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Designated Survivor 1x02-1x05 + The Family (2016) 1x01 Reviewed

The First Day
The wreckage of the vastly catastrophic attack is still smouldering. Tom strongly signals trustworthiness but people treat him as an incurious ignorant. His call-sign is Phoenix. Its chaos and people have spiritual distress. People want a vengeful campaign of vengeance. Tom faces disapproving murmurs, as he seems ineffective and consistently underwhelming. Why are they closing the banks?

Virginia Madsen of ‘Candyman’ guest stars as the other designated survivor, her name is Kimble. No comment. People have emotional reactions. A governor is an inevitably ghastly intolerant villain. Tom is visibly discomfited and has wounded ire. This ep has no verve or emotional depth. Congresswoman Kimble lurks. Tom has considerable opposition and there is no government. This was not highly effective, in fact it was ungripping. Hannah (Maggie Q) ponders an incredibly obvious bomb.

Emily decries. Tom’s wife has obstreperousness. The morally corrupt governor annoys. The crazed General wishes he was Danny Huston. The FBI director was killed in the attack. This was not endlessly interesting. Aaron plots and wears excessive hair-oil. Tom’s kids are unforgettably ghastly.

Tom worries about the morality and necessity of reprisal. Tom’s kids have feigned indifference to him being POTUS. There will be long standing tensions due to the unprecedented destruction in DC. People don’t act like a world-shattering event took place. There is no deadly logic or solemn refection just an indefinite continuance of sap. There is measureless havoc and deviant mischief taking place. A survivor is dug out of the rubble. This ep was ugly, joyless and borderline unwatchable.

Best Lines:
“Talk will not work here."

“Does this vest project confidence to you?”

“EOs can be perceived as very hostile.”

The Confession
The nation laments. Congressman Peter is alive. The White House is hacked. Responsibility is claimed for the bombing. The crazed General is repellent. Aaron gives ambiguous glances. This was unnecessarily contrived. The kids are not a vital narrative note. This ep was faintly self-parodic. The General has bloody minded insistence and moral panic.

The idiot drug dealer son is a primary source of outrage. People are always storming off for reasons that may or may not be valid. The former POTUS’ funeral is held. How did they ID the body so fast? What about the former FLOTUS? The former POTUS’ son is ungenerous and overly gloomy. There is no revealing emotion. Kimble is preposterously self-mythologizing and opportunistic. There is no dignity and reason.

Tom looks pitiful. Kimble is provocatively effete. This ep is not a frolic. Kimble is diabolic. This is long winded. There is no unifying moral vindication or moral dimension. Instead there is immoral indifference to sense. This show was much-anticipated; it is not quite living up to that promise.

Nobody has the moral high ground. There is hatred and passion. Hannah had an affair with a married politician who died in the attack. There is no restraint and pose. This is not of vital necessity. Aaron leaks stuff. Tom is maligned and misunderstood. Kimble is an acidic schemer who deserves to be thoroughly distained for poisoning relations. Tom is politically inept. There is moral aloofness. Tom has a self-confidence crisis. Unwise decisions are made and Kimble lacks contrition and humility. Aaron plots.

Best Lines:
“We need an enemy.”

“You can go with sincere if you want.”

“Order to compel.”

“That’s what the internet says.”

The Enemy
Why doesn’t Tom refuse to meet Kimble? She is obviously awful with a devil gaze. The governor is psychotically devoted to showing distain for Tom. Aaron is vehement. Does Tom have a VP yet? Kimble is the Speaker Of The House? The governor is plotting to secede. The FLOTUS needs to go back to her old job.

Arch-deceiver Kimble is causing an irreparable rift with her ever-vacillating moral compass. Nobody calibrates their reactions. There is moral discomfort and hostile action. This was boringness. There is no solicitude. Journalists annoy. Wouldn’t they all have died in the attack? The crazed General is fired.

Best Lines:
“What’s the magic word?”
“Now.”

The Mission
Things go awry. Peter is honoured. Emily sulks. Dylan Walsh shows up as a SEAL. Hannah learns Peter was in a room recently redesigned for air blast resistance aka a bomb shelter. That’s how he survived. A SEAL raid captures a suspect for the attack. Peter becomes VP. This was okay. There are questions about Leo Kirkman’s paternity.

Best Lines:
“Combat command.”

“Combat landing.”

~
Pilot
This is a hilariously overblown but oddly enjoyable short-lived drama. Claire (Joan Allen) runs for city council and her 9 year old son Adam vanishes. 10 years later he shows up again. There are flashbacks to 10 years ago and much plot. People simply accept suspicious stories; there is impassioned shouting and Rupert Graves shows up as Claire’s husband sporting a bad US accent.

This was okay even if it is semi-incoherent. There is no emotional connection and does not encapsulate anxieties. A man (Andrew McCarthy) who is a sex offending creep was convicted for Adam’s murder. He is released and taunts Adam’s dad and proves he is neither sorry nor remorseful but still a threat. Adam’s sister planted evidence to frame him and has become a religious fanatic as a result. People are morally compromised.

Nina the cop broods and boffs Graves. The creeper creeps. Adam’s older brother is a drunken loser. Graves is now a motivational speaker who exploited his ‘murdered’ son for money. There are stares, a ship in a bottle, sex and opportunism. Claire uses Adam’s return to boost her career. Michael Esper with a bad wig shows up as the perv who abducted Adam.

There is moral discomfort. Things were left on an unresolved note with Adam and Claire obsesses over him and ignores all worrisome hints that Adam is not really Adam at all. There are still irresolvable differences on not unreasonable grounds. Journalists annoy and I’ll watch the remaining 11 eps.

Best Lines:
“Refrain from taunting the media.”

“Justice was profoundly absent.”

“We have a lesbian lifestyle blog?”
Tags: designated survivor, the family
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