Designated Survivor Season 2 Episode 22 Review: Run

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Assuming that was the last we'll ever see of this series if the Netflix rumors don't come to fruition, the series went off on a decent note. 

Designated Survivor Season 2 Episode 22 was a solid hour that gave us some resolutions on the bigger arcs and teased new possibilities in the event the series would continue. 

Many of you are upset about the news, and I understand that, but overall the hour tied the series up nicely and worked as a series finale.

Tom Kirkman Announces His Run - Designated Survivor Season 2 Episode 22

Let's get the big news out of the way. Based on the flash drive Hannah was watching on the plane ride home, Emily is a traitor, and she had been working with Valeria and giving her information.

It's possible that such a reveal would eventually prove to be a misdirect and that Emily wasn't a traitor this entire time, but I love the idea of it being true. Emily is Kirkman's most loyal confidant in the White House. They have a long history together and go back years. 

She is his most trusted ally, and in two seasons of Designated Survivor, we've learned that Kirkman's dearest friends can't be trusted. They always screw him in the end. 

A Concerned Emily - Designated Survivor Season 1 Episode 21

It's commendable that the series built up this shocking revelation over the season. Emily has been slowly unraveling bit by bit for a while. She has waded into murkier waters with each passing day. She has made many horrible, damaging choices. 

Think about it, everything that she has done this season, mostly the back half, has been to help Kirkman, but she has only cost him more in the end. Emily is smarter than the decisions she has been making, so there had to be something else going on there. 

It's crazy to think about it because up until that grand reveal, Emily's conversation with Kirman was one of my favorite scenes of the hour. We have witnessed her descend into unethical territory, and it was jarring and disappointing. She was unrecognizable at times. 

If I don't walk away, I'm afraid I might do something that you can't take back.


That moment she shared with Kirkman felt honest and real. It was her finally taking some accountability for her actions. Emily was self-aware, and it was a relief that she recognized that she wasn't behaving like herself. 

It took guts for her to resign at that moment. That was the most like Emily she has been for half the season. She was willing to step back because it was the right thing, and it would help Kirkman in the end. 

Related: ABC Boss on Designated Survivor Cancellation: Ratings Were Not the Only Issue!

She was wrong to ask Chuck to do illegal things on her behalf to take down Moss. She was wrong to leak information to the reporter. When the Chief of Justice came into the Oval Office to tell Kirkman about Emily's actions at a funeral, I grimaced. Emily has stepped so far beyond the lines of decency and ethics that she can't see them anymore. 

She lost sight of a lot of things. So, I loved her willingness to acknowledge that. It felt like some closure for her character. Then, there was that damning picture of her handing Valeria a manila envelope, and I was transported right back to "WTF, Emily?!" territory. 

Emily! - Designated Survivor Season 1 Episode 2

Emily is our mole. Emily is our traitor. 

Is it shocking and a bit devastating? Absolutely! I love the possibilities that come with such a shocking reveal though. It would have been (still could be?) awesome to see Italia Ricci play a darker character.

Maybe I missed it, but what happened to the sniper that shot her? Didn't it look like she was shot in the chest? 

It would have been awesome if Hannah and Kirkman had a scene together. She was too busy in England trying to save Damian's daughter. Amy was a handful just like her father. 

Amy, someone is trying to hurt you, and I'm not going to let that happen. Will you come with me?


Valeria saw Amy as a threat because the young teen had a photographic memory and access to all the active operatives in British Intelligence. 

Hannah's plan to smoke Valeria out was rather dull and predictable. It didn't take much to wait her out because there was no doubt that Valeria was coming after Amy. The fight scene was cool though. 

Related: Designated Survivor Season 2 Episode 21 Review: Target

Hannah chasing Valeria down the stairs and to the water reminded me a great deal of when she met and shot Damian on the bridge. Silly Valeria damn near taunting Hannah was ludicrous. 

She essentially reminded Hannah that she had no jurisdiction to haul Valeria into a jail of any kind and that she wasn't acting as an agent in England. Then she had to mention the diplomatic immunity. 

Hannah Meets Amy - Designated Survivor Season 2 Episode 22

Is it a law of television that the most nefarious characters imaginable are the ones protected under diplomatic immunity? Ugh, it's awful! The second Valeria mentioned it, she may as well have told Hannah to shoot her right then and there. 

Hannah still hasn't learned to check bodies to make sure they're dead. Valera bled out, though, so that's progress. Although Hannah did toss the gun in the water right near the body, so Hannah is still Hannah. God bless her. 

Hannah taking on a sassy, teenage British orphan with a photographic memory unexpected. Hannah is not the maternal type, and she said as much to Amy. I can't imagine her up and returning to the states with a kid she has taken under her wing, but the two of them living together would be a sitcom waiting to happen. Hell, throw Chuck in there too. 

Not Playing Politics - Designated Survivor Season 2 Episode 22

Hannah's off the book mission meant she wasn't around to defend Kirkman when he needed it. 

It's unfathomable that everyone would be gunning for this man after all the good that he has done and everything that he overcame. Taurisi was in dire need of aid after that humongous tsunami, and Congress was being unhelpful as usual. 

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The congress members kept allowing their feelings for Kirkman overshadow their duty as Congress, and it was frustrating to watch. Although, I did like the comment the congresswoman made about Kirkman's rightness requiring expediency. I love him to death, but he does cut corners. 

Kirkman: I'm not doing this to be expedient. I'm doing this because it's the right thing.
Congresswoman: And what you don't understand, sir, is that your definition of right often entails expedience. That's why you're in trouble.

Kirkman had to fight like hell to get Taurisi aid. Most of the country was destroyed, and so many people died, but there were all of these people who were more focused on politics. It was sickening, especially knowing that it's not that different from real life. 

Obviously, I'm thrilled Ethan had an epiphany. His dinner with Moss was enlightening, and Moss thought he had Ethan in his corner.

However, it's ludicrous that it took Moss being an ass and Kirkman continuing to be presidential despite this awful indictment news looming over his head for Ethan to come to his senses. 

Kirkman Refuses to Resign - Designated Survivor Season 2 Episode 22

I was with Kirkman on this; where has Ethan been? Of course, everyone has an agenda. Except for Kirkman. Kirkman's only angle is doing what he feels is best for the people, and Ethan respected that. 

Kirkman announcing that he would run for another term was one of his best speeches of the series. In a time where American politics is so divisive, it was powerful watching a man stick to his guns and run as an Independent. Why can't Kirkman be real? 

Additional Notes: 

  • I never thought for a moment Seth was dead, but his reunion with Lyor was adorable. I also loved the story the senior-aged woman told Lyor about how Seth saved her entire family. 
  • Aaron should have had more screentime. How many different ways can I say it? 
  • Leo looks radically different every time they show him. I loved his scene with Tom. He truly is his mother's son. I missed Penny though.
  • Mike and Tom's scene hit me in the feels.
  • I'm sure there are about four dangling storylines that didn't get wrapped up, but I can't even say I recall them, so I guess it doesn't matter. 

Are you content with this ending to the series? Are you shocked that Emily is a traitor? Can Kirkman run as an Independent and win? Hit the comments, Designated Survivor Fanatics. 

If you're missing the series already, you can watch Designated Survivor online here via TV Fanatic!

Run Review

Editor Rating: 4.6 / 5.0
  • 4.6 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 5.0 / 5.0 (9 Votes)

Jasmine Blu is a staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow her on Twitter.

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