The Politics Stuff
Remember how much fun all that Washington D.C. stuff last week was? Designated Survivor keeps the ball rolling this week with Kirkman signing his new gun-control legislation into law. People celebrate, and there’s good-feeling all throughout the West Wing and in the nation. Even Twitter, that nefarious cesspool of negativity, is into it; the terrible hashtag #GunControlWins even starts trending.
None of this could have happened without the help of Speaker Kimble Hookstraten, which Kirkman has definitely noticed. As such, he gives her an intriguing offer: to turn Speaker Kimble Hookstraten into Vice President Kimble Hookstraten. She accepts, and he begins the vetting process.
But there’s a hiccup — Hookstraten once took a paid trip to Turkey that doesn’t reflect well on her. Was she bribed for favors? That’s the question roiling Politico-readers everywhere.
The news, of course, didn’t just come out of nowhere — it appears to be the work of the show’s leading political baddie, Senator Bowman of Montana.
At any rate, Hookstraten sits with Kirkman in the Oval to tell him personally her actions and past votes weren’t compromised. But regardless of actual intent, the politics are only getting messier: the House Ethics Committee is opening up an investigation into Hookstraten’s alleged potential misdeeds. Hookstraten isn’t too surprised. “I’m old guard,” she explains. Everyone else in Congress is super new — and super young — because, obviously, they all only got there recently. Hookstraten, on the other hand, is a survivor from the old Congress — and a political throwback who doesn’t necessarily jibe with her current crop of colleagues.
None of this deters the ever-principled Kirkman, despite the advice of his staff. As Emily points out, Hookstraten is political TNT right now, and he’d do best to move along with another choice. Even Seth, normally one of Kirkman’s strongest co-idealists, says it might be possible to save Hookstraten. But Kirkman stands firm: Hookstraten is the right person, damnit!
To that end, they run a newspaper op-ed in her defense… in a mid-level paper… with the name of a former one-term congressman from Arkansas attached to it. Bummer.
Anyway, it looks like we’ll have to wait a bit longer to see what happens in the Vice Presidential saga.
The Conspiracy Stuff
Meanwhile, Wells and Atwood are still spying on Nestor Lozano and his weird cult-like group in the woods at the top of the episode. It’s not long before they’re seen, but luckily they’re able to get away before getting caught.
They take this information back to Washington, where another important question is raised: If Lozano is alive, who was killed back in Washington?
Not Lozano. Agent Wells goes to the coroner and checks the body herself. So what’s going on? Well, after some digging and a ton of surveillance video-studying, Wells uncovers another layer. Lozano in fact faked his death by sending out a willing decoy in his place. The man is named Desmond Legarth, a former Army veteran and Browning Reed employee. In fact, he wasn’t just an employee — he had close ties to Browning Reed CEO Patrick Lloyd.
Apparently, this Patrick Lloyd is quite the character. He’s a stupidly rich, politically involved figure who’s become a revered presence in the alt-right community, though apparently his own views make even them look like snowflake liberals.
Wells goes out to question him but doesn’t get far with him, brash and dismissive as he is. However, she is able to hack into his smart-truck’s system to keep tabs on him. On top of that, Lloyd directly quotes passages from that Pax Americana book she swiped from that one guy last week. The connections are all there, but what do they mean?
We’ll have to wait to find out, because things quickly go sideways. When Wells returns to her motel, she’s quickly kidnapped in a white van. And who’s sitting in the front row of that van? Yep: Nestor Lozano.
At the same time all this is happening, our intrepid journalistic hero Abe Leonard gets a tip that the White House is covering up the truth about the attack. That’s all the information he gets, but he does see a license plate number in his vicinity that belongs to a White House staffer. But which? To get more information, he meets his source in an empty parking garage, full-Deep Throat style.
But there’s a twist: His Deep Throat is apparently connected to Nestor Lozano and his organization. Consider the plot thickened.