A Matter of Life and Death is the fourth episode of Season One and the fourth produced hour of the series. Thomas threatens human lives if Eli does not free the detainees. Sean and Collier get closer to finding Leila, not realizing that they might be falling into a trap.
A MATTER OF LIFE AND DEATH (TV-14)
D. B. SWEENEY, HEATHER McCOMB AND EMMY AND TONY WINNER HAL HOLBROOK GUEST STAR --The White House grapples with a mysterious biological threat. Their only hope is to crack Sophia (Laura Innes) during interrogation. Meanwhile, Vicky (Taylor Cole) and Carter (guest star D.B. Sweeney) keep their hostage captive while they await further instructions. FBI Agent Collier (guest star Heather McComb), on her search for Leila (Sarah Roemer), stumbles upon Vicky's secret life. Elsewhere, a powerful businessman, Dempsey (guest star Hal Holbrook) with classified intelligence and ties to the White House, emerges from the shadows. Jason Ritter, Blair Underwood, Željko Ivanek, Clifton Collins, Jr., Ian Anthony Dale, Scott Patterson, Lisa Vidal, and Bill Smitrovich. Directed by: John Badham
Sean and Leila arrive at her home for Thanksgiving dinner. Sean is clearly a bit nervous, especially when Val asks about his parents. Sean says they split up when he was young. His mom was not well, and after the divorce, his father began drinking and “fell apart too.” After dinner, Leila and Val discuss Sean. Val likes him, but wonders if it will be as easy getting Michael’s seal of approval. In the kitchen, Michael approaches Sean with a bottle of scotch to welcome him to the family.
Eli and Christina dine with Sophia. Christina shares with Sophia that their parents were Cuban immigrants who came to Miami on the same fishing boat. Sophia says she hopes one day her people will be able to tell their immigration stories too without it sounding strange.
Sean and Collier speed out of the Yuma FBI field office in a stolen SUV. In the garage, Lonner phones Vicky and tells her to move Leila. Moments later, Lonner trails behind Sean and Collier, firing rounds at them. Sean brakes, allowing Collier to shoot Lonner in the shoulder. With Lonner out of the way, Sean disconnects the SUV’s GPS.
Collier is intent on avenging the lives of her colleagues and finally believes that Sean was indeed caught up in a conspiracy to kill the President. They then use Collier’s ex-husband’s Justice Department credentials to access confidential government information on Vicky and discover that Laura Roderick, one of Vicky’s aliases, has been paying rent on a property in Lubbock, Texas.
In a bio-quarantine facility, the Flight 514 survivors recall their strange trip. They remember takeoff, but nothing else. Eli cannot believe the passengers have come back to life and Dr. Block can offer no explanation. Ray wonders if this stunt was a way for the sleepers to show off their power. Eva then approaches Ray to tell him that Blake is interviewing Michael.
Blake interrogates Michael about the assassination plot. Michael claims he was forced to do it as is kidnappers threatened to kill Leila right in front of him. Michael begs Blake to tell him if Leila and Sam are okay. Blake is forced to admit that nobody has been able to track his daughters down.
Outside the interrogation room, Blake encounters Ray. Suspecting Blake of hiding information, Ray scolds him for questioning Michael without letting him know first. An unapologetic Blake says he is the one leading the investigation. Furthermore, Blake would never do anything to harm Eli, if only because it would put Ray in charge.
Eli tells Christina that he is unsettled by the way Sophia’s people have played with the lives of the passengers. Suddenly, a cell phone rings in David’s backpack. Eli answers the planted phone and hears a chilling voice. He identifies himself as the man who pulled the plane out of the sky to save Eli’s life. When Eli asks to meet with him in person, the man declines the invitation, and instead tells Eli that if he does not set Sophia and her people free, people will truly die this time.
Eli chastises Blake for allowing a stranger to plant a cell phone on David. He is clearly shaken by the threat to kill people unless the detainees are freed. He also does not understand that if they can make a plane disappear, why can they not figure out a way to set the Inostranka detainees free.
Eli tells Sophia to reveal the name of the mysterious caller who threatened to kill more people. When Sophia resists, Eli accuses her of orchestrating the assassination plot. She denies any involvement, saying she did not condone any of it. But Eli suspects that at the very least, Sophia had William killed. As a peace offering, she reveals the caller was Thomas, a charismatic leader who has always been impulsive. Whatever he is asking for, Eli should give it to him. Eli says he will not free the detainees and Sophia pleads, “For the safety of your people, do what he says.”
In the bio-quarantine facility, Michael Buchanan and the other passengers slowly begin to realize their noses are bleeding.
Sean and Collier question the woman residing at the house connected to Laura Roderick. She claims she has no idea who Vicky is, and unless she sees some FBI credentials from Sean, she does not have any reason to continue the conversation. In the living room, Sean meets Adam and quickly intuits that he must be Vicky’s son. Sean and Collier correctly identify the woman as Vicky’s mother and force her to give them Vicky’s phone number.
Leila finds a piece of glass from a beer bottle Carter broke earlier. Slowly, she cuts through the nylon rope that binds her. Vicky watches a surveillance feed of Leila gradually cutting through her restraints. She then gets a phone call giving her and Carter the go-ahead to kill Leila. Vicky loads her gun with blanks before heading down to threaten Leila. Vicky is about to shoot Leila when Leila finally manages to wrench her hands free. Leila grabs Vicky’s gun and shoots her before breaking out of the house and running free. Leila flags down a cop car and escapes.
At the station, the skeptical police officers allow her to make a call while they wonder if a psychiatrist is needed. Leila phones Sean, but the call goes to voicemail. She tells him she is safe and that she loves him.
The cops then go to a break room where Vicky and Carter are waiting. The phony cops tell the kidnappers that Leila has left Sean a message. Vicky becomes relieved now that it is only a matter of time before Sean gets the message and falls right into their trap. Vicky phones someone, who tells her to kill Sean as soon as he shows up at the police station.