Designated Survivor s1 ep 9

There’s been a security breach at the NSA: an employee named Gabriel Thompson (the always-reliable Brent Sexton) walks out of the building and straight into the Venezuelan Embassy, carrying a hard drive brimming with confidential material, which he starts to post on WikiLeaks.

Although Thompson’s motive seems at first to be to discredit members of the previous administration, a leaked document immediately presents POTUS with a little local difficulty: several years ago, Emily wrote a brief memo in which she called out one Senator Hazleton as a sex pest. Unfortunately Hazleton, who had retired before the bomb attack, is now back in a position of power as chair of the Appropriations Committee, whence he can frustrate the President’s agenda if the mood strikes him. And he wants Emily sacked, otherwise the mood will indeed strike him. What really baffles me about this storyline is that no-one, at any stage, wonders why Emily wrote the memo – is it, in fact, true? (Also why Hazleton worries about it so much, given that an admission, not just an allegation, of having perpetrated sexual assaults no longer seem to be a bar to election to the highest office in the land, never mind Senator of wherever-it-is.)

Anyway, since we know that Tom isn’t going to sack Emily, we simply need to wait patiently for her to be vindicated. And, once she is, there’s more good news for her: an arc which starts, this week, with Aaron remembering her coffee order, ends with him asking her out for dinner. I can’t honestly say that these two crazy kids have an insane sexual chemistry which simply won’t be denied, but they seem to like each other and, as we’ve said before, Unpopcult is always in favour of the ship, so good luck to them. And as well as getting his romantic life on track, Aaron is able to work out, through a leap of logic which I didn’t quite follow, what it is that Thompson actually wants. To drip-feed more information about the attack on the Capitol, is – of course – what he wants, with the added excitement of a face-to-face with POTUS.

Agent Q is already following up information provided by her drip-feeder, this week questioning Peter MacLeish’s former army buddies about the incident in Afghanistan which resulted in him being hailed as a war hero. She also seconds Chuck, a desk jockey, into helping out in the field. The clock’s ticking, because MacLeish’s confirmation hearings have started in Congress; Kimble Hookstraten is on manoeuvres which are intended to bring down MacLeish and Kirkman; and John Forstell (our old friend Reed Diamond), a kind of internal affairs guy, is investigating Deputy Director Atwood’s confession-that-no-one-quite-believes. So finding not one incriminating piece of evidence (MacLeish is a war criminal, not a war hero) but two (and he’s connected to Catalan) is enough to have her driving at breakneck speed back to MacLeish’s confirmation hearing, fully intending to start waving her two smoking guns around. Except, of course, we know she isn’t going to get there; and she doesn’t. My guess is that she’ll be fine: I’d be worried if I were Chuck, though. Dude looks expendable. An above-average episode, I’d say.


4 thoughts on “Designated Survivor s1 ep 9

  1. CJ Cregg December 15, 2016 / 10:37 pm

    I am ALL ABOUT Aaron and Emily. I think they’re adorable together so this ep got me very excited. “The President needs you. And he’s not the only one.” *intense into-you face* …. SQUEE! Oh FFS, Seth, could you have picked a less helpful time to interrupt?!

    I loved that Emily wasn’t settling for the “good employee” excuse either. You go girl!

    As far as the Senator worrying about the allegations is concerned, though, it seemed pretty realistic to me – there seems to be an increasingly prevalent tendency at the moment towards thin-skinned, egotistical, hypocritical politicians who are outraged when anyone accuses them of or criticizes them for anything, whether it’s true or not. (I think we can all come up with our own examples.) They’re infuriated by anyone – particularly women, or men they also consider below their station, but anyone really – presuming to question their behaviour. I don’t think the Senator thought for a minute that Emily would be proved right – he was just outraged a female staffer would dare to say anything about him at all, since he thinks he’s so important etc.

    I agree it is super – weird that neither PJB nor Aaron nor Seth ever asked Emily if it was true. And she never said it was off her own bat, either.

    On the Thompson front… PJB, dude. The guy starts to tell you about something incredibly important, incendiary and potentially dangerous to national security, gets interrupted and instead of you saying “Wait, law enforcement agents, I haven’t finished with this man yet, his lifetime incarceration can wait another hour”, you just let them cart him off? What is WRONG with you?

    Anyway. I love that Q’s tech geek is called Chuck. Nerd Herd forever!

    I hope Chuck makes it to the end of the season in one piece 😕

  2. Jed Bartlet December 15, 2016 / 11:06 pm

    Yeah, I’m sure the Senator would be concerned about the allegations. I was trying to be satirical… (Although the lack of interest in why Emily had said these things remains weird.) Agree about Thompson – no idea why POTUS wouldn’t ask that he hang around for a few minutes more.

    I’m happy for Aamily, but not quite feeling it.

  3. Kay20 March 1, 2017 / 2:36 pm

    Um…I’m starting to adore Chyck and want him with Hannah. What is wrong with me?

    • Kay20 March 1, 2017 / 2:36 pm

      Chuck not Chyck. Sigh.

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