Designated Survivor Review: The Only Thing More Dangerous Than A President Is A Father

Designated Survivor

When you’re the compassionate leader of a powerful nation, you feel every disappointment and problem in your soul. Some days are worse than others. However, Designated Survivor‘s President has been through far worse, like his first day in office. He just has to remind himself of that. He’s not the type of man to “watch the world burn”. He just needs a minute to figure out which problem to tackle first. That’s harder to do when they are interconnected, and are aimed to hurt his family. We know that Kiefer Sutherland is capable of being scary when he wants to be, but we’ve not seen that come out as much playing the President. That’s because a true President doesn’t rise to a threat in anger, but a father does.

When did diplomacy go out the window? When did it become optional, instead of a requirement (written or otherwise) for the job of a national leader? If President Kirkman had his way, that would never happen on his watch, let alone in his own backyard. In the middle of lease re-negotiations for nuclear warhead storage, the President of Turkey pulls a fast one on Kirkman. He decides that he won’t renew the base leases unless Kirkman extradites a man he believes is inciting terrorism in Turkey. This man is not a terrorist, he is a teacher. He spoke out out against the Turkish president, and was threatened for it. To back Kirkman into a corner, the Turkish president makes it personal.

Any strategy Kirkman had is blown out the window when the consequences spill out onto Leo. To be fair, Leo was defending his new girlfriend. All your base instincts kick in when someone you care about is harassed. A grown man getting in a 15-year old girl’s face counts. Unfortunately, Leo had no idea his girlfriend was in on the plan so that he could be publicly humiliated and sued; sued by a man who works for a Turkish company. You expect to go through heartbreak when you’re a teenager, you might even expect to be used. You don’t expect to be used as a ploy by a foreign dictator. Kirkman can get Turkey to back down, and he does so by putting the fear of God and a civil war into him. It’s the scariest we’ve ever seen him. Unfortunately, he can’t tell his son this will be the last time people will try to use him.

You want a real PR nightmare? How about a former President of the United States having an affair with a British ambassador killed on U.S. soil? That would quality. When Secretary Moss failed to disclose his relationship with Charlotte Thorne to anyone, he became a person of interest in her murder investigation. That’s not to say that the man doesn’t deserve privacy, especially since he already served his country once in the most scrutinized way possible. However, when Thorne turned up dead, he should have at least told the President. Kirkman is a friend, and wouldn’t have judged him for the relationship. He’s also the one person who should have been informed for professional reasons. As a person of interest in the investigation, he can’t conduct any of his official duties. Considering he is supposed to be the representative for all NATO meetings, that was a problem during this Turkish bases business.

So, why won’t Secretary Moss exonerate himself? Because, as bad as it looks for the Secretary of State to have an affair with a murdered ambassador, it looks worse for him to be exposed as a recovering alcoholic who slipped. Isn’t it sad that a recovering alcoholic would get worse coverage than a murder suspect? In the end, it was the Ambassador’s lovelorn assistant who committed the murder. Moss is a good Secretary of State. He just needs to take a beat to get himself together.

Kirkman managed to get most everything under control, except for one loose thread. Alex Kirkman’s mother had nothing to do with any conspiracy that involves money being illegally funneled to his family. Eva is a lot of things, but cool under pressure is not one of them. She doesn’t have the capacity to pull something like that off. However, someone is going to great lengths to make it look like she is. They’re now going so far as to set up Alex herself. Looks like we have a brand new conspiracy on our hands, and it is directly aimed at the Kirkman family.

Who fears President Kirkman more now that his parental instincts have been raised?

Designated Survivor Season 2 Episode 7 Review: "Family Ties"
4.5

Summary

This week’s Designated Survivor sparks anger when the President’s son is targeted.

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