As per, the "cliffhanger" at the end of the last episode contains no cliffs and very little hanging: To wit, Colonel Blair has kidnapped Duncan with a team of like six guys, tied him to a chair in the usual abandoned warehouse, and threatened his life for screwing up that assassination last week. But then instead of killing him, he just goes "Okay, well I hope you kill the President three episodes from now" and lets him go again. It is riveting, if you like low-stakes things that make no sense, and if you don't, I'm happy to inform you the whole thing takes less than six minutes before he is back at the hostage house.
Brian tells Archer he has been summoned to talk to that awesome cop about Jake's testimony regarding the limo driver murder, but really he has not been asked to go there at all, and when he gets there the awesome cop is nowhere to be seen. On a tip from the very suspicious Duncan Carlisle, Gramps shows up before the cop gets back to the station, so he can show off some awesome pics and video of Ellen kissing Duncan Carlisle and compare her to Patty Hearst, which somehow makes Brian want desperately to go get beat up by Duncan Carlisle immediately.
The awesome cop shows up, Brian says he was mistaken, and the awesome cop sighs the sigh of a man familiar with people always making up reasons to come and see him. In contrast, I will say that I have no problem with people inventing pretexts to do this, as it is reliably the best thing any of these assholes do, so far.
Vanessa wants to be the Vice President, so she presumably can kill the President and become President and then go to other planets and kill their Presidents also. She sends Blair out to a meeting with the Attorney General, then tells an oilman with an exceedingly troubling face, who already has doubts about Operation Total Information continuing to offer Information that is fully Total, and is now in cahoots with her to provide further plot twists (slash kill Colonel Blair once her brother-in-law is dead and she is the last man standing).
Because of Duncan killing all those snipers, a second man with a crazy-looking face is going to be replacing G-Man Logan on the security detail the day Ellen kills the President, which is slightly less likely to come than the day all of these people leave their clothes in piles and ascending bodily to heaven, like hostages of Jesus. Duncan employs a third man with a crazy face to set up the Secret Service guy by arresting him for driving in a car with a lady -- whom we know to be a prostitute of Archer's acquaintance -- but things go south and before you know it, the Secret Service man has accidentally shot the cop, reducing the number of people with crazy fucking faces back down to three, counting Ellen.
He feels very bad about it because that is his main job as Duncan Carlisle, and then is bitchy to Colonel Blair as though he did not earlier do him the solid of not even really kidnapping him. Then Soy-Soy reads him an essay she wrote about him that is so next-level in terms of its cloying Soy-Soy saccharineness that even Duncan kind of hates Soy-Soy for a second.
Also getting on Duncan's nerves is Sandrine, who spends the episode on a fake mission with Beardy to prove that she is in the employ of G-Man. What nobody knows is that she has placed bombs on all of their Team Duncan vehicles so that when the President is dead, everybody on Team Duncan will be blown to hell. Beardy finds this hard to believe, alone of all people on Earth, and will most likely be drunk by the end of next week's episode. It's sort of satisfying because now everybody hates Sandrine, specifically because she only cares about money: A thing she has been saying since the first episode, to the exclusion of saying anything else at any point.
Stupid Ellen admits to kissing Duncan Carlisle and tells Brian to stop being a baby about it, but then at work she has this stupid boring experience that teaches her not to be kissing people -- even if their wives are almost dead -- or killing people -- even the First Rapist of the United States of America -- because how else can she continue to act superior and condescending to literally everyone on Earth if she does that.
She and Brian reaffirm their love for each other, but really they both know it's all about Duncan from here on out. So Brian brainwashes the already brainwashed Morg-Morg to steal a phone from her oft-mentioned, never-seen friend Amelia, so he can call Nina on her deathbed and tell her the whole entire plan, including her sad story of being born. You might think this is an insensitive move, but he verbally and explicitly states several times that he does not care about some chick dying of leukemia. (He doesn't know Nina or maybe he would think twice.)
Anyway, after I guess throwing up from all that horrible information, Nina puts on all the white lipstick she can find, and greets Duncan at episode's end with a righteous anger. He makes all the Duncan faces he can think of -- i.e., just the one face -- but I don't know that it will have any effect. This episode was weird in that the bodycount didn't include anybody we already knew, so I'm hoping that goes away and people start dropping dead again. I sincerely hope that Nina lives, and Tate Donovan -- and I guess Vanessa, because she is a fucking lunatic -- but everybody else besides that cop guy is expendable.
Next Week: Nina gives Duncan what for and goes rogue, so he takes her hostage! Haha, that is amazing. Then he goes home and bitches are acting up there too, so he starts shooting Ellen's kids. I feel like that is a bait and switch, because even though it would make me very sad he probably won't kill Jake, because I'm so sure Ellen would sleep with him then. (Maybe if he killed Morgan she would still consider it, but no way is he doing that either.) Meanwhile, Blair has no idea that he is included in Vanessa's plans to apparently murder everyone she meets, and it's all leading up to the Winter Break before the two-episode finale in January, in which the President will probably die but most assuredly it will not be because Ellen finally gets one goddamn thing right.
Vanessa talked the current VP into naming her as his running mate when the current President dies, which is never going to happen anyway. But she did it so slickly that we thought she was either talking about Colonel Blair, or possibly Leonardo DiCaprio. So I'm very glad they replayed that in the Previouslies for this episode or else it would have made no sense at all, rather than being the taut literary thriller we've all come to expect. Meanwhile, G-Man put Sandra Dee in charge of being the Mole inside Team Duncan…by offering her money, which turns out is a motivator for her. Then the Sanders all got locked up for the day so Duncan Carlisle could save the President to kill the President, which went so well that Duncan and Ellen made out, and then he was suddenly kidnapped.
Duncan: "So it is you, G-Man Logan, who kidnapped me. Even though I am working for you and we are shopping buddies. But there are other ways to get my attention, sir. In the words of Kim Possible..."
G-Man: "You are in huge fucking trouble with everybody for stopping our assassination from assassinating your assassination and then assassinating your team of assassins."
Duncan: "And you're in huge trouble for messing with me! Duncan Carlisle!"
Blair: "I'm Colonel Blair. A patsy just like everybody else in this Mary Kay pyramid scheme of kidnapping and murder."
Duncan: "Sorry I messed up your plan to murder me, in the most obscure and complicated possible fashion. But I guess now that I'm tied to this chair you can just cut to the chase."
Blair: "Wait, do you think I should kill you right now, because it's convenient?"
Duncan: "If you are asking my professional opinion, no. You should let me go."
Blair: "Okay you can go."
And then he fucking just ... does. Duncan goes home, and it's so goddamn stupid.
Ellen: "So you look tousled from being kidnapped for five seconds. Do you want to fuck me in this kitchen?"
Duncan: "No, because we are both married. It is my whole deal."
Ellen: "Oh yeah well I was just kidding anyway."
Duncan: "Were you, though?"
Tate: "Listen, I have to go talk to the cops, okay?"
Archer: "Uh, that is the opposite of okay. How are you still not clear on this?"