Designated Survivor season 3 episode 3 brought you all sorts of great drama, and also introduced a new key player into the fold.
Who is that? Let’s spend a little bit of time here on Sasha, Tom Kirkman’s sister-in-law played by Sense8 alarm Jamie Clayton. How Sasha turns up in the series is rather interesting, and it is one of the most unfortunate aspects of being tied to some sort of a massive campaign. Obviously, Kirkman did not want to involve other members of his family, including relatives of his late wife, into him wanting to run for office. However, his opponents and the majority of the press put him in a position where he felt he had to.
During episode 2 we worried about how much of a heel-turn Kirkman was willing to make for the sake of the office, we really do think that he tried to handle this situation as best he could. When he went to Sasha, he didn’t do so with one sort of some sort of aggressive push her desire to expose her entire life as a trans woman to the public. Instead, he did so on the advice of his advisers, who said that this would be the best way for her to get her privacy back rather than be constantly hounded and used as a political prop. He didn’t want to exploit her, but if he didn’t speak up about it or have her involved, then it would look as though he was not supporting the trans community.
Through her scenes in this episode, Sasha immediately stands out as a fascinating character, someone who can be there for Tom’s daughter as she grows up and also be involved in his life in some shape or form. She’s smart, understanding, and empathetic. She even makes the decision to stick around, which means that we’re probably going to see more of her for the rest of the season. Kirkman does admit, both to Sasha and even the country at the end of the episode, that it took some time in order to accept and process some of Sasha’s decisions. Yet, that may help him to be more relatable to a lot of people out there (he cares about her, but he’s learning like anyone else), and his speech all about her was fairly well received.
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Kirkman’s speech on Sasha also showed where he stands on yet another key issue, and that is leaking personal information out to the press. Here is the big twist, though — despite Kirkman’s orders for the news to be kept under wraps, someone leaked that one of his opponents has the Alzheimer’s Gene. It seems as though it was Emily Rhodes, or at least that’s how the end of the episode seemed to frame it. Don’t you think that’s going to come back at some point this season?
As for the other storylines within this episode…
Aaron is now preparing to become the vice president of the United States, at least if Kirkman gets his way come Election Day. He wanted to make sure that he wasn’t just being used for his Latino heritage, but that hurdle seems to be cleared — Tom’s aware of the clout he brings, but he’s not just someone he’s rolling out for some votes.
Meanwhile, Mars’ wife has gone off into rehab (while Mars is apparently getting a little romance on the side), Seth actually reunited with his biological daughter (who he only just learned about), and Hannah Wells continues her investigation into this new virus that could prove to be enormously dangerous. It remains to be seen how the show this is going to manifest itself in the rest of the season, but obviously, it’s going to be troublesome. The writers wouldn’t be investing this much time into it otherwise.
If there is one problem with the first three episodes that is included in all of them, it is that the stories of Hannah and Tom are so separate from each other. Designated Survivor season 3, at least so far, feels like somewhat of a disparate show. For what it has, it definitely remains very much entertaining, well-acted, and still a step above what it was doing on ABC. The best thing about it may just be how serialized it feels, and it does actually seem as though we’re building towards something big. It’s just a matter of when we get there.
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