Designated Survivor Review by Nadim S.

Designated Survivor 1.02: The First Day

Designated Survivor 1.02: The First Day

Written By:
Jon Harmon Feldman and David Guggenheim
Directed By:
Brad Turner

I was sure Designated Survivor would flop after its promising pilot, so it's definitely encouraging to see the show managing to stay afloat with such a high-concept premise.


The ramifications of the entire cabinet getting assassinated were explored in fascinating ways; the rogue Michigan governor provided a nice counterpoint to Tom's level-headed thinking, and the discrimination against Arabs as a result was very timely and effective. I only hope these consequences carry on in subsequent episodes, because Tom's solution (the Homeland Security lie) was a tad too simple for my taste. Nevertheless, the storyline even allowed some thoughtful insight into Seth's mindset as a minority working in Washington. It's good to see that the conspiracy angle isn't the show's primary concern.

Keifer Sutherland continues to impress as an everyday man thrust into the most important job on Earth. After cementing himself as such an iconic badass on 24, it must be reiterated how incredible he is to successfully sell me on such an insecure character. Quite awesomely, he manages to tap into moments of aggression and confidence at key moments; I got goosebumps during his speech in the control room as he threatened to launch the missiles himself (once he gets more evidence). 

Quite predictably, the Nikita side of things with Maggie Q investigation the bombing is moving at a snail's pace. I can already see her approaching the President herself and telling him about her theory as they work together (maybe she'll even become his security detail in a potential second season), so let's hope the writers can accelerate the momentum here and give us a few unexpected twists in the process.

Our Grade:
The Good:
  • The premise is being explored in unexpectedly strong fashion
  • Keifer Sutherland is selling the notion of the Everyman-as-President
The Bad:
  • The conspiracy angle of the bombing is moving a bit slowly at this point

Nadim S. is a regular contributor of review for Critical Myth; The Critical Myth Show is heard here on VOG Network's radio feed Monday, Wednesday & Friday. For more commentary from Nadim, go to You can follow him on twitter at @nadsreviews.

Designated Survivor by - 9/30/2016 7:32 AM201 views

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