TV ReviewsDesignated Survivor Season 1 Episode 12: The End of the Beginning Review

Keith NoakesMarch 15, 2017

If you would like to read my review of the last episode, click here.

Synopsis: Circles must tighten as a new discovery within the conspiracy emerges. Meanwhile, tension rises between Aaron and Emily as suspicions loom in the White House. Finally, a new lead places Agent Wells closer than before to the truth. (IMDB)

Writer: David Guggenheim

Director: Mike Listo

Rating: TV-14

Running Time: 45mins

I was not expecting that ending but let’s just explain how we got there. With the last episode ending with Wells meeting Tom in his hospital room, this episode went into full-on conspiracy mode. How long will the show be able to sustain this remains to be seen but it has been the most compelling part of the series.

Wells laid everything she had for Tom and they are all now aware of Peter MacLeish and his involvement in everything. Tom hates being fooled by MacLeish but at least Wells was there. Because of the wide reach of this conspiracy, Tom had to start narrowing his inner circle which meant leaving Alex out. Tom is used to telling Alex everything so this was not easy for him. Tom vows that MacLeish was going to pay.

Everyone was under the impression that Wells was still in custody so she had to work in the shadows. Tom needed legal counsel in order to get MacLeish so Wells tasked Forstell to help her with her investigation. He couldn’t wrap his mind around the gravity of the situation and then he was one of countless others who apologized to and thanked Wells for being right.

Wells may have had her file stolen so Atwood was her only lead. He appears to be the only one who has come into contact with The Mysterious and Calculating Dark-Haired Woman (she doesn’t yet have a name) so she visited him to see if he had any insights. Atwood confessed to killing Nassar in exchange for getting his son back but they did not keep his word since his son was still missing, he refused to help until his son was safe. Unfortunately for Atwood, he was found dead by a river later on in the episode.

There’s still some lingering tension between Emily and Aaron about her looking into him so Emily talked to Tom about it and he then took care of it by telling Aaron that Emily was running a background check as he had to reassess his inner circle after what happened. We also learned that Tom is having him surveilled in the hopes of clearing him. He told him that Hookstraten wanted to talk to him about something that he would know. She wanted to talk but Aaron was stalling her so when he pressed, she told him that Tom told her to watch him so she wanted to know so Aaron told her what happened.

We got a nice moment of levity between Seth and Emily as Emily was questioning what she thought she knew about the government. Seth reassured her with a story about how he got his job and how Tom restored his faith in humanity. He made him feel like he was a part of something bigger than himself and that he still felt that way. Emily didn’t feel that way because Seth believed that she was too much of a perfectionist.

MacLeish continued his suspicious behavior by holding his own press conference where he pretty much patted himself on the back for killing Catalan, one of the only potential witnesses against him. The timing of it was a little odd but being vice-president, he could do whatever he wants. He visited Tom in the hospital and Tom was fighting the urge to hit him. The MacLeishes were being their sneaky selves and plotting but they weren’t worried since they believed Wells to still be in custody.

Wells and Forstell’s plan to rattle MacLeish was to talk to press one of the members of his unit in the hopes that he would alert MacLeish and he took the bait. He was panicking so he wanted to meet MacLeish, where Wells will set a trap. Beth MacLeish was not on board with his meeting because he shouldn’t have to do that anymore but Peter went anyway. After he left, Beth got a call from the Mysterious and Calculating Dark-Haired Woman (it’s easier to just copy and paste the name) warning her that Wells was no longer in custody so she got into her car and rushed to their meeting.

Wells and a surveillance van listened into their conversation until she heard him admit to lying to Congress about what happened with MacLeish and his unit. They stormed in and Wells had him cornered until Beth showed up and shot him before using the gun on herself. They do not appear to be the big fish which shouldn’t come as much of a surprise. Mike informs Tom of this as he is leaving the hospital.

Overall, this was another good episode with a huge ending. The MacLeishes weren’t going to last forever but their deaths still were a surprise. There’s still the conspiracy and I can’t wait to see where it goes. I know it can’t always be like this but I just hope this gets the focus it deserves.

Score: 8.5/10

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.



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