by Doward Wilson
If you haven’t yet seen the first ten episodes there are some spoilers.
Tom Kirkman (played by Kiefer Sutherland) is the U.S. Secretary of Housing and Urban Development. On the night of the State of the Union address, he is named the Designated Survivor and is sequestered. When multiple explosions demolish the Capitol building, killing the President, Vice-President, all the other members of the Cabinet and every member of Congress, Tom is sworn in as the President. Moving swiftly to contain the damage and take control of the situation, Tom is surprised to find that the GOP also had a Designated Survivor in the person of Kimble Hookstraten (played by Virginia Madsen), a Republican Congresswoman.
During the first ten episodes, we see Tom struggle to do a job he wasn’t prepared for and never wanted, but with the staunch support of his wife Alex (played by Natascha McElhone) he pushes on. We see the Governor of Michigan condoning civil rights abuses and denying the authority of the President by setting himself up as his own supreme authority, which end with him being arrested for treason. We watch as General Harris Cochrane, the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, decides that Tom isn’t capable of running the country and defies a direct order that results in his being fired. Tom calls a Governors’ Summit to start the process of electing a new Congress, only to have a sniper attack interfere.
In the meantime, we have FBI agent, Hannah Wells (played by Maggie Q) assigned to investigate the attack. She soon has suspicions that the attacks are not over and that evidence pointing to a known terrorist group has been faked. When a survivor, Congressman Peter MacLeish, is found among the rubble he is hailed as a hero and gets a nod to become Vice-President. Hannah soon has suspicions that Peter’s survival wasn’t an accident, and the deeper she digs the more lies she encounters. She is soon fighting to stay alive and get word to Congresswoman Kimble and the President about her findings and suspicions.
ABC delivers one of the best political dramas that I have watched in several years. The cast delivers remarkable performances scene after scene. Kiefer Sutherland does an outstanding job of showing us Tom Kirkman’s doubts and fears as he continues to push forward against all odds to give us a united country. This show delivers everything that you can ask for in entertainment.
Designated Survivor returns from a winter break on March 8. You can watch episodes and learn more on their website.