TV ReviewsDesignated Survivor Season 1 Episode 9: The Blueprint Recap

Keith NoakesDecember 7, 2016

If you would like to read a recap of last week’s episode, click here. I guess I must have thought that last week was the midseason finale (oops) but there is one more episode left until that happens and it will definitely be exciting. The Capitol bombing conspiracy was taking a backseat for a few episodes but it was back in the spotlight here. The other subplots are often hit or miss but this is the best part of the show, although I concede that it can’t last forever. There were still other things going on but the fact that they all tied in to each other made them more compelling to watch.

The episode starts off with a man named Gabriel Thompson (Brent Sexton) in a bathroom stall transferring data to a small hard drive before destroying his own computer. He managed to smuggle it out of the NSA.

Hookstraten is blasting Tom on the news right before her and Congress are getting ready to confirm MacLeish for Vice President. Alex thinks she’s intimidated by him. Aaron and Emily talking about Hookstraten. Seth informs them of the security breach. Atwood is also being investigated internally by the director of Internal Affairs, John Forstell (Reed Diamond) whom Wells is familiar with. Tom is briefed on the breach. They don’t know why he did it yet. Forstell knew Atwood and questions Wells on her relationship with him. She holds back but tells her that it could be worse. He tells her that she and Atwood should have played by the rules.

Wells asks the tech guy (from the previous episode) named Chuck Russink (Jake Epstein) to meet her at her house and bring the MacLeish files. Aaron wants Seth to hold of the press until they get all the answers on Nassar. Thompson has posted some of the stolen documents on Wikileaks. They indicate possible corruption but looks worse than it is. The people responsible died in the bombing. Tom’s file hasn’t been released though. Aaron asks if he has anything to hide and Tom has nothing to hide. Tom wants them to find him

The MacLeish file is a lot to process for Chuck but the evidence is hard to ignore. Wells has IA on her but she can’t back off. She can’t find anything on 11:14 pm. Chuck believes in Wells and is dedicated to helping her. Hookstraten is plotting. MacLeish asks what her problem with him and Tom is and she just doesn’t trust people who have things handed to them, especially power.

Wells thinks there has to be something in the files. Chuck suggests the time may be date. He finds a document about MacLeish’s army record dated 11/14/05. Wells believes that the file may not be telling the whole story. MacLeish is crushing his congressional hearing. More documents are leaked. One of them involves a memo Emily wrote that pissed off Senator Hazelton, the head of the Senate budget appropriations committee. Emily apologizes to the senator and Tom tries to vouch for her but he doesn’t accept it. He says Tom would feel differently if it was his reputation being tarnished. He wants her gone. Emily tells him that he  doesn’t have a choice.

Macleish continues to testify to Congress. Chuck gives Wells contact information for MacLeish’s unit. Chuck is uncomfortable with them splitting up. She tells him that there are few people she trusts. Forstell meets with Atwood. He has waived his right to an attorney. He tells him what happened and how he killed Nassar. Tom watches the video. Everything he said matches the evidence. Tom is contemplating when Aaron interrupts him by telling him that they found Thompson on foreign soil. He is hiding in the Venezuelan embassy and requesting asylum.

The Venezuelan embassy refuses to turn in Thompson. Seth reminds Tom that he still has to deal with Hazelton. Congress brings up MacLeish’s service record and asks him about the events on 11/14/05. Wells and Chuck interview the members of his unit and their stories match up to his. The all called him a hero. Wells thinks that maybe everyone got the same talking points. She still has one left and she’s not giving up.

Emily wants Aaron to fire her but he refuses because Tom is not the only one who needs him. Seth interrupts their moment and brings up interview requests for the President. Aaron gets an idea and walks out. Wells speaks with the widow of the last unit member. She asks to looks at her deceased husband’s foot locker. Aaron meets with Thompson and offers him time with Tom. He just did what he did because he wanted to get noticed by him. He says he can hurt Emily or save her.

Wells goes through the locker and finds Catalan in a picture of MacLeish’s unit. Wells asks Chuck to get information from the database but Chuck can’t get in because his password got revoked, probably for taking the MacLeish files earlier. Forstell is approaching so he hangs up and destroys his phone.

Thompson gives Aaron dirt on Hazelton in exchange for a meeting with Tom where he will then hand over the rest of the documents. Tom thinks the situation is not ideal but he’ll go through with it. Wells updates Hookstraten. She wants her to delay the hearings. She’s working a lead but can’t talk on the phone. She needs time.

Tom meets with Hazelton and confronts him with the dirt. Tom asks him to retire in exchange for not releasing the information. He leaves an Emily says there’s no place she would rather be. Wells meets with her CIA contact. He says there’s no file on MacLeish’s mission because it got buried by the Pentagon. He has a report with a different story which implies a conspiracy.

Alex heard about Emily. Tom reading Thompson’s  psych profile. He thinks this and Atwood doesn’t add up. Tom doesn’t think Thompson isn’t crazy but he can’t figure out why he’s doing it. Thompson meets with Tom. Tom knows he lost his daughter in the attack. Thompson says he needed someone to trust so that the attack doesn’t happen again. He gives him the hard drive he stole. As he’s is being taken out, he says that Tom has much bigger problems than him. He points out a special file on the hard drive that he should see. Tom wants to know why he gave up his career for the hard drive.

Mike and Tom look at hard drive. Mike happens to have computer experience. Aaron tells Tom about Hookstraten delaying the confirmation because she has information on MacLeish. Tom doesn’t think she’s crazy because she wouldn’t do it for nothing. Tom confronts MacLeish but he says he’s not hiding anything. Tom believes him. Macleish tells him about Wells and how she may be obsessed with him.

Wells is on her way to Hookstraten. Hookstraten gathers everyone back up. Emily thanks Aaron for not firing her earlier. She is skeptical of his real motives for doing so. Aaron asks her out to dinner. Wells is racing over. Mike finds the special file. A car runs into Wells.

The file is a threat assessment for a potential Capitol bombing 3 years earlier. The government handed over blueprints for a bombing to the terrorists implying that they are dealing with a traitor in their midst.

Overall, this was an exciting episode which worked on every level with the data breach story connecting to the bombing conspiracy and Tom and Aaron sticking up for Emily. Wells’ investigation with Chuck was fun to watch too as she was also getting closer to the truth and fuelling Hookstraten and her quest to bring down Tom and MacLeish. I can’t wait to see how it all comes together next week for the real midseason finale.

Score: 9/10

If you liked this, please read my other reviews here and don’t forget to follow me on Twitter, follow me on Instagram, and also like me on Facebook.

*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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