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Designated Survivor Season 1 Finale Review

The conspiracy story largely comes to a conclusion in the first season finale of Designated Survivor.


S1E21 "Brace for Impact"

Hannah races out of the FBI in the van with the bomb, and drives it into the Potamic, in a scene with intensity, but quite unimpressive CGI. Once the dumb FBI agents are told to go away, Hannah begins to work on solving this case. This ends up involving a lot of chasing, and ultimately a fight in an abandoned house.

After this, Hannah makes an important discovery, with an unread email from Jason. This is such a silly way of revealing this, because it so conveniently comes at an appropriate time for the story. A flashback shows when Hannah met Jason, and it's really a touching moment. It's also nice that she now has this chance to grieve, and it felt right that it would hit her now.

Kirkman doesn't get all that much to do through most of the season finale. He does get a great scene where he convinces the reporter to not go with the story that would be potentially damaging to national security. Later on, he begs Aaron to come back to the White House, which was very nice, but this felt a bit roundabout. He left, only to come back not too long later.

Kirkman asks the Secretary of State to be his designated survivor, and the little conversation they have about being designated survivor is great. Kirkman gives a speech to Congress, and when he gets a standing ovation from the audience, it feels very inspiring and patriotic. It is a wonderful speech. After this, it is shown that not everything is alright yet, as the defense system has been hacked. As long as this is not drawn out too much, this could be an exciting season two story.


Designated Survivor is not a perfect show. It wants to be two shows at once, both a political drama and a conspiracy thriller, and while it can do both well, it often struggles to meld the two together. This episode showed that. As the first five acts focused on the conspiracy side of things, Kirkman got close to nothing to do. This episode did though show some great examples of what the show can do in both realms.

Score: 8.5/10

What did you think of "Brace for Impact"? Leave your thoughts in the comments!