DESIGNATED SURVIVOR “100 Days” Recap
By Kirsty Pearce
One Hundred Days
This week’s instalment has Tom working at beginning to actually run the country instead of focusing mostly on solving the conspiracy, and the change of pace proves to be a breath of fresh air, providing new antagonists and challenges.
We open with a press conference where Tom sets the bar for his first term as President, giving himself One Hundred Days as the time-period he will use to roll out his policies and agenda. Emily and Seth stress to their staff afterwards that in order to get through the next hundred days they need to keep the good-will of the people, avoiding any hot-button and divisive issues, as well as gain as much support and momentum as they can to pressure Congress into passing bills. After speaking at an AWLC conference, Alex is asked some questions, one of which is her stance on gun control, which is pretty much the definition of a hot-button issue right now, saying they need to deal with it differently. An ambitious Senator who used to be Governor of Montana, Jack Bowman, jumps on this sound-bite, causing Tom, Seth, and Emily to go into damage-control. Alex agrees to make a statement she was speaking for herself and not the administration during an upcoming television interview, which she pulls off with grace, proving her common sense and love for her husband.
Tom is doing a run-through for a Q&A he has lined up at Tom Hall, and is told he needs to be knowledgeable, but not sound like a professor, and above all be personable. When asked a question from a man who lost his job, Tom starts speaking passionately about providing new jobs and opportunities and programs for the unemployed. This goes over well, but a woman who lost her daughter because her ex-boyfriend was able to get a gun from an unlicensed dealer then stands up and hits him with the question of what he’s going to do to prevent something like that from happening again. He rises to the occasion, as always, and makes it clear where he stands in a pretty impressive emotion-inducing speech, which strikes a middle ground of not wanting to see the government storm in and take everyone’s weapons from their home, but also keeping those same weapons out of the hands of the mentally-ill and terrorists.
In a meeting with the Senators, he proposes a bipartisan approach, and speaks to Jack Bowman specifically about working to find a compromise on gun control. At a press junket after, Jack then announces his plan to put forward a bill that strengthens federal background checks, undermining Tom’s own bill to that effect, and backing them into a corner to approve the bill, which has some major flaws.
Hannah is still staying with Chuck, who is working on finding Claudia, the blackmail woman who finally has a name, without much success. Hannah then has the inspired idea to grab Claudia’s fingerprint from the wine glass in the photo of her given to them by Charlie. He comes back with an ID, Brooke Matheson, whose father was discharged from the military, after which she drops off the grid. This piece of information Hannah then shares with Jason Atwood, as they have an address, and Hannah asks Jason if he will be her back-up.
However Jason pursues a random reckless driver who cut them off on the way there, showing his deep paranoia, and causing Hannah to reconsider having him as her partner. When Hannah arrives at the house, it appears to be abandoned, and she asks Chuck to do a background on it. However Brooke is seen watching her from a security camera. It’s then revealed Chuck is being monitored. He finds out the property taxes are being paid by Browning Reade, a defense contractor believed to be out of business. Hannah’s keen Special Agent training kicks in at this point, and when Chuck tells her a guy from the gas company came by because of a leak, she gets them out of the room before a bomb explodes. Chuck however is still able to access the names of their other properties, all in North Dakota but one. When Hannah goes to check it out, Jason shows up, ready to back her. They make the clearing of the house as creepy as possible, with the music and the creaking and the abandoned furniture. Hannah comes across a surveillance desk before she’s shot at by Brooke. Jason comes in before Brooke can kill Hannah, and she starts taunting him with this truly frightening evil look on her face. He manages to restrain himself, but she pulls out a back-up gun, forcing them to kill her.
In other news, while running, Aaron receives a call and starts speaking in Spanish (add that to his list of attractive qualities!), telling whoever’s on the other end he’ll see them shortly. It turns out to be his female cousin, Nadia, who is looking for work. Aaron gets her an interview with a Congresswoman, and while he’s waiting, Hookstraten comes up to apologize if she had anything to do with his resignation, and offers her help if he ever needs it. Nadia later gives an impassioned speech to Aaron about how he was the first one to make it out of their small town, clawing his way up from nothing because he believed in making a difference. She gives him a challenge, that if he thinks he’s done that, then go home, but if he hasn’t, he needs to get back in the fight. After watching Tom’s Q&A at Town Hall, he is inspired to make a visit to Hookstraten about helping introduce him to a lobbyist, but she instead makes him a job offer to be her Chief Strategist.
We close with Tom joining his family at Camp David with pizza, and Hannah finding plans to blow up several other nationally important land-marks such as the Golden Gate Bridge and Statue of Liberty.
This episode was a solid piece of entertainment, keeping the stakes high with Hannah’s on-going investigation (glad to see Jason back!), while also setting up some promising new story-threads and conflicts, from Aaron working for a different party to Emily and the President, to Jack’s scheming political maneuverings. My favorite moments would have to be Nadia’s talk with Aaron about not giving up (they really felt like family, and I hope to see more of her in upcoming episodes), and that small moment with Chuck and Hannah where it seems like he might have some feelings for her. The next episode should be interesting!