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

Let's try and figure it out

Tim Surette

People were all types of mad at each other in this week's contentious Designated Survivor! Americans were mad at Mexicans, cousins were mad at cousins, the First Lady was mad at an FBI agent and Lyor (Paulo Costanzo) was accidentally mad at an ancient vase!

But no one will be as mad as Tom Kirkman (Kiefer Sutherland) will be at his mother-in-law Eva (Bonnie Bedelia) if she is behind all these shady deals the show is alluding to. To be honest, it's a little confusing as to what's going on -- partly because the show is moving at an accelerated pace and partly because there isn't much dumbing down of the political jargon -- so let's try and make sense of it together, OK?

As we found out in last week's episode, Hannah (Maggie Q) suspected that Eva used her position as a secretary at the Department of Defense to bump her husband up the heart transplant list in exchange for inside info on a potential mega defense contract way back in 1987. In this episode, Eva confirmed it, to Alex's (Natascha McElhone) shock. Alex owes Hannah an apology, methinks.

Hannah's boss John Forstell (Reed Diamond) subpoenaed Eva, and when Hannah went to give him a piece of her mind, John dropped another big bit o' info: another defense contract for Icarus Astrotech -- the same company that Eva helped get a successful bid decades ago -- went through just after Lloyd's Pentagon hack. The signator? Eric Little, the same guy who oversaw the contract that Eva got her hands dirty on, and the same guy who is now dead.

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There's an implication here that Eva could be somehow involved in more shady dealings, but I don't think so. First, it's Bonnie Bedelia! She's way too nice! Second, the term "circumstantial" has been thrown around so much that it's engrained in my brain, and connecting Eva to this contract seems like such a stretch I wouldn't even know where to begin with.

The idea of bringing Eva's mistakes from the 1980s back to the fore in order to damage Kirkman is difficult to swallow, so Lloyd may actually be targeting someone else. Could another person in Kirkman's inner circle be involved in this? Could Lloyd have another mole inside the White House that would tarnish Kirkman's presidency? Whatever the case is, things are surely more than meets the eye and we'll have to wait until next week to see the next step in Lloyd's plan.

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