TV Review: Designated Survivor (Season 2, Episode 9)
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This week’s Designated Survivor, ‘Three-Letter Day’, had every sign of being yet another filler episode before the highly-anticipated winter finale. That is, until the very last minute, when a satisfying but predictable twist sets up a cliff-hanger as next week’s jump-off point. It was foreseeable that Hannah Wells’ handsome love interest would be the covert enemy amongst their ranks. After all, it’s a recurring trope in many shows featuring a female operative, and because of its predictability, it steers the show once again into soap opera territory. Whether this will be the case remains to be seen in the way the writers will handle this development in episodes to come.
An undeniably great thing to come from this revelation is that Damian’s character being underdeveloped and the single-tone acting was intentional, and not the result of poor scripting. The annoying convenience with which he continues to stick around Hannah and be involved in US governmental affairs, his lack of any meaningful contribution to their investigations, and how his infuriating arrogance could still appeal to a woman like Hannah all make sense now. The new context this week provides to this season’s events suggests these perceived flaws were in fact deliberate, which is good news for the show’s writing. ‘Three-Letter Day’ did make significant headway regarding the Eric Little conspiracy and Alex’s involvement within it all, but this season’s driving narrative got relegated to subplot status this week, and was forgotten amongst the three other plots involving the three letters assigned to the White House staff. This mid-season has been dragging on this conspiracy in a painfully laborious manner, so much so that the anticipation surrounding it has dimmed considerably.
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