Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Round Two: Designated Survivor

Designated Survivor: Season 1, Episode 2 “The First Day” (B)

The big test of this show in week two was to see if it could live up to the excitement and hook of the first episode. I think it did in a few ways, namely in chronicling Tom’s struggles to take the reins while not being taken seriously by those who were supposed to be reporting to him and dealing with very problematic consequences of the attack on the American people and their inherent racism and xenophobia. I’m pleased to see that the dimly-lit conspiracy isn’t taking up too much time, and that instead we’re seeing more outright failures of the new president in his disastrous visit to the capitol and then his kindness and commitment to goodness shining through in his incognito return visit. The angling by both of Tom’s new number twos to be his chief of staff feels a bit petty, and I hope that we’ll have other players soon join the team who will spice things up and help to support Tom as he rebuilds his government. Virginia Madsen’s other designated survivor could have been a major villain, but she’s proven thus far to be a great ally, and if Googling Tom is the worst she’s done so far, I think he’s safe for now. I worry that the focus on Tom’s children, particularly his obnoxious son, may prove distracting, and I’d prefer to see his wife get more of a spotlight. Maggie Q’s Agent Watts really is this show’s Jack Bauer, the one agent who knows what’s going on who just doesn’t have the benefit of anyone listening to her.

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