Mastodon Mastodon Mastodon Mastodon Mastodon Designated Survivor - Fallout - Review

SpoilerTV - TV Spoilers

Designated Survivor - Fallout - Review

Share on Reddit

Designated Survivor “Fallout” was written by Tom Garrigus and was directed by Joe Lazarov. This is Garrigus’ first episode for the series, and his other credits, The Night Shift, Kingdom, and The Glades, don’t inspire confidence. I found this to be a very disappointing episode. The plotting was either stupid or heavy-handed, and the episode ended by destroying Tom’s (Kiefer Sutherland) character. The Tom Kirkman that I’ve come to know – and really like – would never have had the knee-jerk reaction to kill people for revenge. Really, there’s no coming back from that – and I don’t care that he lost his wife and has Moss’s words ringing in his ears. Where has his moral fortitude gone now?

Tom is sure that Chairman Kim (Tom Choi) is behind the dirty bomb and detains him for his own safety. Did anyone not realize right from the get go that Joon (Daniel Jun) was lying or refusing to talk because his girlfriend had been kidnapped? And how stupid is Blakey (Dillon Casey) to let him take the baking soda and escape from the hospital?

It was momentarily nice to see Reed Diamond back as John Forstell, but again, it was clear from the beginning that they’d simply brought him back to die. Suddenly, Hannah (Maggie Q) isn’t a one woman show able to accomplish everything spy-related on her own? And if they don’t stop ignoring Chuck (Jake Epstein), I’m going to become even more irritated… Chuck gets that Joon and his girlfriend just want to be together. Of course, now Tom is free to appoint Hannah as the head of the FBI…

We do get some nice scenes with Diamond as he tries to make amends for the investigation into Alex. When he first arrives, Tom cuts him off as he tries to offer condolences. Why Forstell thought he had to apologize to Hannah is a mystery to me. However, she urges him to go to the President. It really seems like the pot calling the kettle black when she tells him that crusades always start with the best intentions. What about her crusade to catch the bomber who killed her lover – and did she ever apologize to his wife?

Diamond and Sutherland are both very good in the scene in which Forstell does go to Tom to apologize. And suddenly, Tom doesn’t seem to be angry with him? Forstell did behave with the best intentions, investigating because he thought something was there not because it was personal. Tom asks him if he ever behaved in a way that was inconsistent with the law and when Forstell says no, Tom assures him that he was just doing his job. A job Tom expects him to keep doing. And then, of course, Forstell runs into the Metro station to try to save his men – rather than calling them on their radios – and gets killed with them. Well, at least he got a hero’s death.

In another heavy-handed move, they drag Andrea (Kim Raver) back to use her surveillance technology. She is disturbed because she didn’t sell the technology to the government in the first place because of Fourth Amendment concerns. She’s concerned that she’s working for the FBI. Tom reassures her that she’s working with the FBI and adds his personal pleas for help. I did like the discussions around the Fourth Amendment and how it bled into the Emily (Italia Ricci) storyline too.

Emily pressures Kendra (Zoe McLellan) about the case against Moss. Kendra tells her that they have to be scrupulous in their gathering of evidence – and we already know that Emily used illegal means to get the information. Kendra finds out and tells Emily that the information is inadmissible and that Moss has the Constitution on his side. Emily has suddenly lost her mind – too much power? I really hate that they are making her character do stupid things in the name of protecting the President. The Tom we know – not the Tom by the end of the episode – would not stand for such behavior. Kendra agrees that they should protect the President but do it the right way. In the end, Emily compounds her bad behavior by leaking the information to Simon Day (Morgan Kelly) via an anonymous email – sent from Seth’s (Kal Penn) computer! So now she has him on the hot seat too.

I really liked the scene between Kendra and Emily after Day asks if Moss is being investigated for leaking information at Seth’s press briefing on the initial bomb. Kendra knows Emily sent the anonymous email and is furious with her. She tells Emily that she is defending the Rule of Law – something in short supply in real life – and the Fourth Amendment. Emily at least looks a little troubled.

The presence of the dirty bomb sends everyone scurrying to the bunker. We learn that Tom’s brother has taken the kids to Yellowstone Park, so they are safe. I loved Tom wanting to talk to the staff before heading to the bunker and Mike (La Monica Garrett) telling him that if he didn’t move his feet right then, he’d pick him up and carry him! And there’s no doubt in my mind that he could!

Andrea and the new Vice President, Eleanor Darby (Aunjanue Ellis) are also taken to the bunker. Kendra is introduced to Andrea and reassures her that there is a difference between finding material – like the nuclear waste used in the bomb – and hunting down a person. Kendra also has papers for Andrea to sign that will allow her to violate privacy laws. Eventually, Andrea is able to send Chuck a picture of the bomber – Arturo Rojas (Jsin Sasha) – who the eventually find dead of radiation poisoning. Andrea also finds the DC Metro location – but Chuck finds Rojas’ ultimate location all on his own – so did they really need Andrea’s technology?

Day takes a bigger lead in the press room and asks Seth pointed questions about the whereabouts of the President and the rest of the command structure. Seth wants to get ahead of the message, and Lyor (Paulo Costanzo), not surprisingly, wants to lie. Tom needs to address the issue without addressing it. Mike finally relents to let Tom make a five minute, high-profile appearance with the Interfaith Coalition that happens to be in the White House. Day still comes to Seth later and tells him that he’s still convinced that there is some kind of crisis going on, and Day also makes a comment about an anonymous email…

There’s also a nice scene between Ellis and Sutherland. Tom finds Eleanor sitting alone and tells her that she needs a distraction. Luckily, there is a chess board sitting right there – and one of the reasons Tom picked her for VP was that she played chess. Eleanor opens up to him and tells him that she realized that when he went up for his photo op, she was the designated survivor! She tells him that she’s not ready to be President, and in fact, never wants to be President. Tom tells her that that’s another reason that he picked her. He goes on to explain that if you are overly ambitious, it compromises you, but if you are obligated to serve – as he was – then you more clearly serve the American people. It’s another nice dig at the current government’s rampant self-interest.

Naturally, Tom spends some quality time with Andrea. He stops in to see how she’s going, and she asks him why he asked her to come back. He tells her that she’s brilliant and that everyone’s talking about her platform. He just thought she could help. And possibly help him too?

After the first bomb is detonated Seth and Lyor both want a distraction from Day’s revelations about Moss. Lyor insists that the public needs to see the President out and about to reassure them. Tom settles on taking Andrea out for lunch to a hot dog place where she ends up ordering for him because she’s apparently an expert on this restaurant. I have to question the optics of the President going out on what looks like a date. Is it too soon? There should be some blow back on this – but the show is clearly moving the two into a relationship – it’s another reason for that time jump.

After the actual dirty bomb is detonated – and somehow the radiation ended up not being a big thing? I mean really, how were Hannah and Blakey able to just wander around where the bomber ended up with radiation poisoning? Tom addresses the nation, and Hannah is clearly devastated by Forstell’s death.

At any rate, they discover that Joon was not behind the bombing but was set up by the Kunami government. And I’m really tired of the fake places. Tom has Ambassador Salimi (Ali Hassan) brought to the White House. He denies their involvement and insists that the bank transfers to the bomber were fabricated.

Salimi wants to know why his country would do it – they wouldn’t want to start a war with the US! Tom insists that Kunami makes a lot of money off war and therefore didn’t want peace between East and West Hun Chiu. Salimi asks for time to find answers, but Tom tells him that he’s out of time. This is utterly out of character for Tom. Even Lyor urges Tom to at least reach out to the Kunami government. Absolutely no one supports the strike that Tom orders on Kunami.

This was not my favorite episode by far. In addition to what feels like character assassination on Tom, Emily is also becoming less and less likeable with every episode. It felt very contrived to bring Forstell back merely to kill him too. Funny that Diamond was also on Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. this week! Too bad he’s also dead there. I like the dynamic between Sutherland and Raver, and perhaps some of the heavy-handedness can be attributed to the fact that it’s transparent that they are end game. Mainly, once again, I felt that the spy-plot was just not clever enough. What did you think of the episode? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below!

Sign Up for the SpoilerTV Newsletter where we talk all things TV!


SpoilerTV Available Ad-Free!

Support SpoilerTV is now available ad-free to for all subscribers. Thank you for considering becoming a SpoilerTV premmium member!
Latest News