Designated Survivor Season 1 Episode 3 Review: The Confession

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Will the real Tom Kirkman please stand up!

It appears President Kirkman was having an identity crisis as he tried to maneuver his way through a maze of politics on Designated Survivor Season 1 Episode 3. One minute he was in-your-face tough and the next he was cowering behind his Superman glasses.

When he wore them, because he can't decide what to do with those either. Maybe he should invest in some contacts.

HIding a Secret - Designated Survivor

Okay, that was a little harsh, but c'mon people. Someone explain to me how President Kirkman can be so rough and tough in the PEOC, but when he's with everyone else he just crumbles?

If there's anyone he should be afraid of, you'd think it'd be Cochrane and all the other military people. Instead, he's ordering them around like, well, a President should. He has yet to back down from Cochrane or any of his cronies, and isn't intimidated by anything they tell him.

He makes his demands, swears a little sometimes, and walks out, but the minute he leaves that little chamber of horrors, he becomes somebody completely different.

It's maddening.

I'm glad he chose Aaron as his Chief of Staff, because he needs to wake up and smell the roses. Granted, it's unclear exactly what Aaron's angle is especially after the ending with him getting a file on Kirkman from the mystery woman, but at least it seems like Aaron wants to help the guy out, even if it is for his own benefit.

Sir, perhaps you've noticed you're surrounded by people who would love to see you fail. I want to help you succeed. I want to help you thrive.


Still, it has to be confusing for Tom as he doesn't even know who he can trust anymore. But, he's got to stop acting blindly when it comes to anything other than facing the military in the PEOC.

I was literally screaming at my television when Tom decided to share the the Nassir video with Hookstraten. How could he trust a woman who was as forthcoming as she was? Wasn't she a little too nice?

Tom can't play dumb with this, because he knows how Washington works. He may not have wanted to be a part of the politics of it all, but he knows what kinds of games people play, and for him to even think Hookstraten was on his side was more than a bad move on his part.

Didn't he even say it at some point during Designated Survivor Season 1 Episode 1 that Washington was full of lies and liars, so why would he think after a crisis that anything would change? He doesn't trust what the military people are telling him about the bombing, why is he going to trust a woman from the opposite side of the aisle? 

It wasn't surprising at all that she was the person who spoke at President Richmond's memorial service. It was a direct slap in the face to Kirkman. She could have turned down the invite from Tyler, but why should she have? It wouldn't surprise me if she was the one who suggested to Tyler she speak in the first place.

She's so political, she doesn't even seem political.


I wasn't particularly fond of Kirkman's reaction after the funeral. It was sort of childish of him to just keep walking like he did. Granted, he tried to throw a spear at her, but it didn't really stick. He was embarrassed and it showed. She got one up on him, and there was nothing he could do about it.

When he called her into his office later about the Nassir video, she was just as nonchalant as ever. The woman is evil, and while I'm sad Kirkman had to go through what he did, I'm glad he learned his lesson the hard way.

Still, I have to wonder why he can be so tough with the military people, but so soft with everyone else. I think Hookstraten deserved a "dammit", and I was disappointed he didn't throw one at her.

Hannah finally got a chance to shine, even if it was indirectly. It took a lot for Jason to speak up in PEOC about Hannah's suspicions, but I'm glad he did. The computer breach and video was too simple an answer. I still don't get why a terrorist would hack into the President' computer to leave a video. Why not just release it to the news media?

Truth is, I never like Orders to Compel, and I think you're a kind of badass.


I'm going to guess that Jason and Hannah aren't going to make Cochrane's favorites list anytime soon. Poor guy. Just when he thinks he's about to get the war he so desperately wants, someone else gets in his way. How is he going to deal with this new roadblock?

Hannah better watch her back. She may be a badass, but there are some evil people in Washington. She's cutting too close to the bone, and people who shouldn't have her number, already do, even if we don't know who they are yet.

We know Congressman McLeish is involved somehow, but we know he didn't act alone. So who was he working with, and why blow up the Capitol?

Other Thoughts:

  • We got another Jack Bauer "dammit" after he realized he missed his family dinner. It was subtle, but it was still awesome.
  • Um, when the lights went out in the White House, why wasn't Mike moving the President out of the Oval Office? It seemed odd that he would go to the security office instead and leave the President alone in the dark.
  • There was no reason Hannah had to explain her relationship with Scott to Jason. He didn't ask, so why did she feel compelled to tell?
  • Don't even get me started on Leo's boring drug story.
  • I might be nitpicking here, but were they really able to find Richmond's body after only 2 days? 
  • Shouldn't Kirkman have been better prepared for his interview with Vargas? When I worked in PR, all sorts of questions were prepared for people even if they seemed way out of left field. You'd think someone would have thought that maybe his "firing" might come up and prepared him for it just in case.

What did you think of "The Confession"? Did Tom confuse you with his identity changes? Do you care about Leo's drug story? Hit the comments and share your thoughts. 

If you need to catch up, you can watch watch Designated Survivor online right here via TV Fanatic!

The Confession Review

Editor Rating: 4.2 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.5 / 5.0 (32 Votes)

Lisa Babick is a staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow her on Twitter.

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Designated Survivor Season 1 Episode 3 Quotes

Did President Kirkman get a Best Buy gift card for Christmas, or is the White House having some sort of security issue?


I have some very big shoes to fill.