“Sting of the Tail” Starts WIth “Nerd Prom” and Ends With Stuff Blowing Up
This week, Designated Survivor was filled with the usual rising drama and explosive action, but this time with a few bad jokes thrown in. The episode opens right before the White House Correspondents dinner, what is affectionately nicknamed “Nerd Prom,” but this major Washington event takes a back seat when it’s found out that Patrick Lloyd (Terry Serpico)), the man responsible for the capital bombing, is back in D.C. Using ear recognition software the FBI was able to detect his arrival. Yes, you read that right. It turns out ears are just as effective as fingerprints to identify people. None of us are safe. While Agent Wells (Maggie Q) and company track Lloyd to a bunker and President Kirkland (Kiefer Sutherland) and his staff battle it out with the Congress over his use of a drone to stop Lloyd, Seth Wright (Kal Penn) tries to hold the media at bay at Nerd Prom.
Lloyd wastes no time once back. He visits his son, drops in on the President’s mother-in-law, and calls the President to threaten a gas attack if he isn’t pardoned. Great. A terrorist with time management skills. President Kirkland makes some moves of his own. With help from Aaron Shore (Adan Canto), the president is able to work around Congress and launch the drone. The drone is launched, it drops a bomb on Lloyd’s bunker, seemingly killing the terrorist.
There are still a ton of questions to be answered at the end of the episode. Why did Lloyd visit the President’s mother in law? Why did he allow himself to be so easily tracked? Why is Seth so bad at telling jokes?
A lot happened on Designated Survivor this week. We have a full deck of stellar panelists to help us unpack it all, let’s meet them!
Ryan Bartholomee (@RyanBartholomee) – The Supper Hero and a CPA who thinks he is funny.
Melissa (@atomicginge) – Writer, Fangirl and TV Junkie.
Anita Elizabeth (@anitaelizar) – Student, instructor, baseball fan and discusser.
The Hunt for Patrick Loyd continued this episode and he is back in DC. Do you think the public should have been notified?
Ryan Bartholomee: If it comes down to not wanting to incite panic vs. giving people an opportunity to get out of harm’s way, then I am leaning towards the latter. However, the government always knows what is best, right?
Melissa: Firstly, what an interesting twist to have Lloyd come back to DC after what he did to the Capitol Building. I do however agree with the Team and Kirkman’s decision to wait until the threat was neutralized. Announcing Lloyd’s reappearance publicly any sooner would’ve been catastrophic to the investigation. Agent Wells has spent over a year searching across the globe for this terrorist, that if the President had notified the American people any sooner, all of her hard work would’ve been for nothing as Lloyd would’ve either gone underground OR had something worse than a booby-trapped bunker waiting for her.
Anita Elizabeth: It’s as Aaron mentioned if Lloyd picked up on knowing that he was being watched then he’d disappear and it would become harder for them to find him. I agree with their reasoning to notify Congress and the senators about it though. As mentioned by Tom, it would be leaking classified information.
Do you agree with with the use of drones to fight domestic terrorism? What are your concerns? The HSC tried to stop the President from using a drone to blow up the bunker. Were they justified in their concerns?
Ryan: That sounds horrific and terrifying. How accurate are the drones? How certain are we about the intel? Is this a slippery slope that will lead to something worse like our apocalyptic end? Pausing long enough to reconsider whether the decision is the right one is wise. The trick is not pausing so long that tragedy strikes. The HSC was definitely justified in trying to stop the President. It is about checks and balances. In the words of President Kirkman: “This is not a government of one.”
Melissa: Initially, I was completely thrown by how anyone could defend taking out a single man when he’s such a huge threat to national security. However, after thinking about it, I do understand that the HSC was coming at this from a purely lawful standpoint, but it’s always hard because I’m constantly questioning whether or not someone new is in Lloyd’s back pocket. They were justified in there concerns to an extent, but ultimately wrong in my opinion. Using the drone was completely necessary, I think it served the purpose well.
Anita Elizabeth: Drones can be used for various things, such as delivery, surveillance, tracking hurricanes etc. using them for fighting domestic terrorism is justifiable as it can get into areas that aren’t doable by manpower. As Aaron said, it’s covert and not easily spottable by the public as well.
What do you think of Loyd’s terrorist plan? Do you think he is telling the truth? Or do you believe his actions and motives are still not clear?
Ryan: The whole strategy feels like a discovered attack in a chess match. It is a great strategy unless you are on the receiving end. Does Lloyd know what truth is? Blaming the government for his father’s death would definitely change his ultimate goal. Was this a suicide mission?
Melissa: I’m torn with this question because I know that Lloyd absolutely has the motivation and means to go through with such a plan, yet it seemed a little too easy. He got sloppy toward “the end”, he knew Hannah and the British MI-6 Agent would find the abandoned piece of land because he was there waiting for them. Then, he ran straight into a bunker, when he knew Wells was on his tail and had the location. He couldn’t possibly have thought that once he stepped into that bunker, he would walk out a free man. Not a hope in hell. Which is why I am just concerned that he’s either; a. Not actually dead OR b. The poisonous gas was on a timer he’d had planned should anything happened to him, and that thousands of people are going to die anyway, even after the President’s statement about everything being fine.
It just feels like there is someone orchestrating one event after the other, to try and take down Kirkman’s presidency. Whether they be days, weeks or months apart, Tom is faced with some pretty extreme dilemma’s, that leave the American people questioning both him and their government. And I know that the show started off this the Capitol Building being blown up with half the Senate inside it, but I can feel it in my bones, that something huge is yet to come.
Anita Elizabeth: As mentioned by Tom, Lloyd’s motives are all over getting back at the system for his own father and son. he took his rage about those two situations on the public by blowing up the capitol and with the releasing of gas. he really seemed to want to get back by making the public pay for his past.
Do you think Lloyd is still alive? Was it a good idea for the President to make an announcement?
Ryan: I am not sure that Iron Man would have survived that one (unless there is a suit upgrade that I am not aware of). That was not a kid’s drone. I think the announcement was what America needed but not what she deserves. If the polls are all that matter, then it was a terrific announcement. It definitely puts a spin on the truth that portrays Kirkman in the best light. The question is: Can Kirkman’s conscience allow that to be all that he shares with the public?
Melissa: As much as I don’t want to believe it, I think there’s a chance he still is. I think that as much as it’s protocol to update the American people on such a feat, in hindsight after everything that happened in Season 1, (i.e. Majid Nassar, Peter MacLeish etc.) that Tom would double, triple, quadruple check that Lloyd is in fact dead. By either having Wells identify the body at the scene, have photos of the remains put through a facial recognition system – or what’s left of it anyway – to be able to have sufficient evidence behind them if Lloyd shows up a few months later on a rampage again.
Anita Elizabeth: It’s as the president was told by the end, they got Lloyd’s remains but I think that tom should have waited to get all the facts to ensure that Lloyd was the one that they actually got.
Why do you think Loyd went to the President’s mother in law’s home? Was this a threat? Intimidation?
Ryan: Lloyd obviously wanted a heart to heart conversation with the President’s mother in law. Who wouldn’t? I ship it. Wait! What? Seriously, though, this was definitely a message and a distraction all at the same time. I really want to know what was being uploaded at the end. Perhaps that would answer all of the unanswered questions that I still have.
Melissa: That question has been on my mind, driving me crazy, since the episode finished. Tom mentioned in the previous episode that his wife’s grandparents are Russian, I don’t think it’s been specified whether it’s her grandparents on her mother’s side or father’s side, but that definitely popped into my head as a potential factor. Also, the fact we haven’t met Tom’s own parents yet, or have any information on them really, could be another reason Lloyd targeted the President’s mother-in-law. He couldn’t get to Tom’s parents, so he went to the next best thing, in order to send a message to the President?
I’m not entirely sure. I think it was intimidation, it was a threat, but the skeptic in me thinks there could potentially be another reason, that somehow Lloyd and Tom’s mother-in-law could be linked somehow.
Anita Elizabeth: Initially, I thought that he went to his mother in law’s place because they knew each other from the past and that she was his accomplice somehow. I think that he was going to either kidnap her for ransom or murder her somehow to show that he was going to stop at nothing and go as far as targeting his family to get what he and the true believers want. The family is Lloyd’s weak spot as well, so maybe in his mindset, he thinks that by taking away from someone else’s family it will make him feel better about his objectives.
Agent Wells and her new, kinda partner from MI-6 got into the bunker only to almost get blown up. What do you think of this pair?
Ryan: Damian makes a good “damsel in distress” for Hannah Wells. He even has a great accent. What more can you ask for? Sure, Agent Wells could probably do everything better on her own. But someone has to be a decoy for Lloyd. I feel like Agent Wells with pretty much anybody else makes a great team. It is, after all, Agent Wells. Maggie Q is awesome.
Melissa: I miss Jason. I loved his and Hannah’s dynamic. That being said, it is really nice to see Hannah partnered up again, especially someone who’s ego isn’t causing friction between them or undermining her thoughts. Hannah Wells is a fricken’ badass and this MI-6 agent is lucky to be working with her. After so many people questioning Hannah last season, part of me feels like despite her being headstrong and resilient, that a small part of her doubted herself, especially after Jason died.
I think Hannah is back, more confident and more kickass than before. I will admit that the MI-6 agent had me side-eyeing him, especially in Lloyd’s bunker, my anxiety was spiking and the voice in my head was saying that this was when the British agent would take her out, and be revealed to be a co-conspirator with Lloyd. BUT that being said, I’ve never been so happy to be wrong! It’s going to be interesting to see what happens when the British agent has to return to the UK, and therefore leave Wells another partner down.
But then again, Hannah only need a partner for back-up, really. Chuck is loyal and trustworthy and despite not being in the field, I’d say he’s as much Hannah’s partner as Jason was, so I’m glad he’s still in it.
Anita Elizabeth: I think that they work really well together! I like that they are not the type who seem to constantly bicker and give each other a hard time. great chemistry and background. I would like to see her partner use and share more of his investigative and intelligence based resources as well to help Hannah out though. I hope we will be able to see more of that this season.
Hopefully, the President’s Decisions Won’t Blow up in His Face Later
Overall, this was a strong episode. Filled with everything we love about the show. It was dangerous, mysterious, and suspenseful with a nice balance of humor. Although a little more about Nerd Prom would have been nice. The White House correspondents dinner is such a cornerstone of Washington politics, for us political nerds it was a little disappointing not to see more.
It’s exciting to think about what will unfold as the season progresses. Some dangerous decisions were made and all will have consequences. President Kirkland didn’t make any friends going around Congress. It may also not have been wise to announce to the American public that Lloyd is dead without confirmation or that a drone was used to kill an American on American soil. Let’s hope the president’s decisions this episode don’t come back to haunt him.
Designated Survivor returns next Wednesday, October 11th at 10/9c on ABC.
It’s No Joke. Bombing has Consequences.Are there new enemies to come on Designated Survivor or will old ones come back to haunt President Kirkland?