TV Reviews

Designated Survivor Season 2 Episode 5: Suckers Review

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

Synopsis: When a senator appears on the national news and misrepresents a private conversation with the president, Kirkman must win back the American people’s trust, while MI-6 Agent Damian Rennett joins forces with FBI Agent Hannah Wells to help solve an international murder.  (IMDB)

Writer: Bill Chais

Director: Fred Gerber

Rating: TV-14

Running Time: 45mins

For a show about the American government, it would make sense that there’s a lot of different things going on which could usually go either way. This show has attempted to handle several different subplots within an episode with varying results. This episode followed suit but failed to reach the right balance despite a few compelling subplots, elevated by the always reliable Kiefer Sutherland as Tom.

The episode started with a British member of parliament named Charlotte Thorne being murdered while jogging in D.C.. Meanwhile, Tom is playing a game of hockey with a few members of the government including a senator from Minnesota (Christopher Cousins). The two have a conversation about Tom’s pension bailout bill that he needed support to pass. Tom made a sarcastic comment calling Americans suckers. The senator said he’d do what he could. Afterwards, Tom is briefed on the situation with Thorne.

Thorne was outspoken on plenty of issues which made her plenty of enemies. She was set to attend the G20 conference for Britain and because of the incident, other foreign delegates were having second thoughts. Emily believed that this conference would be important for pushing Tom’s foreign policy agenda.

Tom met a Victims Rights advocate about his pension bailout bill who pressed him to action. Though she was getting frustrated by the lack of action, Tom wanted her to trust him. This was interrupted, however, when the earlier senator talked about Tom’s sucker joke on television. It was now time for damage control. Tom wanted to continue with regular business but the others thought he should fight back.

A few more items on the agenda included judicial appointments and Tom’s meetings with CEOs about his clean air initiative but Suckergate managed to impact that as well. Tom met with the senator and asked him to provide people the full context of their conversation but he said he couldn’t for political reasons. Lyor thought Tom should use opposition research against the senator, however, Tom refused, believing there was another way. Mike believed that he should fight back with hope. A reporter approached Seth about the subpoena and he shot it down.

Because of the Thorne case, Rennett was called back to help. Thorne’s speech was leaked online and they learned that she was set to go after arms dealers. The British ambassador pointed them to an arms dealer who happened to be in D.C.. Wells and Rennett approached him and he told them that they did not have the best relationship. He assured them that his business dealings were legitimate and threatened to go after them if they were to harass them again.

While Wells and Rennett executed a warrant on the arms dealer’s boat, the dealer got shot. They also found millions in black market arms that they believed he was making a deal with. They also found a gun that was the same as the one used to murder Thorne. Lyor thought they can use this as a win but Tom had an idea to go on the road and approach the people in public in order to repair his image. The idea appeared to go well until the earlier VA approached him and called him out in public.

Everything was imploding around them so Tom finally decided to take his opposition research to do a TV interview. When pressed to use the research, Tom took a different turn and managed to pull an inspiring speech out of nowhere, using his previous words for good and managed to save his own image.

Believing that the case was solved, Rennett was sent back although he decided to visit Wells first. But before they could finally get closer, they were interrupted when they were both called back in. The arms dealer was cleared in Thorne’s murder and evidence was pointing at his wife so there was still work to do.

With Alex’s mother getting subpoenaed, she needed a lawyer to defend her. She looked up a few law firms but Tom’s suggestion was that she should go with Danes. Alex didn’t like their earlier encounter, however, Tom assured sure that she was just doing her job. Alex later discussed the case with Danes. Danes believed that Alex should keep her emotion out of the proceedings as Forstell will attempt to use it against her. Although Alex had doubts about her, Danes assured her of her abilities.

At the courthouse, Danes was surprised to see Alex and that she wanted to second chair. Danes didn’t think it was a good idea because of her personal interest. Alex was just concerned about her family. During the hearing, Alex had a few outbursts that led Danes to ask her to step aside and it was for the best since Danes won and got the subpoena squashed.

The episode ended with the senator visiting Tom. He was moved by his speech enough to support his pension bailout bill. He also spoke to the VA and he vowed to pay it forward just like she will.

Overall, this was a good episode with a lot of subplots that failed to find the right balance. It is admittedly difficult to balance but this episode arguably tried to do too much as anything not Tom-related felt like an afterthought and the rest was just planting seeds for future gratification.

Score: 7.5/10

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