In case you hadn’t heard, Kiefer Sutherland’s former 24 co-star Kim Raver made a brief guest appearance on this week’s Designated Survivor. The connection was there, but it was all too brief a visit. What Raver’s appearance did was shed a little light on how tenuous a hold President Kirkman has on his own government in the wake of his wife’s death. By the end of the hour, not only was Raver gone, so was a valued member of the White House.
First things first, Damian is in fact, alive. He took a very big risk by coming back to see Hannah. He knew that she wanted his head for lying to her and working as a Russian operative. But he comes back anyways, with a confession and valuable intelligence. The way Damian describes it, the Russians had stake in the same company Patrick Lloyd was using to frame the First Lady. But it was an old claim that had no direct connection to Lloyd blowing up the Capitol. They were afraid that the United States would think they were involved, so they asked Damian to divert suspicion. He confesses all of this to Hannah, and warns her of a supply rocket being hacked, minutes before it actually hacked. He doesn’t offer this information for free, but does confess that his interest is in protecting both the U.S. and Russia. This seems very strange, unless you consider the possibility that both Russia and the United States have a common enemy.
This is a very difficult position for both countries to accept, but accept it they must if they are to save astronauts from both countries with a dwindling water supply. But with the heat rising on the space station, the President needs more than just Russia’s help. He needs Dr. Andrea Frost (24 alum Kim Raver), the scientist who built the cooling pump for the space station. Not only is she brilliant, she dinged Lyor as his supervisor at space camp by giving him a second place prize. And he still hasn’t let it go. Until he realizes that his calculations weren’t as precise as he thought. And after watching Frost advise astronauts how to stay alive with such resolute precision, it’s better for everyone that he didn’t go into the sciences.
Hannah has no choice but to accompany Damian to a meeting with Rook Storm, a hacker who can lead them to the person responsible for this mess. The information Storm provides comes at a price to Damian, but it does ultimately get them what they need to override the hack. At least Hannah doesn’t have to hold onto her anger anymore, now that Damian has been exposed and is in custody. But one question remains. What was Damian reaching for in his pocket the night that Hannah shot him?
The President is really feeling his wife’s loss, and with the shock wearing off, the loss is now felt in more practical aspects. He’s lost his confidante and best friend, and his children have lost their mother. It’s hard enough being a single parent, but with the added weight of being the President? Caring for the country is his top professional priority, but he also has to take care of his children. He can’t bury himself in his work and ignore the fact that his daughter is getting into fights at school. As it turns out, Penny was getting in fights to defend other students who were being bullied. She’s an admirable little girl, but it might be time for the parents to step in.
Dr. Frost’s intervention only buys the White House a little time for the Russians to play ball. But even then, certain promises are made to make the Russians willing to let the U.S. gain cyber access in order to override the hack. The problem is, President Kirkman had no intention of making any promises, let alone one to ignore any link Russia had to the investigation that lead to Alex Kirkman’s death.
This in no way defends Secretary Moss’s actions, but he has had to make difficult decisions in the wake of the First Lady’s death, too. His actions also aren’t without empathy based on personal experience. Moss knows exactly what it feels like to lose a spouse while in office. He just made a different choice than Kirkman. He chose to leave office, and not return until he was ready. President Kirkman went right back to work, but with a completely different attitude. It may be this attitude that pushes Kirkman to fire Moss. Any other President would have done the exact same thing. But Tom Kirkman isn’t like any other President, and we can’t be sure he would have made this same choice before he lost his wife.
Is the President gaining strength, or is he losing perspective? If you ask America, the answer might lie in a leaked video of Kirkman’s visit with his wife’s killer. Tune in next week for an all new episode which sees the country’s response to a very raw president.
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