Designated Survivor Recap: Michegas

How was your first day on the job you have? Because Tom Kirkman’s first 24 hours as Designated Survivor‘s President of the United States probably could have gone better.

And yet that is what we should expect to see from this series on an almost weekly basis, because the situation here is so unheard of, something that no one could possibly fully prepare for, that something resembling mayhem could only possibly ensue.

I want to see this Tom take one step forward while getting knocked two steps back, to deliver an A-plus speech at the bombing site only to get blindsided by breaking news about civil rights abuses in Michigan.

Oy, Michigan. That Governor Royce sure has a pair.To recap; When Tom gets wind that Dearborn police are enforcing a curfew in specifically Muslim neigborhoods, in the wake of the terror attack, he gets on the phone with the gov — only to be told, “You’re not my president,” and then get hung up on.

You don’t hang up on POTUS, I imagine. Even if you were almost Red John.

On the heels of that diss of decorum, Tom set out to visit the Capitol — or the very little that is left of it — wife Alex, Chief of Staff 1 Emily and Chief of Staff 2 Aaron, and the other designated survivor, Republican Congresswoman Kimble Hookstraten. There, Tom got the latest on the bombing investigation — minus, that is, Agent Hannah Wells’ suspicion that they are merely being led to believe that an Al-Qaeda offshoot called Al-Sakar was behind it. (Tom won’t let General Cochrane indulge his itchy trigger finger unless they have 100-percent certainty about the culprit.)

After, Tom grabs a bullhorn to address the first responders on site, and he delivers a fine enough speech… only to have the moment get cut off at the knees by breaking news about Dearborn police beating a Muslim teen. Aaron rushes Tom away from the press, which does the nascent POTUS’ image no favors. After fruitlessly consulting with a pair of conflicting legal minds about the Dearborn crisis — and after the beaten teen dies — Tom finally tracks down Governor Royce via video chat and at first orders him to have his police stand down. When Royce again blows off the Commander-in-Chief, Tom successfully bluffs that there are undercover operatives among the detained Muslims, and as such Royce will be charged with obstructing a federal investigation if they aren’t released.

But even in the wake of that “win,” Tom can’t get away from the media coverage of his disastrous visit to the bombing site. So he has Secret Service agent Mike drive him out that night, low profile, in a baseball cap, to resume thanking the first responders — as Hannah takes notice. Hannah then peruses a wall of photos of the missing, someone obviously close t her among them, when someone shouts out that a survivor has been found!


* Amid this week’s juicy, messy drama, alas, one of our early fears was confirmed: the Kirkmans’ son is going to be one of those nagging issues. Because while Drug-Peddling Party Kid has a certain noisiness to it, Aloof Big Brother is simply annoying. (Also: Did his hair get three shades lighter overnight?)

* Why would the press have assumed Kirkman had seen the breaking news video, as they inundated him with questions? Why not, “There are reports out of Dearborn that….. What do you have to say?”

* Would scouting out a new entire Cabinet be left to Emily and Aaron? With so much heavy lifting to be done, wouldn’t, say, a consulting firm (of which there are bazillions in D.C.) or Olivia Pope be enlisted? Or would that be akin to “privatizing” the process? Also: Wanna bet Tom decides to keep both Emily and Aaron — as “a Chief of Staff who knows the man, and a Chief of Staff who knows the office”?

* Is Hannah Wells, with her presumably accurate “gut” feeling and inability to sway authority figures, this series’ Jack Bauer? Discuss.

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