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" THE LOTTERY "Photo by Philippe Bosse

'The Lottery' recap: The bubonic plague

Season 1 | Episode 3 | “Greater Good” | Aired Aug 3, 2014

“Hello, my name is Dr. Alison Lenon. I want to invite you to participate in the national lottery,” Alison says into a camera from a set made to look like a pediatric doctor’s office. The director yells “Cut!” as she takes a deep breath. Lying like this is the last thing Alison wants to do, but she knows she has to for James’ and her own safety. 


Kyle and Camille are in bed together, which answers our “Are they or aren’t they?” question fast. Camille thinks that they should raise their children together “like a family,” which makes sense, since together they have one-third of the last children born in the world. But for his son and his own safety, Kyle can’t do that.  He says he “will keep running as long as they keep chasing.”

Kyle meets his army buddy in Buffalo for phony passports, so he and his son can flee.


At the White House, the Chinese terrorist leader, Chan, talks to Vanessa while Hayes, the President, and the staff watch on a TV screen. Chan again demands five embryos in exchange of the five hostages. They try to track the terrorists, but America’s advanced technology is just not advanced enough.

Guilt Trip

James gives Alison a guilt trip about her lying at the press conference. He is especially angry that she implied they found a cure and that children would be born at a normal rate again. Alison tries to motivate him, saying they will just have to work that much harder to find a cure. She wants to make her lies truth, a seemingly impossible task. You have to admire that tenacity!

" THE LOTTERY " Photo by Philippe Bosse


As the White House staff rewatches the video feed of Chan and the hostages, they notice Nathan mouthing words. He was trying to tell them something. “Get a lip reader in here!” Vanessa orders. The lip reader recognizes Nathan’s words to be “44 Dulon Avenue,” which turns out to be the address of a warehouse outside of Shanghai, where they are sure the hostages were taken.

On the Run Again

A black van shows up at Camille’s house, so Kyle grabs Elvis and they make a run for it until they are stopped by uniformed DH agents with guns. Kyle puts down his son and raises his arms in surrender.

Sperm Sample

In the Government Fertility Lab, Alison meets Kyle. She asks him for a sperm sample, which she hopes to use to fertilize more eggs. Kyle refuses to cooperate until he gets Elvis back.

Alison makes an arrangement with Vanessa, and they get the charges dropped against Kyle. But Kyle still must face a custody hearing for his son. It seems like he likes and trusts Alison more than others. He agrees to give the sample." THE LOTTERY " Photo by Philippe Bosse

Seals in the Warehouse

The Navy SEALS break into the warehouse in Shanghai as the White House staff looks on from their TV screen. They confirm there is no sign of hostages at the address. When the terrorists call to demand the embryos, Vanessa suggests they offer two animal embryos to fool them. Chan kills a hostage when he gets the offer of three fewer embryos than he asked for. At first, they believe the victim was Nathan, but to Vanessa’s relief, it was another hostage. " THE LOTTERY " Photo by Philippe Bosse

The terrorists are not interested in negotiating. After a lot of deliberation, Vanessa suggests to the President that they should step away from the terrorist negotiation for the integrity of America. Chan kills all five hostages, including Nathan, leaving Vanessa heartbroken and guilt-stricken.

Blood Test

When the sperm sample doesn’t provide any new clues as to why Kyle was able to impregnate a woman, Alison takes a blood sample. James analyzes Kyle’s blood sample and realizes Kyle has the bubonic plague. This may be the key to finding the cure.

" THE LOTTERY " Photo by Philippe Bosse

Lone Survivor

In a surprising moment, we see Hayes on his cell phone talking to Chan.  That is, until we hear gunfire and Chan is killed in Shanghai. Hayes smiles as he takes a chip out of his phone and puts it in his pocket.


Alison is followed home by the director of her PSA. He pulls a gun on her and aims to shoot, but before he can pull the trigger, he is shot by a man in the dark. Alison looks on in horror, even though I’m pretty sure she’s getting used to this.

The Lottery, rated TV-14, airs Sundays at 10/9C on Lifetime.


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