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Designated Survivor: Who Is Framing the Kirkmans?

Does anyone know?

Tim Surette

Can't we get a week of Designated Survivor where being the president seems... fun? Sure, getting a frog named after you is pretty cool, but other than that, being President of the United States looks awful so far this season. And no episode was worse for Tom Kirkman (Kiefer Sutherland) than this week's "Family Ties," a lowlight reel for Clan Kirkman.

Of course, it all concluded with one big question as Alex (Natascha McElhone) discovered she was being framed through a bank account in St. Lucia that may be full of bribe money: Who is trying to frame the Kirkmans? No, seriously, I'm asking you. Because I have nothing.

The residual effects of Patrick Lloyd's elaborate plan to dissolve the government -- or at least take Kirkman down -- still linger, but we're not totally sure how. And knowing how far Lloyd's cell of freedom-loving anarchists branches out, it's nearly impossible to tell who is behind the frame job of Alex. At this point, I'm not even sure the show knows, as the focus is constantly on the "what" instead of the "who." It could be some character we haven't even met yet, which wouldn't be that rewarding.

Designated Survivor: What Did Kirkman's Mother-in-Law Do?

Elsewhere in the episode, Leo (Tanner Buchanan) got a chunk of story! But it was a story that may make him lock himself in his room for a few months while blasting emo. He got a new girlfriend who ended up being a plant by the president of Turkey to set up assault charges on a protester (also a plant) when the protester threatened Leo's "girlfriend" and Leo retaliated by shoving him to the ground. This was all done because the Turkish president wanted Kirkman to extradite his opponent, a peaceful democracy-first teacher, back to Turkey where he obviously would be thrown into a kangaroo court. It was an interesting story that ended up hinging on a fake teen romance, so... hmm. At least Kirkman said some bad words.

And that Charlotte Thorn murder case? Remember? The British Parliament member who was murdered while jogging a few episodes ago? That was resolved by revealing her female assistant was in love with her, but pulled off a jealousy kill when Charlotte began an affair with -- wait for it -- former president Cornelius Moss (Geoff Pierson). First, up top Moss; I see you're continuing the government's run of dating women decades your junior. Second, is anyone else wondering what the point of this three-episode arc was? Because if it was just to bring Hannah's boyfriend back (they're totally doing it now, btw) or find a way to wrote Moss off the show, it wasn't the most appropriate way to do so. And the disgruntled lesbian murderer storyline was beneath this show, or so I thought.

At least we're left with the mystery of who framed Alex, but the fact that we don't even have one viable suspect is suspect itself.

Designated Survivor airs Wednesday nights at 10/9c on ABC.

Kiefer Sutherland, Designated Survivor

Kiefer Sutherland, Designated Survivor

ABC/Ben Mark Holzberg