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By on May 11, 2017


By Kirsty Pearce


As we reach the end of Designated Survivor’s first season, the penultimate episode provided: one small victory that then backfired in regard to the conspiracy, Abe Lenard’s long-gestating story finally coming to fruition, and Tom dealing with the heavy aftermath of that while also trying to navigate his first NATO summit.

Still on Air Force One, Moss has a conversation with Tom about the nuclear arms de-escalation initiative mentioned last episode, which is to be put forward at the coming summit for consideration, and Tom shares the concerns he has when it comes to his credibility on the international stage. Moss reassures him, highlighting once again the mutual respect that has spring up between the two men over the second half of this season, with Moss coining the name “The Professor & The Politician.” After they’ve landed, Moss gives him a run-down of the key people involved in the nuke planning group, which include the French & U.K prime ministers, both of whom are women, which is awesome.

Unfortunately, before the summit is officially convened, Seth arrives with a newspaper containing Abe’s story about the government accusing the wrong people of committing the capital bombing on the front page, which does exactly the right amount of damage to his credibility as you might expect. It also causes Moss to get very angry with Tom for not trusting him with the truth, along with the fact that he came out of retirement to help Tom, and is now on the chopping block with him. Sure enough, the issue is brought up at the first convening of the summit, with the French and U.K ministers expressing the most doubt about being able to trust Tom and his word. In the end, the nuke planning group decides against putting the initiative back on the table. However, in a later conversation between Tom and the French minister, he reiterates the US’s determination to go ahead with negotiations with Russia. Impressed with his idealism, she opens the possibility to continue the conversation next summit. Tom also gets a call from Alex, who put has two and two together after reading Abe’s story. She re-confirms that she’s always on his side, and offers her help.

Whitaker receives a call from Lloyd who is concerned about Abe’s mention of Catalan on a TV interview, and tells him he’s served his purpose, which, as everyone knows, is code for kill him. Abe is called into his editor’s office, where someone from legal is waiting who tells him the FBI has reached out about talking to him, and although he is vehemently against it, they convince him, and in the editor’s case, semi-emotionally black-mail him, into going.

In regards to Hannah’s predicament this week, there is commotion on the ship from military-type people as she sneaks around, spotting suspicious items being loaded onto a fishing boat. She manages to get off a distress call to the coast guard before being re-captured. Catalan later informs her of Jason’s death by throwing his wedding ring in front of her, and then knocks her out with a needle. Back at FBI headquarters, Mike brings Chuck in as they need all hands on deck, and he is able to get a digital finger-print from the person who has been deleting the Browning Reed files, and build a trace to track back to the traitor. However, they only have one shot at this, as there are just 5 files left. Unfortunately, just as they get a hit, Chuck discovers Whitaker cloned his fingerprint, which means they are more or less back to square one.

John gets a phone call from the coast guard concerning Hannah, and he leaves to liaise with them in person while they search for the boat. They finally find it docked off the port of Baltimore, and while special forces take control of the boat with ease, they find no Hannah. We discover this is because she is in the back of a van filled with explosives. When she wakes up and climbs out, making the discovery she is in the parking lot of the FBI building, she sets off a 3-minute timer. Numerous agents then surround her with guns, which makes for a pretty good cliff-hanger.

In other story-lines, Emily runs into Aaron who is having a drink with his cousin, and learns that after Hookstraten changed roles, he elected not to follow her. This decision leaves possibilities open for where Aaron could go next, but I am disappointed it probably means we won’t see Hookstraten on a regular weekly basis anymore. She contributed a lot of wisdom and bad-ass moments to the show that didn’t involve violence, which just makes them even more impressive, and provided for an interesting character study.

Mainly focused on moving things around for next week’s expected explosive finale, this episode felt a little slow in places. Let’s hope the season ender proves worthy of all this build-up.

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