Ben Mark Holzberg/ABC
October 11, 2017 at 11:48 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

Here at, when a writer is unable to fulfill their recapping duties, we invoke the 25th Amendment — and by that I mean that Dalene is out for the week, and you’re stuck with me, the proverbial Secretary of Housing and Urban Development, just here trying to keep you abreast of how our actual world is only slightly less chaotic than President Kirkman’s world, where things are constantly falling apart. I loved season 1, but I was slow to pick back up with the first two hours of season 2. (Like Kirkman, I’m just trying to be transparent.) But I got caught up, and Alex has bangs?! I know…there are more pressing details, like, you know…a pandemic of Influenza A. One year in, and I don’t know how President Kirkman is still standing.

The lowdown about this disease is that this flu could infect a ton of Americans in a very short amount of time if not contained, and God knows these guys have enough to handle. But it all hits too close to home because as the world is falling apart at the hands of the flu, there’s still time to argue about whether or not we should keep Confederate statues. The room is split on whether the statue represents history or, you know, hardcore racism. When the decision falls back to Reverend Dale, a protester and activist his whole life, he argues that the statue should not be moved because it reminds us where we came from.

Meanwhile, Agent Wells is still digging into the wreckage of the First Lady’s mother’s house. She argues that Lloyd was meticulous, and there are more details here than the team is picking up on. Any DS viewer knows that Hannah is always right because Maggie Q is a National Treasure. And of course, just like that, she stumbles upon files that show records of a heart transplant for Andrew Booker, and she’s convinced they didn’t find it. It was left for them. Oh, Hannah!

Down in Louisiana, everyone is wearing Hazmat suits because it’s flu season (have you gotten your flu shot, BTW?), and the flu is taking no prisoners. The team is going to have to work with a guy in Delaware to hopefully save, you know, the world. While Kirkman is fighting the good fight for the world, it turns out that they’ve named a frog after him. It’s a strange side story, but it’s there.

But Kirkman has no time to be offended, because he’s meeting with the man in charge of a cancer drug that could fight Influenza A. This guy, Mackey, says he only has 10,000 doses, but that may be enough, and God knows it needs to be. The area of Louisiana this is hitting hardest is predominantly African American. Meanwhile, other parties are fighting to keep Confederate monuments up. Not a far stretch to see African Americans getting dealt a bad hand here.

ANYWAY, Hannah meets with Alex to discuss all the information she’s found in Lloyd’s ransacking escapade. Alex gets to the insurance form and is surprised her mom kept it; it’s that form that reminds her that her father’s heart transplant was one of the first in the area, and he was down on the transplant list but it all came together in the end because…well, I bet that’s going to be a mystery! But as they discuss those forms, Kirkman is informed that his buddy with the cure didn’t deliver them to Louisiana, so…again, priorities.

So, the White House goes to court to call out that this drug manufacturer is getting in the way of public defense. This all has a Diet Martin Shkreli vibe to it because the rich can afford it, but no one else can, and guess what? Most of the people of Louisiana who are affected are not rich. The judge orders that Mackey make 10,000 doses available because fake reality is fairer than real reality.

Emily gives Kendra a high five for her work on the case, but Kendra still has her hands full with this Confederate statue issue. They recommend the statue be moved to a national forest, but Reverend Dale shuts that down. The other people at the table call him a racist, but he gives these whippersnappers a HISTORY LESSON.

Kirkman checks in with Dr. Bruner, who has secured all those doses of medicine. He thanks her for her service of putting herself at risk, and she says she does it because she knows that he would do the same. This group, y’all. So giving. So trusting. SO PATRIOTIC.

You know who isn’t so trusting? Hannah and her posse. They head to investigate those files associated with Booker, but when they get into the warehouse, a bomb goes off and nearly kills them. Somehow Hannah and her buds get in trouble for almost being blown up because it’s private property. She refuses to answer any questions though, because she’s Agent Wells. She runs things; things don’t run her. (Recap continues on page 2)

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