One year following the events of the Capitol bombing, President Kirkman finds himself fighting against the perception that his administration is in ruins. His Chief of Staff, Emily Rhodes, brings in political consultant Lyor Boone to direct the president's image.
A cranky Seth takes a meeting with a car manufacturer about a potential job offer. Seth feels that he is bringing the administration down with his poor performances at the podium. A stern Emily forces his hand, and Seth ultimately decides to stay in his current position.
National Security Advisor Aaron Shore informs Kirkman that a hijacking situation has landed in their laps. Ukrainian separatist take an American plane hostage, urging the Russian government to meet their ever-changing demands.
Kirkman is dealt a further blow when he realizes that his former best friend is a passenger on the hijacked plane.
Kirkman deduces that Russia and Ukraine are attempting to incite a war, and he manages to calm both sides down in time for diplomacy to overtake the situation. The hostages are allowed to deplane, but an accident involving an oxygen canister causes the plane to explode. Ultimately two passengers are killed, one of which was Kirkman's friend.
Meanwhile, Agent Wells is away from Washington, D.C. as she hunts for any trace of Capitol bomber Patrick Lloyd. Wells's plan to get intel on one of Lloyd's henchmen backfires when it turns out that the alleged criminal is a MI6 agent hunting Lloyd as well.
The two government officers join forces to figure out the Lloyd's next move, only to discover that they are too late and Lloyd has disappeared once again. Unbeknownst to the authorities, Lloyd has made a return to the Capitol.