Turns out that instant poison, which instantly kills you, doesn't actually do that. Or maybe it's just that Duncan Carlisle is too freakin' special of a proud American to let dumb ol' poison kill him instantly. Either way, some snakebite stabs and an ice bath later he's up and around. Meanwhile, Tate is still hobbled by his GSW and being real pissy about it with everybody, such as his wife who saved Duncan Carlisle from the murdering.
Tate just won't listen to her interesting story of how this lawyer -- who once saved her from being prosecuted for serial killing -- just told her that if anything goes wrong with his son-in-law Duncan Carlisle or with the plan, secret death squads will descend and kill everybody on the entire show. So she decides to let him stew and heads off to meddle in Duncan's affairs -- this time, by ducking Archer and visiting Nina Carlisle in the hospital.
After several hours of roaming around the Eastern Seaboard and telling strange lies to cute EMTs, Ellen finally tracks down Nina, who gives her an earful: Duncan has told her that Ellen's the one who convinced him there's a magical cure for her leukemia. In a moment of not-so-rare psychosis, Ellen assures her that it's possible and then drugs her up so she can go over her chart. For what reason I can't say, except maybe she has become so insane/enamored of Duncan that she believes she can actually cure the cancer.
It's actually a relief when Duncan shows up to yell at her, because once the second Nina recognized her, you knew she was gonna get the business either way. The episode ends with Ellen fully about to murder Duncan's wife in front of him -- for no other reason than that Ellen is just a terrible human being who responds to any amount of stress or surprise with murderous instinct -- and a heaving dose of that weirdly macabre sexual tension that is but one reason this show's so bizarre and uncomfortable to watch.
A very charming cop pulls in first Beardy and then Jake to figure out the murder of that limo driver from the poker game, and after a bizarrely pedophilic interlude regarding secret midnight skateboarding in deserted public parks, they pull it off. Tate snaps at everybody the whole time and hates that Beardy and Jake are tight, but then he gets randomly snapped up by the Secret Service dude Hoffman, who has decided -- against the wishes of Duncan and the G-Man Logan -- that in fact somebody is being held hostage somewhere.
Back at home, stupid Pickup Truck wanders into the situation again, convinced that Morgan's dad -- scary Duncan, not wonderful Tate, if you recall -- is terrorizing the whole family, and in the attempt to save her from this basically imaginary oppression, he starts a gunfight that leaves Sandrine injured and himself quite dead. To which I can only say: Thank fucking God. No offense, but you have to be pretty obnoxious to break the curve on this show, and being Morgan's even-more-annoying boyfriend is um, not a distinction you should be going for.
Meanwhile, in that other show that is actually about the Conspiracy that we've only just started getting to see, some crazy stuff happens: The President calls in Quentin Creasy and the new head of the NSA, a Colonel Blair, for a meeting about how he wants to expose and shut down something called -- I'm not kidding -- Operation Total Information. It's like PRISM only it also spies on you from your car and toaster and I guess anything that is electronic, and the Prez has had it with that junk.
There's a characteristically unnecessary flashback in which we learn that Blair and Quentin are both under somebody they keep calling Our Mutual Friend, and we see the inception of the original idea to kill the President, which is basically that Quentin warned Blair that his pet NSA project was getting shot down, and then Blair decided they should kill the President. Bing bang boom. Five months later, here we are.
But even the Colonel answers to a higher power, which turns out to be the First Lady's sister (and POTUS's erstwhile lover) Vanessa, who is now sleeping with Blair in addition to being the next step up the ladder, if not the mastermind herself. Why? To what end? Nobody can say. But it was worth it just to see Nina call Ellen an asshole, because honestly. Even if she's wrong about the Why, she has certainly nailed the What.
Next Week: Even though Ellen is fully brainwashed at this point, I guess she'll spend the next "week" dabbling in futility and making Duncan's life and everybody else's life hard, as the people around her continue to drop dead. Vanessa and Blair work on making him the new POTUS and her the new FLOTUS, and we learn that Nina is somehow the daughter of the President. And then probably we will find out that Sandrine is Jake's uncle and Morgan is secretly his mother and she's right now pregnant with him and he grows up to be the President and Operation TMI is actually about time travel and not Edward Snowden at all, and then Ellen is forced to kill all the presidents going backwards in time one by one all the way to George Washington, whom it turns out is pregnant with Duncan Carlisle's baby, which is born and then immediately takes everybody hostage.
Vanessa, the POTUS'S FSILOTUS, had an affair with her brother-in-law! Beardy got arrested for killing that security guy outside a hedge-funder's house while robbing a poker game! Duncan Carlisle got the Secret Service to leave Ellen alone regarding the kidnapping and accidental murder of her friend Nurse Angela, whom she was later forced to bury in a shallow grave! Tate tried to think of sixty ways to escape or kill Duncan, and the Sanderses screwed 'em all up one by one! But then Ellen found out that if Duncan dies, or the President does not die, everybody would get murdered -- moments too late to stop Tate from successfully shooting up Duncan with the Presidential poison!
Ellen: "Tate, stop stabbing our buddy Duncan with that poison! Duncan, you sit down so the poison doesn't squish all through your body."
Duncan: "Don't even touch me. I am so sick of this shit with you guys."
Ellen: "It's okay, I talked to your father-in-law and I get it now. I am onboard your entire plan, even without being brainwashed."
Tate: "I must confess I am confused by everything that is happening."
Duncan: "If you don't stop trying to kill me different ways, I am going to shoot you."
Ellen: "For medicinal reasons, I have to cut giant holes in Duncan and fill them with ice."
Tate: "Yeah, still not getting what is going on here."
Ellen: "I could explain this to you in one second, because this simplistic TV show is dumb enough for a small child to follow, but I prefer to use that time yelling that I can't explain it to you!"
They put Duncan in the bathtub and cover him with ice. Ellen goes, "Stay with me, Duncan! Stay with me!" Because eventually his wife is gonna die, as cancer is real and cannot be cured by magic beans -- and Tate seems determined to murder himself as quickly as possible -- so very soon they can be together. She can trade in her horrible daughter for Soy-Soy, and live with perfect Duncan and his utter competence and dat ass. But not if he dies from a magic potion she can't, so she's gotta get him fixed.
Ellen: "Glad that untraceable poison that works instantly... didn't."
Duncan: "You made a good call last night. Keeping me from dying of a poison."
Ellen: "I kinda wish you had just explained like a quarter of what's going on. Although I still wish I knew what's so bad about the President. I mean, I am willing to protect our families from dying -- your whole plan was based on my willingness to save my family and/or be a serial killer of rapists -- so nothing much has changed. But I'd prefer the carrot over the stick, if you know what I mean."