ABC/Ben Mark Holzberg
Ray Rahman
April 12, 2017 at 11:00 PM EDT

Designated Survivor

TV Show
run date
Kiefer Sutherland, Natascha McElhone, Adan Canto, Italia Ricci, Kal Penn, Maggie Q
Current Status
In Season
We gave it a B+

Sandwich Diplomacy

Kirkman holds court at yet another White House press briefing. According to the show’s own timeline, it’s the second one he’s held, like, this week, which is weird — a president probably shouldn’t be tied up in this many press conferences, especially when there’s barely any government in place.

Nonetheless, Kirkman talks with the press about Senator Bowman’s weak gun-control bill from last week and basically dares Congress in front of the entire nation to come up with stronger legislation.

To counteract Bowman, Kirkman meets behind the scenes with Massachusetts senator to strengthen the current legislation to make it much more palatable for the liberal wing of Congress — but the problem is there are only 46 Democrats in the Senate. They’ll need at least five Republican votes to get behind them.

To get this done, Kirkman resorts to what could be called sandwich diplomacy. He personally invites individual Republican senators into the Oval Office to eat lunch — and, of course, try to change minds on the gun-control bill.

Speaker Kimble Hookstraten also gets into the mix. As one of the top Republicans on the Hill, she does her best to talk some sense (or rather, moderation) into Senator Bowman. He doesn’t take to it too kindly, more or less telling her, “Get out of my way.” Such intransigence from Congressional Republicans? Who would imagine!

Even former President Moss gets in on it, lobbying his closest contacts in the Senate to do the right thing and vote their conscience. Emily also jumps into the action by striking a deal with Aaron Shore at a behind-the-behind-the-scenes drink.

Meanwhile, FLOTUS meets with a group of concerned citizens to hear their thoughts on the best way to handle gun control, because the writers absolutely must give her something relevant to do every week. The meeting really weighs on her. She relays her feelings to the president, who hugs her. Later, she also throws some shade on Bowman right to his face, guilting him for his hard-line position on the issue. And that’s your weekly FLOTUS update.

By the end of the episode, the efforts of every single one of them — Kirkman, Moss, Speaker Kimble Hookstraten, Emily, the First Lady — pay off. The bill passes. Leave it to a television show to finally get some gun-control legislation passed. Yay, fantasy!

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