Mondays at 10 p.m. on CBS
There's almost no way you've missed the commercials for CBS's new drama "Hostages" -- they've been running on television, online and in movie theaters for what seems like five months now.
So you probably already know it's a show in which Dylan McDermott and a crew of baddies take Toni Collette (playing a surgeon) and her family hostage, then try to force the doctor to kill the President of the United States while he's on her operating table.
And therefore, you pretty much know almost everything that happens in the pilot.
Almost. You see, McDermott's character is also an FBI agent, which is a big wrinkle, though we're not yet sure if the rest of his gang are agents or criminals or whatever. Something else we don't learn in the pilot, but which is central to the story, is exactly why McDermott's Agent Duncan Carlisle is doing this. He's not a nut job or terrorist or political extremist (I don't think...); instead, the pilot indicates his scheme has a deeply personal motivation and a far-reaching conspiracy. I've been racking my brain and can't connect those dots -- yet -- and that alone should be enough to keep me watching.
It certainly won't be concern for the Sanders family that keeps me coming back for more. Dr. Ellen Sanders' (Collette) husband (Tate Donovan) and two troubled teenagers (yawn), all of whom are hiding some deep, dark secrets of their own, so far haven't inspired any loyalty in me. Will they shoot the husband!? Enh, whatever. For almost all of the pilot, the only Sanders I had much regard for was the family dog, Barkley.
But at the very end of the first episode there is a hint of what I hope -- and expect -- to see in Dr. Sanders for the rest of this story, and that is a strong, assured, brave woman with a spine of steel who will not only stand up to the intruders threatening her family and the president, but perhaps even outsmart them. Here's hoping, anyway.
"Hostages" is entertaining enough (FYI: I think "Blacklist" playing opposite on NBC is better), but there will have to be a lot of twists and turns to keep this "kill the president or we kill your family" plot running for a whole season (or longer).