Hostages' Toni Collette: Dr. Sanders Bought Herself Some Time -- and Some (Deadly) Trouble

Hostages Preview Toni ColletteHeld captive by elite (if wayward) FBI agent Duncan Carlisle and ordered to kill the president of the United States during surgery, Hostages‘ Dr. Ellen Sanders  bought herself some time by slipping blood thinner to her VIPatient. But make no mistake, the day she has turned into weeks will pack in all that much more tension.

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“Duncan is obviously really smart — and so is she,” Toni Collette observes of her character in the 15-episode thriller. “She wasn’t as easily manipulated as he thought, and so now it’s like, ‘Game on.'”

Alas, in this intense game (which resumes tonight at 10/9c, on CBS), Ellen will soon enough be hit with the first penalty, when she realizes that her delay tactic — as clever as it was  — has actually made her and her captive family more vulnerable. In part because the “mix-up” in meds will rouse the Secret Service’s curiosity.

“She knows that she’s done the wrong thing,” Collette notes, “so as soon as [that premiere-ending press conference] is over, all she wants to do is get home and make sure that her family is OK, that he hasn’t done anything to hurt them.” Duncan (Dylan McDermott) and his team, however, are ready to greet her with a most frightful sight — and the promise that someone close to her will pay for her trickery. With their life.

“Even though [buying time] was a strong move, it creates a bit of weakness,” Collette previews, “because there is going to be a reaction from [Duncan].” And yes, someone  in the good doctor’s orbit will not make it out of Episode 2 alive.

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Elsewhere in tonight’s hour: Ellen’s husband Brian (played by Tate Donovan) is late for a weekly “date” with his amorous assistant Samantha (played by One Tree Hill‘s Hilarie Burton). Yet for the sake of appearances, he is allowed to report for that rendezvous (while watched if not, ahem, listened to, the whole time). Meanwhile, son Jake (Mateus Ward) still has his weed supplier texting his phone of the hook, clamoring for payment.

“Everyone has their own kind of intimate secret that they’re trying to hide, which I’m imagining will eventually be revealed in some way to the others,” Collette says, enthusiastically. Adds the Emmy winner, “I hate it when you watch something and there’s a couple of characters who are well-developed but the others kind of fall by the wayside. In this, all of the characters have whole lives and they’re quite complex, and that creates a bit of real-world tension.”