Designated Survivor: ‘One Year In’ Recap & Review

Last night, season two of Designated Survivor premiered on ABC. It takes place a year after the explosion and the capitol building’s now completely restored. If you want to know what happened at the end of last season, catch up with my review. Agent Hannah Wells’s in Amsterdam following a lead as she continues to look for Patrick Lloyd (AKA the one responsible for the capitol bombing). Plus, it looks like President Tom Kirkman’s finally comfortable working in the White House.

Full Recap

President Tom Kirkman (played by Kiefer Sutherland) addressing his staff with Seth (played by Kal Penn) and Emily (played by Italia Ricci) standing behind him

Currently, Kirkman’s chief of staff, Emily Rhodes, tries to convince him that he needs a political director. So, Lyor Boone, played by new cast member Paolo Costanzo, comes in. Tom, however, doesn’t feel the need for one because he doesn’t care about his popularity polls. Instead he just wants to stabilize the country. As a result, he decides to keep him on a trial basis only to hire him at the end of the episode. Even though Lyor comes off as a bit entitled. Then, news breaks that four Ukrainian nationalists hijacked a plane from Russian Air. Even worse, they’ve got 165 hostages on the plane, 68 of which are Americans. And one of them consists of Kirkman’s old friend.

Meanwhile, Agent Hannah Wells breaks into an Interpol agent’s apartment in Amsterdam. But in her defense, she initially thought he was on Patrick Lloyd’s payroll. But she doesn’t know that till later in the episode. There, she finds a cell phone with different coordinates of people on Lloyd’s payroll. All of which has something to do with the dark web. Then, she goes to one of the locations and finds a dead body among an array of displayed computers. Not long after, we find out Damian’s true identity and they decide to collaborate. Together, they find a hidden camera inside a clock and discover footage of Lloyd killing the man they found on the floor.

The Diplomatic Initiative

(from left) Emily (played by Italia Ricci_ and Seth (played by Kal Penn)

Due to the hostage situation, the White House wants Russia and Ukraine ambassadors to take something called, “the diplomatic initiative”. Mainly because the hijackers are both Ukrainian nations. However, both ambassadors refuse to negotiate and just want the situation to go away. The terrorists then ask Russia for $47 billion because they claim Russia stole from Ukraine’s treasury. And they’ll start killing people at midnight. Later, they discover that Russia paid Ukrainian separatists to create a pretext to instigate a war with Ukraine. Kirkman, angry, responds by putting both ambassadors in their place. And he even speaks to them in Russian, I might add. Unfortunately, we find out the plane accidentally caught on fire, killing two people. One of them being Kirkman’s former best friend, Russell.

Later, Chuck tells Hannah and Damian that Lloyd has a supercomputer somewhere. So, they go find the seller of that computer, hoping to track Lloyd that way. After convincing the seller to give up the information, they find the computer. But it’s been wiped. Besides finding the computer, they also find multiple passports for Lloyd with different names, nationalities, and languages.

Final Thoughts

Lyor (played by Paulo Costanzo) and Aaron (played by Adan Canto)

Overall, this episode of Designated Survivor doesn’t provide very many answers and instead asks a lot more questions. But the show’s always done that. The White House’s new political director, Lyor, comes off as an arrogant, observant, odd, but also very intelligent addition to the staff. It’ll be interesting to see how much more useful he’ll be in the future. At the end of the episode, Kirkman delivers yet another inspirational speech to his staff about how the American people deserve their public service. And that’s beside the fact that he doesn’t know the majority of them. But at the very least, it demonstrates his humanity in addition to his newfound authority.

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