Hostages: Season 1 (2013 - 2014)

Season 1

Critics Consensus

Hostages has an intriguing premise and handsome production values, but its twisty plot sometimes strains credulity.



Critic Ratings: 43


Audience Score

User Ratings: 83

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Air date: Sep 23, 2013

A deadly cat-and-mouse game between a surgeon and a rogue FBI agent begins. In the opener, Dr. Ellen Sanders is selected to operate on the U.S. president but armed intruders take her family hostage and demand that she kill him during surgery or they will murder her family.

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Air date: Sep 30, 2013

Duncan promises to kill a member of Ellen's family when she refuses to assassinate the president during surgery. Duncan also informs the family to go about their normal lives for the next two weeks until the commander in chief's operation.

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Air date: Oct 7, 2013

Duncan threatens Ellen that if she doesn't convince the president to keep her on as his surgeon that there will be severe consequences. Meanwhile, Ellen meets Duncan's daughter and gains insight into his life.

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Air date: Oct 14, 2013

Israeli thriller serial. The Danon family and the kidnappers are surprised when a soldier turns up at the front door, except for Noa, who has been keeping secrets from the rest of the family. (In Hebrew with English subtitles)

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Air date: Oct 21, 2013

Ellen makes a life-changing choice when she performs emergency surgery at home. Meanwhile, Duncan demands answers when Archer tells him that an innocent person in their plan has become a victim.

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Air date: Oct 28, 2013

Ellen's sister visits unexpectedly and Duncan forces Ellen to get rid of her without making it look suspicious. Later, Ellen is called in for questioning by the secret service and must play it cool because Duncan is there to help with the questioning.

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Air date: Nov 4, 2013

Ellen and Brian plot to take down Duncan. Meanwhile, Archer's accomplice plans to reveal to the ADA information about a murder Archer committed.

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Air date: Nov 11, 2013

Ellen must decide whether to save Duncan's life and confront his wife. Meanwhile, Creasy meets with Vanessa and Col. Blair after the president informs them that he wants to expose a government surveillance program that allowed spying on U.S. citizens.

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Air date: Nov 18, 2013

Duncan is ordered by someone closely connected to the plot to get rid of an insider when investigators get closer to discovering the conspiracy to kill the president. Meanwhile, Duncan takes the next step in his master plan, and gives Ellen the poison she is to use to kill the commander in chief.

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Air date: Nov 25, 2013

When a member of the president's staff is murdered, Ellen urges Duncan to end the assassination plot. She also searches Nina's medical records and finds someone who may be a viable bone-marrow donor.

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Hostages: Season 1 Photos

Tv Season Info

A deadly cat-and-mouse game between a world-renowned surgeon and a rogue FBI agent begins in Series 1 of this high-octane suspense thriller. Dr. Ellen Sanders (Toni Collette), a respected Washington, D.C., surgeon is selected to operate on U.S. president Paul Kincaid (James Naughton). But the day before the surgery armed intruders, led by FBI agent Duncan Carlisle (Dylan McDermott), take her family hostage and demand that she kill Kincaid during surgery or they will murder her husband, son and daughter. To buy some time, Ellen slips the president some blood thinner which causes the procedure to be postponed for two weeks. As Duncan and his gun-toting allies hold the Sanders family hostage until the assassination can take place, dark secrets begin to spill out and it becomes clear that Duncan is taking orders from someone higher up and that the conspiracy is much bigger than anyone could imagine.

Critic Reviews for Hostages Season 1

All Critics (43) | Top Critics (22)

Hostages hardly breaks new ground as a psychodrama with violence hovering in the air. But it could open new options for the television procedural.

Sep 23, 2013 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…

Smart, intriguing thriller, but the opener is slightly overheated.

Sep 23, 2013 | Rating: B+ | Full Review…
Top Critic

Despite all its unanswered questions, Hostages is appreciably easier to grasp than NBC's competing new The Black List.

Sep 19, 2013 | Rating: B- | Full Review…
Top Critic

If you get past the large leap and buy into the premise, Hostages promises surprising switchbacks and character development ranking among the best of the season.

Sep 6, 2013 | Full Review…

A show like Hostages really only has one chance to sink the hook into viewers. This premiere lets us get away.

Aug 30, 2013 | Full Review…
Top Critic

Suspense-filled from the get-go, Hostages revolves around a family full of secrets.

Oct 8, 2013 | Full Review…
Top Critic

Hostages is one of those pilots that doesn't build the momentum necessary to make one want to return to the show, despite the central conflict and great cast.

Aug 26, 2018 | Rating: 2.5/4 | Full Review…

If I give a slight edge to Hostages, it's because Collette is one of those actresses I'd watch in just about anything, and because its 15-episode season means that whatever's going on here should become clear (or at least clearer) a bit sooner.

Sep 23, 2013 | Full Review…

What makes Hostages such a disappointment is the overly familiar/lame dialogue and plotting.

Sep 20, 2013 | Full Review…

There will be no episode two account of Hostages from this reviewer. They took an hour of my life and I refuse to enter into a dialogue with my captors.

Jan 13, 2014 | Full Review…

The 14 and 15th final episodes of Hostages aired Monday night, bringing the story of Dr. Sanders and her family's kidnapping to a gripping close, and those who did choose to tune in were rewarded with a great final hour.

Jan 8, 2014 | Full Review…

Real talk: Dylan McDermott can hold us hostage anytime.

Oct 10, 2013 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Hostages: Season 1

  • Feb 02, 2014
    Dylan McDermott and Toni Collette lead the cast in the CBS drama Hostages. When the President goes under the knife for a routine surgery a group of mercenaries hold the surgeon's family hostage in order to force her to kill the President; but soon things get complicated and the family begins to question whether they should be helping the mercenaries instead of resisting them. The season starts out a little weak as it tries to seed too many subplots, but around midseason it finds its focus and begins to weave a compelling conspiracy. While there are some problem with story structure, Hostages delivers an entertaining 15 episode first season that's exciting and full of thrills.
    Dann M Super Reviewer
  • Feb 25, 2014
    Possibly the worst series I've ever watched in my whole life. There's nothing good about Hostages, the cast is cheesy and the plot is absolutely ridiculous. I really regret having wasted my time in this. Highly NOT recommended.
  • Feb 08, 2014
    Losing the will to live !!! can't see me seeing the series through to the end
  • Jan 26, 2014
    Only watched 2 episodes so far but it seems to be one of these shows that has promise but implausible to think the president would be advertising that he is going in for a routine operation. Oh and after the doctors cock up, she would be replaced, but I will stick with it.. good cast
  • Jan 13, 2014
    Although its plot keeps jumping from point A to point B, Hostages keeps us thrilled with its never ending twisty story.
  • Jan 09, 2014
    This series is quite consistent -- in its consistently poor acting, lame dialogue, and zero suspense. I need to say this again: none of those actors showed more than a thin one-dimensional character. Toni Collette was better in her small role in 'Enough Said' (the movie) than in her leading role in this series. Dylan McDermott showed zero emotion throughout the whole damn series. None of the other actors were any better. Truly: this series could not have been worse!
  • Jan 09, 2014
    the second half of the season was so much more interesting than the beginning and middle
  • Dec 30, 2013
    Everything feels contrived and half-thought out. Like some bad soap, it seems like the writers come up with 'convenient' vehicles to achieve wildly unrealistic plot points, only to throw them away without resolution. Maybe that's what makes them seem unrealistic? Or does it seem like the writers have little life experience or have somehow missed the past 20yrs of tv & film dramas that establish premises they seem to ignore? It's a shame, because I crave serial dramas. Shows like The Killing, Breaking Bad, House of Cards, Broen (The Bridge), Borgen, Wallander and others are what I live for. So I wonder how shows like Hostages, with so many people and such expense, can have such gaping holes. I want to like the show but as I watch I keep thinking, "..but but.." or asking myself. "Well what about...." So many things.
  • Dec 10, 2013
    Smart, intriguing thriller...Loving it!!!!
  • Dec 02, 2013
    Underrated and addicting.

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