Designated Survivor s1 ep 14


I know the show’s completely bonkers but I love just how fast Designated Survivor has become, battering through plot twists and storylines like tv’s going out of fashion. (In terms of network tv, anyway, I suppose it is.)

The show’s “get it done quick-smart, no hanging around” mood continues this week; other, less self-aware dramas would have had Agent Q and Reed Diamond dawdle along for weeks following Aaron and Ari from Nikita about the place while looking – not very hard – for leads and smoking guns and such, but neither Q nor PJB is down with the dawdling, yo. No sooner has Langdon frogmarched the bewildered Aaron into a church, than Q and co are swarming in mid-service (good luck spinning that one, Seth) and frogmarching him back out again; the poor guy’s President-mandated “personal time” is turning out to be significantly more stressful than he anticipated.

Off to QHQ we go then, so things can get worse for Mr Shore before they get better; “We weren’t tailing Langdon” says Q, ominously. Oh, dude. The cent penny drops, and so does Aaron’s face, as he realises why Emily’s stopped snogging him and the boss’s locked him out of all his accounts. Langdon is anxious to deal, however – like I said, no hanging around – so Aaron helps set up a slightly underwhelming secret rendezvous, and we all head back to QHQ for another round of “Whose Conspiracy Is It Anyway?”

Reed Diamond’s main job this week is to hold the coats frown and fold his arms, while Q asks the, er, q’s, so she softens Ari up before letting Kiefer Sutherland yell at him a bit – instead of producing a blowtorch and flambéeing his head like he would have done pre-Inauguration. Anxious as Ari is to please, though, he can’t actually tell them much more than we already know, so the few tidbits we get are mildly gratifying but not that surprising: Janice from Stalker does long cons as well as child abduction, Aaron is innocent and Team Treason specifically picked JB to be the Designated Survivor.

One at a time, then. Janice: uh-uh, and? How’s about some facial recognition? DMV records? Traffic cams? Or maybe borrow Kalinda’s NSA databases from Blindspot. Whatevs. When the writers want Janice identified, she will be, and the speed they’re moving at, I’m guessing it’ll be fairly soon.

The Aaron situation may take longer to fix, however. Sure, Q’s done exactly what I wanted her to – hi-fives! – and cleared him, but dude is still a bit miffed. “My President, my closest friend in the White House – both think I’m capable of treason,” he snits, not unreasonably, before (Dammit!) handing in his resignation, although that seems to be more motivated by loyalty than pique.

PJB tries to talk him out of it but Aaron’s not hanging around either; the press know he was at QHQ all day, it’s not a good look for the President’s Chief of Staff and he gots to go. “It is my primary job to protect you, even from your most generous instincts” he says, before Emily interrupts what was shaping up to be quite a sweet, if sad, scene and manages to both cut short PJB’s consoling remarks and speed up her ex/non-boyfriend’s surprisingly downbeat exit from the building: no farewell drinks? And certainly no farewell smooch. Will nobody think of me the shippers? HURRUMPH.

Of course, PJB’s having something of a challenging day himself, with smarmy ex-President Moss sliding around like he owns the place and telling him what’s what, while the present incumbent has to decide whether saving fifteen Americans is a good enough reason to allow a genocidal warlord to slaughter millions of other people instead. Luckily, though, the writers find a third way – urban planning for the win! – and we’re spared the thought of contemplating PJB being anything other than a Really Good Guy. Mrs JB, however? She’s the only one bucking the show’s trend by continuing to hang around like an expensive candle which you can’t throw away because someone gave you it for Christmas, but you’re worried about lighting because it might burn your house down. Last week’s “Cheerio, I’m off to Camp David with the kids!” has turned into “Hello, I’m leaving the kids at Camp David with my mother, who, by the way, is RUSSIAN although I’ve never mentioned it before, and coming back pronto to get all up in your business again!” Which, come on now, is totally meant to be a nod to all the real-life Russia-related drama in US politics and another clue that Alex is very possibly up to no good. Isn’t it? Why did Team Treason pick JB? Maybe his wife’s a ranking member.


3 thoughts on “Designated Survivor s1 ep 14

  1. Elazar Abrahams April 6, 2017 / 2:37 am

    Great review! I never got past the second episode but I’ll get around to it eventually…

    • CJ Cregg April 8, 2017 / 12:59 pm

      Thanks Elazar 😀 You should – the scenes with the kids are annoying, but apart from that, the show is great fun. I love it!

  2. Jed Bartlet April 30, 2017 / 6:41 pm

    The important takeaway here is that President Jack Bauer and Nikita are now working together. This makes me happy.

    I’m intrigued by Janice picking PJB to be the designated survivor. I’m guessing it can’t be as simple as him not being up to the job. Such as the Russian mother-in-law the writers have just thrown into the equation.

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