Designated Survivor Season 1 Episode 4: The Enemy Recap

If you would like to read a recap of last week’s episode, click here. Things are starting to go in the right direction for Tom. They found who was responsible for the Capitol bombing but there is still faces questions about the legitimacy of his presidency from inside and outside the White House. Agent Wells may have a lead on Congressman MacLeish, the only one who mysteriously survived the bombing. What will Tom do about Congresswoman Hookstraten lurking? Read more to find out.

The episode starts off with someone being chased by some terrorists. He is trying to send a message that he has found the location of the terrorists responsible for the bombing which was somewhere in Algeria. He gets taken away just as he sends the message. Tom is in a meeting with Hookstraten. She is worried about the government’s attempts to find those responsible and she doesn’t like being kept in the dark about it.

All is not well in Michigan again as Governor Royce is using the Tom interview to justify his mistreatment of Muslims in his state. Emily asks Tom if they can send her to Michigan in order to observe the protests and assure that there is no wrongdoing taking place. Wells confronts Atwood about her suspicions of MacLeish. Tom gets briefed about the location of the terrorists and that they are ready to attack but Tom is worried about the captured agent from earlier who is probably inside their compound. He doesn’t want to attack until he knows the agent is safe.

Aaron calls Emily who is on a plane and is seemingly worried about her but he just downplays it. Once Emily arrives in Michigan, she is greeted by Royce and some police and asks her to get back in the plane and go back to Washington. She tells them that she was sent by the president but Royce doesn’t recognize the president’s authority. He prevents her from going any further.

Wells goes back to MacLeish and asks him about his absence just before the bombing. He and his wife Beth (Lara Jean Chorostecki) explain that his absence was caused by Beth texting him when their daughter went missing temporarily at the mall. Alex, a former immigration lawyer, gets a phone call from one of her old clients, a woman named Maria (Paula Rivera), that she is about to be deported. Since she is now the First Lady, she has given her case to another lawyer at the firm but she says that she’ll look into it.

Royce makes a speech on national television about his feelings about Tom. Tom has an idea about how to deal with Royce which was to federalize the Michigan National Guard. Tom is on the phone with the Algerian president and asks him to arrest all the terrorists but he denies them being there. One of Tom’s main adversaries, General Harris Cochrane (Kevin McNally) tells him that the agent still has 12 hours to respond and if he doesn’t, then they will strike. Tom agrees.

We then see the new press secretary Carter (Ben Lewis) who is way out of his league and cannot seem to handle the job. Seth feels bad for him and gives him a pep talk. Hookstraten has a meeting with Aaron and tries to poach him away from Tom but he remains loyal. Alex learns that Maria is being deported because Homeland Security is taking advantage of the fact that the courts are closed, leaving her no protection. Aaron and Emily have a text conversation where he is still kind of worrying about her.

The Michigan National Guard shows up at the airport but they refuse to follow Tom’s order and remain loyal to Royce. Tom is conflicted as he never thought he’d be in a position where he had to decide who lives and who dies. Alex gives him a pep talk to try and make him feel better. She wants to ask him for help with Maria but doesn’t because of optics. Emily suggests that Tom and Royce should meet and discuss their differences. She also calls upon the protesters to come to the airport.

Carter succumbs to the pressure of being press secretary and runs off. Seth, who happened to be there, steps up and takes his place and is great at it. Wells looks into the MacLeish phone records and they check out. Emily tries to convince Royce to go back to Washington with her and he agrees. General Cochrane goes against Tom and orders the strike anyway. When Tom learns about it, he fires Cochrane.

On the plane ride to Washington, Emily and Royce have an in-depth discussion about the morality of his actions. Royce claims that Tom doesn’t have what it takes but Emily defends him saying that he is a reasonable, understanding man. Aaron talks to Seth and offers him the job of press secretary. Seth refuses because it was for political reasons since he is a Muslim and he would just be paraded.

Alex asks Hookstraten for help and she agrees, as long as Alex owes her a favor in the future. Atwood confronts Wells about MacLeish and she admits that she was trying to make something out of nothing. She is just jealous that he survived instead of her boyfriend. She asks to be reassigned to Michigan.

As soon as Emily and Royce land in Washington, Tom has him arrested for treason. Emily feels blindsided as Tom promised her that they’d have a conversation. Tom is using it as a message to all the other governors who were thinking of challenging his authority. Tom has changed and Emily is not ready for it. Tom offers the press secretary job to Seth as he believes it is because he is the best person for the job and he agrees.

Emily confronts Aaron about the blindside and Aaron denies that it was his idea. He was more surprised by it. Aaron gives her a pep talk about how things are changing and she has to be ready for it. Seth gives his first speech as press secretary and his words play in the background while Alex helps Maria and Wells looks at old pictures of her boyfriend. Tom goes back to the Situation Room and orders a war on Algeria.

She is interrupted when she gets a strange call from a woman offering information on MacLeish, telling her that she should “Find Room 105”. What does that even mean?

Overall, this was a very exciting, plot-heavy episode. All the subplots worked, with Tom taking charge in firing Cochrane, taking care of the Michigan situation for good and going to war, the bombing conspiracy takes an interesting turn, Emily is learning about real politics, Seth is in a great position, and Hookstraten is still lurking. If this is the way they want to go, then I support it.

Score: 8.5/10

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*Note: These may come later on certain weeks as this show airs on the same day where I attend advanced screenings*

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