BUT WHY?

By Ray Rahman
May 10, 2017 at 11:51 PM EDT
Ben Mark Holzberg/ABC
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  • TV Show
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Baby’s First NATO Summit

This week’s Designated Survivor begins with an urgent situation unfolding on Air Force One: Seth is getting sick in the bathroom. This never happens, he swears, but Moss is amused nonetheless; he snaps a selfie with the queasy press secretary in the background.

As they fly into Toronto for the big NATO summit, Moss makes it his job to tutor Kirkman on what their international arms reduction strategy should look like. This is Kirkman’s first rodeo, so Moss fills his mentee in on the key players they’ll be meeting, and how to handle each of them. Moss is relishing his advisory role with the president, and he even comes up with a snazzy nickname for themselves: “The Professor and the Politician.”

They seem to have a decent plan in place, and when they meet the principals that night for some kick-off drinks, everyone seems to be getting along famously. A solid start!

But all that changes by next morning: Things go haywire once the world gets a look at the front page of the New York Standard, a.k.a. the newspaper Abe Leonard works for. “Al-Sakar Not Behind Capitol Bombing” blares the A1 headline. Kirkman and his staff suddenly have a lot of ‘splaining to do. They immediately shift into crisis mode in a bid to contain the fallout.

Kirkman himself addresses the subject at the full NATO meeting. Some of the heads of state in the room are down with his official response (basically, “We’re looking into it but can’t say anything”), but others are way less chill. Both France and the U.K. note that they were among a number of nations that supported the U.S.’ retaliation attacks after the bombing. Now, they point out, it seems their cooperation was predicated on false pretenses, and they’re none too happy about it. The French prime minister goes so far as to hold the U.S.’ NATO initiative hostage until Kirkman can offer concrete answers.

Abe Leonard, meanwhile, does a TV interview with perhaps the thickest journalist in the Western Hemisphere, whose main questions include “Who?”, “But why?!”, and “WHAT!!” It’s terrible television, but it does catch the attention of one Patrick Lloyd. He calls his lackey Whitaker and ominously informs him, “Abe Leonard has served his purpose.”

But when Leonard returns to the office, someone even scarier is waiting for him: a lawyer. A woman named Alyssa from the legal department advises Abe to talk to the FBI as a potential witness. This is the best course of action, she says, to avoid subpoenas raining down on the entire paper. Begrudgingly, Leonard consents. Could this be a trick? Probably!

Back at NATO, Kirkman sits down one-on-one with the French prime minister to convince her that his arms-reduction vision is the moral imperative of nations like theirs, and that keeping Russia’s nuclear ambitions in check is vital if they don’t want the whole world to blow itself up. She seems convinced — even pleased — by his idealism and agrees to give his plan a good, hard look. It’s as close to success as Kirkman’s going to get today.

Satisfied, the Americans get back on their plane to fly home. Kirkman and Moss are cautiously optimistic. Seth, on the other hand, is passed out like a baby. But at least he’s not vomiting anymore?

Wells in Deep Ship

While the president is in the air, Agent Wells is at sea, trying to get off this container ship faster than Captain Phillips. After evading the baddies above deck, she runs into the guts of the ship and explores her options. Fortunately, it’s not long before she finds a radio, and she’s quickly able to transmit a distress call before getting apprehended by the villains, who decide to knock her out cold.

Still, the Navy gets her transmission. It takes them at least two commercial breaks to finally locate the ship’s whereabouts: It’s actually really close, right off the port of Baltimore.

Assistant Director Foretell gets on the horn to put the authorities into motion. Once the FBI’s special forces seize the ship, they have no problem overpowering and arresting the bad guys on board. The trickier part, though, is actually finding Wells inside one of the barge’s many shipping containers.

Turns out, they can’t. Why? Because she’s not even on the ship. Twist! Wells has already been relocated, placed into a van in the parking garage at FBI headquarters. After coming to, she climbs out of the back of the van only to realize that it’s armed with explosives — and is set to explode in three minutes. Make that two minutes and fifty-nine seconds… two minutes and fifty-eight seconds… two minutes and fifty-seven sec — you get the idea.

Kiefer Sutherland returns to TV in this ABC political drama. The 2016 new fall show follows his rise to president when all other cabinet members tragically die. Natascha McElhone, Italia Ricci, Adan Canto, Kal Penn, and Maggie Q also star.
type
  • TV Show
seasons
  • 2
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Premiere
  • 09/21/16
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