Designated Survivor season 3 episode 1 review: Kirkman vs. his legitimacy

Designated SurvivorWhere does President Tom Kirkman stand in America? That is the question that was at the center of Designated Survivor season 3, one that debuted on Netflix on Friday night. While the basic skin of the series from the ABC days was here, we were left with a show that was edgier, stronger, and certainly tighter. It was about laying the foundation for what is going to be coming up next in a number of interesting ways.

President Kirkman in the early going in the premiere faced some serious questions in regards to his candidacy. After all, he wanted to run for President, but that didn’t mean that he was going to get it.

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What Kirkman went through in the premiere is probably similar to what any independent incumbent president would face. That’s especially the case for someone who is not actually elected. Kirkman was feeling the heat from people even within his own staff over this idea that he, someone who got the presidency because of a freak accident, would actually want to run this time around.

He also had to find a way in order to get some other people on his side. For most of the premiere, you see Kirkman scramble, trying to find the right assembly of people around him in order to ensure that he can make the next step towards becoming President in a more traditional. That included bringing on a new person in Mars Harper (Anthony Edwards) to oversee a lot of his efforts and working to ensure that people like Emily Rhodes (Italia Ricci) were back in his orbit once more. It also ended up leading to a promotion for Dontae, a young man whose social-media strategy offered Kirkman the first real wiggle room of his campaign.

The one thing that Tom Kirkman is excelling at, for at least the moment, is capitalizing on the frustration of many Americans out there. “#TheSystemIsBroken” is sort of the message that came across the most of the premiere, as he determined that just listening to the disenfranchised and the unhappy may be the one way in which he can secure the presidency. These are people who don’t really like either party but just find themselves having to vote for one of the other because there is no viable third choice.

His signature speech, which took place right in the middle of a protest, was legitimately stirring and it is the sort of thing that Designated Survivor should try to do more often. He showed real presidential qualities as he actually listened to the stories of some of those people in attendance. While he still may have many problems, including getting all of Congress to decide on some of his various initiatives, we think that Kirkman is on the right path, at least for now.

As for what’s happening elsewhere, it’s hard to say whether or not Hannah Wells is on the right path at all. She finds herself working now with the CIA after having her credentials stripped from her previous position. It was also apparently clear that she is a persona non grata in the UK moving forward. Wells has been through a lot through these first two seasons, and we’re certainly curious to see how she’s going to factor bit into everything else coming up the rest of the season.

CarterMatt Verdict

Overall, what the Designated Survivor season 3 premiere does well is sort of set the table and give you a sense of where certain characters are in their lives. You have some new faces, but we think the basic idea of the show isn’t all that different. Tom Kirkman wants to be the best president of the United States that he can, but there are a lot of people who don’t find him legitimate and there are a lot of people don’t want to listen to him at all. It’s a different sort of political story with that in mind. He’s not just playing to his constituents, mostly because he doesn’t really have any.

For more news on Designated Survivor, including reviews of other upcoming episodes, be sure to visit the link here.

What do you think about the Designated Survivor season 3 premiere? Be sure to share right now in the comments, and stay tuned for more. (Photo: Netflix.)

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