Designated Survivor Recap: Son of a....

This week on ABC’s Designated Survivor, President Tom Kirkman dealt with assorted blindsides, while the discovery of a congressman alive amid the rubble raised new questions.

When last we tuned in, Tom demanded of General Cochrane and the FBI 100-percent certainty that Al-Sakar was behind the bombing. And this week he (seeeeemingly) got it, though through a most unusual channel, when during the course of preparing to eulogize the fallen President Richmond the White House computer system got hacked. And all the perpetrators left behind was a video deposited onto Kirkman’s computer, of the Al-Sakar leader boasting of being responsible for the attack on the U.S. Capitol.

Tom and his staff agreed to keep the hack under wraps, lest the American people see it as another attack. And Chiefs of Staff Aaron and Emily even tried to keep it a secret from Congresswoman Hookstraten aka the Republican designated survivor. But everyone feared the worst when, during Tom’s first televised sit-down, Elizabeth Vargas went to confront the freshly minted POTUS with some damning intel — about, no, not the hack, but the fact that he had been basically fired by Richmond the day of the attack. Which, if you buy into it, could suggest he has no business inhabiting the Oval Office.

After excusing himself for a quick consult with Aaron (who recommends skirting the accusation) and Emily (who suggests honesty), Tom proceeds to confirm that Richmond had offered him an ambassadorship — albeit an unwanted one. That sets pundits tongues a-wagging, and even prompts Richmond’s son Tyler to unceremoniously forbid Kirkman from delivering the eulogy at the funeral. Worse, Hookstraten is instead tapped to speak — and speak she does, delivering a rousing oratory that makes people further second-guess Kirkman’s holding of the highest office in the land.

“Luckily” for Tom, the news cycle is agitated anew when the Al-Sakar video, whose authenticity Kirkman questioned in front an ever-irked Cochrane, is leaked to the press. By giving America an enemy face to unite against, the heat is taken off the new President. Tom at first accuses Kimble of leaking the vid, but she claims to be innocent — though she does have eyes on running against him the very first chance she gets. Tom later takes Aaron aside to share his deduction that the wannabe Chief of Staff orchestrated the leak, which he in fact did, and for the very reasons that bore themselves out. As a result, Tom eventually taps Aaron to be his Chief of Staff, being “someone who doesn’t think like me,” while Emily is offered a “special advisor” role with full access and the freedom to oppose Aaron’s ideas.

Little does Tom know that Aaron later meets up with a P.I., who turns over what could be damaging intel on his new boss….

Elsewhere in the hour:

* A survivor, Congressman McLeish, is found amid the rubble. Hannah is quite curious how this guy managed to survive, when hundreds of others — including the senator she was having an affair with — did not. Scrutinizing video of the State of the Union, Hannah notices a 34-second gap between when the feed cuts out and the actual blast happened. After coaxing a colleague to break laws by hacking into the cloud account of an attendee who was seen taking pictures just before the blast, Hannah discovers that McLeish actually wasn’t in his seat at the time of the blasts.

* Tom invited Tyler Richmond back to the Oval, not to seek out an apology for the funeral affront, but to share with the lad an anecdote about how his father — whom he apparently hadn’t spoken to for years — secretly slipped into one of his recent classical music concerts. Tom then gives Tyler one of the programs the proud dad handed out to Cabinet members, leaving that sad storyline on a happy note.

* First Son Leo’s drug-dealing habit is unwittingly uncovered by kid sister Penny. Alex rips into him until she needs to rush off to the funeral, then later tracks Leo down at their old home, where he claims… actually, I’m fuzzy on his lame defense. Feel free to fill in the blanks. At episode’s end, though Tom is wayyyy late due to the video leak crisis, the First Family — including Leo, who opted not to stay over at a friend’s — sits down for dinner (or at least Corn Puffs) together.

What did you think of “The Confession”?

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24 Comments
  1. Ron says:

    Can you tell me what the word is on Designated Survivor?

    I’m watching the 3rd episode and it almost feels like I’m watching the first episode of 24.

    They have a teenager that is getting into trouble already. The Whitehouse is under attack. President Kirkman’s staff is conspiring against him.
    I also notice that Sean Callery who did the music for 24 is also doing the music for this show.

    I keep expecting to hear the 24 music playing when the show goes to a commercial break and to hear Kiefer Sutherland call for Chloe.

    Your thoughts?

  2. Dax says:

    I usually avoids stressful shows, never watched 24, but Designated Survivor pretty good. Who can we hire to kill the duplicitous general?

    • Shaun says:

      Tony Almeda,lol

    • TomC says:

      Good adjective for the general but does it seem so formulaic? I’m expecting that they are eventually going to prove the general planted the El Saccar(?) video. Overall I like the show for all of its sub plots. Gonna need something to keep track of them all, though. It does seem to show that Washington corrupts the good guys.

  3. Bella says:

    I liked the pilot a lot. But now they seem to be going down the path of making Americans as the terrorists in some kind of convoluted conspiracy – yet again. How predictable these days.

  4. christopher bee says:

    Just my two cents on Sean Callery´s score.

    Thank you Sean for the citation of James Horners Perfect Storm theme right before the Family Dinner starts. And certainly for your hint of Jerry´s Patton Brasstheme in the main Title.

    Will Maggie Q go full Nikita this season?

    • christopher bee says:

      I´d like to ad, i´m happy that Sean will attend the World Soundtrack Awards in Gent.
      Glad that i´ve bought tickets.

  5. daviddavid says:

    Did you see the Metro News 24 logo? Too funny! Love Keifer and yes, there are undercurrents of 24 …. I’m still in!!!

  6. daviddavid says:

    And, love the Q … she’s great!!!

  7. Walkie says:

    The show is sooooooo corny. Really bad.

  8. Jerri says:

    Here’s the thing: If he was fired, how did he end up being the designated survivor?!

  9. MMD says:

    I have never watched a KS fronted show before but I am really enjoying this one – anything to take distract from your damn election! I do hate the General though and if the son is not punished for selling drugs in the next episode (I can understand it not being front burner this episode) then I will jump into my tv and punish him myself!!!


    I don’t trust Aiden at all but understand why Kirkman made him CoS but he is keeping his former assistant Emily whom he totally trusts, just as close. I’d love to know what was in that envelope that Aiden received?

    I loved that Kirkman called Tyler back to his office to give him some good memories of his father to hang onto. That was a class act.

  10. Drew says:

    I want to praise Colin Woodell, Tyler Richmond here (and Aiden on The Originals) for his very moving scene in the oval office and he understood the depths that his father loved him. Colin needs to be a regular on a deserving show. He was the best part of tonight’s Designated Survivor.

  11. kmw says:

    Good episode I thought for sure the person Aaron was going to meet was the General The kids plot is alright but just seems like something to eventually split Kirkman and his wife Hannah is alright as well but Kiefer Sutherland is doing a great job. Yes part of this whole story might not be realistic but it is vey entertaining right now

  12. ReneCat says:

    I am LOVING Designated Survivor! But I really wish people would just WATCH the show instead of turning it into some kind of “This is going to end the world because I didn’t approve of a scene,episode or bit of dialogue”rant! It’s a BLOODY tv show and that’s ALL it is! I will agree with the ambiguity(to use a phrase) of young Leo”s “response” to his mother but it’s a small part of the show. I will continue watching for as long as DS runs.