‘Designated Survivor’ Recap and Review: “Original Sin”
Last night on Designated Survivor, a peaceful protest takes place in and outside the White House that personally involves President Kirkman, the hacking investigation continues, and Kirkman’s younger brother shows up.
First, the prison video of Tom visiting the drunk driver that inadvertently killed his wife goes viral and the American people criticize him for being too harsh because the guy’s already been convicted. At first, Tom decides to let the issue go until he realizes he can’t just not comment. At the end of the episode, he does damage control by telling the people that he’s not just the president but he’s also a human being who was grieving. But, he ends his statement by apologizing and saying that he wants to work harder to become a better person and a better president.
In the hacking investigation, we find out that the prison video was leaked due to a hack that was created by the same hacker behind the space hack that affects both Russia and the U.S. Agent Hannah Wells and Aaron keep a close eye on Damian in a safe house and try to get more information out of him and his past handler, who ends up not cooperating with them.
Then, someone breaks into the apartment and tries to kill Damian, but because the FBI was watching him he’s saved and they obtain a laptop. The only problem is they weren’t able to get anything off of it because a few minutes later, the battery is hacked and the laptop catches fire.
Whoever this hacker is, he definitely doesn’t want Damian to be alive which means that he knows more than he’s letting on but if he really does know something then why not give it up? Yes, he works for the Russians and not the U.S, but the hack affects both countries, so what does he gain from holding onto whatever information he’s holding onto?
Meanwhile, Tom’s younger and somewhat estranged brother, Trey, shows up as a trustee for Alex’s charity. Apparently, Trey left when their mother got sick but only did that because he thought that that was his way of helping. He apologizes for it and just wants for them to be a family again. Later, Tom realizes that it’s time for him to let his grudge go and they decide to move forward after they reminisce a little about Alex. God, I miss her.
In other news, a small group of people tours the White House only to stage an unexpected but peaceful demonstration. Apparently, the Ocheole people are a very small indigenous tribe that is being forced to relocate for the second time because the land is being developed for commercial use. Tom’s first architecture firm caused the tribe’s first relocation but it was done without his knowledge of the tribe’s protest against it.
Kirkman then contacts Billy, his old business partner and Alton, the man behind both developments, who’s also an old business associate. He refuses to give up development because it made him and Tom’s firm a lot of money and gave jobs to thousands of people. Eventually, the issue is resolved by bringing up an old treaty that is still applicable, therefore meaning that Alton legally can’t develop the land or force the tribe to leave.
It was nice to see how important Tom’s integrity is to him; he fought hard to resolve the issue, not only because he was at fault but because he doesn’t think that using the Ocheole people’s land for commercial use should’ve ever been done in the first place. But, it was rough finding out that Billy was the reason why he never knew the problem ever existed and knew that he’d never go through with the project if he’d known. It was especially important because it involved indigenous peoples, who have a history of being treated harshly by the American people and the fact that Tom cared about that matters.
Designated Survivor airs Wednesdays at 10 PM on ABC.
Samantha Nguyen covers entertainment news for MFST. You can follow her on Twitter @sngyenthai