If you would like to read my review of last week’s episode, click here.
Synopsis: It’s Christmas Day and President Kirkman is alerted to a group of religious extremists who refuse to evacuate when a forest fire threatens to engulf their cabin. Deploying Emily and Aaron to help diffuse the situation, Kirkman must act quickly to save multiple lives at stake. Meanwhile, the First Lady finally gives her testimony to the FBI director, while what happens next changes the lives of the Kirkman family forever. (IMDB)
Writer: Keith Eisner
Director: Chris Grismer
Running Time: 45mins
Well this was a little underwhelming. There were a few great moments here but we just had to wait through another good-but-not-great episode until we got to see them. This episode gave us three storylines involving a group of religious extremists who refused to leave their cabin residing in the path of a forest fire, Wells attempting to find the truth about Rennett, and Alex looking to put an end to the FBI investigation into her.
It was never made clear why the religious extremists were there in the first place but they were refusing to leave after being ordered to do so. After battling the worst forest fire in American history for weeks, the government decided to give up the fight and let it burn out, meaning that they would have to clear everyone from its path. The reason why they wouldn’t leave was because they wanted Tom to release the sick baby daughter of one of their parishioners to her mother. The government had taken possession of the baby since its mothers had refused the care she was getting as it was against her religious beliefs. They went back and forth and everyone exhausted every option and ultimately Emily was able to convince the mother to accept the treatment thus saving the baby and allowing the extremists to leave from harm’s way.
At the end of the last episode, evidence was uncovered which may have suggested that Rennett was working against Wells’ investigation. Chuck determined that his phone was used to tip off the banker but it was also cloned which Rennett could have done himself. Chuck had never liked him and he was worried about Wells though she could take care of herself. Aaron also presented her evidence that Rennett was responsible for the warehouse fire. He believed she was compromised, however, Wells was determined to get her revenge. Wells surveilled him meeting with someone associated with the Russian embassy. Finally, Wells met with Rennett on a bridge where she confronted him. He claimed to have evidence that explained his actions though as he reached into his pocket, Wells shot him and he fell over the railing and into the water (you can see the dummy go over).
The most compelling storyline by far was that of Alex. She was set to respond to her subpoena. Kendra’s request to postpone Forstell’s subpoena was denied but he offered Kendra an offer for Alex to plea to obstruction of justice to put an end to all of this. Tom was against the plea and wanted her to keep fighting. This episode had a bigger focus on her relationship with Tom which meant that something was going to happen. Tom voiced his support. Alex’s appearance at the FBI was probably leaked to the press so they were there to greet her when she arrived. Alex was determined to put an end to it today. Their first step was to unseal the proceedings, making them public. Alex used this as an opportunity to expose Forstell’s motives and put them on public record. Her takedown was satisfying and led to her being cleared.
The big moments came at the end of the episode, of course. First, Rennett is not dead as he found himself on the shore and revealed that he was wearing a bulletproof vest. Second, and the more important of the two, on her way back from the FBI, Alex’s car was struck by an oncoming vehicle. Her vehicle suffered significant damage but her fate is unclear. The last shot of the episode was a powerful moment where Tom broke down after hearing the news.
Overall, this was a good episode, redeemed by some great moments storywise. The first storyline didn’t matter all that much while the Wells storyline definitely could have been handled better as it has lacked any impact whatsoever as the reveal came a little too suddenly. It obviously wasn’t going to end here but hopefully more answers will come soon. Alex’s storyline featured the highest of highs followed by the lowest of lows. It was clear that something big was going to happen, not necessarily to her, however, something needed to happen to Tom as this season has been pretty tame so far. Alive or not, hopefully this incident will propel the back half of this season to an exciting finish.