Last week’s serial killer episode of RUSH HOUR felt like it kind of channeled American Psycho. This week’s episode, “O Hostage! My Hostage!,” meanwhile, channels Die Hard. That’s right Detectives Carter and Lee have a hostage situation on their hands at a downtown concert hall. It all begins with Captain Cole hitting the town with a guy who seems perfect on paper, but is kind of boring. I like that in recent weeks we’ve learned a bit more about Cole, who initially was just a figure who barked orders at Carter and Lee from her office. Last week she had a pretty beefy backstory, and this week, she plays a key role, too.
How, you ask? Well, Cole’s unassuming night out just so happens to be interrupted by a bunch of masked gunmen who take over the concert hall. Cole is quick to figure out that something’s up, and finds a safe place. She tries reaching out to headquarters, but of course has to deal with shoddy cellphone reception. She is able to send a short SOS and the cops descend upon the scene.
Carter and Lee arrive, and interview some of the hostages who escaped. One witness keeps saying something about a “staircase.” Before the Detectives have more time to piece together the information, they’re greeted by several members of law enforcement who have taken command. There’s Carter’s old friend and hostage negotiator, Holt (Tom Wright), and overzealous Taymor (Richard Burgi). Taymor makes it clear that he’s running the show and explains that they’re going to handle the situation by keeping a cool head until the bad guys eventually make a mistake. When Carter tries to tell Taymor about the witnesses he interviewed, he’s rebuffed.
Back inside the concert hall, Cole continues to hunt for clues. She has a run in with one of the masked men, knocks him out, and takes his bag. Inside the bag, Cole discovers a photo of a young woman and a name: “Pickering.” Unfortunately, when Cole texts this information to Carter, it autocorrects to something else. Soon after, Cole’s sleuthing comes to a halt and she’s captured by the masked men.
To make matters worse, when Carter and Lee bring this jumbled information to Holt and Taymor, they’re ignored.
Didi arrives on the scene as an ally and the masked men finally make their demands. For Taymor, this seems to confirm that his textbook way of approaching things is the right call. But Carter and Lee aren’t so sure. They think the demands are a distraction, while the masked men buy more time to execute their real plan. Inside, Cole makes her way over to a young woman, Megan Pickering, who reveals that she’s the daughter of a billionaire businessman. She just wanted to get away for one night, and only was accompanied by a few security guards. Outside, Didi also puts two and two together, and Carter and Lee rush over to Pickering’s office. The billionaire is cautious of the detectives, and says that if the masked men know he’s talking to them, his daughter is dead. He tells them he’s just going to cooperate.
Detectives Carter and Lee finally decide to take matters into their own hands, and sneak into the concert hall to find Cole and bring an end to this. My problem here is that the actual sneaking in part is totally glossed over. One minute, the detectives are outside, and the next, they’ve passed all the cops and are running up a secret staircase. The best moments of this episode, though, happen once our heroes are inside. There’s a particularly fun scene where Lee squares off against the bad guys on the concert hall floor and fights with instruments. Later, there’s a fun call back with Carter having to take the shot to save Cole, while he and Cole squabble over his past shooting range scores. This moment felt like it channeled what was most fun about the Rush Hour movies.
For most of the episode, though, I felt like I was really ahead of the story. The detectives were ahead, too. Only the stubborn and hotheaded Taymor wasn’t, which is a problem.
Heather West | Contributor