TV Reviews

Designated Survivor Season 2 Episode 1: One Year In Review

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

Synopsis: Now, one year into office, Kirkman is a Commander-in-chief determined to rebuild the capitol and capture the terrorists behind the catastrophic attack on the United States. When Ukrainian nationalists hijack a Russian Air flight, the president is faced with a hostage situation in which his diplomatic skills are put to the test. (IMDB)

Writer: Keith Eisner

Director: Chris Grismer

Rating: TV-14

Running Time: 45mins

After a successful first season, it was a little unclear where Season 2 would go. A show about a seemingly everyman thrust into a position of power was compelling to watch, for the most part, thanks to Kiefer Sutherland’s performance as the new President of the United States, Tom Kirkman. He faced a few challenges along the way with conspiracies and having to prove himself to the American people but that can only go so far. Now what could the show possibly do this season to change things up a little. It was a little unclear after the first episode as it threw a few too many subplots at us, making this episode more convoluted than it needed to be.

As the title of the episode suggests, it has been a year since Tom assumed the presidency after the Capitol bombing and since then, the Capitol has been rebuilt but it still wasn’t good enough. In this political climate, it is next to impossible to satisfy everyone and that was the case here as people still found a way to criticize him for what he has done (or not done) so far. Because of this, Emily brought in an accomplished political director named Lyor Boone (Paul Costanzo) to help Tom’s image. Boone was an eccentric character who candidly spoke his mind in a way that didn’t sit well with everyone and his personality didn’t fit at all throughout the episode, making him stand out for the wrong reasons.

Now it wouldn’t be Designated Survivor without a crisis for Tom to deal with and this time, a Russian plane was hijacked on American soil by Ukranian terrorists. Tom had an old friend on the plane but he kept it to himself. Aaron and Emily tried a diplomatic solution that went nowhere. They later learned that the Russians were financing the terrorists as a pretext to go to war. Tom later met both ambassadors and wanted none of their excuses. He lit a fire under them and forced them into action.

Meanwhile, Wells has gone international in searching for the elusive Patrick Lloyd, the man responsible for last season’s conspiracy to undermine Tom. In Amsterdam, she ran into a British agent named Damian Rennett (Ben Lawson) who was also looking for Lloyd. They followed the sale of computers on the black market to an abandoned warehouse but just missed Lloyd.

Seth was lacking confidence in his ability as Press Secretary so he began to look elsewhere for a job, attending a job interview as the head of marketing for a tech company. Once Emily caught wind of this and questioned his loyalty but she reiterated how much he mattered to everyone. She gave him an ultimatum, the White House or elsewhere. Seth responded by making a speech in front of the press about how they should support the President.

The White House left a political satirist and an outspoken critic of Tom waiting while the crisis was taking place. When Tom finally met him, he was surprised by his calling because of his opposition but that was why he was called upon. Tom was a fan who thought that his different opinions were needed and that he was a fan.

The passengers on the plane were saved except for two which included Tom’s friend. The episode ended with Lloyd arriving in Washington D.C..

Overall, this was a convoluted episode that tried to do too much, making the tone all over the place. The addition of Boone was a strange one as his personality didn’t quite fit with the tone of the show. Some of the subplots were repetitive, however, there were still a few character moments that stood out with Aaron, Emily, and Seth. It’s still fun to see Tom take charge but hopefully this season doesn’t follow the same formula as Season 1 as it runs the risk of getting old.

Score: 6.5/10

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