Carlisle normally does things?"
NSA Spook: "I would assume so, if that were what's going on. Please just chill."
Nina: "Nina Carlisle chill? Not even on Martha Stewart's first day out of prison, chowderhead."
He gives her some flowers to hang-dry and arrange and sits Soy-Soy down with an iPad to watch her dumb Ken Burns documentaries she's into, and they settle right down.
Brian: "Your boyfriend Duncan Carlisle is so thoughtful. He gave us new identities! Driver's licenses, passports, some random house in Florida..."
Ellen: "I guess with a new identity there is no way for me to get my sister out of that mental institution. Or to practice surgical medicine, my only true love besides Duncan Carlisle."
Brian: "So you'll go to California with Jake..."
Ellen: "And you'll go to Florida with Morgan like you fucking deserve..."
Brian: "And then later on I guess we'll... Meet up?"
Ellen: "Yeah, I guess so. Or whatever. However it falls out. I mean we'll see."
Brian: "Are you saying you want a divorce?"
Ellen: "I'm saying I want my new identity to be an unmarried woman."