Tonight’s Designated Survivor has a little bit of everything. Congressional hearings! Wikileaks! Gross senators! Let’s start with a whistleblowing federal employee whose actions might lead us to the truth behind the Capitol bombing.
We open with a nondescript NSA employee walking out of the building with stolen intel on a thumb drive.
The next morning, the White House is in a panic over the security breach. The nondescript guy is named Gabriel Thompson, a longtime systems analyst, and he apparently swiped terabytes worth of data from the government.
Turns out, the guy’s objective is to release dirt on all the members of the previous (dead) president’s Cabinet, which, obviously, included Kirkman. Included in the Wikileak’d files is evidence the old Treasury secretary made paid speeches for corporations and that some other schmuck took international trips on a lobbyist’s dime — and other low-stakes stuff like that.
So, what does the whistleblower have on Kirkman? A years-old memo Emily sent insulting some old senator who likes to grope women. Unfortunately, it’s a particularly powerful senator whose support the president will need in Congress. And the senator is demanded Emily be fired.
Emily does the supposedly noble thing and offers her resignation, but Kirkman rejects it.
Meanwhile, the government finally hunts down Thompson’s location: He’s at the Venezuelan embassy. In other words, he’s technically on foreign soil and can’t be extradited.
With some help from Emily, a light bulb goes off in Aaron’s head. What Thompson really wants is a sit-down with POTUS.
Aaron arranges a meeting between Thompson and Kirkman. But first, Kirkman flips the situation on the pervy old senator by presenting him with leaked proof of his lecherous ways. The president give the senator an ultimatum: Retire or Kirkman himself will release the incriminating documents. Needless to say, the senator accepts and Emily gets to keep her job. Win-win!
With that out of the way, Kirkman finally sits down with Thompson to hear him out. Thompson ends up being somewhat of an ally; he respects and supports the President and his ethics. In fact, the reason he did all this wasn’t to threaten Kirkman, it was to warn and protect him. He whispers a cryptic message: “Careful who you issue file 12-80C to, sir.”
What does that mean? Thompson hands over his files, and what they reveal is damning: A nearly exact computer simulation of the Capitol bombing, made years before the actual event. (One might even call it a blueprint.) It seems to be concrete proof someone on the inside was involved in the attack.
Kirkman takes his glasses off dramatically. “There’s a traitor among us.”
NEXT: Maggie Q races to investigate MacLeish