Designated Survivor Finale Recap

Designated Survivor Finale Recap: Mole Removal — Plus, Season 2 Teasers

ABC’s Designated Survivor wrapped its schizophrenic Season 1 run on Wednesday night by giving the good guys something that had thus far eluded them: a big win.

But first, Hannah had to make lemonade out of the van full of lemons she was handed upon waking up from her drugging, seeing as the FBI had been tipped to her “plan” to trigger the explosives in the Bureau’s parking garage. With little time to talk sense into those aiming guns at her, she closed herself inside the volatile van and sped it out of the building, down the street and into the drink, tumbling out the driver’s side door just before it exploded in the Potamac’s basin outside the Jefferson Memorial (Google Maps tells me). Forstell then arrived on the scene to assure everyone that Wells was not a conspirator.

After looping in President Kirkman on the latest, everyone agreed that rather than take it slow as with MacLeish, they should go all in and storm Patrick Lloyd’s home — which they did, only to find him vanished via an underground tunnel. Afterward, they learned that Lozano (whose face surely had been everywhere as a would-be presidential assassin!) had sneaked into the Pentagon with surprising ease. Hannah raced to the scene too late, yet conveniently managed to spy Lozano in his car going the other direction. That led to a chase followed by fierce tussle inside a construction site, where Lozano wound up falling onto the business end of some rebar, as many a TV character does.

Hannah would catch a break, though, when Chuck alerted her to the many unread emails in her mailbox, including one from Jason Atwood. Sure enough, it contained was the audio and photos of Homeland Security Advisor Jay Whitaker meeting with Lloyd, which he acquired and uploaded before getting snuffed. Moments later, Agent Ritter and Hannah stopped Whitaker in his tracks there inside the White House, though we didn’t get to see him squirm or hem-and-haw under interrogation.

Even so, it was DESIGNATED SURVIVORa big win for the investigation into the conspiracy, allowing Tom to speak to a joint Congress and announce to the country that esteemed reporter Abe Leonard was right — Al-Sakar was not behind the Capitol bombing. Instead, it was a group of domestic terrorists led by Patrick Lloyd.

Alas, no sooner has Tom delivered his rousing, “Yea, America!” speech, which was met with thunderous applause (and preceded by warm hugs from his returned kids), he is summoned to the Situation Room to learn that during his infiltration of the Pentagon, Lozano executed a hack that transmitted allllll kinds of sensitive military intelligence to Lloyd, who was now in the wind and possessing the resources to stay off the grid. To which highest bidders might he sell it to?

WHAT’S NEW FOR SEASON 2? | Speaking at ABC’s Upfronts presentation this week, Dez star Kiefer Sutherland seemed to allude to the freshman drama’s wobbly narrative start (which wasn’t helped by a parade of showrunners or a long midseason hiatus), saying, “The first season of any show requires laying out a great deal of groundwork for the potential stories to follow, and I couldn’t be more pleased with how we ended this season.”

Sutherland then looked ahead to Season 2, saying that Dez is adding “no less than three principal characters to round out the complexities of running the White House [and] allow us to delve more deeply into the lives of our main characters.” He even went so far as to promise “a midseason event that I believe will knock the socks off our audience.”

Any guesses on what that could possibly be, on a show that has already blown up the Capitol, hacked the White House and put a bullet in POTUS?

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49 Comments
  1. Daniel says:

    it was good but not great. Was hoping that they would reveal a main character to be a traitor. Good plot lead-in to season 2

    • EJ says:

      I still think Alex is not who we (and Tom) think she is. And I have a feeling her reveal could be the midseason event that Kiefer referred to.

      • Maria says:

        I think there’s potential for her to be…maybe not evil…but a victim of blackmail of some sort. She and Tom seem to have a very good marriage, and of course the writers could wring some drama out of that.

      • Dean says:

        I completely agree! I said from the very beginning Natascha McElhone is too good an actress (and too famous) to be “just” the First Lady… I’m hoping she plays a bigger part in season 2 whether she’s on the good or bad side of it all!!

  2. spp138 says:

    Was it just me, or did the car Lazano was driving magically go back and forth between badly damaged and new and shiny?

  3. Bonnie says:

    Hannah Wells pierces the heart. Authenticity reigns. I love Kiefer but his “PC” script is so obvious to real Americans. Lighten up!

    • Uno says:

      What do you mean by pc script.. And what in the flying f**k do you mean by real american?

      • Temperance says:

        It’s whackjob for whatever they don’t like. Just ignore.

      • J. Skinner says:

        May be if you were not so busy worrying about, flying f…’s you could figure out the meaning of “pc” and “real american” but of course since you are “Uno” you probably no longer believe that anyone outside your own head has a valid differing opinion. I am going to take “Temperances” suggestion and ignore you.

        • See the problem is, why do you get to decide what a “real American” is? Just the fact that you think you have the authority to make that judgement or to label something PC proves you really don’t understand what America is all about.

  4. Sandy loxterkamp says:

    The best show of the season, fast moving, great writing and of course acting. Proud to have the show filmed in Toronto where I live

  5. Kevin Fowler says:

    How can Kirkmans Secretary of State be his designated Survivor? He was already President. Stupid, another show taking way to many liberties.

    • Zach_Taylor says:

      The Secretary of State said earlier he was a one-term president. So he could legally rise to the presidency in such a circumstance.

    • A designated survivor is not “appointed”….there is a constitutional line of succession. The premise of this show is that ALL others in that line were killed. There is typically only one event where all those in the line are in one place. The VEEP is 2nd in line…the speaker of the house is the 3 then the senate pro tem and so on. If any of these people were not killed in the capitol explosion then they would have been president.

  6. peterwdawson says:

    Some stuff just felt a bit too easy, but none the less the show hovers somewhere around the above average range for me.

  7. laurelnev says:

    Yes, that was the Jefferson. I think she accurately crossed the bridge and got on the Parkway in VA, but you would’ve seen OTHER monuments in that part of the skyline. If she didn’t cross the bridge, she’d have ended up in a marina or taken out a bank of cherry trees and paddle boats. :) (STILL hate chase scenes set in DC, having driven those roads for way too long! And the Jefferson was always a favorite spot!)

    Meh on the season as a whole. With all that has been canceled, it’s still kind of hard to believe THIS is getting a 2nd season. What occupied the spot before Nashville?

    Only hung in b/c it’s one of the few shows my retired Dad still watches, and I wanted to watch something with him. So I guess if he hangs in, I will. But my interest is waning, and I already time shift other Wednesday shows that could be watched very easily in that time slot.

    It’s not the acting. Maggie Q is doing the best she can with the material, as is the way too docile Keifer. Wish I could say it had finally settled into what it wanted to be by the end of the season, but quite frankly, I’m not so sure it has…

    • Cat says:

      I think you’ll find it has a better than average chance of sticking around because ABC actually makes it and sells it worldwide through Netflix (pretty sure it’s worldwide) so could stand to make a lot of money.

  8. DJ says:

    Why couldn’t the pentagon track Lozano by seeing where his ID was used? They knew the ID that was generated and what name he was using.

    • berkersy says:

      Yea, why didn’t they even block it since they knew the ID was issued by the mole in the Whitehouse and why didn’t they use this guy’s phone and track the other bad guy?

  9. jeanna says:

    It was a good season. In my mind, Maggie Q stole the show and not just because the Hannah Wells plot line was the most interesting. Would like to see more of Aaron, Seth and Abe – they are the most interesting of all the characters. Of course, Kiefer Sutherland holds it all together. Solid B+

  10. Corina Bracamonte says:

    Loved it. Very intriguing. Can’t wait for the next season.

  11. You could totally tell while watching Season 1 that it had different showrunners. The direction of the show changed, Peter MacLeish suddenly died and Kirkman’s family, which was once important, suddenly got shipped off to Camp David. Honestly, Designated Survivor has gotten lots of viewers and decent reviews because of Kiefer Sutherland, Maggie Q and the whole concept of a designated survivor in the White House. They better have a single showrunner and a single direction in Season 2 otherwise they’ll lose viewers (one of them will be me).

    That being said, I want Kirkman or even Sutherland for that matter to be my President. Kiefer for President 2020! Lol. But seriously, that was one helluva speech. Really made me patriotic and I don’t feel patriotic at all.

    • Yeah, Kiefer Southerland would make a good president if he could keep those values as his own, not scripted. If not someone who could be honest. Moral, and be able to trust what he said.

  12. Hope it runs for a lomg time

  13. berkersy says:

    A very good movie to me. I still think there could be a way for Jason to be brought back in to the movie, like if he was wearing a vest that could spill blood as it is really dead, maybe? I just love this movie.

  14. Helen says:

    Hannah Wells is my HERO. She’s so BadAss. And I don’t care if it’s implausible, I’m Team Hannah all the way.

    I think the former President is a snake in the grass. I worry he’ll undermine Kirkman. Sigh.

  15. Gordon Rick says:

    I miss Kimble Hookstratten. Her character was spot on, wants to do right by America but is willing to bend the rules to advance her political career.

  16. Mitch says:

    If they can rally this to be as intence as 24 was, then I’m All in!

  17. meh…it started out awesome but dragged on for far too long. Took a 6+ week hiatus…and continues to be more of a soap opera than a decent series.

  18. Dominique says:

    well, that was… confusing and a bit of a mess. the majority of the episode felt like a major filler and then the final 10 minutes went all over the place. quite a letdown when it comes to arresting some of the villains. schizophrenic would definitely be the right way to describe this show.
    .
    my one major disappointment with this show, and i don’t know if this is to blame on the constant change of showrunners or if this had been the plan all along, is that none of the major keyplayers in the conspiracy were memorable. the lazano reveal was a letdown, the white house mole was even worse because i had no idea who he was and actually had to go back and rewatch some of the earlier scenes and episodes to understand who he was and why it was a big deal. and that loyd guy? I don’t know him. I don’t care about him. the one interesting part of the conspiracy, peter macleish, was wrapped up rather suddenly which was a really stupid move and i suspect not the original plan.
    I get that in the real world, double-agents are the average looking people who don’t make much of an impression, because they’re not supposed to stand out. but on tv shows, the reveals gotta pack a punch. these were all extremely boring. they could’ve gone down so many different paths; jason atwood, john forstell, chuck, emily, aaron, the ex-president, and the biggest one of all; the first lady, whom i still do not trust. I hope this will get better next season because they started out really strong in the pilot, and then it sort of fizzled out in the last few episodes.
    I also still have the question; why tom kirkman? what was so special, or not special about him to make him the designated survivior? how did he fit into that plan? especially since they so easily got rid of macleish.
    .
    I liked the way forstell reacted to hannah’s rescue. I always love seeing reed diamond pop up on my shows, I’m kind of hoping he’ll be a regular next season.
    hannah was a badass as usual. maggie q sure carries this show with kiefer.

  19. I see Kiefer Sutherland as the grandson of Tommy Douglas of the Canadian CCF party now the NDP regurgitated the standard liberal diatribe against all those right wing extremists that cling to their guns and bibles and are trying to take over the nation. Read the Regina manifesto of 1933 online and then read the Communist manifesto.

    I am sure the grandson of the Muslim Mau Mau terrorist Hussein Onyango Obama was very pleased with his performance.

  20. Jim Herbert says:

    Don’t forget about Aaron. Remember early on he met some blonde woman on a DC sidewalk who gave him a file on his boss, the new president. Comments were exchanged that led one to believe he was up to something. Maybe that was later revealed to be nothing but, as I recall, he was trying to get some information on Kirkland. Anyone have any idea what that was all about?

    In addition, I have always liked Virginia Madsen but she sure has put on some weight over the years. Haven’t we all though? LOL I thought she looked more like a frumpy school teacher than the Speaker of the House.

    Anyway, overall a good show. Lagged some in the middle after some intense scenes early on. MacLeish looked more like a nerdy Boy Scout than a VP. I think the actor was miscast. I like Seth (Kal Penn). He adds humor to the show. The show needs some more of the “24” intensity though. At the end of each episode, I want to have a cliffhanger moment that makes me look forward to the next week’s episode. Remember at the end of each “24” episode, the clock was ticking down, there was a loud beat of the clock, and then the screen went dark. I always looked forward to the next episode.

    Anyway, B++ but they could make it an “A++” with the right script. Stay tuned. But, in the meantime, can anyone address my question about Aaron from my first paragraph? Thanks, all.

  21. Rick Thomas says:

    It was the best series of the year

  22. kirads09 says:

    I loved it! Hanna takes down the baddies (but at a price) Incredible performance throughout S1 by Maggie Q (and I want her trench coats thank you). Reed Diamond always delivers. Sutherland is simply amazing – and THAT speech toward the end of the finale – WOW. The addition of Rob Morrow as Abe has been wonderful. It will be so interesting to see where this leads next. I think some are right to have suspicions about Alex. And Scy of State (former Pres Moss) seems just a bit too good to be true and I think he is up to something. I wish Jason and his son had survived – possibly my only regret about S1.

  23. Scott A Englehart says:

    The series is great partly because the viewers could actually envision something like this happening which is very scrary.

    • It was really easy to see how similar things could happen, not blowing up the capital hopefully but all the underhand, sabotage with the shadow government. I am beginning to think that some of these biggest people against Trump and anything he says or does may just be part of the shadow government ran by Obama. They just can’t let him go.

      • Katherine215 says:

        You people with your Obama paranoia are literally crazy. Please, grab hold of the reality rope and climb back up to join us.

  24. Vino says:

    Maggie Q is still hot!

  25. Tony says:

    A 90 pound FBI agent is just not believable. Am I the only one that thinks that way.

  26. Ellen Colglazier says:

    Love this show. Keep up the great series.