'Designated Survivor' Recap: Tragedy Strikes the Kirkman Family
'Designated Survivor' Recap: Tragedy Strikes the Kirkman Family
Jilliane Johnson
Jilliane Johnson
Contributing Writer, BuddyTV
Ready for one action-packed winter finale episode of Designated Survivor? I sure am! One plot twist after another, Tom Kirkman and crew have dodged bullets, ducked from bad press, drowned in conspiracies and even had time in between for some romance. Something tells me we are in for quite a shocker as the First Lady's involuntary involvement with Eric Little comes to a head. Keep tissues handy; we're going in!
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It's Christmas, and Hannah wakes up to a sleeping, and presumably naked, Damian. She grabs his phone, plugs it into her laptop to download some info and hides it in her robe just before getting caught red-handed. 

One Remy Lucas tells news viewers that wildfires in Shenandoah are raging on, but asks when the federal government will be pulling out. Aaron is in the thick of things when he gets a call from the President, telling him to pack up and head back home. Before he and the fireman in his area can leave, a fireman knocks on a cabin door. He instructs the people inside to leave the area. "We're on a religious retreat," the main guy says before turning back to the others inside. "You know what to do." They begin boarding up the windows and turning over furniture. Emily, back at the White House, suggests that they're a cult.

In the Situation Room, Kirkman is briefed about the people in the cabin. Is it a hostage situation? Is it a cult? Either way, they're asking to speak directly to the President, but in the meantime Aaron makes a stop on his behalf. The leader wants a little girl, Grace, who is hospitalized, to be released to her mother so that God's will may intervene. Until this happens, he and the rest of his group will remain on the mountain until the fires take over. Aaron insists that anyone who wishes to leave follow him. They, instead, lock hands and stand their ground. (I'm sorry but this story-line, although pulled from real headlines, is irrelevant right now.)

Tensions are high between the President and First Lady as they just don't talk like they used to. He turns to her, looking like he wants to say so much, but walks away. She finally looks up from her studies for her own case, as if wishing that he would say what he wants, but nothing comes of it. This is not a good sign.

Emily looks on at the sick little girl at the hospital with Carrie. She urges her mother to consent to leaving her at the hospital for open heart surgery, but she does not want to interfere with God's will. Kirkman is put into a sticky situation as Kendra, Seth and Lyor help advise him. He doesn't want to upset Christians who back the mother's choice and no on wants to create an uproar in the media. Again, he must talk to the leader in the cabin.

Chuck finally stands up to Hannah about Damian. "He's suspect," he says. His superiority has always been an issue for me, too, but Hannah insists that she can handle herself. Let's hope she can.

Well, Kirkman's chat with the cabin leader proves to be a waste of time. They don't seem to care about the pending doom of fire creeping up to their door. As soon as word reaches them of the baby's release, only then will they evacuate.

Kendra speaks with Forestal who hits her with a possible deal via a no contest plea. "This is the price of me stepping down," he says. Alex wants to take the plea and walk away, taking the fifth to everything. Tom is worried about her reputation and life being ruined forever after. "You are innocent," he says in perfect Kiefer Sutherland fashion, "and that's where I stand." End of conversation. POTUS has left the room.

Hannah meets with Aaron who shows her surveillance footage of warehouse fire she and Damian investigated. Our British two-timer was at the sight two hours before he went back with Hannah, cutting the fence to plant the explosion which means he could be charged with arson. Aaron knows Hannah is compromised and that is why he wants to step in to catch this guy in the act. 

Kirkman pulls a trusted, and best open-heart surgeon, into the Oval Office, urging that he do all he can to save the little girl's life. He'll do what he can, but he can't make any promises.
Damian, still believing he's pulled one over on an FBI Agent, tempts Hannah with a trip to Maui for Christmas. Hannah hands him a watch. It looks simple and unassuming enough, but I wouldn't doubt that she's had it bugged.

Success! Kirkman has successfully convinced the mother to allow her little girl to have the surgery. Now, all we need is her to pull through.

I guessed right! Hannah and Chuck are tracking Damian's watch. He's in her apartment, sitting down at her laptop with no idea that we can see right up his nostrils. Hannah hurries out.

Again, Alex is doing her studies when the President comes in to wish her good luck with the subpoena, but his brief visit ends with his wanting to make the last few weeks up to her. No matter what happens, he says he will take the night off once she returns from her hearing so that they can spend some quality time together.

Grace's mother Carrie has been given quite the decision. Her religion forbids her to use the help of man to aide her child, but what about her own blood? The baby needs a blood transfusion and her blood is the only one that can help. Emily convinces her to do the right thing and lend her blood.

Alex and Kendra arrive at what was supposed to be a secret hearing, but they are met with a crowd of reporters. The First Lady could easily leave and go home, walking away from everything because now things have been compromised. Nope! No matter what, Alex wants this investigation to end today. 

Baby Grace makes it through surgery. Carrie is overjoyed, as she should be. Kirkman informs the cabin people of the news and they are evacuated promptly. I suppose it turned out to be a good thing that they were holed up there, otherwise, Grace may not have gotten the attention she needed, but they were still annoying. The President decides to visit Grace himself.
Alex has done her research and has done it well. Her testimony consists of all the things Forestal has done at the expense of the FBI in the name of this investigation into the First Lady and the First Mother-In-Law. In a fit of rage, Forestal shouts for the recorder to be turned off. Got him!

Aaron calls Hannah to his office where he informs that Damian is trained MI6 gone rogue. Of course, in classic Hannah style, she rushes off to bring him in for questioning, alone. She finds him on a bridge near a cathedral. They kiss under snowfall. "So what is this surprise?" he asks. "That I know," she replies and pulls a gun on him. He tries telling her that he has to show her something that will explain everything, but he has to reach into his pocket. "You reach for it and you're dead," she says. Damian ends up in the river with one bullet to the chest. What did he have in his pocket? 

The President looks on at baby Grace who is surprisingly happy after such a risky heart surgery. He apparently misses a call from Alex who wants to tell him that she beat the investigation, she's free and she loves her husband. Hannah now sits, crying at a bar as Damian (we just cannot get rid of this guy) crawls out of the river and opens his coat to reveal a bullet lodged in his bulletproof vest. 

Did you keep those tissues near? The motorcade is taking a happy Alex back to her husband when a truck pummels into her side of the car. Mike, banged up, tumbles out of the driver's seat as fellow Secret Servicemen find a horrifying scene in the backseat. Tom receives the call and drops to his knees, screaming. 

So, the questions of Natashce McElhone's departure from Designated Survivor have now been answered. Alex Kirkman has been killed. What does this mean for the Kirkman family moving forward? How will this effect the President in future endeavors? Who do you believe killed her? Is Damian a good guy after all? There is a lot to talk about until the show's return in February of next year, so leave your comments below! 

Designated Survivor airs Wednesdays at 10/9c on ABC. Want more? Like our Designated Survivor Facebook page.

(Image courtesy of ABC)