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Designated Survivor - One Year In - Advance Preview

Designated Survivor returns for season two with “One Year In” written by Keith Eisner and directed by Chris Grismer, who directed several episodes last season. Eisner joins the show as the new showrunner and his credits include The Good Wife, Law& Order, Shark, Gilmore Girls, and NYPD Blue – three very impressive shows out of five, so I’m hoping for some improved coherence in the story telling. As the title suggests, a year has passed since the beginning of last season. Kirkman (Kiefer Sutherland) is now one year into his Presidency and has a whole range of new problems to deal with.

Look for those wonderful walk and talks, and some terrific banter between Tom and Mike (LaMonica Garrett). Emily (Italia Ricci) is keen to have Tom take on a Political Consultant and brings him Lyor Boone (Paulo Costanzo). It’s clear that they’re going to have a somewhat volatile relationship. The episode doesn’t waste time producing a crisis. And the crisis turns out to have a personal element for Tom.

Hannah (Maggie Q) is still after Lloyd (Terry Serpico) and working with Chuck (Jake Epstein). She finds a new ally in Damian Rennett (Ben Lawson). Aaron (Adan Canto) is the President’s National Security Advisor and seems to have settled into a working relationship with Emily. But Emily is firmly in charge.

Seth (Kal Penn) has grown a beard and is tired of having the same questions on Lloyd. Seth seems to be generally a bit unhappy, which leads to Emily giving him an ultimatum. Boone has some suggestions for Seth, Aaron, and Emily. It’s clear that new regular Costanzo will bring a different dimension to the team supporting Tom.

Kiefer Sutherland has really settled into the part and gives a terrific performance in this episode. Kal Penn also continues to impress. The show itself continues to be a counterpoint to what we read in the newspapers, and Tom gives several inspiring speeches. The conspiracy plot has gone international, but likely won’t stay there. I definitely enjoyed the addition of Lawson to the conspiracy plot. And while the producers may have promised more "West Wing" this season, those who like the conspiracy plot won't be disappointed either.

Here are some dialogue teases to consider:

This guy was special forces.
I didn’t want you to think I was a sell out too.
Appearance is reality.
It’s just masonry and paint.
Actions speak. Words dissemble.
I can play chopsticks with my feet.
We don’t cry uncle.
I’m not implying anything.
Damn right.
I’m not asking you to stand down. I’m asking you to stand up.
I can make failure a virtue.
I think there should be a lexicon of bad words.
A symbol that nearly bankrupted us.
I don’t matter.
I broke a promise to my best friend.
As long as we’re following the same breadcrumbs, we might as well pool our resources.
They should call it Kirkman’s folly.
Someone should have baked a cake.

Don’t forget to tune in to the season premiere, Wednesday at 10/9c on ABC.

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