Designated Survivor recap: 'Misalliance'
Thinking too far outside of the box might just land you in the ocean.
Lord what a time for our country. A highly controversial leader having potential discussions with Russia about nuclear power. Threats of some kind of anarchist regime. People screaming for change. A controversial Secretary of Education pick, and back room discussions about THE ARTS! No, we’re not talking about real America… just television America, which is way more charming. No, President Kirkman hasn’t shaved the head of Vince McMahon, but he’s pretty entertaining in his own right as he chases after the hope of good and peace. Let’s review America’s journey this week.
Saving the Arts
Back at the White House, FLOTUS is giving a tour to a group of school kids when President Kirkman totally kills her vibe by stepping in for selfies. They’re being ushered by the former President Richmond’s son, who isn’t just at the White House for a tour. Tyler has an agenda: save the arts. He admits that the arts is “small stuff” in consideration of everything else, but like… this is also the arts, y’all.
Hookstraten shows up to chat with Kirkman after what appears to be a poorly received ethics hearing. To ease her mind, Kirkman assigns her the task of KEEPING THE ARTS ALIVE! Unfortunately, Congressman Saldua, who could help renew that bill that would protect the arts, is also the man leading the charge against Hookstraten, so the task falls right back on Kirkman. And Tyler really can’t take another loss — he and Alex talk about the White House and how difficult it is to be in this place.
Congressman Saldua comes to visit Kirkman to discuss that pesky art bill, but when Kirkman recommends that the bill be tacked on to something to get it passed quickly, the Congressman shuts it down because he’s not here for these back room meetings… to save the arts? No offense, but if your back room meeting is debating the importance of cellos, then maybe you need to reevaluate.
From Turkey to Teaching
Aaron’s cousin relays information to him that it looks like the court is going to rule against Hookstraten 9-3, meaning no vice presidency, speakership, or House seat. But he’s not ready to quit, even if Hookstraten is. But in all of his optimism, she gets an idea of her own. Hookstraten calls in Saldua and explains that even if he wants her out, she knows procedure and could tie up the system for God knows how long. But she’s happy to resign the speakership and her seat, if he offers to authorize the funding for arts education before she goes. No one has politically done so much for the arts since President George W. Bush rediscovered his love of painting.
Hookstraten tells Kirkman she’s decided to resign her speakership and seat in exchange for the arts program. It’s a wonderful moment for Hookstraten because as someone who has seemed to have her share of shady moments, she has become increasingly more and more genuine. President Kirkman isn’t interested in her resignation — he has other plans. As that high school choir Kirkman selfie’d with earlier readies for a performance, President Kirkman takes it upon himself to announce that Hookstraten has been chosen as his Secretary of Education nominee, so she’s not out just yet.
Back in that van of ruined investigations, Agent Wells is not doing so hot. Nestor and company move her into the back of a storage container and send her on her way. Ugh, where’s Chuck or literally anyone when you need them? The Secret Service, being ever the perceptive organization it is, figures out quickly that Agent Wells is MIA. They track her down to her room, but of course, Hannah is nowhere to be found. All that is left is an extra-white fitted Oxford because who has time for variation when you’re trying to save the free world?
Wells spends the whole episode trapped, even if she’s flush with bologna and cheeses from her captors. She asks for her shackles to be loosened because she can’t reach her food, and no questions, they loosen her chains. That’s when she pulls the old “use my bra wire as a key” trick to try to free herself. On his next visit, she drugs her captor with the same drugs intended for her. Agent Wells has lives for days, guys. But bad news… she’s not getting very far because that storage container is on a barge in the middle of the ocean. Oh, Hannah.
Make America Anarchist Again
Emily meets with Jay Whitaker, exchanging what seems like amicable political jargon, but as Whitaker leaves, he sends a text that says, “Package out for delivery,” and deep in the woods, Patrick Lloyd receives it mid-curl. Nothing supplements a good workout like knowing your FBI agent is going to beat their expected Amazon Prime two-day delivery.
With Wells in a box, Atwood has a plan of his own. He visits a shop to pick up some spying equipment. The plan comes together when Patrick Lloyd has to go through a metal detector and his lapel pin goes off. A security guard makes him remove it and puts it through an X-ray for him. But afterward, the guard delivers it to Atwood, who had the pins switched for one that tracks and records. Technology is wild, man.
Lloyd goes in to make his crazy train speech about the “illegitimate government” to his equally crazy constituents. They just want change! So let’s just… blow up America? What’s even stranger is this underground effort sure does have a lot of microphones to be so low-key. Atwood manages to follow Lloyd and finds that he’s working directly with Whitaker, and even more than that, he picks up that they’ve detained Agent Wells and have been feeding one-time Teen Mode writer and future Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist, Abe Leonard, bogus information. Turns out the Statue of Liberty, the Golden Gate Bridge, and the Hoover Dam are just decoys as well. The real targets? Who knows, y’all. Atwood is ready to take them down when he’s suddenly gunned down by Nestor — like, legitimately gunned down. Did we not just pass a bill to stop this nonsense?
And that’s that — President Kirkman boards Air Force One with Seth, Hannah is on the worst Carnival cruise of all time, and it appears Whitaker and Lloyd have new plans for taking over America. What will their big move be as we line ourselves up for the season finale? Your guess is as good as ours.