D'Agnasti, another hack, is telling bad jokes to try to break up the tension. That's a questionable strategy at best, but it does lead to some hilarious reactions from the other hostages. Even Mukada's annoyed. Hee. Alvarez enters with a medical kit, and says that as a doctor won't be forthcoming, he'll put his training as an orderly to good use. Diane, once a nurse's aide, volunteers her help. Dee-nied! In Glynn's office, the Pernicious Peewee says that they shouldn't negotiate, but instead cut off Em City's water and power and rush in with tear gas. McManus asks about the hostages. PP: "Hopefully the SORT team will reach them in time." While not giving a shit about their lives is in character, I'd think the PP would be a little more concerned about the effect a bunch of dead hostages would have on his political career. McManus and the PP have a brief argument that's actually intelligent on both sides, but the PP closes the matter by saying he's going public and calling in the National Guard. Glynn gets a call, and informs the group that the hostages want food. The PP's against the idea, but McManus says they can trade the food in exchange for permission to check on the hostages, and volunteers for that duty. Wow. Is that respect I'm feeling for him now? I think I may have to lie down for a while.
McManus wheels a cart of sandwiches and water to the door, and calls inside. They let him in. Ryan supervises the distribution of the food as Ross takes McManus to the hostages. McManus and Said lock eyes on the way. McManus asks if Armstrong and Mineo are okay, and gets a negative. McManus asks what it would take to get Armstrong, Mineo, and Diane set free. Alvarez says a vote would have to be taken. Cut to McManus proposing to the council that he trade himself for the aforementioned three. Adebisi says three for one isn't a good trade. He holds up three fingers, and then flips McManus the bird. Hee. McManus points out that if Armstrong or Mineo dies, they could all get the death penalty. Ryan proposes that they keep Diane, but allow McManus to trade himself for the other two. We get more evidence that calling Ross a scumbag is an insult to scum, but we already knew that. McManus protests the new arrangement at first, but it's clear that he can't really turn down the counterproposal. The vote is unanimous for the trade. Cut to the injured hacks being carried out the front door. The door closes, and Ryan gives a SORT guy two envelopes, one containing a letter from McManus explaining the exchange, the other containing the prisoners' demands. The prisoners withdraw back into Em City.