‘Designated Survivor’ 2×21 Review: Target

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Look, I watched through this entire hour of Designated Survivor and I had things to say about how once again shit goes right for Kirkman or how once again we get a variation of the “I can only do what I think is right” phrase or how this whole thing with Hannah and Damian and the show pretending I’m supposed to care about Hannah caring for Damian makes absolutely no sense, but that’s all been pushed aside, because if there’s one thing I gotta say is this:

Touch Emily and we riot.

No, seriously, I repeat: Touch Emily and we riot.

This show basically started with a bunch of people dying and that’s without counting the time they tried to kill the President, the time the Vice-President and his wife, who were both evil, were killed, and the time the First Lady died. So it might feel disingenuous that this is where I draw the line, but I swear to God, this is where I draw the line.

If you’d asked me yesterday I would have told you I wasn’t even into Emily’s character that much anymore, that the whole thing with Seth, whatever that was, had kinda made me feel bleh about her whole existence, that Kirkman was still my favorite, even if I didn’t actually care about anyone on this show as much as I cared last year.




A bullet has proven me wrong.

Turns out I really care about Emily, so don’t you dare kill Emily, Designated Survivor. Especially not to raise the stakes for a season finale that looked like it was going to be promising like three episodes ago, when Michael J. Fox first appeared, and now has fizzled out so spectacularly that I’ve almost forgotten how for a second there, you almost had me at Season 1 level of excitement.

How very naive I was.

So, once again I’ll say: Look, Designated Survivor, let’s admit it – this show is not what it used to be. Perhaps that was to be expected, the first half of season 1 was, in a way, the kind of television that’s impossible to replicate. You tried your best (or did you, I’m not so sure anymore) and you failed. But then, in Season 2, it’s like you didn’t even try. You just coasted. And there’s nothing worse than coasting.

Killing Emily now won’t make this show better – just as killing Alex Kirkman didn’t. Emily makes the show better by being around. So don’t kill her. And also, this show is supposed to be The West Wing 2.0, not 24 2.0. Please remember that. How many members of this Cabinet can actually come this close to death?

I say that as the press release for next week promises more people close to death. Yipee! If it’s really Seth and Lyor, take them. Both, one, I don’t care. Just make sure I can keep Emily, Hannah (but bring back the smart Hannah, please) and Kendra. Also, Lyor’s assistant. We like her better than Lyor, anyway. Aaron can also stay, if he loses the hair gel.

There, that’s the team. Make me happy, Designated Survivor.

Or hey, at the very least, don’t make me curse you in my season finale review. I’d really like to say nice things about you again. Help a girl out.

Other things to note:

  • EMILY TORE INTO THAT CROISSANT LIKE I WOULD. Emily, you’re my hero. I salute you.
  • Also, that light blue jacket looks good on you.
  • Aaron, everything looks good on you except, oh wait, yes, that hair gel.
  • I laughed at that awful “My middle name is Cover” joke. It’s because you’re cute, not because it was a good joke.
  • Chuck is the best why is he so underutilized?
  • Hannah is getting on my last nerve.
  • NO ONE CARES ABOUT DAMIAN. YOU SHOULDN’T EITHER.
  • Moss is getting on my last nerve too. He seems less politically calculating and more evil by the second. Though I guess, in this day and age, I should know better than to distinguish those things.
  • Aaron, it’s still a no on the hair gel.
  • God, I miss Andrea Frost. That’s how desperate I am.
  • Are we ever going to see the Kirman kids again? Are they alive?

Designated Survivor airs Wednesdays at 10/9c on ABC.




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