Designated Survivor Review: A[nother] Traitor Is Revealed

Designated Survivor

It’s not often that Designated Survivor‘s President Kirkman gets a happy day. I’m not talking about a perfect day, but a good day where he truly feels he has made a difference.  “Three-Letter Day” is supposed to be that day for him. On this day, the President chooses to answer three letters with requests from American citizens. It’s kind of like the President and his staff get to be genies for a day! Except that they find they can’t grant everything someone wants. Everything is a compromise. The important part is to make sure that they themselves are not compromised. The FBI investigation into the First Lady does not make that easy, especially when she is being set up from the inside. This week, we find out who set up the First Lady and betrayed the United States government. I’ll give you a hint: can you guess who was in bed with the enemy?

Lyor and Seth look into saving bees. I would have thought that Lyor would be bored by the task, but it seems he has found his spirit animal! Who knew Lyor and bees had so much in common, or at least that’s what Lyor thinks. The thinking is that the FAA’s magnetic waves were disrupting a local beekeeper’s hives. It was actually the wife killing the bees. This only further enthuses Lyor’s passion for the fight, any fight, which he gets when husband and wife turn on each other. Didn’t we just see Lyor happily married? He’s an enigma, that one. Those days are grueling for Seth, and it’s done on purpose as punishment for his conduct last week. The President chooses not to fire Seth for getting arrested, only because he is a family man, and knows what you do for family. Thankfully, Seth understands that Emily had to be objective on this. He understands her perspective, and only likes her more for her devotion to the job and her honesty. Emily is a one of those rare people who is able to balance both gracefully.

For their Three-Letter Day task, Emily and Aaron look into why a soldier wasn’t posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor, and this task gets a little more interesting. The soldier in question deserves the honor for his actions on the field, but not for having an affair with his superior’s wife. Emily and Aaron see no way of getting the award for the soldier’s family without that information getting out. As a compromise, Kirkman invites the soldier’s widow and son to the Oval Office so he can personally tell them what a hero the man was. This way the family gets the recognition they want for their loved one, without compromising his memory.

Kendra is assigned to clear a former pharmacist accused of shooting a DEA agent to hide his illegal side dealings. The problem is that there were no illegal side dealings, unless you count a father looking out for his drug-addicted daughter. That’s why he appealed his sentence, but not his conviction. He didn’t want to die, but he wouldn’t sell out his daughter to get out of it. It turns out that it wasn’t his daughter the pharmacist was covering for, it was his son. Because Kirkman knows the man won’t throws his son under the bus, he agrees to vacate the execution, but not the conviction. The pharmacist will spend the rest of his life in prison, all for a son who would try to run down Hannah because she got too close to the truth.

This is a problem Kendra can solve, as opposed to the problem of whoever is setting up the First Lady. The President and First Lady are understandably on edge, and the stress is starting to affect their marriage. When the White House finds out that Forstell is mounting a Senate campaign on the back of First Lady investigation, everyone thinks that Kirkman should ask Forstell to step down and be replaced by a Special Counsel. However, Kirkman won’t do that because Forstell isn’t doing anything illegal, and a Special Counsel is a wild card they don’t need. Needless to say, the First Lady is not happy about this. The whole situation is personal, but her husband won’t compromise his oath of office for his oath as a husband when nothing illegal has been done. That doesn’t mean that he is putting the presidency before his marriage, but that’s how it looks to Alex Kirkman. They’re going to go into this investigation divided, which is the last place they should be.

Hannah has been working hard and fast to make sure something like this didn’t happen. Kendra has blamed Hannah for setting this in motion, but even she couldn’t have anticipated how far this would go. She was just trying to follow the trail. Little did she know that she was set up on the trail by someone close to her. Hannah is thwarted in the course of tracking down the one witness who could clear the First Lady. It’s no coincidence that the witness disappeared just after Hannah’s conversation with Damian Rennett. In bed with the enemy is a very literal description here.

Did you see the Damian Rennett twist coming? Given Natascha McElhone’s upcoming exit, will the President and First Lady be able to work out their differences before the winter finale?

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