Designated Survivor Season 1 Episode 5 Review: The Mission

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President Kirkman makes the biggest decision of his presidency so far on Designated Survivor Season 1 Episode 5 when he sends a Navy SEAL team on a mission to take out Majid Nassar

Salute - Designated Survivor

Kirkman is a decent guy and making hard decisions isn't easy for him. After all, it's taken five episodes for him to finally take action against the guy who is supposedly responsible for the Capitol bombing.

He deserves credit for being thorough and not being trigger happy like General Cochrane, but sometimes it's a bit too much.

He's not going to be an effective President if he agonizes over every decision he makes. There are going to be mistakes, and there are going to be times when everything doesn't turn out  the way he wants.

Commander Clark told him there was only a 50/50 chance that the mission to take out Nassar was going to be successful. That's not what Kirkman wanted to hear. It's unrealistic for him to demand perfection in everything he does or oversees.

If he continues on this course, he's going to drive him and everyone around him crazy.

It wasn't surprising that someone got killed during the raid. We knew it was going to happen once Kirkman started asking about the men who were going on the mission. One guy just got married. Another was expecting a child soon.

I thought for sure we were going to say goodbye to one of them. Instead, it was the Commander who lost his life.

And may God have mercy on them, because the United States Navy will have none.

Commander Clark

As harsh as it may sound, this is the cost of war. These men knew the risks when they signed up for the job.  And, each of them was willing to take that risk in order to serve their country.

It's admirable that Kirkman takes everything to heart. It's admirable that he wants to add a personal touch to everything he does. But, isn't enough enough?

He can't continue on this course. Tom Kirkman has to become a different kind of man. He has to change his thinking. He has to start separating who he is from the job he's doing. He needs to build an internal wall.

Sure, it isn't who he is or who he wants to be, but if he wants to remain the President of the United States, it's something he has to do. If he can't handle it, he needs to get out of the White House. Because, one thing is for certain: I can't handle it as a viewer.

He's got a wolf at his door just waiting for any opportunity to eat him alive. And eat him alive she will. So he better buck up and fast.

I hate Congresswoman Hookstraten. There. I said it.

She is the most annoying character on this show. Everything that comes out of her mouth is grating. She's always around. Always has something to say. She just doesn't stop. She's confrontational to the nth degree. And, she basically one primetime bitch.

I get that she's all that's left of Congress (besides MacLeish), but there has to be a point when Kirkman and his staff says enough. 

She Doesn't Stop - Designated Survivor Season 1 Episode 5

Kirkman has been doing a good job standing up to her, but where are his people to keep her away? I said it before, and I'll say it again: she shouldn't have this much access. It's almost like she thinks she's the one in the Oval Office. 

Oh, wait. That's exactly what she wants.

But, doesn't she seem just a little over the top to anyone else? Is she that politically minded that she can't do anything for anyone without expecting something in return? Will she always be condescending to everyone around her? The way she talked to MacLeish when they were meeting with Kirkman was ridiculous. It didn't even seem real.

Yes, she's the polar opposite of Kirkman, but at least Kirkman has some depth. Hookstraten is a one-note character that sucks the life out of every scene she's in. She's almost as bad as General Cochrane.

Too bad Kirkman can't just fire her. Maybe the people will. I certainly would never have voted for her.

MacLeish's story is taking an interesting turn. Who would've guessed that there were secret rooms built into the Capitol and that one of these secret rooms was a bomb shelter?

It was obvious when MacLeish was in the PEOC with Kirkman and the others that he was a bit uncomfortable when Nassar was caught. I'm guessing that somehow he's connected to it all. I mean, it's pretty obvious, right? 

But, my big question is why isn't Hannah and Jason going to the Kirkman with this information? Isn't that what they should be doing? MacLeish is a threat to national security at this point. They have the proof he's involved. Going to Kirkman would be the logical thing to do.

About your room 105, you might want to check with the architect of the Capitol. Be a pain in someone else's ass for a change.


Sometimes this show doesn't make any sense. I get it's a TV show, but at least use some logic. We're not stupid out here.

I really don't care who Leo's father is. If this was real life, I wouldn't care either, but I'm sure it's going to be one more ping in Kirkman's presidency. Something that Hookstraten will try to use against him. And then she'll call in her two favors, and off we go. Yawn.

The only way I see it being remotely interesting is if Alex is lying about Tom knowing the truth about Leo. But still, is this storyline even necessary?

Other Thoughts:

  • It bothers me that Kirkman shared information about the mission with Alex before it happened. Isn't that off limits?
  • At times, I get a real strong The West Wing vibe to this show, especially when Seth, Aaron, and Emily are together and Kirkman pops in. I like.
  • Why would Kirkman share his Secret Service code name with everyone at MacLeish's ceremony?

What did you think about "The Mission"? Hit the comments and share your thoughts. If you missed anything, you can watch Designated Survivor online right here via TV Fanatic.

The Mission Review

Editor Rating: 3.0 / 5.0
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Rating: 4.2 / 5.0 (32 Votes)
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Designated Survivor Season 1 Episode 5 Quotes

Kirkman: I had to clear my entire schedule for the day. Want to know why?
Seth: Do I want to know why I have to lie to the press all day?
Kirkman: Yeah.
Seth: Okay, then let's just assume that somewhere there's going to be a military strike against the terrorists who bombed the Capitol, and I'll just know more when I know more.

Seth: How are you, sir. Seth Wright, Press Secretary.
Admiral Chernow: Ah, it's going to be a busy day for you son.