Guys, I have a gooooood feeling about the next episodes of Designated Survivor! And it all comes from the events of "Misalliance," a solid set up for the final three episodes of the season. What I'm particularly excited about is Designated Survivor going for it by opening up the show's world.
First, President Tom Kirkman (Kiefer Sutherland) is heading up to Canada — Toronto, specifically, where the show is filmed (convenient) — and mingling with foreign leaders. I have an interesting theory on that below. And Hannah, well, if you've seen the episode, you know where Hannah is.
Point is, there's nothing that says Designated Survivor can't stretch beyond the problems of the U.S. and into the problems of the world! And I'm all for it.
Now let's review what happened in "Misalliance."
1. Kirman is a big fan of children playing recorders
President Tom Kirkman is fixing America one problem at a time, and the big issue in "Misalliance" was little Timmy's school-sponsored clarinet lessons. The arts were under attack as a federal grant that paid for music programs in schools was set to expire! Heartstrings were effectively tugged when a traveling kids' chorus from New Orleans visited the White House to sing old slave songs, and Kirkman was on a mission to make sure these kids didn't lose their triangles, kazoos and slide whistles. But one particularly stuffy Congressman stood in his way. How would Kirkman solve this conundrum?
2. Kimble to the rescue!
The ethics investigation into Kimble Hookstraten's (Virginia Madsen) trip to Turkey was in full effect, and Kimble stood up to those joyless congressmen with powerful speeches about her patriotism that could only come from a TV show. The heartless committee wasn't moved, however, so Kimble was forced to tap into her experience as a politician and pull a trick out of her sleeve. She quit! Yes, rather than face the humiliation of being removed from her seat as Speaker of the House by the ethics committee, she resigned — on one condition: that stuffy congressman would greenlight another round of arts grants for schools. That's how you win the favor of president Kirkman. And it worked! Kirkman appreciated her sacrifice so much, he later announced that Kimble would be the country's new Secretary of Education, and she didn't even have to buy her way into the job. If Alex (Natascha McElhone) wasn't so perfect for Kirkman, I'd love to see some weird romantic tension between Kirkman and Kimble make things really messy in Washington.
3. Seth was incredibly excited to fly on Air Force One, please his mom
One thing Designated Survivor has leaned into recently is a little unexpected comedy amid the domestic terrorism and partisan wars. This week, Seth (Kal Penn) got word he would be flying up to Toronto with Kirkman for a NATO conference. Seth wasn't excited about funny money, Tim Horton's or bags of milk, though. No, Seth was stoked to hitch a ride on the namesake of Harrison Ford's 14th best movie, Air Force One. He also had to dodge the fact that his mom was excited for him, too, and eventually pulled off a photo of himself and Kirkman waving from the portable staircase for the series' happiest ending yet. It's all downhill from here, Seth!
The First Lady gave a White House tour to a visiting children's choir, and standing next to a painting of George Washington, dropped this little factoid, which was news to her when she moved in to 1600 Pennsylvania Ave: O.G. prez George Washington ran the country's first domestic spy ring. Girl, that's the logline for AMC's Turn: Washington's Spies, which is about to enter its fourth season on the prestigious cable network! Are you telling me you've never seen an ad for it while watching Better Call Saul? WHAT? You've never seen Better Call Saul either? Next thing you know, she'll tell those kids, "I didn't know this part of the White House was called 'The West Wing,' did you know that?" The Obamas really spoiled us with their on-point TV game.
5. Jason could have used some of Washington's spies
With Hannah (Maggie Q) out of the picture — more on her in a bit — Jason (Malik Yoba) took it upon himself to continue looking into bad dude Patrick Lloyd (Terry Serpico). After bugging an American Flag lapel pin and swapping it out with Lloyd's — no real wackjob with delusions of protecting America through violence goes anywhere without their Stars & Stripes pin — Jason tracked Lloyd to his rural pad and set up a powerful mic in a sniper pit to eavesdrop on Lloyd... and Jay Whitaker (Richard Waugh), who happened to be Lloyd's houseguest. The two conspirators laid out almost their entire plan for Jason (and us) to hear, and you know what that means. Anytime Designated Survivor gets a whiff of getting too close to exposing the whole truth to our heroes, it's time to kill someone off and snip that thread before it unravels the whole sweater. Lozano snuck up on Jason (who was distracted by a deer) and plugged two holes in him, right in the chest! Noooooo! Is Jason dead? I hope not!
6. That's not what I meant when I said we should 'ship Hannah
After her kidnapping last week, this week was all about where the eff these guys were taking our beloved super-agent Hannah. Well, they threw her in a shipping container with nary a loveseat to rest her weary bones! How rude! But a simple set of ankle and hand cuffs isn't enough to keep Hannah wells in bondage. After getting a dope to undo her handcuffs so she could eat some slop, Hannah removed the underwire from her BRA — excellent camera angle, btw — and used it to pick the lock on her feet! How cool was that? Then she escaped her steel box and found that she was... ON AN OCEANLINER in the middle of the ocean! We don't even know which ocean! Let's hope Hannah finds her way to the mainland soon, for Chuck's sake.
This isn't something that happened in the episode, but it got me thinking. A bunch of world leaders are heading to Toronto for a NATO summit and Lloyd said the FBI was distracted by the supposed plans to blow up the Statue of Liberty, Hoover Dam and The Golden Gate Bridge. The terrorists blew up a meeting of high-powered people already, what if they have their sights set on blowing up the TorontoDome or wherever it is Kirkman and the rest of the NATO team are headed? Would you be surprised if the boat Hannah is on is headed up towards Toronto and one of those shipping containers had enough explosives to take down half of Canada in it? How great would it be if Designated Survivor ended its first season on an attack on all Western leaders? Do it, Designated Survivor, blow up the King of France!
And more importantly, who could die in such an attack? You notice how adamant Kirkman was about Mike (LaMonica Garrett) staying behind? And Emily (Italia Ricci)? Leaving them in the White House means they won't be in danger, which makes it easier on the writers to keep them alive. By that logic, I'm worried about Seth. He practically said his goodbye to his mom in this episode, too. Maybe I'm becoming a bit of a conspiracy theorist now, but I'd expect some big time fireworks to close things out.
Designated Survivor airs Wednesday nights at 10/9c on ABC.