Designated Survivor – Bombshell
By: Patience Kapfer
After leaving Hannah (Maggie Q) free on a container ship in the middle of the ocean, we pick up this week fearing for her safety once again as she sneaks around the ship. While being chased, she stops and catches a glance of more of the bombs she and the FBI thought they had fully confiscated from the old missile silos in North Dakota. Here Hannah sees dozens more being moved around the ship.
Seth’s (Kal Penn) first time on Air Force one doesn’t turn out the way he had hoped as we first see him being teased by Secretary Moss (Geoff Pierson) while getting sick. President Kirkman (Kiefer Sutherland), on the other hand, seems to be calm, cool and collected about his first NATO summit. That is aside from minor worries about being a new president introducing arms reduction to the agenda. Once they have landed and are on their way to the summit, Moss briefs President Kirkman on the schedule and what to expect from each of the foreign dignitaries. First up on the agenda Kirkman has a meeting with select members of the nuclear planning group. Their primary target is the French Prime Minister that Moss says can be “very prickly.” Even though the French wanted the United States to bring up nuclear reduction in the first place, they only wished to do so privately while amongst NATO members. The French want to gauge the reception and criticize the plans, perhaps even withdraw if they so choose. Kirkman has a strong ally in the German Chancellor so he shouldn’t need to worry about fighting for his support. However, there is one unknown in the meeting-the new British Prime minister who is also the first British Indian Prime Minister in UK history and is fiercely independent.
President Kirkman seems to make a good first impression with the other foreign leaders during their first meeting and is able to give assurance to Poland and other countries that rely on the arsenal of other world powers for protection that they will still be safe. He assures them that the United States is still their most steadfast ally and he gives them his word they will be protected. Moss is able to secure nuclear reduction as the third item on the agenda, but (unsurprisingly) President Kirkman isn’t allowed to have anything go as planned. Immediately following Moss’s good news, Seth bursts into Kirkman’s room to show them the most recent newspaper with the headline “Al-Sakar Not Behind Capitol Bombing.” Secretary Moss says this shouldn’t be a problem as Kirkman can just say that it’s all lies and this article isn’t true. However, Kirkman tells Seth to say they are standing by their intelligence agencies and military officials, obviously raising suspicions with Moss who says this puts Kirkman’s credibility at risk. The ordeal leads Kirkman to confessing that the article is true and explains the full length of the conspiracy to Moss. Moss is not only angry, but also offended that he was not allowed to know about this while it conspired. However, this doesn’t keep him from offering his help however small that is.
Even though Moss is willing to stand by the president, the rest of their allies might not be so quick to trust the new American President. Germany offers the United States their continued support, but the French Prime Minister is not nearly as satisfied. The British Prime Minister follows the French in the motion to learn the full story of whether Al-Sakar was responsible for the Capitol bombing or if the United States used their military assistance falsely. As Kirkman says he is unable to make any further comment on the investigation as it is undergoing, the French will not allow the nuclear initiative to further be broached on the agenda. Unfortunately, the nuclear planning group votes to not put Kirkman’s initiative on the agenda again at this NATO meeting. The Prime Minister of France gives Kirkman five minutes of her time in which Kirkman uses his charm and genuine nature to discuss the world he would like to leave his children: one in which there aren’t so many nuclear weapons. He plans to begin bilateral negotiations with Russia and tells the French PM that he hopes they can count on France’s support, as he believes wherever France goes, NATO will follow.
On Kirkman’s trip home on Air Force One he shares a sweet moment with Secretary Moss. As the President thanks Moss for supporting him even though he wasn’t given much choice, Moss tells him that even though Kirkman drives him nuts at times he sees something special in him-something that might even approach greatness if Kirkman doesn’t trip over his own feet. Now that’s the kind of support President Kirkman needs and definitely deserves after having this presidency and conspiracy thrust upon him.
Agent Forstell (Reed Diamond) and Mike Ritter (LaMonica Garrett) are on a quest to find Hannah as soon as possible by utilizing every agency they have available and using whatever resources they need. Mike is also on a mission to find out everything there is to know about Browning Reed before the rest of the files on the corporation are deleted by their mysterious double agent. Mike tells Forstell that he plans to bring in Hannah’s friend Chuck Russink (Jake Epstein) to use his computer skills to help track whoever is deleting the files. Unfortunately, Chuck is unable to recover the deleted Browning Reed files, but he has another idea of how to catch whoever is responsible for deleting the files. Since whoever has been deleting them has been doing so in small doses, they’ve left five files that still need to be deleted. So, Chuck’s plan is to create a trace to be planted in the remaining files so that when they are deleted he will be able to track it to the IP address of the traitor. Chuck’s program goes completely according to plan, providing them with the location of the traitor in the West Wing as he deletes the files. Regrettably, the traitor was one step ahead of them after cloning his digital fingerprint so that he is completely untraceable.
Hannah manages to find her way to the control room of the ship and attacks one of the crew to get to the radio and send a mayday to anyone who may be listening. Even in her extreme hurry Hannah is able to send a message that the Coast Guard luckily picks up. Hannah seems to make it out of the control room unscathed, but as she goes to escape around a corner she is ambushed by Lozano (George Tchortov). We sadly get confirmation that Jason (Malik Yoba) is likely dead when Lozano gives Hannah the wedding ring that belongs to Jason, right before sedating her once again. Back on shore, Agent Forstell works with the Coast Guard to find the port that Hannah’s ship is likely to arrive at within a few hours. The FBI arrives in full force to the container ship and go on a mission to find Hannah, searching through every single container and apprehending the men on board the ship. At the end we finally see Hannah in a confined space surrounded by bombs and at this very same moment we see the FBI outside of one final container that is sealed shut. Agent Forstell tells the agents to blast it open, as the audience is left shouting at their TVs not to use explosives on a container that already contains explosives AND one of their most important agents. The agents blow the container open just as Hannah reaches for the door. Thankfully, we see that she wasn’t in the container at all; instead, she was in a van in the parking garage of the FBI building. By opening the van door she set off a timer on the explosives piled floor to ceiling in the back of the van.