Designated Survivor: review and spoilers of first episode

ABC’s newest series premiered last week.

Article II, Section 3 of the Constitution states that “He shall from time to time give to Congress information of the State of the Union and recommend to their consideration such measures as he shall judge necessary and expedient.”

In other words, it is the obligation of the President of the United States of America to periodically address the country’s current state of affairs. Every year in January, the President delivers his State of the Union speech in the United States Capitol, with all members of the President’s cabinet in attendance, except one.

This one excluded person is known as the “designated survivor,” and is kept in an undisclosed and secure location during the address; it is an insurance that continuity of government would prevail if an attack or unforeseeable tragedy was to occur.

Emerging from this premise, a new show on ABC titled Designated Survivor came into being, and aired last Wednesday. The show received mostly positive reviews. PVHS Junior, Tate Robinson said that she “enjoy[ed] the suspense and reality it brings.”

The show follows a man named Tom Kirkman, who at the beginning of the episode, holds a position extremely low in the presidential succession. On the night of the State of the Union address, he was chosen to be the designated survivor.

Tom and his wife nonchalantly watch the speech, when suddenly the television screen goes black. Immediately, chaos began to unfurl. As security details rushed into the room Tom was occupying, he gazed out the window to see the Capitol building aflame.

Later in the show, it is discovered that the current president, as well as all of the other cabinet members, perished in the explosion. Drama hits its peak when Tom’s security guard turns around and informs Tom that he has just become the President of the United States.

As Washington D.C. reels from what has just occurred, Tom’s fellow government officials seem skeptical of Tom and his ability to lead the country. Tom, however, realizes that at least for the time being, he is America’s only hope. Conspiracies and talk of treason occur at the episode’s conclusion as Tom addresses the country for the first time as President of the United States.

This series promises to be filled to the brim with excitement and drama, and I look forward to watching it unfold. Catch the next episode tomorrow night at 10 pm.