Designated Survivor – Brace for Impact
By: Patience Kapfer
It’s the episode we’ve all been waiting for; it’s finally time to learn how the pieces of this master conspiracy come together! It’s the season finale of one of our newest favorite political conspiracies! As to be expected, the episode dives right in where we left off with Hannah Wells (Maggie Q) emerging from the van in which her captors left her to find she is under arrest and has set off a bomb in the parking garage of the FBI building. She holds the detonator as the police shout at her to get down on the ground and keep her hands where they can see them. So, she utilizes her best option-threatening to set off the bomb if they do not back up. She moves to the front of the van and speeds up and out of the parking garage and onto the streets of Washington DC as the clock ticks down. She swerves, flooring it into the river just in the nick of time, and she manages to bail out right before the bomb explodes.
Hannah is once again arrested and, as she is being questioned about her involvement with the bomb and the blueprints in her apartment, Agent Forstell (Reed Diamond) comes to her rescue. She is reluctantly released under the authority of the President of the United States and Forstell takes her to tell President Kirkman (Kiefer Sutherland) the information they know. She explains that they left her in the van and not only planted the blueprints in her apartment to frame her, but also made sure to call the police. Forstell explains that they are working on finding connections among those they arrested from the cargo ship, but they are having trouble finding evidence that would firmly connect it with Browning-Reed. As they still don’t know how the traitor is in the White House, the president, Forstell and Hannah make a plan to find and apprehend Patrick Lloyd (Terry Serpico).
While the FBI attempts to continue to put the pieces together, Senator Bowman (Mark Deklin) and Aaron (Adan Canto) appear on a political talk show to discuss whether or not the President and the White House are hiding something. As Senator Bowman asserts that Kirkman is not being transparent enough and is lying to the American public, Aaron remains loyal and explains that President Kirkman is one of the most honest men he’s ever known.
As the FBI tactical team rushes to Patrick Lloyd’s estate, we are shown a sketchy briefcase exchange on the streets of DC. Lozano (George Tchortov) then informs Lloyd he has the “package” and Jay Whitaker (Richard Waugh) is told to “execute.” We can only wait to find out what their next big plan is. Unfortunately, Lloyd is quicker than the FBI and manages to sneak away right before they arrive. While Hannah sends out orders to track anything belonging to Patrick Lloyd, many of the team receives intel that various items belonging to Lloyd have been spotted or used in different areas. One is told that a car belonging to Lloyd was spotted at a traffic stop heading south; another is told that his credit card was used in Pittsburgh PA.
Abe Leonard (Rob Morrow) continues his never ending pursuit to prove that the White House has been covering up who really committed the Capitol bombing and once again asks Seth (Kal Penn) to comment. When Seth asks President Kirkman what he wants him to say, the president instead asks to see Leonard. In their meeting, President Kirkman informs Leonard that he wants fair treatment for the press and won’t try to make Leonard do anything. All Kirkman asks is that Leonard holds his story, not because it is wrong, but because it is incomplete. Abe later goes to Seth to tell him that he will honor the President’s request, but not indefinitely.
Meanwhile, the traitor [Jay Whitaker] connects to the White House secure server. After deleting those last five files in the previous episode, Chuck (Jake Epstein) explains that the traitor left a major footprint and he was able to detect him, but that’s all for the good news. He then explains that the traitor accessed the Pentagon to create an ID for Lozano to gain access to the Pentagon. Even though they alerted the Pentagon and put it on lockdown, it’s still 538 acres which leaves him plenty of places to hide. While in the Pentagon, Lozano manages to scramble their security systems and transfers highly classified data and then exits the premises with no problem. Luckily, Hannah is highly observant and notices him driving in the opposite direction of her vehicle and begins pursuit. She goes on foot to chase him after he flees his car following her hitting it. He sneaks up on her and they engage in a pretty intense fight sequence, ending only when Hannah tosses him through a wall onto some rebar.
When Hannah returns to her office in the White House, Chuck tells her she has about a thousand unread emails, one of which is from Jason Atwood (Malik Yoba). Upon opening his email she realizes he gave them all the information they need to capture the traitor in the White House. Jason somehow managed to send all of his audio and visual recordings from spying on Lloyd before being shot. From this footage Hannah is able to identify that Whitaker is the traitor and they finally apprehend him.
“Designated Survivor” never disappoints in delivering both suspense and highly emotional moments. Hannah returns to Jason’s old office and experiences a flashback to her first day working for him. In this flashback we get to see that he was always kind and understanding with Hannah. When he asks her if she will cause him any trouble, she openly admits that she probably will and he happily welcomes her to DC. We truly feel what Jason meant to Hannah during that flashback and I personally still have a lot of feelings after watching that scene.
President Kirkman finally is able to fully explain the entirety of the Capitol bombing to Emily (Italia Ricci), Aaron and Seth. He then tells Seth to set up a joint session to address Congress on everything that’s happened and to tell the American people the truth. Before the joint session, Kirkman enjoys a walk with Secretary Moss (Geoff Pierson) who finally FINALLY tells Kirkman that he’s proud of him. President Kirkman then asks if Moss will be the designated survivor (would you look at that, coming around full circle here). Kirkman’s speech to the joint session is truly the epitome of presidential; not only does he admit the truth, he inspires both Congress and the American people. He speaks of a better America that is not simply just a country, but it is an idea and a guiding light that wishes to make lives freer and better. He promises to continue serving until he is asked of service no more. In this moment, Kirkman finally receives the standing ovation he deserves for all of the trials and tribulations his presidency has experienced so far.
But we all know this show can’t simply end on a comfortably happy note for the season. As President Kirkman is finally reunited with family, Agent Ritter (LaMonica Garrett) explains that he is needed in the command center. Once there, Hannah shares that they finally know what Lozano was doing at the Pentagon. He hacked the most highly classified server and now every aspect of America’s defense structure is now vulnerable. Now anyone can access troop movements, intel on nuclear arsenals and identities of highly covert assets. They think that Lozano sent the information to Patrick Lloyd who can then sell off the information to the highest bidder and even militarize the intel himself. And, unfortunately, they are no closer to finding Lloyd who has the ability and the means to go anywhere in the world unhindered. So, until next season, we are left hoping Kirkman can save the lives of many more Americans and protect the security of the nation.