At any given moment, there is a lot going on in the White House. Designated Survivor juggles dozens of balls in the air in an hour, and that only gets more difficult when the President is out of town. While President Kirkman is on a secret mission, chaos ensues. Someone is trying to set up the First Lady, both Seth and Lyor get into legal trouble, and Emily and Kendra become a dynamic duo trying to keep the roof of the White House from popping off. Kirkman is in the direct line of fire this week, but Emily does her fair share of putting out the fires as well.
Seth gets into a little bit of trouble, both because of bad judgment, and because of an illegal search and seizure. This isn’t the first time Seth has been subject to police profiling despite his high-ranking position. Unfortunately, this is the first time Seth is in the wrong. Though the cops did illegally search his vehicle, 200 pills in the car is nothing to laugh about. The White House cannot afford to be put Seth in the public eye until this matter is cleaned up. This leaves Lyor as the Interim Press Secretary. Let’s just say, the sooner Seth’s mess is cleaned up, the better. Seth can’t refute the claims because it would mean admitting the drugs were actually his little brother’s, who was using them to get through his grueling studies for the MCATs. Kendra gets very, very lucky. The arresting officer was trying to make his arrest quota for an application submission for detective. Kendra is able to get the charges dismissed, but the situation still puts Seth in a tough position with Emily, the White House, and that nosy reporter who just won’t quit.
As if Emily didn’t have enough to deal with, Kendra discovers a little secret Lyor has been hiding: he’s married. Emily’s “You’ve got to be kidding me!” is completely appropriate here. The marriage is not an issue. The tax evasion is. Because Lyor’s marriage has been in name only, he never bothered to properly fill out his tax returns. Let me do the math for you. 6-years of improperly filed income taxes amounts to $826,000. Lyor treats the situation like most, as if it’s just another ordinary day. Except that his wife is gorgeous, successful, and is Lyor’s perfect match. What’s more, she doesn’t want an annulment. Despite the over three quarter of a million dollar price tag attached, Lyor wants the marriage too. There really is someone for everyone.
With so much going on, why would the President of the United States make a dangerous, secret trip to Afghanistan? Serving the troops breakfast is certainly enough, but there is a more serious matter to attend to. Kirkman is in the Middle East to figure out which of two warlords can be flipped to end the war, and which one is planning to attack the U.S. If they chose right, they could end a 15-year war. If they choose wrong, they could bring about another terrorist attack. After meeting with both parties, and getting the expected response from each given their age and experience, Kirkman is at a standstill. It helps to be able to take a mental health break talking to the base chef about their kids and their dreams for the future.
Kirkman refuses to abandon the base, even as a coordinated suicide bombing happens just outside the doors. That leaves Mike and Hannah to go out into the village to find the culprit and rescue Hannah’s friend Dean. That’s an uncomfortable mission given that Mike resents Hannah for following the lead that put the First Family in jeopardy. They can put their differences aside long enough to find Hannah’s friend, who gives them enough information to suss out the real enemy. As difficult as this mission was, it doesn’t hurt Kirkman’s heart like the human effect does. They lost four men in that bombing, and the chef Kirkman met has stayed in the military because he doesn’t feel he has a home to go back to since he is a widow. But if you survived 22 years of service, and you have the chance other men and women didn’t, you should fight for home. For some that means fighting overseas, for others it means hugging their kids. It is possible to be lucky enough to get to do both.
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