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S01.E05: The Mission

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Realizing his attempts at diplomacy with Algeria have failed, President Kirkman makes the difficult decision of sending Navy SEALs on a mission that will define his presidency. Meanwhile, as the investigation into the Capitol bombing continues, Agent Hannah Wells discovers more secrets than answers.

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In tonight's episode, President Unprepared learns that sailors are not all cold eyed killers, that they have families and hopes and dreams.   And that they can die in battles he sends them into.    But then one of those brave sailors gives him the patriotic speech about honor and doing your job.    All is right with the world.

In other news, the sole person to survive the bombing is being offered more power, because the FBI hasn't bothered to tell the president about the bomb proof shelter in the capital.   Of course the FBI is surprised there is a bomb proof shelter inthe capital.   Who would have thunk it?

Then there is some drama about the First Kids.   Not the family drama I would have expected.   I more suspect something with Presidential Adivsor Naive (oh wait, she said she was a big girl this week) and the President.   It explains why she gets so hurt everytime he leaves her out of something.  

Yeah, this show is starting to annoy me.   It could do so much more with the premise.   But it's one Hollywood cliche about Washington after another.  

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Show's really starting to lose me.  I was only slightly surprised that the SEAL on his honeymoon wasn't the guy to get killed, but I knew somebody was, and that President Bauer would moon over it.  They're military guys, they sign up for this, it's tragic but in no way bizarre that somebody died.  Weird to see the President has plenty of time for gallivanting around during the worst crisis in our history.

Totally called the 'survivor guy had a bomb shelter' on week one, when the previews showed there was one survivor.   Didn't call that it would be this easy to figure out the guy had a bomb shelter.  This whole plan is ridiculously stupid and unnecessary.  And are we to believe that him being asked to be VP was part of the plan all along?  If this turns out to be the intent all along, I'm gonna call bullshit - no way they the Conspirators could have foreseen this happening.  

Or more accurately, I may have to leave others to call bullshit.  Seriously thinking of deleting this onepass from my tivo.  This is turning into West Wing for morons.  

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I liked the "dammit".

I also laughed at Kirkman telling his wife all about the classified SEAL mission to capture the guy. All I could think was that even Hillary Clinton didn't tell Bill about the mission to kill Bin Laden.

Ambivalent about the family drama, but glad it didn't involve the kids onscreen.

They better not draw out the sheer stupidity of not informing Kirkman of the business with room 105. I could maybe see it justified by "maybe Kirkman was in on it", but if that's the case, they need to explicitly state their rationale, otherwise they just look dumb.

I won't buy for a minute that this guy planned that he would be offered the VP position. I could maybe buy that his rejecting the speaker role with unconditional support of the president is all an act, but again, I'd need to see his rationale and know his endgame for that.

Still not sure about this show. I feel like it's not quite living up to what I had thought, but I'm not sure what exactly I had expected. I would like to give them a bit of a chance to complete some of their storylines before discarding the show entirely, though.

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I hope the Congressman being offered the VP position is a long con - to figure out the endgame. The old keep your friends close and your enemies closer.

People who sign up for military service know exactly what can happen to them in a mission. They serve their country at great personal cost.

Room 105 will need to be brought to the President's attention.

I'd like the show to be like the West Wing - but it would need Sorkin as the writer.

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What if Congressman McLeish was chosen to survive, but he's not in on it and doesn't know why? 

I'm sure this has been mentioned, but there had to be other Congressmen, etc. who simply didn't go to the SOTU.

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Hee. I liked Kirkman's 'Son of a Bitch!' It was like old CTU times.

Can't believe they went there with paternity kid drama with the son. He's the Kirkman kid I want less of unless they give him a personality transplant.

I adore VM as Hookstraten who has her finger in alllll the pies and being set up as a long term heavy (which should mean she's ultimate gonna be a Kirkman fanwoman). Kirkman needs to get over getting irked that she's holding him accountable and being a thorn in his side. Checks and balances, Mr. President. 

Part of me wishes that Penny Johnson had been cast as Hookstraten just for the sheer awesomeness of Sherry Palmer vs Jack Bauer for America. She'd be just as believable as a diplomatic political power playing Senator where you're never sure if she's being devious or just knows how to work the game. She still could show up as a Governor or newly appointed Senator. Fingers crossed.

It's too easy that MacLeish looks this guilty. Yeah, he seemed shifty in the room but then it was a tense operation and everyone was tense. We also don't know if he may have been knocked out and put in the room with no clue what's going on or perhaps is a double agent of some kind. Feel like there has to be some kind of twist regarding his guilt.

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26 minutes ago, merylinkid said:

Yeah, this show is starting to annoy me.   It could do so much more with the premise.   But it's one Hollywood cliche about Washington after another.  

I'm starting to get that way as well.  I really hoped this would be better.

 

18 minutes ago, henripootel said:

I was only slightly surprised that the SEAL on his honeymoon wasn't the guy to get killed, but I knew somebody was, and that President Bauer would moon over it.  They're military guys, they sign up for this, it's tragic but in no way bizarre that somebody died.  Weird to see the President has plenty of time for gallivanting around during the worst crisis in our history.

I was expecting it to be the guy with his first kid on the way.  As soon as POTUS insisted on going to visit the SEAL team before the mission, I knew something like that was going to happen.  It made me think of a line from The West Wing, when Leo says his daughter names the lobsters in the tank in a seafood place, so he can't eat them.

 

7 minutes ago, Frozendiva said:

People who sign up for military service know exactly what can happen to them in a mission. They serve their country at great personal cost.

You don't want to say "shit happens" but shit happens.  When I was in the Air Force, it wasn't even during a shooting war, and I had friends die in the line of duty.  It comes with taking the oath and putting on the uniform - I knew that when I was pulling Alert and the horn went off, I might have a front row seat to the end of the world.

A bunch of things bothered me, both big and little.  As I mentioned, POTUS insisting on visiting the SEAL team like that - everyone is trying to act casual and pretend nothing is going on, and the President makes a little field trip in the middle of the day.  I wasn't as bothered by Kirkman talking to his wife about the mission.  During the Michigan thing, she acted as an advisor, helping him work things out, and it's not like she is going to discuss it with anyone else.  I really hate this storyline about who is really the father of their son...we don't have enough drama going on, we need that too?

I'll have to take their word for it about the Capitol plans being classified, and only members of Congress can authorize their release - sounds crazy, but who knows.  I was really annoyed by the Congresswoman meeting the FBI agent on a park bench somewhere and handing over a plain manila envelope.  That doesn't look shady, does it?

And one final nitpick - when they first describe the mission to the President, they say the team will fly in on a C-5 Galaxy.  That's unlikely, especially if they are going into an unimproved airfield someplace.  Then, in the scenes at the base, both before and after the mission, they did show a C-17, which would have been the appropriate aircraft to use for the mission.

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21 minutes ago, Amy Beth said:

What if Congressman McLeish was chosen to survive, but he's not in on it and doesn't know why? 

I'm sure this has been mentioned, but there had to be other Congressmen, etc. who simply didn't go to the SOTU.

They said several times that Hookstraten and McLeish were the only ones left of Congress. It's been a while so others would have come forward by now. McLeish could have turned down the speaker of the House post to keep a low profile and avoid the kind of exhaustive public vetting that comes with a high-profile position, if he has something to hide.

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TPTB of the show realistically conveyed the drawn out pressure and tension of the military maneuver, but that is not my idea of entertainment. I now fear they will also spend way too much time on a DNA test or whatever with the First Son paternity drama. 

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I loved the first two episodes of this. Absolutely loved it. Now, not so much.  I feel like they're downplaying the whole "our entire government was nearly wiped out thing." It's been fifteen years and we're still not as we were before 9/11. Why is everything so status quo in Designated Survivor land after only what, a month? It's not realistic. I'd much rather see him try to bring the country together as all hell breaks loose (see the old CBS show Jericho) then some soap opera-y paternity drama. More storylines for the First Son is not something this show needs at all. 

Good point someone made above about the FBI not telling the president what they know. I hadn't thought of that and now I'm even more annoyed.

Grr.

Still, I'm not ready to throw in the towel just yet. I love the cast and I think it has the potential to be a really great show. They just better hurry up and get there.

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The pacing of the show improved. And after the horrible no good days of President Kirkman since he's been in office, I was genuinely and pleasantly surprised that the mission succeeded. A win! I, too, was certain that Honeymoon or Future Dad would be killed off, I didn't expect the commander to bite it. It was good to see Dylan Walsh again, albeit briefly. And they got the guy alive, interesting.

The political shenanigans and the investigation come up together nicely. I don't know if McLeish planned that he might be offered VP in case he refused speaker, but it's an interesting possibility. I don't know if he's innocent and unambitious, pressured by the bad guys/a puppet, a bad guy himself or if he's simply taking advantage of the opportunity to further his career; and I like that I don't know. I facepalmed at the possible disaster in the making with him as the VP, but with what Team Kirkman knows it's actually a smart move. The guy's a hero and the administration desperately needs popularity, his ambition to serve certainly appeals to Kirkman (excellent choice of persona if it's a play) so on the paper it would make them a good team.

Emily indeed has a good poker face, I didn't think she had it in her but after all she's working in Washington. Team Kirkman, and Kirkman and his team, are still my favorite part of the show. I would love Admiral Chernow to join them if only for a post-crisis drink, M.Williamson and K.Sutherland have  such an easy chemistry. Aaron seems definitely on the "good side". Love his banter with Seth.

I like that Hannah and Atwood are now on the same page but yes, inform POTUS right now (of course they didn't, McLeish has to be named VP first). They begin to integrate Maggie Q and it's a good thing. I didn't expect that it would be through Kimble and it was another good surprise. Hannah promised updates to KImble and her boss forbade her to tell anyone. Uh-oh.

On the negative side, the show tries too hard to have a "heart". K.Sutherland is an actor able of conveying guilt and doubts without any long-winded "very special" preachy scenes. The moments when Kirkman didn't speak were more powerful to me than when he verbalized his dilemma. I also wish that DS dropped its ambition to be both a political thriller and a family show. The last part just doesn't work for me. It was a good move to send the kids to Offscreenville, and unless the character brings something else than soapy paternity drama I now think that Alex should join them.

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When I read up on what exactly Top Secret compartmentalized means for Madam Secretary a while ago, I learned that, apparently, POTUS has access to whatever information he wants to have access to. So, I would think that POTUS would be all over the FBI demanding updates as soon as they find something since the entire government was wiped out. Keeping the bomb shelter from POTUS just sounds stupid and contrived and not like something that could actually happen.

I understand that some things need to be done for drama but some things are just too obviously done for drama and consequently take away from a show's credibility.

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I know Dylan Walsh was the big "get" for all the Marine scenes, but I enjoyed seeing Four/Ryo from Dark Matter, as the other solider who had the child on its way.  Not exactly the most original backstory, to say the least.  At least he didn't die with that backstory; even after they made it back, I kept waiting for something to fall on him or something.  But they should have just gone all out and had Dylan Walsh's character be "a few days away from retirement", so they could have gotten all of the cliches taken care of, in one episode.

I get that Kirkman is suppose to be a naive good-doer and I can certainly understand being upset over what happened, but he still had to see that the mission could have gone a lot worse, so him going completely into "I fucked up!  I'm not worthy!" mode was a bit much.  Especially doing in front of so many other people (not just solider guy, but when he started panicking and doubting himself in front of the admiral, MacLeish, etc. when they lost the camera feed); not exactly building up confidence there, Kirkman.

The show sure wants us to think MacLeish is part of whoever blew up the Capital.  Hannah apparently finds proof that the room he was in had made into a bomb shelter pretty much, and everyone who worked on it is now dead for mysterious reasons.  Sounds like she even convinced Malik Yoba's character too, but I'm still wondering if there will be more to that character too.

I am so not interesting on the idea that Kirkman's son might not actually be his son, because that would require him to be on screen again, and I'm perfectly fine with him remaining off screen as much as possible.

Seth already seems to have mastered how to avoid answering any of the presses' questions.

I still hope they keep Hookstraten as a character who challenges Kirkman but is good, but I worry they are setting her up to be evil.

I'm still enjoying this show, but I still wish they would actually focus more on them trying to rebuild the government, because I would think things would still be in more disarray, with almost all of the Senate and Congress gone.  Weren't Emily and Aaron suppose to be finding potential candidates for these positions? 

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17 minutes ago, thuganomics85 said:

I would think things would still be in more disarray, with almost all of the Senate and Congress gone.  Weren't Emily and Aaron suppose to be finding potential candidates for these positions? 

That would be the responsibility of the individual states. Filling Cabinet positions would fall on the CoS.

I hope Kirkman learned that it's unwise for a civilian to get too close to soldiers you're sending into battle -- like Leo McGarry's lobsters mentioned above. Or Chester.

It seemed like Aaron and Alex were silently acknowledging it as a given that First Son belongs to the ex.

There is an argument for keeping the President in the dark about some things. It's called plausible deniability. Or it's merely to create dramatic tension

In DS time, I think it's been a week or less since the attack. In any case, it's bizarre that there are no signs of chaos or national disarray -- and the next ep features a state ball??? That'll reassure the masses, all right!

All in all, this is definitely Washington Lite, and not just because there's no Congress, a line drawing where there should be a Diego Rivera mural.

Who to trust? To borrow from the "X-Files," "Trust no one!"

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Every time they mention a perimeter I laugh.  Sorry Kiefer, we learned on 24 that a perimeter is useless.  All it takes is a man in a hoodie carrying a manbag. 

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If you build a bomb shelter into the Capitol building, and then the entire building is destroyed by a bomb, wouldn't it raise suspicions down the road when cleanup works it way through the building and they find an existing room with reinforcing rods, etc.?  By the way, note to self:  no more government contracting jobs.

So now they have the terrorist.  Who, during interrogation, will eventually reveal that either his group was not really part of the plot, or that he had help from within the US Government.  Uh oh.  Or, he will be killed by nefarious elements before he can ever be interrogated.

McLeish definitely had an upset look on his face when Kirkman hugged him in the war room.  Was he expecting a different outcome?

I find it interesting that not one other country has been shown to interact with the President.  No ambassadors, no skyping, no nothing.

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Yeah, I chuckled a bit at the "perimeter" stuff too.  :)

I also think the pacing is a bit better now.  Things seem to be moving along better.  I also think the surviving congressman being guilty has to be a red herring of sorts.  Just way too easy and way to quick for him to be found out.  Still, it would be nice to know why he was (apparently) headed for Room 105 at the time of the explosion. 

Sorry to see the team leader die on that mission.  Actually what I thought would happen is that it would go horribly wrong.  Either the helicopters would be shot down or once they entered the building, it would be boobytrapped and they would all die in the resulting explosion.  Am glad that didn't turn out to be the case. 

I do worry how this might start to de-evolve into something of a soap opera.  I remember another ABC show that started out with some promise called "Last Resort" (the one with the renegade submarine docked on a tropical island).  But soon it became a bit too soap-opera-y for my tastes and I lost interest.  This stuff about "is this the President's son or not?" that was tacked on at the end of the episode put up a red flag for me.  I really, really hope this isn't going to be on ongoing plotline.  Though it would explain why that kid is a bit of a brat.  ;)

Am still in tho for the time being.  But if someone either comes back from the dead or has an evil twin -- I'm out!  :)

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Kimble is totally behind the conspiracy. Why was she the Republican's DS anyway? Was she being ignored/punished like Tom? Or did she volunteer? Why would anyone that power hungry be ok with sitting in a bunker during the SOTU address? Suspicious!

Will that explains why Theo bears no resemblance at all to his supposed father. Not that we care.

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and the next ep features a state ball???

And an interrogation which totally won't involve torture!

I found Tom's reaction to the SEAL casualty effective. He is going to grieve because he is human and a big softie. This doesn't make him weak, and it doesn't make his decision any less correct. I also like how Admiral Whathisname is a professional who recognizes the chain of command.

 

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I also laughed at Kirkman telling his wife all about the classified SEAL mission to capture the guy

.Although maybe talking to Alex was a security breach, Alex is very smart and sensible and is a good sounding board.

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8 hours ago, merylinkid said:

Yeah, this show is starting to annoy me.   It could do so much more with the premise.   But it's one Hollywood cliche about Washington after another.  

Sadly, I agree. I was intrigued by the first couple of episodes and, I admit, missed last night due to sheer exhaustion and an early bed time for me but yes--the cliches are getting to me. I have real hope that this will get better but I almost expect the various crowd scenes, faux news reports and sundry 'enemies' of Kirkland to start chanting 'Lock him up, lock him up". Perhaps that's part of my problem with this show; the Capitol bombing aside, it seems too much like what we're living through with the endless backstabbing, nastiness and such on our TV's and every news outlet for the last year.

And no--I'm not trying to start a discussion about our current election or candidates. I guess I just want a break.

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 This is turning into West Wing for morons.  

OMG yes!!  I had this exact thought while watching this.  And since West Wing lost me very early in the series, I'm pretty sure this idiocy they call 'drama' will lose me too.  

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Kimble is totally behind the conspiracy. Why was she the Republican's DS anyway? Was she being ignored/punished like Tom? Or did she volunteer? Why would anyone that power hungry be ok with sitting in a bunker during the SOTU address? Suspicious!

I've really had enough from her.  What is her motivation, if not to unseat Kirkman and claim the title of POTUS for herself?  

And paternity of the obnoxious son?  Dad could be sitting in prison for selling drugs?  I'm surprised we're saddling up that shark this early in the series; now I'm anxiously waiting for someone to get in that saddle and jump!

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So if the President puts on a ball cap, no one will recognize him when he goes out of the White House? Is this like no one connecting Clark Kent with Superman because he wears glasses?

I did like Seth's answer to the reporter about not being able to avoid questions "Watch me."

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I enjoyed the episode, though parts of it are so unrealistic. I'm not looking forward to paternity drama though, but I am grateful the kids weren't on my screen.

I really thought the new father SEAL would be the one to die, but it was very predictable that one of them died.

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19 hours ago, thuganomics85 said:

The show sure wants us to think MacLeish is part of whoever blew up the Capital.  Hannah apparently finds proof that the room he was in had made into a bomb shelter pretty much, and everyone who worked on it is now dead for mysterious reasons.  Sounds like she even convinced Malik Yoba's character too, but I'm still wondering if there will be more to that character too.

My "quote box" doesn't like it when I trim a quote too much, so please excuse the formatting.  As soon as the FBI guy told the FBI lady "Do not talk about this with ANYONE," my mental alarm bells went off.  I may be wrong, but I became immediately suspicious of him.  And she'd better watch out; that list of people who knew about Room 105 is currently comprised of all dead people.

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Last week Kirkman complained that he got only five hours of sleep. This week two hours. Some people need less sleep than others, but it seems clear that he isn't getting enough. Might be setting him up to make a really big mistake.

Maybe they will ship the son away to his biodad and never mention him again.

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8 hours ago, Dowel Jones said:

If you build a bomb shelter into the Capitol building, and then the entire building is destroyed by a bomb, wouldn't it raise suspicions down the road when cleanup works it way through the building and they find an existing room with reinforcing rods, etc.? 

I was thinking the exact same thing, the Capital building had catastrophic damage, it should be pretty damn noticeable that one room was so reinforced that it survived.

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So the SEAL team sneaks up to the enemy compound and the back gate goes CLANGGG!!!  but it's OK -- no body noticed because the noise was drowned out by all the SEALs jawing away at the top of their voices...

They should have asked the SAS to do it!

12 hours ago, Moose135 said:

when they first describe the mission to the President, they say the team will fly in on a C-5 Galaxy....

Yes, I thought a Globemaster would have been a more believable choice.

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8 hours ago, marinw said:

Kimble is totally behind the conspiracy. Why was she the Republican's DS anyway? Was she being ignored/punished like Tom? Or did she volunteer? Why would anyone that power hungry be ok with sitting in a bunker during the SOTU address? Suspicious!

I thought (assumed I guess) that she was going to give the opposition party's rebuttal to the SOTU and that's why she was away from the Capitol.

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14 hours ago, Amy Beth said:

What if Congressman McLeish was chosen to survive, but he's not in on it and doesn't know why? 

I'm sure this has been mentioned, but there had to be other Congressmen, etc. who simply didn't go to the SOTU.

As mentioned, she was chosen as the Designated Survivor for her party from Congress.  And I echo the questions as to why her.  Is she a high ranking member of Congress?  Minority leader?  I like Virginia Madsen and I think she is doing a great job in this role.  There's no way that Hookstraten wasn't somehow in on it.

I get that an American died during the mission, but I agree that I don't fully understand why Kirkman seemed to think that meant the mission was a failure.  His pearl clutching to the soldier about how "I should have waited for a better window of opportunity" seemed strange to me.  On the one hand, a soldier died.  On the other.... they captured the terrorist who bombed the Capitol and wiped out most of the members of the American government.  How can that not be considered a win?  The team leader knew that each and every one of his men risk their lives every day to protect the country.  It's what they signed up to do.

I too thought it was going to be the beefy Matt Damon-type with the owed delayed honeymoon that was going to die.

Not sure what is going on with MacLeish, but I'm glad that Hannah's concerns were justified and that her boss is listening to her.

I love that the cast on this show is so diverse, and that the minority actors make up a significant portion of the featured cast.  Not only that, they are in prominent positions of power.  We have a Mexican as Chief of Staff, an Indian-American as Press Secretary, Malike Yoba as the FBI Deputy Director, Mykelti Williamson as the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs, and an Asian female as a senior FBI agent who appears to be breaking the case.

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I know it seems to be the theme of this show and that it's something that Kirkman will prove wrong, but I am getting sick and tired of people (this week Hookstraten) telling Kirkman that his presidency is not legitimate, or that his inaction or action could question his "legitimacy." Fool! He was the DESIGNATED SURVIVOR, and that alone makes him fucking LEGITIMATE. If she had been made President, would she be accepted more because she was a member of Congress? Such Bullshit, because demoting him or whatever, Kirkman was a member of the President's CABINET. So she and everyone else can just take a fucking thousand gazillion million seats.

That said, I'm facepalming at Kirkman's naivete regarding what soldiers/special ops SIGN UP FOR. When they go on a mission, they know there's a chance they could be killed. What Pollyanna land is he living in, that he wants a guarantee they will all ALWAYS come back alive? And that if some are killed in action, that means the op was a failure? I hate to use him as an example, but I just can't help it, using the comparison--President Bartlet also had concerns, but he was also realistic and knew what the soldiers signed up for when he would give the ORDER. And he didn't look ridiculous when soldiers died. Well, okay, he was ridiculous in wanting to get payback when his doctor was killed, but Leo talked him down.

And of course the show had to bring in the element of soap opera by saying, but not saying, that Leo isn't Kirkman's son, if First Lady's expression was anything to go by. Because his enemies need blackmail material, don'tchaknow?

Edited by GHScorpiosRule
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36 minutes ago, blackwing said:

I love that the cast on this show is so diverse, and that the minority actors make up a significant portion of the featured cast.

Which, of course (in Hollywoodspeak), means that somebody is gonna die.

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I agree, if there was a bomb shelter in the capitol, would that be obvious in the clean up,

I am not yet sure about Kimble if she is good or bad, I think Macleish is bad.

And I think Macleish will accept VP position before the FBI can tell Kirk about the bomb shelter...

Another side story about the paternity of the son, I am not interested.

Still watching the show coz I like Aaron and Emily :) hehe

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Last week Kirkman complained that he got only five hours of sleep. This week two hours. Some people need less sleep than others, but it seems clear that he isn't getting enough.

IIRC Bill Clinton was/is an afternoon napper. And I read that Obama sleeps in when he can. And those are your two best modern Presidents IMO.

Yes, lack of sleep is bad for one's health and decision-making.

Edited by marinw · Reason: Spelling
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I'm seeing quite a bit, "I like this show still, but..."

Add me to the list.

I still think this is a fantastic show, but I think it has way more to do with the acting than with the writing. The Pilot promised us a show that would have multiple angles, lots of different, intersecting storylines and lots and lots of nuances that a concept of this nature should offer, and the Pilot largely delivered on that premise. Since then, we've been getting nothing but rudimentary "cases of the week" where the stories are essentially straightforward and never take too much of a twist or a turn.

Which isn't necessarily a bad thing, but I'm not sure it's the right method of storytelling for this show. This isn't Law & Order or CSI or even a drama about the President in "normal" circumstances- this is a drama that's supposed to be about a historic, worldwide, "game-changing" event..."simple" episodes are just not going to cut it. There would be a million and one and then some different issues and scenarios all at the same time, and thus I should expect the show to cover all these angles and give the plotlines the depth they deserve, because that would be reality.

Now, I grant that it's still early and the show might need time to properly develop its footing and find the right mix for its storytelling...which I can accept. However, at some point they're going to need to develop some complexity and blow us away with a well-written story, because plodding along as a simple "government procedural" just isn't going to cut it.

Which brings me to my next point- something tells me that the main storyline for the first season should be all about Hannah Wells and her investigation into the bombing. It's certainly the question that, in-universe, is likely on everyone's mind, and it seems to me like it would warrant the necessary attention and focus a "main" storyline should get. By doing so, the show could actually work to build a complex case and develop a truly compelling, mind-blowing investigation that truly does service to the urgency and gravity the show's "game-changing" premise actually promises.

...but, I get it. Kiefer Sutherland has already been Jack Bauer and wants to be someone different. Which I can dig...but even then, Tom Kirkman could- and should- have a larger role in the investigation, so much so that Wells should be practically working for him, if not doing so in an official capacity.

Instead, we're getting an investigation that even Encyclopedia Brown would sneer at in utter contempt, threatening to undermine the entire series. I don't think anyone ever doubted that Peter MacLeish was in on the bombing, and the conspirators building a bomb shelter inside the Capitol is just a bit too "easy". Add the eight dead contractors by "natural" causes and you've got conspirators who are almost pleading to get caught. I'm sure there's more than a few crime fiction writers rolling their eyes at how simplistic Designated Survivor has been with their central crime story.

Still, I'm willing to give it a chance. It's too early to write off and maybe all it needs is time to get its footing before it truly starts blowing us away. However, it's running out of time to start doing so.

Episode Grade: B.

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6 hours ago, blackwing said:

 On the other.... they captured the terrorist who bombed the Capitol...

Who claimed to have bombed the Capitol, and will very soon:

  1. be interrogated (no torture, just waterboarding) and will admit that he had nothing to do with it.
  2. be killed under suspicious circumstances before he has a chance to spill the beans.
5 hours ago, GHScorpiosRule said:

Fool! He was the DESIGNATED SURVIVOR, and that alone makes him fucking LEGITIMATE.

Agreed, but in Epsiode #3 (I think) he admitted on live TV that he had been fired by the previous President!  Which wasn't actually true, so why would he admit such a thing?

5 hours ago, piequinn35 said:

And I think Macleish will accept VP position before the FBI can tell Kirk about the bomb shelter...

Because now that the FBI have discovered a critical fact about his possible collusion with the terrorists, they immediately decide that the best thing is to TELL NOBODY!?!!

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Me, too.  "I like this show, but....."  I don't expect a documentary, but I keep thinking how people would react in real life.

If the terrorist responsible for the bombing is captured within a week or so, wouldn't the president go on TV right away with the announcement to reassure a grieving and angry country?  (When Osama bin Laden was killed several years after 9/11, the nation was thrilled big time by the president's news.)  In addition, it would benefit the wobbly administration politically to announce a successful mission

The president's naivete is annoying.  First off, you don't base a major military operation on a conversation with a junior officer, you work with your top military and civilian defense personnel.  And you don't talk with the troops about to go into battle and get so personally involved with "the nice fellow with a new baby" or "the guy who just got married"  that you consider even one possible death worthy of calling off the mission.  Or considering the capture of THE major terrorist not worth sending in the team if any one of the Seals might die.

BTW, should the president have called the Navy Seals soldiers?

The FBI agent first heard about Room 105 when she got the phone call at home.  Did I miss that she tried to trace the call to find out who contacted her?  And speaking of people out there someone needs to follow up on, who gave the Chief of Staff an envelop at the end of episode 1 or 2 on a dark bridge and what was in it?

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4 hours ago, paigow said:

No show next week....

ABC is airing the Country Music Association awards next Wednesday.

49 minutes ago, buckboard said:

BTW, should the president have called the Navy Seals soldiers?

No, he should have called them sailors.

Edited by Moose135
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23 hours ago, Amy Beth said:

What if Congressman McLeish was chosen to survive, but he's not in on it and doesn't know why? 

I'm sure this has been mentioned, but there had to be other Congressmen, etc. who simply didn't go to the SOTU.

There SHOULD have been a Senatorial Designated Survivor....in reality, each house of Congress also has a DS so, if the worst happens, both houses can still be represented.

I'm torn...I enjoyed this episode, but I also felt like they have too many balls up in the air.  I liked the "action" aspect of the episode but, really, it had nothing to do with anything else in the show.  I think we can be pretty sure at this point that the terrorist they caught was not really the one responsible, although I guess the jury is still out about whether or not he was involved.

I think I care even less about the first son's paternity than I do about his drug dealing.  At this point, it all seems unnecessary to a show that already has a lot, if not too much, going on....

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I'm starting to feel that DS is a good show smothering a great show that is trying to get out.

This is a purely technical or aesthetic issue, but the lighting bugs me. Its a bit dark and contrasty for my tastes, but that could just be me being a photography and lighting nerd.

I did like that final shot of Tom walking away from the casket casting a very long shadow. Symbolism! It's a nice reference back to the opening credits.

Edited by marinw · Reason: Grammer
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12 hours ago, Danielg342 said:

I still think this is a fantastic show, but I think it has way more to do with the acting than with the writing. The Pilot promised us a show that would have multiple angles, lots of different, intersecting storylines and lots and lots of nuances that a concept of this nature should offer, and the Pilot largely delivered on that premise. Since then, we've been getting nothing but rudimentary "cases of the week" where the stories are essentially straightforward and never take too much of a twist or a turn.

I so agree.  The pilot gave me hope that this would be a smart, exciting thriller about the challenges of rebuilding the government while searching for the terrorists.  Instead we're getting the usual dumbed down tv tropes of mustache twirling villains, super secret conspiracies, no one talking to each other, losing one SEAL on the mission, etc.  Shoot, even a question of paternity gets thrown in.  I feel like we've seen all these scenarios before.  

10 hours ago, buckboard said:

And speaking of people out there someone needs to follow up on, who gave the Chief of Staff an envelop at the end of episode 1 or 2 on a dark bridge and what was in it?

It was the info about the guy in prison who might be the kid's real father.  Don't know who gave it to him but it's probably connected to the bigger conspiracy.  

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I get the fact Kirkman is not a career politician and agonizes more over the loss of men than other might, but its getting to be a bit much. 

It was a high risk mission, even though it was successful.  If he thinks no one in the military is ever going to die while he is president, maybe he really is not the man for the job. 

I also don't really care about the affair and the kid's paternity.  Very soap opera like.  Would be the last thing on my mind right now even as a citizen about the president. 

Agree with others that the show's premise has potential but something about the execution and stories just isn't quite living up to expectations.  Its a perfectly OK show, but still not one I am overly interested in or feel like is "can't miss" TV

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We're five episodes in -- not sure what it is in real time -- and we're just now hearing about state governors appointing people to fill the vacant seats in the House and Senate.  This is a big hole in how reality works. The scramble to fill vacant seats would have begun while the smoke was still rising from the remains of the Capitol.  Most of the new members should be in place by now.

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This show has so many little moments that throw me out of the show that the only things saving it are Kiefer Sutherland's performance and that those moments are so worth bringing to a discussion like this.  For example:

Hookstratten saying that the success of the mission could decide whether he's Carter or Reagan -  I liked the Carter reference and that they then dropped the other shoe by giving them helicopter trouble just like what doomed Carter's rescue attempt. But that she name-checked Reagan, who was never responsible for any successful military action (unless you include Grenada), was pretty funny but believable coming from a Republican congressman.  Obviously, Obama was the flip-side but no Republican Congressperson would name-check him as a successful president.

That the President has about 5 people that he can trust and they haven't gotten full security clearance for his special advisor yet?  That's just freaking stupid.

As someone upthread mentioned, that Hookstratten (one of top 3 people left in the Federal Government) met on a park bench with the FBI? Sure ...

That the FBI investigating the bombing needed a favor to get security clearance for the Capitol Building schematics???!!!??? totally nuts

That the Chief of Staff did not immediately inform the President that Congressman Top Suspect had turned him down for the Speakership? And then didn't immediately apologize to the President (both for failing at his assigned task and for failing to inform him)!?!  ... By the way, is it going to be a recurring joke that everyone the chief of staff asks to accept an incredibly prestigious job rejects it?

I did, however, find it believable that the President would go to meet the commander's coffin when it returned.  I have seen photos of pretty much every President doing that on a semi-regular basis and that particular SEAL earned himself several medals on a mission of supreme importance to the country and the President.

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1 hour ago, rab01 said:

As someone upthread mentioned, that Hookstratten (one of top 3 people left in the Federal Government) met on a park bench with the FBI? Sure ..

Happens all the time in Scandal.  And I say the same thing.  Sure....

 

1 hour ago, RemoteControlFreak said:

Most of the new members should be in place by now.

In addition, are there any facilities in DC capable of seating 100 Senators, 435 Congresspeople, plus staff as appropriate?  I would think the entire business of government would move to another city for the time being.   I'm aware of the secret Cold War Congress hall under that hotel in Pennsylvania, but all that would do would be to increase the level of paranoia in the country. 

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7 hours ago, Dowel Jones said:

In addition, are there any facilities in DC capable of seating 100 Senators, 435 Congresspeople, plus staff as appropriate?  I would think the entire business of government would move to another city for the time being.   I'm aware of the secret Cold War Congress hall under that hotel in Pennsylvania, but all that would do would be to increase the level of paranoia in the country. 

Actually, the secret bunker was under the Greenbrier Resort, in White Sulphur Springs, West Virginia.  For more information -- http://www.npr.org/2011/03/26/134379296/the-secret-bunker-congress-never-used

It's still there, though obviously no longer a secret.  I suppose that it could be openly used for Congress, in the DS universe.

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Although I don't have specific knowledge of D.C's buildings, I'm sure there must be several possible sites that could be cobbled together as a temporary Capitol building.  Nothing fancy.  An auditorium at a university; a public arena, a government building, etc.  A military base.  

After the 1906 S.F. earthquake, city services were conducted in a variety of temporary space during the rebuilding period.

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