Tom Kirkman has officially shed his mild-mannered and diplomatic personality now that he is the President of the United States. Last week on ABC’s “Designated Survivor,” Kiefer Sutherland’s Kirkman gave a difficult interview and refused to attack Al-Sakar without solid proof that they are behind the Capitol bombing. This week, however, the President and Commander-in-Chief took the authoritative approach.
Here’s what happened in Season 1, episode 4, titled “The Enemy”:
Governor Royce Continues To Be A Problem
Peace in Michigan didn’t last long. After Kirkman confessed in the interview that he was fired moments before becoming the designated survivor, Governor Royce resumed arresting the Muslim community in Dearborn. He even went on national television and said that he doesn’t support the new President.
Emily (Italia Ricci) steps up and advises the President to send her to Michigan to talk to Royce and observe that peaceful protest that the Muslim community would be doing. However, as soon as she lands in Michigan, she is surrounded by policemen and Royce arrives at the airport. He tells her in no uncertain terms that he won’t back down or talk to the President. Also, he forbids Emily from stepping outside the airport.
Kirkman wants Royce to come to Washington, D.C. But he won’t leave his state. Even the National Guards refuse to arrest Royce.
Fortunately, Emily has a plan. While the cameras are rolling at the airport and Royce is giving a speech, she tells the Muslim protestors to protest at the airport. That way, Royce can’t leave the airport and his policemen cannot hit the protestors without it being captured by the camera. With nowhere to go, Royce caves in and goes to D.C. with Emily.
However, once he arrives at the airport, the President arrests him for treason. Emily is shocked since the Kirkman she knew during his time as a HUD Secretary would go for a diplomatic approach with a politician. He’s changing.
The General Is Fired
Ever since “Designated Survivor” premiered, General Cochrane (Kevin McNally) has been itching to launch nuclear missiles and declare war. Episode 4 saw the General’s men confirm terrorist Majid Nassar’s location to Algeria. This confirmation was sent by an American agent who has been taken as a prisoner by the Al-Sakar group.
The General wastes no time in telling the President that they must declare war on Algeria and launch nukes now. But Kirkman doesn’t want to risk killing an American agent. He tells the General to stand down. And of course he doesn’t! He sends American forces into the Algerian airspace without the move being authorized by the President.
Kirkman is furious and fires him. However, after the General gets fired, he learns that the American agent was killed by Al-Sakar. He appoints someone as the new General and tells him, “Prepare us for war.”
You Scratch My Back, I’ll Scratch Yours Later
Meanwhile, the First Lady, Alex Kirkman (Natascha McElhone) is having problems of her own. In “Designated Survivor” Season 1, episode 4, FLOTUS gets a call from a former client, an immigrant named Maria who has two children, and she informs her ex-lawyer that she is getting deported for no good reason.
Alex goes to her old office where all of her workload is handled by other lawyers. However, since the courts are closed due to the Capitol bombing, no attorney can file anything. Which means, Maria is stuck because Homeland Security is taking advantage of the closed courts to deport immigrants.
FLOTUS goes to Congresswoman Kimble Hookstraten (Virginia Madsen) to ask her for a favor – don’t deport her client. But the Congresswoman will only do the favor if she owes her one too. We have a feeling she is certainly going to ask for that favor from Alex very soon. And it may not be a good one.
Seth Wright Gets A Promotion
Meanwhile, the current Press Secretary is stammering and is unable to handle a room full of hungry journalists. Speech Writer Seth Wright (Kal Penn) tries to coach him but it’s no use. In the end, Seth is forced to step up and answer all questions from the journalists when the stammering Press Secretary suddenly bolts.
Chief Of Staff Aaron Shore (Adan Canto) offers him the job of Press Secretary but he declines it. It’s only when the President himself requests him to take the job that he accepts it.
FBI Agent Hannah Wells Gets A Call
Meanwhile, FBI Agent Hannah Wells (Maggie Q) investigates Congressman Peter MacLeish (Ashley Zukerman), the only survivor of the bombing. He claims to have left the seat to call his wife and his story checks out.
Wells, who is still grieving the loss of the Senator she loved, decides to apply for a transfer. However, before “Designated Survivor” episode 4 ends, Wells gets a mysterious call from an unknown number asking her to find room 105.
“Designated Survivor” airs Wednesdays at 10 p.m. EDT on ABC.