What happens after a terrorist attack? People are scared and scared people do stupid things. ABC’s “Designated Survivor” series premiere saw Tom Kirkman, a low ranking Secretary, becomes the President of the country when a bomb in the Capitol during the State of the Union addresses killed all cabinet members. From resigning to becoming the President in one night, Kirkman (Kiefer Sutherland) certainly has his work cut out for him.
Chaos And Lawlessness
Season 1, episode 2 of the political thriller began with President Kirkman getting ready for his first day and meeting numerous people from numerous departments. Chaos erupted in the White House since different people had different opinions on how to react to the situation – should banks be closed? Should the President interrogate Muslim families?
Kirkman finally leaves the room and takes a breather. Later, he tells Aaron (Adan Canto) and Emily (Italia Ricci) to put together the entire presidential Cabinet since he hasn’t appointed a Chief of Staff yet.
While Sutherland’s character is dealing with the aftermath of the devastating attack on the Capitol that has, so far, killed more than 500 people, he gets an unexpected visitor.
Meet The Other Designated Survivor
There aren’t one but two designated survivors. Turns out that the Democrats chose their designated survivor and other one is chosen by the Republicans. The other designated survivor – Congresswoman Kimble Hookstraten (Virginia Madsen) -- pays Kirkman a visit and gives him a much needed pep talk – it’s his White House now.
You Can’t Protect Your Kids
Meanwhile, Tom’s wife Alex (Natascha McElhone) is being extremely supportive. She accompanies him to Capitol in order to show confidence but needs her son Leo (Tanner Buchanan) to ensure their young daughter Penny doesn’t turn on the TV. Turns out, Alex hasn’t told Penny what really happened and wants to keep her away from the horror of what happened.
Of course, you can’t protect your kids. Leo takes a phone call and Penny switches on the TV while he’s away. She learns everything about what happened from the small screen. When Alex returns, she is left consoling an afraid Penny.
Michigan In Shambles
Kirkman learns that the police of Michigan are arresting and brutally assaulting the Muslim community in Dearborn. The President calls Governor Royce to tell him they should stand out. However, the President has no authority over Royce who, shockingly, gave the state police the order to assault and arrest Muslim citizens of Dearborn. He won’t back down, even if the President says so.
Oh, by the way, Kirkman and his wife dropped by at the Capitol in order to show confidence but the visit is a total disaster. While Kirkman gives a moving speech at the site of the disaster, a teenager in Michigan named Danny Fayad was brutally assaulted and is now in the hospital fighting for his life. Later in Season 1, episode 2 of “Designated Survivor,” he dies. It’s time for some action now.
Finally A Win
Kirkman and his staff are unable to reach Governor Royce. But he finally does reach him thanks to Congresswoman Hookstraten. Sutherland’s character once again repeats his order to stand down. When he bluntly refuses to do so, Kirkman lies and tells him that he accidentally arrested undercover Homeland Security agents. If he doesn’t release the people he’s arrested, he is interrupting a federal investigation and the charge for that is criminal. Royce, fearing imprisonment, stands down.
The FBI is 75% certain that Al-Sakar is behind the attack, but Kirkman wants to only point the finger at someone they are 100% sure planned the attack. FBI Agent Hannah Wells (Maggie Q) feels this is someone other than the usual suspects. She feels they are just getting started because they haven’t yet taken credit for the attack.
While Hannah is trying to prove her theory, another survivor is found in the rubble.
“Designated Survivor” Season 1 airs Wednesdays at 10 p.m. EDT on ABC.