President Kirkman (Keifer Sutherland) faces an uphill battle during his first days as President of the United States as he simultaneously deals with both national and personal crises as he heads up the biggest office in the free world in the second episode of Designated Survivor.

Titled “The First Day,” episode 2 shows the people of the United States as furious and wanting someone to pay for the attack on the Capitol building that killed not only the president, but all of the cabinet members during the series first episode.

Kirkman, the former Secretary of Housing and Urban Development, is now the president of the free world and realizing that the job is not all its cracked up to be.

The President Continues to Find His Way While Faith in the U.S. Crumbles

With wife Alex (Natascha McElhone) by his side, Kirkman navigates just how difficult the job of commander-in-chief is when he is being pushed by the country to declare war, but his rational side wants to be sure of who ruthlessly murdered the innocent members of the U.S. government.

Kirkman finds himself at a loss at how to deal with the pressure being put on him by the members of his own pulled-together cabinet. As they threw questions at him to try and figure out how to handle this situation, Kirkman finds the strain too much and briefly walks away from the demands of the job to a familiar space in the White House, where he finds a quiet moment to digest the situation.

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Presidential speechwriter Seth Wright finds himself the object of racial profiling after the terrorist attack on the Capitol, where two policemen question his validity as a White House employee.

Muslim residents in Michigan are targeted by the state’s police because of their religion after the attacks. When Kirkman attempts to discuss the situation with the governor of Michigan, he is shot down in his attempts to provoke calm instead of fear. Facing a wall of negativity from the governor, Kirkman is told his opinion does not matter.

The FBI Cannot With Certainty Point the Finger at One Terrorist Group

Hannah Wells (Maggie Q) tours the FBI’s investigation site at the Capitol. The head of the FBI declares an offshoot terrorist group is behind the devastation. Hannah asks if there is anyone who has taken credit and she is told no.

Kirkman is frustrated at the inability of his remaining White House colleagues to determine one hundred percent who is behind the attack and says he will not declare war against one particular group until he is absolutely certain he has the right people pegged as terrorists.

144144_0793.jpg A tour of the devastation at the Capitol site brings President Kirkman closer to the American people. The site is completely devastated. He meets with the deputy director of the FBI who explains the situation thus far and cements the president’s belief that this is a terrorist act.

Kirkman speaks to those who are working at the site, searching for survivors but during his speech, those in attendance question him as to how much he knows about the violence going on in Michigan where a Muslin teenager is severely beaten by police. When the crowd erupts in panic over the situation, Kirkman is pulled out of the area before the violence escalates.

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Kirkman Calls His First Bluff as the Commander-In-Chief

The governor of Michigan refuses to take the president’s calls. Kirkman looks for legal options to try and pull executive rank to stop the violence by the police against innocent civilians in the state, but as he tries to find a solution, the boy beaten by police dies. After speaking to the governor, he convinces him to have the police stand down after revealing law enforcement¬† may have interrupted government business. Kirkman calls the parents of the young boy who died to express his condolences.

The president returns to the site of the devastation without a press corp to offer condolences and thanks to those working tirelessly to find out who created the havoc in Washington.
 
During the last moments of the episode, a lone survivor is found in the rubble of the Capitol.

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

(Image courtesy of ABC)