Designated Survivor Made Me Mad This Week. Here’s Why…

(ABC/Ben Mark Holzberg)

Sorry that my Designated Survivor review is late, but quite frankly I needed a second to wrap my head around what happened. I had to turn off the TV, take a step back and then rewatch the episode. Guys, my love for Designated Survivor knows no bounds – it’s the best show on TV. I worship it.

But this week it let me down.

Now, I get it – there was no way that the show could keep up the pace it was at. In every season of every show there are filler episodes. It happens. We have to live with it. This weeks Designated Survivor felt like a filler episode. It felt like – hey, here’s a few questions we have all had and things we need to tie up, so lets do just that.

And I get it – it happens. It’s life. We all have to live with these things. I haven’t watched a TV show that hasn’t presented me with this issue.

I can’t even recap this episode well, cause I just have feelings. And I feel like I need to say them.

But this weeks let me down and pissed me off for more than this reason. Why? Well because it did the one thing that I asked it never to do. It made me doubt Seth. It made me think for a second that Seth was hiding something and right now, that makes everything worse.

Like I am not okay with it. You’ve made me doubt everyone else Designated Survivor and I begged you not to take Seth from me. I begged you not to make me doubt Seth. Like I have faced the fact that Aaron is a liar who wears way too much hair gel and can’t make smart choices or stop acting like a shady mofo to save his life. I have accepted that Emily either suffers from a guilty complex or is guilty as sin for something.

There are a million things that you could do me but you don’t make me doubt Seth.

I am appreciative that we finally understand why it is that some people respected MacLeish. But it still doesn’t tell me why the hell he would blow up Washington D.C. – and that’s annoying. Sure, they can’t tell me cause that will happen over time. I mean we have a show to drag out. And I appreciate that.

But you made me doubt Seth and for that Guggenheim and company I am not happy. I’m not gonna address it here though, cause well – I’m currently trying to not write hateful things.

But hey, though I could write for days on that – you probably wanna know what’s important to know about this episode. Cause yes people – even filler episodes have importance.


President Kirkman wants to know where the leak is. Cause yes, there is a leak in the White House. I know, I know – I am as shocked as you are {sarcasm}. See the hair gel that Aaron likes to use too much of apparently caused his brain cells to fry. Look, we talked the other week how he was easily manipulated by Speaker Hookstraden and divulged info. So he found out that the Speaker was the person that leaked the info to the press.

Aaron – who did one of the first honorable things this season – told the President it was his fault. So the President tells him he needs a vacation. Not because he’s in trouble, but because he’s tired. He needs a break. Which hey – if my boss wanted to hand me a week off with no questions asked, I wouldn’t be debating. But Aaron looks like someone said no when he asked them on a date.

It’s OK dude. Take the vacation. Whining like a school girl looks good on no one.


The President tells Emily that Aaron is taking a week off and she gets to be the Interim Chief of Staff. Here’s my issue – Emily confuses me. She’s either as innocent as a church mouse or she is the shadiest person ever and is scared to get caught. She always looks like she’s in physical pain of guilt when something happens, but then at the same point seems internally happy that she’s advanced and gotten what she wanted. She is subtly defensive and at the same time, she’s casually always trying to get rid of Aaron.

Sometimes I think that it’s that she’s not prepared for politics and just doesn’t know how to deal with it. And then there is the part of me that thinks she’s like a trained Russian sleeper agent. Like that’s a testament to how well Italia Ricci plays Emily. Also a testament to how well she’s written.

But what threw me about Emily this week is that when she’s Aaron as he’s leaving, she tells him, “I didn’t ask for this.”

Well no shit. BUT – that’s odd to say. Why would she assume anyone thinks that?


Mrs. Kirkman wants to get the kids out of Washington. She’s worried about their safety. And like I can commend that. But the timing seems suspect.

Here’s why. The capital was blown up and your husband became President – and you didn’t think that was the time to get them out of Washington? I mean the government and anyone in it under attack, and you’re cool with them being there. It takes your husband getting shot to make you realize that? No offense then woman, you are not the smartest tool in the shed.

Why leave now? I get it – your kids are isolated. And that’s not good for them. Sure. But like you’ve been seeming a little fishy since you stopped getting info.

So what are you really up to Mrs. Kirkman?


The country knows that MacLeish was shot – but they are told it’s in a murder/suicide by his wife. Which hey – technically true. But there’s a bunch left out there. They also know that MacLeish ordered the killing of the Presidents would be assassin and they want to know why (that was the leaked info).

There are a million things on everyone’s mind – you know kinda like waking up in reality these days. It’s like WTF is happening? Well, it takes a bit, because the President needs to be armed with answers. Well he finally tells the truth – MacLeish did order that the Presidents would be assassin be shot. And the President was diplomatic about it and said yes he did it, the President may not have done the same thing, but what’s done is done and he’s gonna be honest.

And for that I have a shitload of respect for that President.


As much as I hate MacLeish, we finally understand a little more about him. Turns out him and his unit were given orders to escort a man (who was a CIA Agent) to meet a war lord and long story short, there was a bloodbath. The man who tried to assassinate the President was also involved. MacLeish stopped his men from trying to kill Lozano .
Hannah’s thought is that this is how MacLeish became radicalized.


We see Aaron pulling into his driveway and a man walking up behind him and it’s Langdon – the former Chief of Staff that everyone thought was dead.

Guys for a second I actually believed Aaron could be a good guy, cause he seemed genuinely shocked to see Langdon. But the people outside watching Aaron – well, let’s just say this makes him look as guilty as sin to them.


PERSON WE TRUST THE LEAST: Mrs. Kirkman and Aaron

Designated Survivor airs Wednesdays on ABC.

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