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Designated Survivor – One Year In (2×01)

It’s been one year since Tom Kirkman has been thrust into the role of President of the United States and much has changed, for the better.

Kirkman himself survived an assassination attempt, saved arts education, uncovered that the Capitol bombing was a mass conspiracy from within, saw his Vice President – who was in on said conspiracy – get killed, and rebuilt the Capitol Building. And yes, it cost a lot.

So yes, a lot has changed and some stuff has stayed the same, like his approval from the people he’s selflessly serving.

It’s no secret that Kirkman is the least liked President, which is shocking because if these fake people knew that someone like Trump could become President, they would literally be thanking Tom at every bend and turn.

Also new is the addition of team-member Lyor Boone to the White House staff, per Emily’s recommendation.

Lyor is an old colleauge of hers and well, his eccentric personality comes off a little too brash at first. But he proves his worth as Kirkman’s Political Director. How did he not have one up until this point?

One year in and things aren’t getting any easier. In fact, Kirkman’s dealing with yet another crisis: Ukrainian terrorists hijacked a plane in Chicago. Among the 168 hostage are 68 Americans, including one of Kirkman’s best friends, whom he had a falling out with.

One of the things Designated Survivor is trying to do differently is to add more emphasis on character storylines. Since Kirkman has a friend on-board, we’re immediately more concerned about the outcome. It becomes more personal. And taking the emphasis off the complicated plots allows viewers to follow along easier and not get too lost in the clutter.

Emily and Aaron take on the Ukrainian and Russian ambassadors but both are sworn enemies and not exactly eager to get involved. That is until Kirkman realizes that the Russian’s actually paid Ukrainian to hijack the plane in order to have an excuse for war. When he addresses them and pulls out his perfect Russian (thanks, First Lady), they call off the plan.

Starting off the season with a focus on Russia is an interesting choice to me because it seems like the best way to reveal that Alex is somehow the mole behind this whole government conspiracy. Don’t tell me you guys didn’t think of it since the beginning? And since her character is being written off so she could go star in some other show, this would be the perfect opportunity to make the First Lady actually a Russian Foreign Terrorist.

The terrorists back off and the passengers disembark, well, everyone except for Kirkman’s best friend. As a doctor who was with him in the Peace Corps, he stayed behind to take care of an elderly passenger. As luck would have it, a spark on the runway caused the plane to blow up. So despite Kirkman saving most on the plane, he didn’t as he put it, bring everyone home.

Tom uses the events of the day to motivate his White House staff, who have been feeling weighed down by the pressures of the “failing” administration. Most importantly, Seth, who was so burned out, he was actually looking at getting another job! Emily set him straight though, demanding that he make a decision by the end of the day because his wavering stance was a threat to the President. He decided to stay because really, there is no one better to stand up there in front of the press and defend the President. Seth, despite feeling like he’s been bringing everyone down, is a true Kirkman supporter and believes in him.

Hannah Wells is still on the hunt for Patrick Lloyd, the brains behind the Capitol bombing… or so we think. Remember, I still think Alex Kirkman is up to no good! We find Wells in Amsterdam, drunk and falling asleep at the bar. A patron takes advantage of the situation, taking her to his home where she proceeds to knock him out and steal a USB drive that leads her to the locations of the dark web. Chuck advises her to get back up but you know Hannah, always independent and stuff.

Upon arrival, she is ambushed by the bar dude who turns out to be M16. Honestly, how did an M16 agent get tricked by a woman pretending to be drunk? That’s like the easiest trick in the book!

Damian Rennett, that’s his name, admits he’s been tracking Lloyd for a few weeks and knew who Hannah was when he spotted her at the bar. They decide to team up, following Lloyd’s trail but unfortunately, he’s always one step ahead of them. This part of the episode got a little confusing, mainly because they were just going from high-tech warehouse to high-tech warehouse but eventually Lloyd ended up arriving in D.C. Is he planning another bombing? Why would he go back to the scene of the crime unless he’s planning something else or banking on them thinking that he’d never be “that dumb.”

What did you think of the season 2 premiere? Is Lyor a good addition to the team? Are Aaron and Emily still into each other? Will Kirkman ever gain the trust and respect of the American people that he truly deserves?!


Designated Survivor – One Year In (2×01) Reviewed by on . It's been one year since Tom Kirkman has been thrust into the role of President of the United States and much has changed, for the better. Kirkman himself survi It's been one year since Tom Kirkman has been thrust into the role of President of the United States and much has changed, for the better. Kirkman himself survi Rating: 0
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