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S02.E01: One Year In

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Now, one year in, Kirkman is a CIC determined to rebuild the Capital and capture the terrorists responsible for the devastating attack on the United States. When Ukrainian nationalists hijack a Russian plane, the president is faced with a hostage situation that puts his diplomatic skills put to the test.

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I know it was corny and jingoistic, but Tom’s speech at the end kinda got to me.

The show continues to literally be all over the place.

I kind of like Paulo Costanzo's character. I shoudn't, yet I do. But I liked him on Royal Pains too.

Still no VEEP that we can see.

Edited by marinw
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Episode Grade:

b0746fb3a967635de4c58623f4c7026b--letter

"D" for "dead". I'm not sure how much life there is left in this show.

OK, so Kiefer rocked...he always did. Also, Lyor was kind of fun, even if he was really annoying as well.

Oh, and Italia Ricci really commanded her screentime...she had to step up her game and she did in a big way.

Other than that...this felt like some ho-hum midseason drama that felt more like filler than an episode that was supposed to get people back and watching again. Which is not the result this show wanted.

I get it- we're on our fourth showrunner, and there's only so many "pilots" this show can do before the concept gets stale. That said, the show owes it to itself to stand up and get noticed, and it didn't even try.

I can't really say much except that this episode was a colossal failure. Maybe I'll stick around for an episode or two more to see if it can really right the ship, but this show is really testing my patience, and I get up at 5AM...I really need a reason to stay up.

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I only watch for Hannah. I miss her interaction with the computer nerd. I don't like her new sidekick. He is not even all that hot.

I skip all of the White House stuff. 

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This was definitely a soft reboot with the characters staying the same-ish but thrilling urgency and cliffhangers that made the pilot so compelling completely nonexistent. Kinda sad they scrubbed all that 24ness away even as Kiefer does good thoughtful or anguished or inspiring President. 

Still they didn't even mention McLeish by name- just referred to him as the late Vice President. Ooof. They really want to put all of S1 behind them it seems.

And yeah, the Emily/Seth ship was definitely revving its engine in earnest. Hannah is gonna be paired w/British agent I'm guessing rather than Aaron. Maybe they'll bring in someone new for him.

I get Emily wanting to protect the President, but being such a rude host to the award recipient author by passing him off to other people was just so obviously stupidly antagonistic. Tom bailed them out again by being so cool that the author was charmed in spite of himself, but they basically held the man against his will all day without food when he offered several times to come back later.  Just not cool at all.

Hookstraten is needed even without the conspiracy story. She was a great mirror to Tom and easily could hold the 'B' story regularly in an episode (as opposed to following Tom's wife and kids). 

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1 hour ago, Frozendiva said:

I was surprised that the building was rebuilt in a year.

All the airport security guards quit to do the construction...so the hijackers got through...and so did Lloyd!

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Seth described himself as the "herald of doom" which made me wonder if that is as close to a Harold and Kumar reference as we're going to get on this show. (I know he played Kumar but there's no way to work that in unless we see him at home hitting a bong like it owes him money)

Hannah is still chasing bad guys while wearing big-ass heels. I seem to recall her having much more sensible footwear when this show started.

Also, the international manhunt for the man who blew up the entire US government consists of said agent and said impractical heels and a British spy. Why didn't they think of that when they hunted Bin Laden down? All those Navy SEALs and military assets and all the US really needed was a single agent on a super-secret mission because this time it's personal!

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2 hours ago, Danielg342 said:

OK, so Kiefer rocked...he always did. Also, Lyor was kind of fun, even if he was really annoying as well.

Well, Evan R. Lawson from Royal Pains left the mansion to work as a political director.  He was annoying then too. 

1 hour ago, TobinAlbers said:

Still they didn't even mention McLeish by name- just referred to him as the late Vice President. Ooof. They really want to put all of S1 behind them it seems.

The man was a traitor 

1 hour ago, Frozendiva said:

I was surprised that the building was rebuilt in a year.

That's why it cost 7 billion dollars. 

2 minutes ago, dwmarch said:

Seth described himself as the "herald of doom" which made me wonder if that is as close to a Harold and Kumar reference as we're going to get on this show. (I know he played Kumar but there's no way to work that in unless we see him at home hitting a bong like it owes him money)

Or goes to White Castle. 

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3 hours ago, Danielg342 said:

Other than that...this felt like some ho-hum midseason drama that felt more like filler than an episode that was supposed to get people back and watching again. Which is not the result this show wanted.

Yeah, I was at least expecting another showy disaster or at least some kind of super suspenseful incident.  Maybe that was supposed to be the plane hijacking, but somehow the episode downplayed it.  There was too much going on between the political plotting/hiring a PR employee, Hannah looking for Lloyd, and the award recipient/author that the hijacking almost took a backseat.

2 hours ago, memememe76 said:

I only watch for Hannah. I miss her interaction with the computer nerd. I don't like her new sidekick. He is not even all that hot.

I prefer the computer nerd also.  Didn't care for the insertion of some random British agent that we haven't seen before now when I'm still trying to figure out what's going  on and it feels like plots are being dropped left and right.

I totally love that Kirkman is supposed to be a painfully honest and sincere man who really wants to do right by a country that is still recovering from the attack on the Capitol Building and what not.  It's nice to see a show depict a politician character that is not some sleazy asshole who is just in it for the power (not sure that such a politician exists IRL but it's refreshing to see it in fiction at least).  But this is the second time this show has given Kirkman what I assume is supposed to be an inspiring, rousing speech that made me just cringe.  I am not sure what they are trying to do.  Can't he be sincere and trying to do a good job in such an important role without being OTT schmaltzy?

Edited by Blue Plastic · Reason: Repeated phrase dangit
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1 hour ago, Chas411 said:

Ugh Emily/Seth - no thank you. God this show sucks.

Agreed wholeheartedly. That’s just vile and an insult to the fans of the 1st season. They claimed they were keeping the things people liked about it (which most definitely didn’t include anything besides friendship between Seth and Emily), and with the exit of Kimble Hookstraten and dropping Emily and Aaron’s romance it’s obvious that they were lying or have vastly different views on what people liked seeing. 

 

I think I’m done with this garbage of a show. 

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4 hours ago, Blue Plastic said:

Yeah, I was at least expecting another showy disaster or at least some kind of super suspenseful incident.  Maybe that was supposed to be the plane hijacking, but somehow the episode downplayed it.  There was too much going on between the political plotting/hiring a PR employee, Hannah looking for Lloyd, and the award recipient/author that the hijacking almost took a backseat.

I agree. Maybe they thought having Kirkman's friend on board added urgency but, seeing as we never met him before, it fell flat.

Maybe if it was Kimble Hookstraten on that plane it would have worked better- she at least deserves a proper send-off.

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40 minutes ago, Danielg342 said:

Maybe if it was Kimble Hookstraten on that plane it would have worked better- she at least deserves a proper send-off.

She has to get killed by whatever Lloyd is planning....

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6 hours ago, DrScottie said:

The man was a traitor 

He wasn't even mentioned in the S1 recap to onboard viewers. It was very streamlined to focus only on Lloyd (who is the S2 baddie) and not on the two American co-conspirators that we followed in S1- McLeish and the guy at the end of the season that Hannah killed. Actually I don't think Hannah's boss or Hookstratten were acknowledged. That's basically a move by a new showrunner who wants to sweep under the rug the previous regimes' storylines because they're focusing on their story and don't want to 'confuse' new viewers. Not unusual, but all I'm saying is that for characters that were so pivotal it was a marked exclusion even in the S1 recap.

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Much like Fear The Walking Dead.., because 1) Nothing else to watch 2) I keep hope that one day there will be an episode that becomes a turning point.., I have watched all of last season and last night of DS,.. This should have been a 3 part mini-series.. It intrigued for a few episodes then just got annoying..

My impression from last night is they went very strongly into the West Wing "lite" mode and they will never, ever, ever be able to be but a third string to that Masterpiece.

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Soooo that was kind of boring. I kept hearing how great this show was so I tuned in to see what the hype was all about, and I have to say I don't see why everyone was telling me I needed to watch Designated Survivor. 

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10 hours ago, Frozendiva said:

I was surprised that the building was rebuilt in a year.

That is very unrealistic.

1 hour ago, tiredofwork said:

Much like Fear The Walking Dead.., because 1) Nothing else to watch 2) I keep hope that one day there will be an episode that becomes a turning point.., I have watched all of last season and last night of DS,.. This should have been a 3 part mini-series.. It intrigued for a few episodes then just got annoying..

My impression from last night is they went very strongly into the West Wing "lite" mode and they will never, ever, ever be able to be but a third string to that Masterpiece.

It's hard to do a reboot of the West Wing & have a Terrorist on the Loose. Why is Hannah Wells always on solo missions in a bar in Amsterdam.?

Wouldn't the entire FBI/CIA be looking for Lloyd?

2 hours ago, TobinAlbers said:

He wasn't even mentioned in the S1 recap to onboard viewers. It was very streamlined to focus only on Lloyd (who is the S2 baddie) and not on the two American co-conspirators that we followed in S1- McLeish and the guy at the end of the season that Hannah killed. Actually I don't think Hannah's boss or Hookstratten were acknowledged. That's basically a move by a new showrunner who wants to sweep under the rug the previous regimes' storylines because they're focusing on their story and don't want to 'confuse' new viewers. Not unusual, but all I'm saying is that for characters that were so pivotal it was a marked exclusion even in the S1 recap.

Hookstratten was one of the best actresses on the show. Why did they get rid of her? She should have been the new VP.

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Glad to see this show back. Did they ever say if there was a new VP?

My only issue with the show is that it feels like we're watching two different shows, one in DC and the Hannah show. 

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9 hours ago, DrScottie said:

 

The man was a traitor 

 

Can someone remind me - was this ever revealed to the public?  I don't think it was, so to the public he would still be seen as a hero/victim?

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They've doubled down on all the bollox from last season. I'm out. 

Particularly: 

  • The writers parading their political views all over the show in the most reductive and dumb manner. 
  • Team Kirkman coming across as insufferably smug and self-righteous. 
  • The issue du jour and the weekly moral dilemma being juvenile, with no shades of grey, whatsoever. 
  • The one-woman action hero nonsense and the tonal inconsistency it presents with the political "drama". 
  • The absence of any compelling antagonists, that aren't cartoonish or a straw-man for the writers to bash with their political views.  

 These issues were so glaring last season I cannot believe they have not been remedied.  

Edited by Pindrop
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Well, they had to get the Capitol rebuilt to save all the money it was costing them to digitally erase it from all the background shots. :)

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Man, I loved this show last season. I still love Keifer ( as an actor, not "Love", ha ha ) and I even watched "Touch" and I think I was the only one ! But, yeah, this dragged a little. The season previews looked exciting, though, so I'm still in ; you can't judge a show solely by the season opener. And, yeah, it took them, what 10 or 12 years to get the towers in NYC replaced ? Even with government money, I doubt if the Capitol gets done in less than one year.

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2 hours ago, janeta said:

Well, they had to get the Capitol rebuilt to save all the money it was costing them to digitally erase it from all the background shots. :)

True. Realistically it would take a year or more to remove all the rubble and to get the land fit for any development. And then a 3 year or more period to rebuild.

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10 hours ago, Fireball said:

Soooo that was kind of boring. I kept hearing how great this show was so I tuned in to see what the hype was all about, and I have to say I don't see why everyone was telling me I needed to watch Designated Survivor. 

I know, I keep hearing people say it's great too, including strangers behind me at movies when the commercial comes in the trailers, and most frighteningly someone with whom I'm in an online TV writing class (!, because trust me, anyone with three months of instruction on dramatic writing; hell, maybe anyone who ever had to write a persuasive essay and stay on message, knows this show is a hideous mess).

In other news; no Emily/Aaron?  They were practically the only thing I liked about the first season of this mess, other than Hannah and the earnest hacker.  Glad I came here first.  

I can't believe they gutted half the show (if not more), and it still sounds like they couldn't manage to make it make sense.

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I was seriously considering bailing on this show, but I was surprised to realize how cathartic it is to watch a president like the one Keifer gets to portray. This show may be my Xanax.

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That was one hell of an explosion they got out of one little oxygen canister, especially since it happened on the tramway.

Note to producers:  If you're going to show Hannah and Co. breaking down a door, it should open inwards.  You can't get that much force pulling a door open, especially with the deadbolt engaged, as was shown.

If I were Emily, I think I would have taken a day to go buy some of that fru-fru water, and placed an open bottle in every room.

I think we're in for a season of Madam Secretary meets The West Wing. with all the infighting and crises du jour.  No one seems to care about closure on the original plot.

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Two things...

One, Hannah, wear a bra.

 

Two, if that was Kate Walsh I saw on the preview, I'm done.  I can't stomach her lispy acting.  I barely tolerated her in 13 Reasons Why and that was a much more compelling show.

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First...ALEX IS EVIL! Yes, there I go again and will continue to do so until she is exposed.

The absolutely dreary Canadian day player actors on this show never fail to make me wince, especially the ones gifted with the opportunity of saying “Good morning, Mr. President.”  Bland can be very bad, indeed, especially for shows like this which are struggling to find an identity. I don’t think I’ve ever seen such an egregious amount of what’s known as “undercasting” to prop up the lead.

And Italia Ricci continues to be utterly horrendous. Am I the only one who noticed in that first scene with Costanzo and Sutherland there were three cuts in a row to her doing that thing where she puts her tongue onto her top lip to express “discomfort”?  Geez Louise.

BRING BACK VIRGINIA MADSEN! But, alas, I fear she was too intrinsically interesting an actor for Kiefer to endure sharing screen time with. I guess Natascha McElhone finally got a clue, too.

Edited by TimWil
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I will say the dialogue got snappier (three-way with Kirkman, Emily, and Lyor), and is incorporating more sophisticated techniques to speed the plot along (cross-cutting "two ambassadors" scenes).

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13 hours ago, oakville said:

Hookstratten was one of the best actresses on the show. Why did they get rid of her? She should have been the new VP.

Virginia Madson has always been and still is a terrific actress.  She's got serious game and brings it to every role she plays.

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On 9/28/2017 at 6:54 AM, paigow said:

She has to get killed by whatever Lloyd is planning....

I hope not. I think they made her Secretary of Education last year.

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12 hours ago, shapeshifter said:

I was seriously considering bailing on this show, but I was surprised to realize how cathartic it is to watch a president like the one Keifer gets to portray. This show may be my Xanax.

Keifer is a good actor. He needs a VP & they have to have some other Cabinet members or people in Congress that challenge him. It seems to me like it's Keifer & the Millenials running the government.

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1 minute ago, oakville said:

Keifer is a good actor. He needs a VP & they have to have some other Cabinet members or people in Congress that challenge him. It seems to me like it's Keifer & the Millenials running the government.

Yeah, what happened to President Emeritus?  and what do you suppose was the original showrunners' original thoughts on how they would keep it fresh and interesting, if they (a) keep on with more than one season of Hannah/Maggie Q, (b) in separate realms from the rest of the cast?  

"24" would have been an entirely different show if it centered around Dennis Haysbert's President Palmer as the focus/main character, not to mention that you could generally see the current or imminent direct tie between what was going on in the White House, and what was soon to be going on at CTU.  

And I'll probably keep saying it until this show dies, considering the above inherent limitation in the very show concept; unless they have some clever plan to add Hannah to the Secret Service (which I doubt they will, as they have Mike) so that she sees Kirkman every day; Hannah has no business being in this show, and should have been dramatically killed off at the end of first season.

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3 minutes ago, queenanne said:

Yeah, what happened to President Emeritus?  and what do you suppose was the original showrunners' original thoughts on how they would keep it fresh and interesting, if they (a) keep on with more than one season of Hannah/Maggie Q, (b) in separate realms from the rest of the cast?  

"24" would have been an entirely different show if it centered around Dennis Haysbert's President Palmer as the focus/main character, not to mention that you could generally see the current or imminent direct tie between what was going on in the White House, and what was soon to be going on at CTU.  

And I'll probably keep saying it until this show dies, considering the above inherent limitation in the very show concept; unless they have some clever plan to add Hannah to the Secret Service (which I doubt they will, as they have Mike) so that she sees Kirkman every day; Hannah has no business being in this show, and should have been dramatically killed off at the end of first season.

The show "solved" the conspiracy theory too quickly. At the end of the season 1, didn't Lloyd hack into the Defense Department computers? Now, at the opening of Season 2, everything is OK?

I liked the Conspiracy theory, but wished more people were involved.

I am also puzzled by the current political situation on the show. Wouldn't it be chaotic so with so many Independents in Congress & the Senate?

I like Maggie Q, so I would be happy if she joined the Secret Service.

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The truth with this show is that they wasted a great premise in season one. The show could have been about the potential disintegration of the union following the attack and the polarising nature of the US political system, and could have started with the secession of Texas (I'm British so not entirely familiar with US politics). The show would have then had an A and B plot, A being the president's attempt to hold the union together and B being the conspiracy. The C plots would have been political bartering with actual shades of grey and a more objective and nuanced take on the subject. There could have been antagonists who were honest in their outlook and compelling, and protagonists who are not so insufferably smug.  

Instead we got drivel. EDIT: Actually we got the following: -

  • The A plot (saving the union) was resolved in a couple of episodes of the first season, and with it almost all of the drama dissipated from the show. The complete dismissal of the A plot is cemented this season by the reconstruction of the Capitol building in a year (which, as others have noted, is an impossibility. Dam, even if it were a standard steel-framed, glass-clad office building it would be impossible, even without factoring in demolition and preparation.)     
  • The C plot (crisis du jour) moved up to the A plot position, and even then all the interesting dilemmas were resolved far too quickly, and any remaining antagonists left the show, or came on board with team Kirkman. At this point almost all of the remaining drama left the show. Instead we got irrelevant crap, like an arts fund getting cut, or that UN embarrassment, or the Russia/ Croatia randomness we had in this episode, none of which bear any relation to the original conceit of the show and are bland filler plots. 
  • The B plot (the conspiracy) would have been interesting if we had the FBI/ CIA organising and carrying out operations. Instead we got this one woman action hero rubbish, which was tonally inconsistent with the political drama. All the drama evaporated from this plot because it was so ridiculous and so ill-fitting. 

This show is a great lesson in how to come up with an interesting high-concept idea and destroy it through incompetent writing and plotting. I do not know where it can go for conflict/ drama now, and neither do the writers judging by this episode. 

Edited by Pindrop
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9 minutes ago, oakville said:

The show "solved" the conspiracy theory too quickly. At the end of the season 1, didn't Lloyd hack into the Defense Department computers? Now, at the opening of Season 2, everything is OK?

I liked the Conspiracy theory, but wished more people were involved.

I am also puzzled by the current political situation on the show. Wouldn't it be chaotic so with so many Independents in Congress & the Senate?

I like Maggie Q, so I would be happy if she joined the Secret Service.

Agreed, I had to think about who Lloyd was when they mentioned him this week, lol.  They also missed a huge "gimme" in season 1 having the President's family be such dopey zeroes.  Family members are, dramatically speaking, huge gaping human flaws waiting to be exploited, which "24" did merrily left and right to great effect (Jack's family all took a turn being imperiled, and the rest of the CTU gang's and the various Presidents' families too); and the best they can muster for Kirkman's, was the paternity nonsense about Leo, and "what does the President's highly accomplished capable wife do when there's no role for her in the White House and she's bored".  At least if they had made her a doctor they could have sent her to the Red Cross, etc.  

Edited by queenanne
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3 hours ago, Pindrop said:

(I'm British so not entirely familiar with US politics).

Neither are most US citizens.  :)

Another area they haven't exposed is the normal election process.  Even assuming the recently departed President had been just elected (I have forgotten), a year in means that midterm elections would be coming up.  To me it seems as though they threw the entire emergency scenario theme out the window and are now working off a normal political show scenario.  Boring.

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10 minutes ago, Dowel Jones said:

Neither are most US citizens.  :)

Another area they haven't exposed is the normal election process.  Even assuming the recently departed President had been just elected (I have forgotten), a year in means that midterm elections would be coming up.  To me it seems as though they threw the entire emergency scenario theme out the window and are now working off a normal political show scenario.  Boring.

I think that they had special elections to replace the Congress & Senate in Season 1.

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18 minutes ago, Dowel Jones said:

Neither are most US citizens.  :)

Another area they haven't exposed is the normal election process.  Even assuming the recently departed President had been just elected (I have forgotten), a year in means that midterm elections would be coming up.  To me it seems as though they threw the entire emergency scenario theme out the window and are now working off a normal political show scenario.  Boring.

I'm slightly more familiar now than I would like to be, mainly because you need earplugs in order to go five minutes without hearing someone referring to Trump. I wish people would realise that it is not necessary to insert him into every discussion, ceremony, speech, news report, comedy sketch, awards show, TV show thread... And now I've inserted him into the discussion ;)  

Edited by Pindrop
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1 hour ago, oakville said:

I think that they had special elections to replace the Congress & Senate in Season 1.

Obviously they did, but somewhere you have to get back on the same timeline as written in the Constitution, if they intend to hew to that line. 

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52 minutes ago, Biggie B said:

It's odd that there is no vice president after a whole year has passed.

He or she will turn up when the writer's remember or when the plot demands it, whatever comes first.

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On 9/27/2017 at 10:16 PM, dwmarch said:

Also, the international manhunt for the man who blew up the entire US government consists of said agent and said impractical heels and a British spy. Why didn't they think of that when they hunted Bin Laden down? All those Navy SEALs and military assets and all the US really needed was a single agent on a super-secret mission because this time it's personal!

Ha! This is what went through my head at that press conference when Seth said: "We've got our best people on this."

How many people is that? Two?

Yes, but they're our best people. 

Lordy, this show.

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On 9/27/2017 at 5:02 PM, marinw said:

I know it was corny and jingoistic, but Tom’s speech at the end kinda got to me.

Not at all. It was touching and inspiring. Tears were shed from my face haha

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What happened??  Last season I actually looked forward to it and had no trouble staying engaged.  For a season opener, this was such a snoozefest.  I found it hard to stay awake!  Hope it's not going down the tubes....................

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