'Hostages' episode 6: 'Sister's Keeper' proves an asylum is saner than the Sanders' house

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The action continues to hurtle forward in CBS' "Hostages" Monday (Oct. 28) even if the main event -- assassinating the president -- is barely mentioned.

It turns out that living in the Sanders' household, under the point of a gun and with three very edgy kidnappers, is so fraught with danger that even a forcible commitment to an asylum is preferable.

Ellen's ( Toni Collette) sister, Lauren ( Nina Arianda), shows up unexpectedly. Well, it's not as if too much in the house is going according to some master plan anyway.

Duncan ( Dylan McDermott) warns Ellen to get rid of her sister. Though Ellen tries, Lauren has nowhere else to go and barges in. This is, after all, her sister.

Both of the Sanders kids are back as well after botching their escape. Morgan ( Quinn Shephard) goes to the doctor, who confirms that she is five weeks pregnant. The doctor notices Morgan's bruises and the cut on her back, where the kidnappers implanted a tracking chip under her skin. The doctor questions her and Morgan can only come up with that they were cheerleading accidents. As soon as the teen leaves her office, the doctor calls in a report of suspected abuse.

Ellen is summoned to a meeting with Secret Service Agent Stan Hoffman ( Paul Calderon). Hoffman handpicked an FBI agent to work on the mystery surrounding the death of Angela, the nurse blamed for administering the wrong drug to the president. That mistake, which Ellen intentionally made, delayed the operation that was supposed to kill the president.

Angela was blamed, and Ellen is consumed with guilt. Naturally Hoffman has picked Agent Carlisle to work with him. That is just a tad convenient.

Ellen barely keeps it together when she has to face the two of them in a room, and Carlisle jumps in and questions her about the night Angela disappeared. The two friends were supposed to meet at a bar.

For those keeping count, there had been a band of four kidnappers but because Archer ( Billy Brown) killed Angela without Carlisle's approval, Carlisle called the metro DC police on him, and he was arrested for having a cache of guns in his car. So now there are three.

At home, Lauren walks in on Ellen's husband, Brian ( Tate Donovan) in the bathroom. Do people not lock bathroom doors when they go in? Do guests, even sisters, not knock? But she barges in and sees him tending to his wound.

He lies not too convincingly about the bullet wound -- given his penchant for cheating in business and on his wife, he should be a more convincing liar. This adds to Lauren's suspicions that something is not right.

Who could blame her? Her sister perpetually looks as if she will burst into tears. Her brother-in-law is nursing a serious wound. Her niece looks abused. Her nephew, Jake ( Mateus Ward), is sporting a shiner.

When the sisters finally share a drink in the kitchen, Ellen allows herself to loosen up a little.

"My life is not perfect, far from it," Ellen tells her sister. "Trust me."

Ellen confides in her sister that Brian is having an affair. But she does not go so far as to say that they are all being held hostages because she is a thoracic surgeon who was supposed to botch an operation and kill the president.

Ellen has come to some sort of weird terms with Carlisle and tells her family, "I think it's time we accept the situation and do what they say. Trying to escape almost got your father killed. I think it is time we cooperate."

Ellen calls the psychiatric institution Lauren was discharged from, and tells the doctors that her sister is delusional. The doctor and an orderly arrive at the Sanders' home to take her away.

If she hadn't, Carlisle would have killed her. 

Now Ellen has buried her friend, Angela, seen her children beaten up, her husband shot and her sister carted off.

In the final scene she turns to Carlisle and hisses, "You are a monster."

Photo/Video credit: CBS