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Designated Survivor

Designated Survivor – Warriors (1×11)

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Designated Survivor returned this week and it was an intense hour of television since we picked up right where we left off last – someone getting shot during MacLeish’s swearing in.

To no one’s surprise the gunshot victim was none other than the intended target, the President. As chaos ensued, secret service rushed him to the hospital. Since he was coherent the whole time, it was a good sign that his injuries weren’t severe. Doctors confirmed the bullet went in and out, missing all the vital organs.

That however was not good news for MacLeish and his wife. As you probably remember, MacLeish, who is now Vice President, is the show’s evil, but not genius, villain. He’s behind the Capitol bombing, he’s behind all the stuff happening to Hanna, and he’s behind Kirkman’s shooting. He’s pretty much a little weasel that’s trying to get to the top of the ladder by taking everyone out. Except now, since the mission was botched, he’s having doubts because he’s scared they’re going to get caught. His wife assures him that they were all trained for this exact moment and no one is onto them but little does she know, everyone is.

Hanna is taken into custody since she fired a gunshot during the inauguration. The agents don’t believe that she’s actually crazy even though evidence points to her working with the hit man to try to take out the President. I mean, that’s conspiracy and punishable by death. And then she killed that man at the log cabin, which is manslaughter.

Despite all the allegations piling up against her Hanna refuses to say anything knowing that any one of these “agents” could be working directly with MacLeish and Catalan. We all saw what happened to the director of the FBI – he got set up and no one even thought twice about it, they just locked him up and threw away the key.

Things change when Kirkman’s personal security detail comes to get intel. Hanna refuses to disclose anything to anyone other than the President but that all changes when she finds out that Tom went into emergency surgery and temporarily transferred power over to MacLeish. Yes, the enemy is now the acting President of the United States. Scary right?

Hanna leads the secret service to her friend Chuck, who helped her out when they arrested Atwood. He tells him everything about Catalan aka MacLeish’s old army buddy and current partner in crime. The storytelling is a bit messy but in the end, it leads Hanna to Kirkman’s bedside where she’s finally able to speak one-on-one with the President and disclose everything she’s known without any danger or threat. The moment will be the launch of the overall storyline in season 2 with everyone finding out that they willingly put a traitor into a position of power. Their really raising the stakes.

Since Hanna got her meeting, it obviously means Kirkman made it through the surgery and returned as POTUS. He’s not only a survivor, he’s a warrior and the minute he returned to the Presidency, he was ready to stand up for America and give the people what they deserved… unlike MacLeish.

During his brief presidency, Peter made some rash decision including opening the stock market and allowing it to plummet and killing Catalan during the raid. Despite Aaron’s advise to bring back Kirkman’s shooter alive for questioning, MacLeish gave the order to shoot to kill. It seemed very strange to everyone involved except us since we know MacLeish is trying to save his own ass. With Catalan dead, there’s no one to incriminate him… at least that’s what he thought. Except that he didn’t tie up all the loose ends and they will definitely begin unraveling quickly.

Other Memorable Moments

  • While Tom went through surgery Alex blamed herself for everything, regretting ever encouraging him to accept the government position.
  • It was nice to see someone who now holds the highest position in the government actually reminisce about the simpler times. I often wonder if politicians, especially the POTUS and FLOTUS, wish they could just go back to how things were.
  • Emily is still weary of Aaron not knowing if his intentions and loyalties to the President are in the right place. When he calls her out on it, she directs him to talk directly to Tom.
  • Hookstraten may have started out as the villain in season 1 but Tom has grown to trust her and before he went into surgery, he even asked her to keep an eye out on MacLeish. Obviously she doesn’t buy his game one bit and she’s watching his every move.
  • It seems like public opinion of Kirkman has really taken a turn for the better. I guess that happens when your President is shot…

Sometimes, political shows can get pretty confusing, especially when there’s an underlying conspiracy… I’m looking at you Quantico. Thankfully, Designated Survivor has kept it pretty simple to follow along without ever making the show dull.

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Designated Survivor

Designated Survivor – Fallout (2×16)

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Designated Survivor Fallout

Is there ever not a threat to the D.C metro area?

During the last few episodes of Designated Survivor, it seems like everyone living in proximity of the White House is in the danger zone.

And by the end of the hour, things are looking grimmer as Kirkman has declared war, something we’ve seemingly been trying to avoid this whole time.

On this week’s episode, Kirkman’s team uncovered a “dirty bomb” somewhere in town, or in other words, a radioactive bomb that could take out several city blocks.

Since the threat comes on the heels of aggressive negotiations with East Hun Chiu, Kirkman’s administration pointed fingers at Chairman Kim who wasn’t too pleased especially when he found out he was being kept “prisoner” in the States until they could be sure this wasn’t his doing.

Hannah interrogated his son, Joon, who assured her his father wasn’t stupid enough, or suicidal enough, to pull a stunt like this. But she isn’t convinced as all the evidence, including radioactive shipping containers, have Kim’s name all over them.

She’s also working with some new agent because Aaron Shore is busy doing something in the underground bunker with all the other high-level government officials. And of course, there’s no mention of Damian because what’s the point of continuity?

Plus, they don’t really need his intel anymore when they can just bring Dr. Andrea Frost, an Elon-Musk type tech guru who suddenly has all the answers to Kirkman’s problems. We know what you’re doing writers, you’re slowly but surely creating an innocent relationship between these two characters that will eventually go from platonic to romantic when enough time has passed for Kirkman to mourn Alex.

I’m slightly irritated that there’s a “love interest” when Alex’s funeral is still fresh on everyone’s mind. They even went out on a “date,” which Kirkman claimed to be a publicity stunt. What will the kids think?

However, I like her and appreciate that she isn’t down for the “any means” approach that Kirkman’s administration has been following lately. Confidentiality measures are in place for a reason!

Yes, she’s willing to help her country but not at the cost of her own company.

Considering the show’s penchant for moles, I figured the fresh-faced FBI agent was probably aiding Joon in whatever it was he refused to tell Hannah about. Especially since the whole baking-soda fiasco occurred when she stepped out of the room for a minute. Thankfully, it was a false alarm and Hannah’s partners are all legit, for now.

Instead, Joon left on his own accord because he was trying to protect his girlfriend who had been kidnapped by the real bombers – the Kumani government.

In case you don’t remember (and why should you, honestly?) the Kumani’s haven’t been on great terms with America since that whole navy ship episode.

Still, there was no mention of them until now so it honestly felt a bit plastered together for the sake of any storyline.

Also, I can’t get over the fact that Hannah was fooled by a decoy bomb and allowed for the “big show” to actually happen. Isn’t this like 101 of bomb threats? There’s likely always more because bombers love to make multiple things go boom?

I’m surprised that while most of the DC elite were off-the-grid, no one warned the public. Invoking fear isn’t something they’d want to do but don’t the people deserve to know about things like this? It just doesn’t seem fair. (BRB going to build my underground bunker right now.)

Thankfully, no civilians died in the Metro explosion,  but six federal agents were taken out, including John Forstel.

I personally didn’t have a preference on whether John lived or died but when he was looking to make an atonement for how hard he was on the President’s wife in court, you could tell something bad this way comes.

And on top of that, he got the President’s forgiveness; making peace was a dead giveaway that he was about to be offed.

Kirkman isn’t a bad guy but he really has a problem listening to his staff and taking their advice. In actuality, he loves defying them at every turn which doesn’t make their jobs any easier. When he gets riled up, all hell unleashes on Earth and sometimes, hot-headedness isn’t the best quality for a President to have. When Kumani’s government refused to cooperate, acknowledge their role in the explosion, or admit that they were trying to stir the pot so that East Hun Chiu would be at war and thus, they’d make millions, Kirkman just about had it.

Understandably, this is just one of many bogus events piling onto his desk and like I said previously, one of many attacks on his country and administration. He was bound to snap sometime soon.  He’s done with negotiations and meetings, he wants action and he wants to show the world that he’s capable of revenge. Yikes.

Emily also pulled a Kirkman when she overstepped Kendra Daynes and leaked Moss’ betrayal of the White House to the press. It doesn’t seem like anyone thinks this is a good idea, and I’m not sure if Emily is so desperate for a win, any win, she’s willing to sabotage her position to get it. I don’t think this is even about the President or the White House anymore, I think she’s just a woman that’s been hurt by a breakup.

Thoughts? Is Kirkman unknowingly making more enemies than necessary? Is his good guy act simply a decoy for all his terrible decisions? Will his designated survivor (aka the new VP) come in handy soon? It felt like foreshadowing. Will Emily succeed in taking down Moss? When will Kirkman and Frost hook up? Do we even want to see that? I never had loyalty to Alex because she was a one-dimensional character, but I just feel a little bad about it all.

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Designated Survivor

Designated Survivor – In the Dark (2×14)

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Designated Survivor in the Dark

Well, we finally have a VP! Designated Survivor finally fixed the problem that’s been looming over the White House and the American people for far too long.

Can you believe that Kirkman’s administration let him go so long without naming one? Or that Kirkman actually believed he his presidency didn’t need one.

He may have the best of intentions but sometimes, he really does come off as a dictator, which is what a VP is supposed to prevent. There’s a reason we have a system of checks and balances.

Throughout the hour, the series teased a handful of potential candidates.

There was Trey, however, without any previous political background, his candidacy seemed unlikely. Also working against him was his relationship to the President. It wouldn’t look good to the people already weary of Kirkman’s decisions if he elected his own brother. That would really stir up the dictatorship talk.

However, I’m certain Kirkman will find a place for his bro, especially after he helped him out with the Prime Minister of Japan. Did anyone else find it odd that Trey knows people in high places?

The second candidate on the list was Emily, who after getting trapped in an elevator (another reason to always use the stairs) with Lyor, contemplated the idea of one day becoming President.  Lyor made some valid corroborating points — she’s the youngest Chief of Staff and she rocks at her job. Sometimes, she’s the only one holding up Kirkman’s whole Presidency. Without his team, I don’t think he’d really know how to approach any of this.

Quantico’s very own Miranda, who assumed the role of Mayor Eleanor Darcy, snatched up the role and it was a perfect fit. I’d agree with Lyor and Emily that the initial round of candidates did not fit into “Team Kirkman” or his ideologies.

In Kirkman’s administration, you cannot force something. We all remember when he was seemingly pressured into choosing a VP the first time and ended up putting the world through the terrible antics of Peter MacLeish.

I’m glad Kirkman didn’t rush through the process but simply followed his gut because life has a way of handing you exactly what you need. Yes, it came on the heels of a city-wide blackout that resulted in violent looting in the streets but still, happy ending.

Darcy proved that her head and her heart were in the right place and she wasn’t afraid to question Kirkman’s calls, especially when he jumped the gun and called in the National Guard. I mean, did he really think the only solution here was to invoke Martial Law? Together with Darcy, she saw that a little bit of light and peace really can go a long way. Sometimes, you have to trust your people.

Can anyone tell me why the writers insist on developing Lyor’s character by describing his past? I like his quirkiness and that he doesn’t conform to anyone’s idea of normal, but I really don’t get the childhood stories. And his explanation for being so particular when it comes to descriptions of Mentos colors? Daddy issues. Yeah, same.

Then we have whatever Damian is up to, which has something to do with the Russians. These hacks have been uneventful, for lack of better terms. You’d think the reasoning behind a massive blackout would be something more compelling… wait, what was the reason for the blackout?

There’s so much potential for a blackout to be full of suspense, intrigue, and unspeakable crimes, but all we get is some crap hack job that doesn’t make sense to anyone without any understanding of the internet beyond WordPress and a Damien-infused chase. How did Damien go from being a riveting operative to the dullest character on the series only next to Aaron Shore?

All I was able to get from all the code-lingo and political jargon was that this hacker keeps using the same patterns for all of his hack jobs. And somehow, Chuck was able to figure it out and restore peace. Still, they have absolutely no clue who is responsible. Damian could be behind it for all we know. He took advantage of the moment to break out of his ankle bracelet, visit his little friend at the Russian Embassy and kill a dude he claimed was coming after Hannah.

There’s no doubt in my mind that Hannah and Damian’s romantic dalliances are far from over, but I just don’t understand his positioning amidst all of these scandals. Who is he really working for? How does he know so much about the hacker’s job?

He apparently visited the Russian handler to tell her not to kill Hannah, which only irritated her more because as you know, she too fell for Damian. Seeing him care so much about another woman is excruciatingly painful.

Hannah made it clear she can take care of herself and confronted the handler to warn her that the next time she tries to get a hit, she better hope she doesn’t miss. Personally, I’d take her out right then and there but you know, that’s why I don’t have FBI clearance. It’s all about strategy.

Will these hacking jobs lead to something bigger? How deeply are the Russian’s involved? Will Aaron Shore ever actually get a storyline?

He was both the head of NSA and the interim Chief of Staff yet he was barely involved in any scenes. Where does he go when he’s not around?

We spent more time watching Seth buy health bars from the vending machine for his 6-month anniversary with Emily. If you’re surprised they’re still a couple, you’re not the only one. Seth was shocked by the realization as well.

And when he finally did figure out the perfect present, I couldn’t care less. The kiss felt like it was two best friends trying to force some kind of spark as their last chance at love.

And the hand holding in the hallway? Come on, guys. This is a place of business, not high school.

What were your thoughts on Designated Survivor? What does this show need to bring back the same oomph that followed the Pentagon bombing?

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Designated Survivor

Designated Survivor – Original Sin (2×13)

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Designated Survivor Original sin

If Tom Kirkman remained the President who chastised and intimidated his wife’s killer, a part of me would become reinvested in this show. Kirkman needs some edges, man!

As always, by the end of the hour, Kirkman found himself apologizing to the nation for his behavior.

A make-good on behalf of his out-of-line actions. Because god forbid a President wants to grieve.

Heck, I would even be content if he owned up to his actions and decided to launch a campaign to highlight the dangers of texting and driving. Anything. But his Liam Neeson moment was simply a push along for another “is Kirkman as good a President as he seems” moment adding absolutely nothing to the narrative.

On this week’s Designated Survivor, Kirkman was being dragged and vilified by the media and once again, no one on his team could handle it because Kirkman wouldn’t allow being handled.

When a group of indigenous people posted up in the White House hallway in a peaceful protest, Lyor saw an opportunity to either thrust Kirkman back into a good light or a bad one. Had he not stopped the security guards from arresting and forcefully removing everyone, it would have been bad.

But Lyor put on his Olivia Pope hat and decided to spin it to Kirkman’s advantage. The leader of the tribe, Ms. Cousins, requested a meeting with Kirkman and while unprecedented, it was encouraged.

At first, Kirkman couldn’t understand why she had come to him for help when it wasn’t a federal matter but then he realized the reason her people were being displaced again was due to an architectural plan that he put into motion almost 18-years-ago. I didn’t even know Kirkman was a brilliant architect and that’s a testament to how little we really know about this man. They could tell me he used to save ponies for the sake of the narrative and i’d be like “yes, he did that.”

Realizing his grave error, Kirkman does everything in his power to remedy the problem, even calling in his former business partners, which he finds out knew what his plan was doing to the tribe and failed to let him know so that he could achieve success.

And much like last week, Kirkman kicked them right out of the Oval office.

Once again, it seems like Kirkman has found his footing again until the next mess hits unexpectedly.

Although given what Hannah Wells is dealing with, it’s obvious it will be a cyber attack that aims at both the US and Russia.

It’s possible Russia could be doing this to themselves in order to throw the US off of their scent.

If you thought you’d seen the last of Damian, well, shame on you for being so gullible.

Damian’s story arc was way from over, mainly because he knows too much. At this point, he’s the most hated man in the world and multiple agencies want him dead for being a traitor.

Hannah would rather see him dead as well, but for now, she needs him to find out who the hacker behind the failed NASA launch and Kirkman’s video leak is.

Without his knowledge, she used Damian as bait and like clockwork, a hitman came to take him out.

She neutralized the situation just in time but unfortunately, the laptop they found in his car was a dead end due to the firewall and the actual fire that occurred when the hacker hacked the battery.

While I wasn’t certain if Damian was also playing Hannah, when she met with his Russian handler, it became evident that this isn’t his first rendezvous for intel. Imagine her surprise!

He tried to convince Hannah that eventually, his feelings were real, but she knew better. He knows she still has feelings and he’s playing her to possibly avoid doing real-time for espionage.

Back at the White House, Kirkman also reconnected with his brother, who came to town for a meeting involving Alex’s charity. If you didn’t know Kirkman had a brother, you aren’t the only one — most of the people in the White House didn’t either.

It’s no secret Tom and Trey don’t get along because of things that happened during their childhood. But really, I have no interest in getting involved with another family member just to fill some Alex-void in Kirkman’s heart, which is exactly why they made up.

Do you think Trey will stick around? Does Kirkman need to put the country first and stop trying to smooth things over for everyone? Does Damian need to be removed? Does he know more than he’s letting on?

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