TV Reviews

Designated Survivor Season 1 Episode 16: Party Lines Review

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

Synopsis: President Kirkman forms an unlikely alliance in the hopes of passing his first bill while Agent Ritter is briefed by FBI Agent Hannah Wells about a new alarming threat to the nation. (IMDB)

Writer: Jenna Richman

Director: Mike Listo

Rating: TV-14

Running Time: 45mins

In the last episode, Tom and his administration were put into a corner by Republican Senator Jack Bowman (Mark Deklin) by reintroducing a bill in the Senate which mandated background checks for all new gun sales. The majority of Americans favored background checks but the ambiguous wording in the bill scared people away. If the bill were to pass through the Senate, it could be amended more favorably in the House of Representatives.

For the bill to pass, they would need 51 votes. They knew that the Democrats would be in favor of such a bill but there were only 46 in the Senate so they would have to convince 5 Republicans to also vote yes. To help, Moss returned with news that he convinced Russia to allow peace workers into Naruba (the fictional African country from a few episodes ago). This was easier said than done as they would have to contend with Bowman who was a powerful part of the Senate and they were afraid to go against their constituents. They pled but it never seemed to go anywhere.

Hookstraten, a Republican, didn’t like the scene that Bowman was making so she offered her help by publicly showing her support for the bill and trying to rally other Republicans in the Senate to vote in favor of the bill. Tom was not in a position to offer anything in return other than his gratitude which she was okay with. She obviously had higher aspirations and this was just another step towards them. Aaron assumed she was interested in the Vice-President position but she was aiming higher, waiting to capitalize if the bill were to fail.

The White House appeared to have the votes but Alex may have ruined things again by speaking to a Senator about other gun legislation and later having a showdown with Bowman where she stood up to him. Emily and Seth were worried but it was all for nothing. They lost some of the votes they thought they had but they managed to gain others thanks to Alex standing up to Bowman. The bill passed but there was still plenty of work to be done and Hookstraten committed to work towards a bipartisan solution.

In terms of the conspiracy, Wells and Atwood found more simulations of other landmark explosions in Brooke Matheson’s (the shady woman’s name) house. They could have been scraped attack plans or plans for future attacks. Wells shared them with Mike who then shared them with Tom who wanted evacuation plans.

Wells then looked into Matheson’s past and found out that she travelled several times to an old decommissioned missile silo in North Dakota. She and Atwood couldn’t find it at first but when they went inside, they found similar explosives used in the Capitol bombing and there was enough to do plenty more damage.

Overall, this was another good episode, continuing Tom and the White House’s battle for gun control. The process was mildly exciting and Bowman proved to be a decent adversary but the outcome was inevitable. It also grew the conspiracy by foreshadowing more attacks. I am interested in the battle between Tom and Bowman and the role that Hookstraten will play in this. I also wonder when there will be more attacks or if they will save them for near the season finale.

Score: 8/10

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