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

Designated Survivor Recap MacLeish Killed

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”?

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