‘Designated Survivor 2×18 Review: Kirkman Agonistes

Well, that was …surprising. Really, really surprising. Especially considering that this season has felt more like a slog than a sprint. We’ve survived, more than thrived, and there have been many times where I have groaned at the mere thought that I had to watch an episode of this show – which used to be one of my favorites – and write a review.

I’m not groaning now. And I’m not bored. Oh, no, Designated Survivor has my full attention, for the first time since somewhere around midseason last year.

Maybe because the writing is finally up to par, it seems like the acting kicks it off a few notches in this episode. Almost everyone gets a chance to shine (except, really, my love Aaron. When is he getting his due?), but specially Kiefer Sutherland, Italia Ricci and Kal Penn.

Back in the Pilot for this show, we fell in love with Seth’s character because he was the one saying what we were all thinking, and he’s back to it now, and he’s also standing in that podium that, in the past few years, has seen so much turmoil, and standing up for a man he believes in.

Emily, meanwhile, is ready to fall on the sword for Kirkman, and that is more Emily than anything we’d seen the past few episodes. Yes, I like my moral ambiguity as much as the next person, but that only works if the character feels some remorse, if there’s a journey there, if there’s some growth, and that’s what the show gives Emily this episode.

And it also goes back to giving us something that we got in Season 1 in spades, and it was one of the reasons we connected: a sense of family. Almost like these people love each other and trust each other and want the best for each other.

Praise you, Michael J. Fox, for bringing that back just as you give us a character I’m almost certain we’re not supposed to like as much as I do.

But, as I said before, maybe it’s because his character, and the circumstances, make everyone better. Not only that, there’s no easy fix, and though considering the show we’re watching, we imagine there will be a fix, the fact that this arc is taking a few episodes is just what the doctor ordered.

As for Tom Kirkman, just like Emily, after some bad decisions, he’s back to being the Tom Kirkman we wanted as President, the uber moral one that always, always makes the right decision.

Which is why we want him to win.

Bring it on, Michael J. Fox. Bring it on. We’re behind the President. (The fictional one only)

Other things to note:

  • Adan Canto should just not be as handsome as he is. It’s a sin. And no, I’m not getting over it. Especially not when he’s getting so little screen-time all I can remark is how hot he is. Then you get that, because I still have to talk Aaron. Suck it up.
  • DEAR GOD PLEASE BE GIVING CHUCK MORE TO DO. And hey, maybe a thing there between him and Hannah? Come oooon. He’s got so much potential as a character.
  • I’ll take him being smarter than Emily gives him credit for now, but later on, more, okay? More.
  • What in the world is the status of the Emily/Seth thing? I’m so freaking confused at this point.
  • And the worst part, I only ask for academic curiosity. I really could not possibly care less.

Designated Survivor airs Wednesdays at 10/9c on

1 Comment

  1. The 3rd season came out of the gate as a total disaster. I missed Mike Ritter, and the attorney Michael J. Fox played. Can’t stand the old ER doc, All of the foul language is a complete turn off, making the shows impossible to watch. I turn off the sound and read the closed captioning. And the sex scene. Yeah, like that was really necessary. Alll in all, YUCK. The only good part is that Kiefer Sutherland gets better looking with age. And in Season 3, 2nd episode when the Arab said Jamila was his wife, the look on Kiefer’s face – , well, he nailed it. Touch down, extra point. Grand slam home run. He was the only interesting person in this last sseason.

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