There are political choices, and then there are moral choices. Designated Survivor season 3 episode 9 spent the majority of its time fixating on the latter and understandably so.
With us getting so close to the end of this season, Kirkman needs to establish the sort of candidate, and also the sort of person, he wants to be. That means taking stock in his decisions and also recognizing his mistakes.
His treatment of Sasha on the campaign trail – In our mind, Jamie Clayton’s character is the strongest new addition to the season. Alex’s sister is smart, nuanced, careful, and also has formed a great relationship with Tom’s daughter, arguably the show’s best moral compass. There were two different moments in this episode that signified Tom realizing that he made a mistake not having Sasha introduce him in Houston. First, it was his daughter getting upset with him for thinking politically over personally. Then, it was former President Moss telling him that he would have done the same.
Being that the last person Kirkman EVER wants to be is Moss, this could prove to be the impetus for him making a different decision. It’s basically like holding up a mirror to your face and feeling that mirror crack into pieces.
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Revisiting the bioweapon – The good news is that Brunton, the campaign staffer for Moss involved in the storyline that killed Hannah Wells (#stillbitter) is gone. Meanwhile, the equally-good news is that this led to the arrest of that terrible pharmaceutical boss who Mars was trying to take out. (Sure, it was super-convenient that he was also tied to what was going on with the bioweapon — hey, Designated Survivor has to wrap up some of its storylines somehow.)
The big at the end of the episode, though, was information suggesting that Moss may have known about what Brunton was up to — or, at least that’s what Kirkman was led to believe by the information that hit the press. Moss being a domestic terrorist is not the sort of thing that gets people to the ballot box. It would get Tom the win, but at what cost? How much would this cause him pain? Tremendously so, more than likely, and the episode tonight featured him struggling and losing sleep over the idea of dirty politics in the first place.
Oh, and then there’s also this: The fact that Moss didn’t actually know and the information leaked to the press was misleading, a product of Lorraine’s doing. She’s shown herself to be strong, incredibly capable, and then also incredibly corrupt. She’s the head of the sneak when it comes to the creation of chaos. She is the person whose actions could lead to the campaign falling apart — knowing Kirkman, he’s not going to be okay with the idea of winning via news that isn’t exactly true. Fake news is a problem, but when his team is producing the fakery, it’s an epidemic.
Designated Survivor season 3 episode 9 was about the cost of doing business — take, for example, Kirkman realizing that running for President has fundamentally changed him. Meanwhile, Emily Rhodes lost her mother only to then find herself forced to work in uncovering the truth about Pegasus — the secret operation that she was working on in order to deceive and con Kirkman to the White House.
While we’ve felt at times the storylines this season have gone too crazy, also consider this — how crazy is any of it in comparison to what’s happening in the real world? Is there really any distinction at all?
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What did you think about Designated Survivor season 3 episode 9 overall? Be sure to share in the comments. (Photo: Netflix.)