Designated Survivor, episode five

Kirkman is in bed but he doesn’t seem to be getting much sleep. His phone rings and he’s told that it’s time. In the Oval, he gets briefed on the particulars of the forthcoming military strike by Chernow. Seth comes in and is offered an update but decides he doesn’t need to know. Kirkman tells him that he’s going to need to clear his schedule and Seth points out a medal ceremony that would look conspicuous if he was missing. Emily shows up with a positive update from Michigan. He tells her to get working on Congress.

He heads down to the command room and gives the order to strike but before they can go through with it they receive an update that Nassar has left the compound.

Atwood heads into work and finds Hannah following up on a lead. She’s trying to map out where room 105 would have been and tells him that if it pans out he’ll be the first to know. He says he is headed to the White House where a first responder and MacLeish are set to receive medals. She tags along.

Hookstraten corners Seth about Nassar and he plays dumb. She says that she needs to speak to the president and he ignores her. She says she’ll wait.

Atwood tells Hannah that she might have luck in her search if she talks to the architect of the Capitol.

Kirkman is pulled away for an update. They’ve tracked down Nassar but he’s surrounded by civilians, specifically doctors and children now. An airstrike isn’t a viable option. They have to send in the SEALs. They ask for the order.

It wouldn’t be a mission to take him out though. They want to apprehend him and bring him in alive, which makes the mission considerably more dangerous even is Chernow is optimistic. Kirkman

Emily and Aaron talk about her not being included that morning. She says that she understands she didn’t have clearance. She goes to walk away but he asks one more question. If she knows someone by the name of Jeffrey Meyers. She says no and he tells her he just heard it and thought he might know the Kirkmans before walking away. Emily makes a face that implies she lied to Aaron.

Hannah follows the Capitol architect out of his building and asks him about room 105. It turns out it was a hidden office, one of a few assigned to Congress members based on seniority. He doesn’t have the blueprints but the first responders on site might have digital copies.

Hookstraten stops in to see Kirkman. She asks why the command parking lot was full at 3 a.m. but he doesn’t tell her anything. She reminds him of his Constitutional duties to alert Congress of any plans to declare war.

Kirkman heads to the base to talk to Commander Max Clarkson (Dylan Walsh). He explains that these men are professionals that train all day every day for this sort of thing. They are ready. There are a lot of things they don’t know about the logistics. Whether or not the building is rigged, if there is local militia in the area, etc, etc but they are ready nonetheless and “may God have mercy on them because the United States Navy will not.”
Hannah stops to talk to an FBI tech about the blueprints. It turns out MacLeish was pulled from the rubble in the exact place room 105 would have been. She tells the tech to put together the office as best they can.

Clarkson introduces Kirkman to Chief Edward Marino (Alex Mallari Jr.) and Petty Officer John Denton (Robert Cormier) who will be in charge of the mission on the ground. Clarkson has no intention of losing any men. Kirkman orders him to kill Nassar if that’s the only way to get his men out safely.

Hookstraten and Hannah have a meeting because she is looking for the most recent blueprints for the Capitol since it was under construction. She says the bombers may have used the construction to place the bombs.

Kirkman tracks the flight of the SEALs across the Atlantic. He and Alex talk about how stressful the job is and she tells him to have faith in the SEALs.

Kirkman and Aaron head to the Oval where MacLeish and Hookstraten are there as well. He’s called them there to notify them of the SEAL mission. MacLeish offers his full support while Hookstraten says she supports the mission but will pull support and deny ever giving it if its a failure.

After they leave Aaron suggests that once Congress is resettled it might be better to support MacLeish for speaker of the house. Kirkman agrees and Aaron is about to go talk to him about it when he gets a call. One of the SEAL choppers went down.

The Pentagon gets in touch with Clarkson and he says that they can proceed as planned so Chernow gives the all clear and they go ahead with the mission.

Seth continues to dodge questions in the press room but the reporters are persistent. He uses talking points as much as he can.

Aaron and Emily visit with MacLeish to talk about potentially being speaker. He’s honored to be considered but he isn’t interested in the position.

Hookstraten catches up with Hannah and tells her about the new subcontractors used for the renovations to a first floor corridor, specifically room 105. She hands over the classified information with the contingency that she has to be kept updated on the investigation.

Emily stops in the residence to see Alex. Unforunately its not a social call. It’s to bring up Jeffrey Meyers, someone Alex dated nearly two decades ago. Emily says that Aaron was probably just being through with his job and that she will talk to him but Alex says that she will handle it.

Kirkman is sitting alone. Aaron comes in and updates him on the SEAL mission. They’ve secured the hospital perimeter. Aaron says he will keep Kirkman updated but he sent these men over there so he says he will track them. He’s invited MacLeish to sit in and observe the mission.

Hannah updates Atwood on her 105 investigation. All of the men that works on it are dead. It certainly makes MacLeish looks suspicious, especially once they look at the schematics. It turns out he built a bomb shelter in 105.

Nassar is ready and waiting when the SEALs turn up. He is holding someone hostage and tells the team to put down their guns. They opt for a flash bomb instead and the Pentagon effectively loses all contact.

Hannah implores Atwood to see the bigger picture. The only person to survive the bombing was the one who built a shelter in his office.

The team makes contact. They have Nassar but there was one casualty. Clarkson was killed in action.

Nassar and the terrorists were holding children hostage and when the SEALs moved in and he opened fire on them, Clarkson used his own body to shield the children. He was killed instantly. Kirkman feels guilty but Alex tells him not to.

Emily, Seth and Aaron can’t understand why MacLeish would turn down speaker. Kirkman comes in and he says he understands. Then he says that perhaps they offered the wrong spot. Maybe he should be vice president.

Aaron returns to his office to find Alex waiting there. She says that she had a relationship with Meyers and that he is in prison now and Kirkman knows all about it. Turns out this came up because Meyers is telling people in his prison that he is the father of her son. Leo might not be Kirkman’s son.

Atwood tells Hannah he believes her but they can’t tell anyone about this. They don’t know who they can trust and then need to figure this out.

Kirkman goes to pay his respects to Clarkson and talks to Marino is there. He tells him not to feel guilty but honor and respect because that’s what he deserved. He tells him not to question his decision because none of the SEALs did.

I’m glad that they got Nassar and that Hannah made progress in her investigation but it was kind of obvious that a SEAL was going to be lost on the mission. I thought it would be Marino but still, they talked about it so much it almost had to happen. I’m a lot more invested in the MacLeish storyline now so that will be interesting moving forward.

Designated Survivor is not on next week but airs Wednesdays at 10 p.m.

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