Designated Survivor s1 ep 21


It’s season finale time and Agent Q is done waiting around, so she dispenses with last week’s big-ass cliffhanger in the most bad-ass fashion possible, saving everyone (including herself) with minimum fuss and maximum style. Hi-fives to Agent Q! As for Conspiracy Corps’ pesky attempt to frame her with schematics and anonymous calls and the like, the very relieved and absolutely outraged Reed Diamond’s got no time for that either. “Get these cuffs off her right now!” he orders anyone foolish enough to arrest his beloved Q for treason yet again. “She’s a suspect in a terrorist attack!” may have been an entirely understandable response in the circumstances, but “The hell she is! Let her go!” made me cheer and squee. Even if Qiamond is just a figment of my ardent shipper imagination.

Either way, having already done the “Agent Q is arrested and locked up as a criminal, but she’s actually a hero” thing earlier in the season, the show deserves credit for not wasting more than seconds on it this week. A quick call from the White House backing Reed Diamond up and, instead of heading to an interrogation room, he and Q are back at 1600 Penn having a confab with PJB and Moss about the Bad Billionaire problem. Reed Diamond’s come a long way but by-the-books habits die hard, so he’s still keen on playing things the slow, MacLeish way. As Moss points out somewhat brutally but inarguably, though, that didn’t exactly work out last time, so hurrah, it’s time for another FBI raid! Which the Bad Billionaire eludes very easily, much to everyone’s shock and surprise (and a very special “Dammit!” from Q herself) , although how they ever thought he could have missed the fleet of SUV’s roaring up his incredibly long driveway, I’m not sure.

The Bad Billionaire being in the wind is not the only problem though. Catalan’s on the loose again, with Mole Guy getting him into the Pentagon for phase whatever-it-is of Conspiracy Corps’ Evil plan. Agent Q’s having none of this either, though. The entire Pentagon staff may not be able to stop him, but this fool makes the rookie mistake of driving past the one woman who can and the fight is on! Although it’s a slightly disappointing one given that Q seems a little rusty – I guess she’s been through a lot over the past few episodes. After a somewhat prolonged tussle, she does eventually manage to send Catalan off to meet his maker, albeit not before he points out that it’s not over yet. Dun-dun-DUN.

Back on Pennsylvania Avenue, PJB is telling Abe Leonard exactly the same thing and strangely, given his usual attitude to the Administration, Abe Leonard is buying it, agreeing not to publish his big Jason Atwood scoop for now. Beyond “irritant for Seth,” I don’t think I really have a handle on Abe Leonard’s character, to be honest; I have a feeling the writers don’t either. But never mind that! While Leonard’s stepping back, Aaron’s stepping up; defending PJB on the talk show circuit, going on a special mission for him – I love Aaron. As does PJB, who’s bringing him back into the fold and making up a job for him whether he likes it or not. (SPOILER – he likes it a lot) YAY!

Not that we’re done with Conspiracy Corps quite yet. After a sweet but determinedly platonic Channah reunion – “Can I get you a…. hospital?” HEE! – king of the friendzone Chuck makes ABSOLUTELY SURE Q catches up on her emails and, whaddya know? As I’d hoped, poor old Jason did send her the goods on Mole Guy before leaving his camo hideout and heading to his doom, so Mole Guy’s caught, and YAY! Again! Time for PJB to fill his staff and the American people in on what’s been going on via a big TV-President-style speech with a symphony of patriotism and righteousness swelling in the background, and for everyone left to get their happy ending. Except poor Agent Q who’s lost both her boyfriend and her boss/best friend and, having saved the Republic (till next season), is finally allowed to take a rest and grieve. *wipes away tear*

And that’s that for a thoroughly entertaining first season. As we’ve all said, Designated Survivor is no West Wing and it’s too idealistic to be 24 either, but that’s no bad thing. This first run has been an incredibly fast, fun, bonkers ride, with a genuine, comforting decency at its heart. The initial focus on grating First Family storylines was a mistake – I note with foreboding that the season ends with the awful Alex and kids back to stay – but the political drama/conspiracy thriller balance worked well for the most part, and the rest of the characters and performances were great, with particular credit due to Kiefer Sutherland, Maggie Q, Kal Penn and Virginia Madsen for adding something very special to proceedings. I hope they’re all back for season two. I certainly plan to be.


4 thoughts on “Designated Survivor s1 ep 21

  1. Jed Bartlet June 24, 2017 / 12:38 am

    I felt a little deflated, I must admit. All in all I’m not sure the post-hiatus episodes were as strong as the first part of the season, maybe because I never quite got a handle on the conspiracy. But, yes, I was as delighted as you that the show took no more than a few seconds to get Q out of the cuffs – I had a horrible feeling that one of the cliffhangers was going to be Q awaiting trial for treason – and it was all good. I was kind of hoping it would be a little better, though, after the first few episodes.

  2. CJ Cregg June 25, 2017 / 6:58 pm

    Aw it did dip a bit from that amazing first ep, but overall I really enjoyed the season. The finale tied things up a bit too easily mind you. Wham bam, massive intricate multi-state network which managed to destroy the entire US government is just destroyed in one ep? I know Agent Q’s good but….

  3. Jed Bartlet June 26, 2017 / 11:40 pm

    I really enjoyed it as well, don’t get me wrong, and I’ll definitely sign up for season 2.

  4. Kay20 October 28, 2017 / 2:49 am

    I’m with Jed on this one – oddly deflating final episode which felt heavy handed. I will also be back – but this was one of my least favorite episodes – likely due to the lack of interplay with the staff. Looking forward to that next season. And less speechifying. That was just…a little too rainbows and unicorns.

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