The midseason finale of ABC's Designated Survivor left viewers with one hell of a cliffhanger: Was the president shot? The series, which debuted to more than 10 million viewers in September, has been one of the better network dramas of the year and was certified fresh on Rotten Tomatoes. Now, after a lengthy hiatus, the series' midseason premiere is upon us.
Designated Survivor seems particularly relevant in 2017, as it follows a recently sworn-in president whom much of the country — and other government officials — believes does not have the requisite experience to be leader of the free world (sound familiar?). The series follows Tom Kirkman, played by 24's Kiefer Sutherland, who is sworn in as U.S. president following a devastating attack on the nation's capital.
Much of the first half of the season focused on Kirkman's attempts to rebuild the government while also trying to uncover the conspiracy surrounding the Capitol bombing. But when the series returns at 10 p.m. Eastern on Wednesday, Kirkman may no longer be president. Here are some questions that need to be answered in the season's second half.
Who was shot?
In the final moments of the winter finale, right after Peter MacLeish (whom the audience knows to be involved in the bombing) is sworn in as vice president, a sniper takes a shot at the president. Whom the bullet makes contact with, however, is still unknown. In the midseason premiere of Designated Survivor — the series' 11th episode — it appears we'll learn the answer to that mystery.
Since FBI agent Hannah Wells, played by Maggie Q, got off a shot of her own, it's pretty safe to assume that if Kirkman was hit, he will likely live (certainly, Sutherland is not being written off the show). But if Kirkman is incapacitated for some time, MacLeish, who is now vice president, will temporarily ascend to the presidency. This could be a very dangerous scenario.
You can watch the final scene from Designated Survivor's midseason finale below:
Is Aaron a traitor?
Before the midseason finale, we learned the Capitol bombing was based on a government-sponsored war-game scenario. In "The Oath," Kirkman discovered a senior White House official likely saw the simulation, meaning there could be a traitor. This leads Kirkman to place his trusted adviser, Emily Rhodes, in charge of an investigation into the matter.
We eventually learn the man who likely saw the bombing simulation was none other than Aaron Shore, the president's current chief of staff. While it's not certain he had anything to do with the bombing, the revelation definitely has Rhodes concerned — especially since they've developed a bit of a romantic fling.
Aaron's true allegiance remains a mystery, but we should start getting answers in the midseason premiere.
Who's behind the Capitol bombing?
While we know some of the players who were involved — or closely associated with — the Capitol bombing, we still have no idea what organization carried out the plan. In the midseason finale, we saw that MacLeish's wife is actually not so innocent; she seems to be fully aware of her husband's connection to the attack. Could she have something to do with the bombing, too?
Hopefully, all this and more will be explained when Designated Survivor returns. For now, here is the synopsis for episode 11, titled "Warriors":
The nation reels from the aftermath of the shooting on the steps of the Capitol while Emily struggles with the knowledge there may be a traitor in the White House. Meanwhile, FBI Agent Hannah Wells grapples with her decision to reveal what she knows about the conspiracy behind the Capitol bombing.
Need a little more Designated Survivor? Here's a promo teasing the latter part of the season:
Designated Survivor returns to ABC at 10 p.m. Eastern on Wednesday.
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