TV Reviews

Designated Survivor Season 1 Episode 5: The Mission Recap

If you would like to read a recap of the last episode, click here. Things are becoming tense for Tom. He is about to take the country to war while Hookstraten is still lurking, waiting for an opportunity to take him down. Has he finally taken care of Michigan once and for all? What is this mysterious room 105? Read more to find out.

The episode starts off with Tom and Alex in bed. She’s sleeping but he can’t. Tom gets a call, asking him to head to the oval office where he receives a briefing on the upcoming war effort. Seth gets prepped on handling the press about the war effort. We learn that Michigan is getting better and that the lieutenant governor has reversed most of Royce’s actions. Tom wants Emily to take point with Congress.

Tom is briefed on the war effort and assesses their preparedness. He orders a strike on Nassar’s Algerian compound. They then receive intelligence that Nassar is no longer there and that he may have been tipped off by the Algerian government. Tom immediately regrets taking a diplomatic approach since that’s how they were warned. He tasks everyone to find him again.

Wells is looking into room 105 when Atwood comes in. She tells him that if she finds something, he would be the first to know. Atwood tells her that he has to go to a White House medal ceremony where MacLeish is to be honored. She drops what she’s doing and goes with him. At the ceremony, Wells appears visibly shaken in the background while Tom makes a speech about MacLeish. Tom is called away. Afterwards, Hookstraten grills Seth about the war effort which he dodges but she is not fooled. She wants to speak to Tom but she is forced to wait.

Atwood points Wells towards Hookstraten for help. MacLeish approaches them, leading to an awkward exchange. Tom is briefed that they found Nassar hiding underneath a hospital. Their only option appears to be putting boots on the ground to go after him. Because of potential future attacks, Tom is advised that it is better to take Nassar alive purely for intelligence purposes. Tom wants to go and talk to the leader of the Navy Seal team.

Emily appears to be okay with the direction in which things are going. Based on her relationship with the Kirkmans, Aaron asks her if they know a man named Jeffrey Meyers. Emily claims to not know him.

Wells asks an architect about room 105 and it apparently is a hidden office in the basement of the Capitol building for members of Congress. Hookstraten meets Tom and looks for answers on what’s been happening. He dodges the question but as she believes that she will be Speaker of the House, she reminds him of his duty to inform Congress before any military action which he intends to do but there still seems to be a cloud of skepticism floating over her.

Tom watches a Navy Seal practice drill. Tom speaks to the commander in charge named Max Clarkson (Dylan Walsh) and asks about certain soldiers, learning personal details about them. Tom asks him about their odds and he says that they’re 50/50, but he’s confident they’ll get the job done. Wells discovers where MacLeish was hiding when he disappeared from his seat before the bombing. He was found in room 105. They do not have access to more detailed information because anything related to the capitol renovations is classified.

Tom talks to some of the soldiers. The commanders reassures him that he made the right decision. Tom commands him to take Nassar out if they have to. Wells speaks with Hookstraten and doesn’t appear to share her belief that terrorists are responsible for the bombing. Wells asks her for plans of the room. She believes that the bomb may have entered the building via some of the contractors. Hookstraten says she will do what she can.

Tom follows along with the mission on a laptop with Alex. She comforts him saying that there are no easy days and that he should trust the seals to do their job. MacLeish and Hookstraten meet with Tom in the oval office, he briefs them about their upcoming military action. MacLeish gives his approval. Hookstraten vows to keep him accountable if the mission fails. Aaron suggests MacLeish be speaker.

Aaron warns him that a Navy Seal helicopter is down. The helicopter faced a sandstorm and had to perform a combat landing resulting in one of the seals getting injured. Despite that, the mission will continue as planned with a replacement taking the injured seal’s place.

Aaron instructs Seth to deflect any questions about the war effort. He doesn’t succumb to the pressure of the press. Aaron offers MacLeish the speaker position which he refuses. He believes that the position is not for him as it would mean having power for power’s sake. He thinks that it wouldn’t be the best way to serve his country. Aaron is confused.

Wells and Hookstraten meet again. Hookstraten tells her that they employed the same contractors except for one and they worked on room 105. She believes that they are suspects in the bombing as they would have had security clearance. Hookstraten gives her the information but she wants to be updated on any developments.

Emily actually knows about Jeffrey Meyers and talks to Alex about it. He was a man Alex dated 20 years ago but is now in prison. Tom is alone and thinking. Aaron comes in and offers to update him on war effort. Tom would rather follow from Command Ops. The Seals about to enter the hospital. MacLeish is brought in the room.

Wells briefs Atwood on her findings. She finally has proof on MacLeish. The scene cuts between them and the Seals. Everything is looking fine for the Seals as they are heading for the basement. All the workers that worked on room 105 are dead. Atwood believes that is isn’t a coincidence. The Seal video feed gets fuzzy as they enter the basement. Room 105 was reinforced, making into a bomb shelter for one. This makes MacLeish’s survival even more suspicious. The terrorists are holding kids hostage. Shooting occurs and the feed goes down. Wells presses Atwood to look into it further. Aaron wants Tom to prepare for the worst. They have Nassar but Clarkson is dead.

Tom tells Alex what happened and how Clarkson sacrificed himself to save the kids. The mission was a success but Tom feels responsible. Alex comforts him by telling him that there was nothing he could have done. Aaron, Emily, and Seth talk about MacLeish’s refusal of the speaker position because who goes to Washington and doesn’t want power? Tom walks in and suggests that maybe MacLeish would be better suited for Vice President.

Aaron confronts Alex about Meyers. She claims that it to not be an issue as he and Tom were both in prison. Aaron tells her that he is claiming to be Leo’s real father. Alex just shakes her head. Atwood and Wells meet again. Atwood doesn’t want to believe her but he does. Wells wants to go further but Atwood is being conservative as they don’t quite know who to trust.

The Seal team is back and Tom inconspicuously visits Clarkson’s casket. Another soldier comes and Tom thanks him for his service but he was just doing his job. The soldier reveals that Clarkson wasn’t even supposed to be part of the mission but he replaced the injured Seal on the mission. Tom feels guilty for what happened but the soldier tells him to not question his decision because they never did, not even Clarkson.

Overall, this was another good episode which again focused on one point which was finding Nassar. The episode also revealed the significance of room 105, putting MacLeish’s motives in question. We already knew he was sketchy so this didn’t convince us further but I can’t wait to see where it goes from here. The Seal scene was exciting but it shouldn’t have been intercut with the room 105 reveal which hurt the momentum of both subplots. The Meyers subplot was kind of unnecessary and really brought the episode down.

Score: 7.5/10

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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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