Designated Survivor Recap MacLeish Killed

Designated Survivor Recap: Did POTUS and Wells Just Lose Their Only Lead?

At long last, Designated Survivor‘s titular President Tom Kirkman met stalwart FBI agent Hannah Wells, to get the 411 on VP MacLeish’s seeming involvement in the Capitol attack and the conspiracy that launched it.

But when all was said and done, was it one step forward, two steps back for the investigation?

While MacLeish grabbed more of the spotlight, as his brief stint as the face of the nation came to an end, Kirkman absorbed every detail from Agent Wells’ death-defying snooping — from the secret bomb shelter to the veep’s connection to the shooter, Catalan. Knowing that for now he needs to bide his time, while Wells shores up her case, POTUS pledges, “That sunovabitch is gonna pay.”

In lieu of the non-existent Attorney General, Hannah turns to IA chief Forstell to survey the evidence thus far — which, sadly, he says would never hold up, short of a direct connection between MacLeish and the larger conspiracy. First Lady Alex meanwhile informs Tom that Aaron was the one who made the call to the Pentagon, to secure the Capitol attack playbook — though Tom is aghast to consider his trusted chief of staff a traitor.

Identifying the mystery woman who had Atwood doing her bidding as a dangling thread, Hannah visited her former boss in the hoosegow, but despite her many assurances that they’re closing in on the conspirators, he stays mum, lest his still-missing son be killed. Alas, when all is said and done, exactly such a fate befalls young Luke, leaving his dad shattered.

While Kirkman puts on his poker face during a hospital meet-up with MacLeish, he later confided to Secret Serviceman Mike that although he has never in his life so much as punched someone (Earmuffs, Jack Bauer!), he was tempted to strangler his two-faced veep right where he stood. Later, Tom lies to Aaron about the reason for Emily’s snooping, saying that in the wake of recent events, background checks and reined-in security clearances are in order.

Rummaging for other leads, Agent Wells looks up one of MacLeish’s other Army unit pals, Elvin Joyner, making some noise about a sketchy op they ran back in 2005. As hoped for, her visits is exactly enough to spook Joyner into getting nighttime face time, at Arlington no less, with the vice president. MacLeish’s wife, (LadyMac)Beth, has a bad feeling about him putting himself out there — especially when, after he leaves for the meet-up, she gets wind that Agent Wells is in fact not in police custody but out and about, investigating.

At the cemetery, Joyner proves to be a nervous Nellie, thinking the Feds were looking into the “slaughterhouse” their unit walked into a decade ago. When MacLeish recounts lying to the senate about what went down, Wells shows up to arrest him for, at least, perjury. Jittery Joyner jumps Wells, triggering a foot chase between the G-woman and the VP. Hannah eventually has MacLeish at gunpoint, when a shot rings out from behind her — it’s Beth, gunning down her husband. Before turning the gun on herself.

With MacLeish dead, has the trail gone ice-cold?

Elsewhere in this week’s episode:

* Tom is having laughably OTT nightmares about the bombing and his near-assassination.

* When a persistent Hookstraten asks Aaron why the cornered shooter would up shot dead, he admits that it was on the VP’s order.

* Emily plays piano.

What did you think about “The End of the Beginning”?

Comments are monitored, so don’t go off topic, don’t frakkin’ curse and don’t bore us with how much your coworker’s sister-in-law makes per hour. Talk smart about TV!

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30 Comments
  1. Sasha says:

    I still wonder why they dropped the gay son angle

  2. laurelnev says:

    Wow…they’re dropping like flies. And what about the rule about NOT killing children and dogs? It might be a little more interesting, show-wise, if someone actually survived long enough to be questioned. :) Guess it’s time for the Army Bud to lose it. (He wasn’t offed. was he?) Glad they’ve dropped the troubled kids stories, (I had almost forgotten about them.) Looks like it’s decided to be a conspiracy thriller. And of course, it’s b/c of something shaky that we did back in ‘Nam, most likely. Looking forward to seeing how the next 2 weeks shake out.

    • tardisrepairman says:

      I think they said Afghanistan.

    • Matt Webb Mitovich says:

      No, my read was that the sketchy Army mission (in the Kunar region) was just something to get under Joyner’s skin/force him to contact MacLeish. . And as a bonus get the VP on perjury charges. I dont think it ties to the greater plan.

      • laurelnev says:

        Well, you guys are both right anyway. “nam was more Clinton’s era, and I think these guys are closer to Obama’s era, which would have more likely been Desert Storm (or a later “conflict.) And it is the later “conflicts” that utilized “govt contractors” for strange things. But maybe the McLeish Army Posse (for lack of another word) isn’t central, but rather WAS just a device to bring the VP down. (But the rest of the posse, or at least a part of it, has survived, no?)

  3. Anonymous says:

    What was Aaron looking at on his computerafter speaking with the president?

  4. Angelfan says:

    Wait…this show is still on?

  5. Alan Schlossberg says:

    Extremely disappointed with how veep’s death was handled. It made absolutely no sense that MacLeish’s wife would be able to get close enough given the gaggle of agents and soldiers at the cemetery…no to mention it was all on video. Better the writers had MacLeish killed off by some unknown assailant and disposed (literally) with the veep’s wife in the next episode. Doing so would have maintained the conspiracy in a more credible way. Obviously the entire show demands a huge leap of faith. But this episode involved an exponential leap.

  6. katsssblog says:

    I actually like that they killed VP.

  7. Dominique says:

    i still think DS is one of the best new shows and it certainly does a good job keeping up the pace. the only problem i had with last night’s episode is that apparently not ONE of the agents present at the cemetary saw the VP’s wife approach the VP and wells, with a gun no less. that makes no sense to me at all, so that’s a bit of a lame way to get rid of the two of them.
    other than that i still think this show is on fire and i like what they’re doing with all the characters.
    i just don’t trust the first lady. to me, it seems like she’s careless at the right moments (how was she able to walk into the hospital room where kirkman was talking to wells and the SS agent, just casually on her phone like that?) and she seems to think that her husband having all the knowledge as potus, means she should have all the knowledge.

  8. Toni says:

    When Emily was digging up phone records, didn’t she find out that the call came from Aaron’s phone, not necessarily him..but his office phone. But when Alex told Tom..she said that Aaron made the call. Maybe someone used his phone..or did I miss something that said it was definitely him?

  9. Dan says:

    I am so tired of terrible network TV and their nonsense plot devices. Why in the world would Wells approach MacLeish alone when she had about a dozen agents at her back? There was no rush at all. They could have just waited until he was back in the car with his security detail, and might even have picked up some more information from allowing the conversation to naturally end. Instead, we watched one of the most capable characters do something unrealistically stupid and gained nothing from the episode. Bad writing.

    • herman1959 says:

      The lead agent told her to get MacLeish THEN because they had enough info to at least charge him with perjury. The agents had to get to him before he killed the other guy.

      • Jason Seet says:

        Totally agree. It was ridiculous that only Wells went forward and they took such a long time to get there..where were there stationed? 1 km away? And how did the wife come without them knowing, and why cant the wife shoot Wells first, and then the Veep and then herself? Why leave the loose end? Bollocks..

  10. Carlie says:

    lol at Emily plays piano.

    Good ep. So glad the 2 stories have collided. I was always more interested in Hannah’s storyline, than The presidential stuff.

  11. pam says:

    Thumbs down for this episode, if your going to arrest the VP of the USA you only send in 1 agent in a graveyard and NOBODY see’s the wife walkin in???,,, bad writing

  12. katy says:

    I’m very suspicious of the First Lady, she seems to think that she should be in on all of the intelligence briefings, pretty sure she doesn’t have security clearance, seems too nosey for me.

  13. Seán Donnelly says:

    What piano piece was the beautiful brunette playing.

  14. bluesman3535 says:

    I know why the President’s wife is moving out of D.C. with the kids. It’s because the actress playing her is really Katy Tur and the demands of the news desk are too great for her to regularly appear in the scripted drama. Seriously, don’t Katy Tur and the actress playing First Lady Kirkman look an awful lot alike!