TV Reviews

Designated Survivor Season 2 Episode 4: Equilibrium Review

If you would like to read my review of last week’s episode, click here.

Synopsis: Tensions rise between America and Mexico when a Mexican citizen is shot during a border dispute regarding Mexican trade imports; and Kirkman and his staff must work quickly to resolve the situation and create a new trade deal. (IMDB)

Writers: Paul Redford and Keith Eisner 

Director: Joe Lazarov

Rating: TV-14

Running Time: 45mins

Well that’s a step in the right direction. While not perfect, this was probably the closest episode to what we head last season.

Free trade between the United States and Mexico was the issue of the day and it didn’t appear to be easy to solve. There were blockades on both sides of the border which were challenged when one rogue truck driver on the Mexican side attempted to drive through the blockade into the United States and was shot and killed in the process. This event created even more controversy that would complicate the negotiation process even further as it was revealed that he was killed by an American.

There were problems on both sides as American workers had to contend with companies sending jobs to Mexico because of cheaper labor costs and automation. Being Mexican-American, Aaron was perhaps a little closer to this issue than he would prefer as he felt like he was in the middle of everything. He engaged the Congressional Hispanic Caucus and Senator Marina Flores (Alexandra Castillo). Meanwhile, Tom was engaging someone of his own in car company owner Dax Minter (Chris Butler) for whom he was supposed to have dinner with which had to wait. Minter had plants in Mexico and the United States that were set to become automated. Aaron was caught off guard when Nadia showed up instead and wanted to speak with Flores instead. It wasn’t ideal but she agreed to endorse Tom’s proposal. He also shared that he was upset that she had sent Nadia in her place.

Tom believed that the deceased truck driver’s American widow Gloria Menes (Sofia Lama) could be a great help but he changed his mind once he saw how nervous she was about speaking at a press conference. In the Oval Office, they spoke about her husband. He was not yet an American citizen and was trying to earn enough money so he could join his wife. He recently became a truck driver for a company owned by the Mexican Ambassador. Tom learned that the earlier incident was staged and that he had no idea that he would get killed. Tom used this against him and got the Ambassador to agree on the deal.

Aaron was skeptical of Flores’ hiring of Nadia, thinking that she was leveraging their connection for political gain but Nadia claimed that Flores didn’t know that they were related. Nadia felt humiliated after Aaron’s earlier outburst and questioned his loyalty and heritage. He hadn’t spent time with his family because he was busy, however, he found the time to meet them and they were all glad to see him.

Tom later had dinner with Minter and he convinced him to forgo automation in order to hire workers in his Mexican and American factories in exchange for tax breaks and other concessions. This was enough to convince the unions to go with the proposal and it passed.

Now last episode ended with the reveal that Alex’s mother Eva may have accepted a bribe in order to move her father up on the heart transplant donor list. In this episode, we got some answers and there was of course more going on.

Wells was being questioned about the dead man at the end of the last episode but she played the government card again which only lasted so long. She then approached Forstell who recommended she tell the White House about it but she believed that if she could disprove it then she wouldn’t have to. Now if she couldn’t, that would make it obstruction. Wells approached Danes who advised that she speak with Alex about it. Alex thought it was absurd as her mother was a secretary who couldn’t be involved with these types of decisions.

Once Alex confronted her mother with the allegations, she confessed to taking the bribe and she said she would do it again. Danes later told Alex that her mother had been subpoenaed by the FBI. When she shared this with Tom, he wasn’t worried as they’ve overcome every challenge that’s come their way so far and he was confident that they’d succeed again.

Forstell explained to Wells that he subpoenaed Eva because the same dead contractor that bribed her signed a government contract merely months after Lloyd hacked the pentagon. He felt obligated to investigate.

Overall, this was a good episode, involving a compelling, topical issue for Tom and the White House to contend with while showing us Tom’s caring side and his no nonsense side. It threw in a few interesting subplots and a stupid one involving a broken vase. There’s may be a new conspiracy as well but it is unlikely to reach the level of last season’s.

Score: 8.5/10

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