Designated Survivor Season 1 Episode 7 Review: The Traitor

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The drama continues.

President Kirkman faced an excruciatingly boring dilemma on Designated Survivor Season 1 Episode 7 while Jason and Hannah continued their investigation of the Capitol bombing. And Leo's paternity drama reared its ugly head. Again.

Hostage Negotiations - Designated Survivor

So, could the Russians be involved the Capitol bombing? They certainly have their hands in everything don't they? 

Of course, I could be wrong. Maybe Russia has nothing to do with the Capitol bombing. Maybe the double agent, three-way play story was just a story to show us that Kirkman has other things to do than just trying to figure out who's responsible for the Capitol bombing.

Maybe it was just a way to show us how far Kirkman has come in his new role as President. He certainly has become quite savvy. It's almost as if he's been doing this his entire life. 

He may have been played by Russia, but he's learning how to play the game rather quickly. He really has no choice, of course. As he said, he's a quick learner, and he's certainly been showing that in the few weeks he's already been in office.

It's amazing that he's come so far in such a short time.

I may have been in over my head today, but I promise you I'm a quick study.


Still, while it's great to see Kirkman coming into his own, the whole Russia story was rather boring. I didn't find myself very invested in the story at all, and in the end, I really didn't care.

What I did care about was the MacLeish angle. Didn't the guy seem a little off during dinner? Actually, both he and his wife seemed a bit off. Was I mistaken when I heard her ask about living in DC? Isn't that rather strange? Wouldn't she know what it's like living in DC considering she's been living the life since her husband is a congressman? 

Maybe I just heard wrong, but both the MacLeish's are very odd. 

You'd think Kirkman would pick up on it. He's a pretty good judge of character, so why wouldn't he notice how strange MacLeish has been acting?

I also wonder why a guy, if he's supposed to be such a mastermind, would go to the FBI and give them a file to help them along with the vetting process. It seems kind of stupid, doesn't it? 

Why would the FBI need his help? 

High five to Hannah for coming up with the stunning conclusion that the reason MacLeish provided all that information was because he must be hiding something. I never would have guessed that. Not in a million years. 

What's on the paper? Now that tells the story we want to tell, but what's not on the paper, that's what people remember. The impressions we leave behind. We search for those too, because that's the true measure of a man.


MacLeish can't be that stupid. He has to know they're on to him, so why draw attention to himself. I can understand if he was there to fish for information, but all he did was hand over a folder. Dumb.

I also thought it was sort of silly to have MacLeish there when Jason came to give Kirkman information about the Nassar case. This is a national security issue, but Kirkman thinks it's okay to invite someone else to hear what the FBI has to say? It was dumb since the only reason it happened that way was to drag the story out.

Too add some sort of drama and tension to what's already supposed to be a tense situation for the audience. Only problem is that it's not that tense of a situation, because it's so predictable.

Was anyone else really surprised that Jason's son was kidnapped? Forget the fact that I had no idea he even had a son, but it still wasn't shocking when he went missing. Nor was it shocking that some strange woman showed up with threats to harm the boy if Jason didn't do exactly as she demanded.

How did she know he'd end up at the baseball field anyway? 

Jason called it at the beginning of the hour when he told Hannah they were going to be targeted for getting too close. So it's no surprise that it actually happened. Another high five to the FBI for their uncanny ability to see into the future.

But, who really is behind the boy's kidnapping? Was it MacLeish or is it the CIA? Or is the CIA and MacLeish working together? Or maybe MacLeish is a Russian agent or maybe a double agent?

Who knows. But it's starting to get a little silly. Think about it. Would the CIA, who really doesn't want to talk about Catalan, really leave a package in an FBI agent's car with a folder clearly stating it was from the CIA? Do they really do things that way?

I know this is a TV show, but c'mon people. We're not that stupid. The moment I saw the package, I knew it was from the CIA guy. Who else would it be from?

Also, with all the havoc happening at the jail when Nassar was killed, would Hannah really be able to remember a guy walking past her as the guy in the picture? 

Again, it's all starting to become rather silly for a show that's supposed to be intelligent.

And, don't even get me started on this Leo paternity story. I just can't see the urgency in it. Is anyone really going to care who Leo's father is? It wasn't like Alex and Kirkman were married when it happened. How is that even scandalous?

And what happened to Congresswoman Hookstraten? Did she fall off the face of the earth? 

While I love Keifer Sutherland and find his performance as President compelling, Designated Survivor is starting to fall short in many ways. It's starting to become a "who really cares" sort of show for me. What happened to the fire of the the first couple of episodes? Does anyone else feel this way?

What do you think of Designated Survivor so far? Is it meeting your expectations? What did you think of this episode? Share your thoughts in the comments below. If you need to catch up, you can watch Designated Survivor online right here via TV Fanatic!

The Traitor Review

Editor Rating: 3.0 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 3.7 / 5.0 (51 Votes)

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

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Designated Survivor Season 1 Episode 7 Quotes

Seth: I need five minutes with the President. It's personal.
Aaron: The President isn't doing personal tonight.

Remember, Mr. President, leaders are made not born. We're rooting for you, sir.

Coach West