Last year Designated Survivor had one of the strongest pilots I’ve ever had the pleasure of viewing. It wasn’t just because of the story, but because the moment of seeing the Capitol up in flames was incredibly heart-stopping (and a bit too familiar an image for comfort). By the end of the season, designated survivor turned President Kirkman, had mostly accomplished what he wanted to do. He wanted to find the leader behind the Capitol bombing, he wanted to prevent any further attacks, and he wanted to stabilize the country. He managed most of that, and under the worst of circumstances. Now he has new goals, and needs a little more help to do it.
Now that the initial crisis is over, the President desperately needs help regaining the people’s faith. Enter Lyor Boone, the Political Director Emily hires on a trial basis to observe what needs to change in the White House. He is as blunt as they come without being completely condescending, but he has a point about polls having a direct correlation to passing legislation. It’s not as if Kirkman’s staff morale is high. Seth is so overwhelmed by how little he has control over, he is looking at entering the private sector. He’s like a single firefighter up against a huge blaze on his own. He needs the inspiration back, and Lyor is the one to give it to him. He ends up being a surprisingly good fit, particularly because Kirkman is not a President who shies away from being told what needs to be fixed. This is a President who shakes hands with his fiercest critics, and truly means it when he asks them to keep critiquing him, because it makes him work that much harder.
Patrick Lloyd, the leader behind last year’s conspiracy, is not done hurting people. Hannah is in Amsterdam chasing him down, since he has been just out of Hannah’s reach for the last six months. She runs into help from MI-6 agent Damian Rennett. After so many months of globetrotting, Hannah could use the help to wrap this up. Once again, she just misses him by hours, and this time Lloyd goes to the one place we most fear him going-home.
Back at home, Kirkman has big problems. A hijacked plane with American, Ukranian, and Russian citizens on it is a flying powder keg. In case you haven’t been paying attention to the news lately, tensions between Ukraine and Russia are worse than between Russia and the U.S. The situation becomes personal for Kirkman when he realizes that he knows one of the passengers. Russell Dawes was Kirkman’s best friend when they were both in the Peace Corps, and they had a falling out when Kirkman chose Stanford over continuing with humanitarian missions. Despite this, if the hijackers find out that there is someone on that plane the President is personally invested in, it’s game over. Come to find out, both Russia and Ukraine know more than they should about the hijacking, including Kirkman’s personal connection on board. Once the President makes it clear that he and his citizens will not be used in a game between the two countries (and in fluent Russian no less!) the situation diffuses. Unfortunately, a freak accident results in an explosion and the death of the President’s friend. Some days on the job are harder than others, and when you’re the most powerful man in the world powerless to help a friend, the world seems all the more dismal.
Patrick Lloyd returning to the U.S. is a terrifying thought. The only question now is, what is his end game?
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