TV Reviews

Designated Survivor Season 2 Episode 11: Grief Review

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

Synopsis: After 10 weeks of grief, the President’s senior staff insists he a therapist to help deal with his loss. Hanna and Aaron are part of a trade delegation to Cuba but the trip doesn’t go well. (IMDB)

Writer: Keith Eisner

Director: Timothy Busfield

Rating: TV-14

Running Time: 45mins

So we’re back. It’s been a while since that cliffhanger at the end of the midseason finale where Alex got into a car accident. Apparently there wasn’t as much to it as it seemed. What appeared to be an open-ended finale was spoiled in the weeks leading to this midseason premiere, revealing that Alex passed away in the accident. While this episode didn’t quite address it directly, it showed how the incident affected Tom on a personal level.

This episode started 10 weeks since the incident and not much had been done since with Tom still grieving after the death of his wife. Because of this, his staff insisted that he see a therapist named Dr. Adam Louden (Timothy Busfield). Their relationship was initially contentious as Tom was too busy to speak with him, being the president and all, but Louden did not take no for an answer. It was through their subsequent conversations throughout the episode that Louden helped Tom get to the bottom of what was troubling him and we got to learn about what had happened during the previous 10 weeks, including breaking the news of Alex’s accident with Penny and Leo.

Meanwhile, Wells, who has been cleared for shooting Rennett, joined Aaron on a trade delegation to Cuba. Of course the delegation has to be kidnapped by Cuban rebels. Tom’s grief may have clouded his judgement throughout this ordeal. A senator that was also part of the delegation who disagreed with Tom attempted to sell him out to save himself while Wells found out that a real estate mogul named Phillip Cross was working with the rebels. It was tense but nothing was going to happen, at least to Aaron or Wells, after killing Alex in the last episode.

Tom’s plan to pay the ransom was an ill-advised one but he realized that his judgment was clouded and decided to implement a military solution. After uncovering evidence against Cross and his collusion with the Cuban president and the rebel leader for land rights, the incident pretty much ended.

In other news, Seth was looking forward to a vacation with Emily but it simply wasn’t a good time. She suggested they tone down their relationship for the time being. Also, the show has tried to use Lyor’s awkwardness for equally awkward comedy and this was still the case here when he got a new assistant named Tricia Sims (Chelsea Harris). Sims was just happy to be at the White House so she was willing to put up with Lyor. He asked her to find the original blueprints of the Capitol building and she found them, going through the mold-infested archives.

Back to Tom, the episode ended with him confronting the man who killed Alex, just a distracted driver which was disappointing. He aired his grievances and simply wanted the driver to remember what he did to him for the rest of his life. Once Wells returned to her apartment, she was greeted by Rennett pointing a gun at her and wanting to talk.

Overall, this was a good episode with a throwaway story that was mostly about Tom getting his groove back, or at least getting there. The flashbacks helped a little but the impact was lacking because of the time jump. It will be interesting to see how this will change him for the remainder of the season and maybe we’ll get some that tension from the first season as there is still a conspiracy to deal with. Maybe Alex’s death was what the show needed?

Score: 8/10

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