Designated Survivor: The Traitor – Double Trouble (Recap/Review)


President Kirkman manages to survive the mini revolt of the nation’s governors in last week’s episode. Designated Survivor this week follows the death of Nassar in captivity.  The question still remains as to who killed the man and the FBI are struggling to vet the new vice president nominee and find who poisoned Nassar.

After a press conference where he honor’s national hero Brad Weston, Deputy Director Atwood goes to brief the president on MacLeish. The briefing stops before it begins as MacLeish is in the room. Ritter changes tact when he sees Macleish in the room.

He tries to signal to the president that he cannot speak with the congressman in the room but Kirkman misses it.  The FBI have information that links MacLeish with the bomb blast.

Coach Brad Weston has been arrested by the Russians on charges of smuggling drugs into their country.  This news comes on the heels of Alex Kirkman’s ex claiming that he is Leo’s biological father.   The president has double the headache with journalist Lisa Jordan asking for a comment on the paternity issues and Weston being held by the Russians.

The president then learns that the coach is a CIA asset. Kirkman manages to pull off a three-way deal with the Russians and the Saudi Arabian ambassador.

Meanwhile, Wells hunts down a CIA pal and asks about Catalan, the name given up by Nassar before he died.  The only thing she can find out from her contact is that Catalan is an American mercenary.

Alex meets with her ex, Jeffery, who is in prison.  She tells him to stay away from Leo and the convict tells her he wants the new president to let him out with “time served.”

MacLeish drops off a load of files to Atwood to help with the background check needed before he can take the position of vice president. After the congressman’s visit Atwood’s son goes missing. Atwood goes to search for his son.

Alex tells Tom what Jefferey wants and it upsets him that Leo could be hurt by all this.

After Kirkman pulls off the three-way deal, Weston is a no-show.  After checking, the CIA find that Weston never got on the plane. The coach, and national hero, is a double agent.  Kirkman has a word with the Russian ambassador and lets him know the next time he will not be fooled so easily.

Seth Wright speaks with Jordan about not printing the story about Leo. He offers up the story of Brad Weston being a double agent for the Russians.

Atwood is approached by a woman in black who shows him a video of his son eating an ice cream.  She tells him he knows what to do. It is obvious that she works for MacLeish.

Hannah Wells meets with her CIA contact again and this time he offers to help her. Later, when she goes to her car, she finds the door open and a CIA file on Catalan on the driver’s seat.

The main problem with Designated Survivor is that Kirkman is, for all intents and purposes, an “everyman” who is clearly out of his depth. He is struggling to take charge and he has plenty of help from those around him.

Kirkman is the fictional version of former president Gerald Ford, without the innate klutziness that Ford exhibited.  President Ford was a leader who came across as an “everyman” also. He inherited the presidential mantle when President Nixon resigned his presidency rather than be impeached.

So Ford and Kirkman share having the presidency thrust upon them.

Designated Survivor benefits from having Sutherland play the new president. The storyline, so far, has a vice president hopeful who is not at all what he seems, sort of like the double agent coach.

The series airs Wednesdays on ABC.


Author: Mike's Film Talk

Former Actor, Former Writer, Former Journalist, USAF Veteran, Former Member Nevada Film Critics Society

2 thoughts on “Designated Survivor: The Traitor – Double Trouble (Recap/Review)”

  1. I just deleted the DVR schedule for this. (12/11/16) It simply drags on and on, with no real suspense, just irritation. Blah writing and/or direction, plus soap opera acting.


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"I hold it, that a little rebellion, now and then, is a good thing, and as necessary in the political world as storms in the physical."

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