Designated Survivor Season 1 Episode 18: Lazarus Review

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

Synopsis: As President Kirkman considers candidates for Vice President, Kimble Hookstraten finds herself embroiled in scandal. Agent Wells and Jason Atwood return from North Dakota with a critical new lead while journalist Abe Leonard’s investigation takes an unexpected turn. (IMDB)

Writer: Jennifer Johnson

Director: Chris Grismer

Rating: TV-14

Running Time: 45mins

I’m a little disappointed with the episode because of what the previews appeared to promise but more on that later.

Tom’s gun control bill would not have been successful without Hookstraten’s help. Thinking of how successful their relationship has been, he decides to pick her for Vice President. She’s deserved it and he wanted Penny to see a female Vice President. Being Designated Survivor, something was going to come along and ruin, if not delay, the process. News was leaked that she took a trip to Turkey which did not reflect well on her. Of course she didn’t do anything wrong but it was the perception of wrongdoing that hurt her.

Tom believed that she didn’t do anything wrong so the White House began to go on defense but we eventually learned that Bowman, with the help of a disgruntled staffer, was responsible for leaking the story to the press because he was upset after losing on the gun bill. In Hookstraten fashion, we learn that the staffer was fired for accepting bribes from lobbyists 12 years prior but she decided to not go any further. Luckily for her, she still had evidence of his wrongdoing and sent a copy to Bowman. We will see if this has put an end to this controversy.

Now to the conspiracy. In the last episode, we discovered that Lozano was still alive but how could that happen? Wells and Atwood escaped the compound in North Dakota but Atwood was shot, thus, much to his dismay, sidelining him for the episode. Wells and Forstell investigated how Lozano faked his death. They learned that Lozano and some decoy switched places and someone hacked the fingerprint database, switching Lozano’s prints with those of the decoy. Only someone with a high clearance could have done that which lends credence to someone within the White House playing a part in the conspiracy.

The switch happened right after the assassination attempt, thanks to Wells’ watchful eyes. It looked like Lozano went in and out within hours but it was the decoy who exited only for Lozano the exit the building the day after when the coast was clear. Bringing the conspiracy full circle (or almost), Patrick Lloyd, the CEO of Browning Reed, the infamous defunct defense contractor that has played a part in the conspiracy so far, payed for the decoy’s mortgage. Wells and Forstell visited Lloyd and he unsurprisingly denied everything while hiding behind his fortune and his power. He was definitely suspicious but knowing he’s guilty and proving it are two different things (i.e. MacLeish).

The previews for this episode appeared to promise a reveal of who was the traitor within the White House (but I could be wrong) and that was probably going to be revealed through Leonard. He was still catching up with what was going on during his investigation but now he had the help of a confidential informant telling him that the White House was covering up the truth about the Capitol bombing. The voice didn’t know if he can trust Leonard but he told him about Nassar and Atwood’s potential involvement (which was nonexistent). He later met the voice which told him to check the following day’s White House logs and then walks away. The camera follows the mysterious man and we see his face and I have no idea who he is.

He is important somehow because at the end of the episode, Wells goes back to her hotel room and notices that there was someone inside. She goes back to her car but then gets drugged and kidnapped. The mysterious man calls a number on his phone and Lozano answers, driving a van with Wells in the back.

Overall, this was still a good episode with nothing really significant happening until the end. Tom and Hookstraten make a great pairing thanks to the great chemistry between Kiefer Sutherland and Virginia Madsen and I would love to see it continue, maybe with an increased role for Madsen in Season 2?

Score: 8/10

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