So here is what we know so far on Designated Survivor: Patrick Lloyd is dead, yet before dying, he sent some information involving future potential bombsites to various locations. The First Mother-In-Law was subpoenaed for bribery after insurance papers were found from 1987 when she did what she thought was the right thing to do to save her husband’s life. From this, we found out about a corrupt Washington D.C. area construction worker who is now deceased. There are new faces in the White House and Hannah kissed a boy. What will President Kirkman and his crew come up with next?

There is a hideous storm brewing in the Persian Gulf where an explosion has just occurred on an American vessel, the U.S.S. Verona. Aaron informs Kirkman that it collided with … wait for it … a garbage barge. Thanks to some literal trash, 16 people have lost their lives. Of course, the nation of Kunami is not happy with the news of a U.S. ship in their waters. The captain of the ship is no more, so the highest in command, Lt. Will Griffin (Gregory Smith), who informs the President of the conditions. Kirkman assures him that they will do all they can as fast as they can.

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Hannah Keeps Things Professional

Hannah and Damian have taken a break from canoodling to speak with Ms. Peyton Lane, the same woman who gave the tip that led the duo to Darius Cray. They inform her that Cray’s wife moved an incredible number of Euros from her husband’s account just after he was shot. She leaves to speak to the Prime Minister about the situation. This gives Damian an uncomfortable way to turn the conversation to their kiss. “Are we going to talk about this?” Nope. Hannah doesn’t want to and she leaves before it can go any further. She’s all about business.

Aaron speaks with the Kunami Ambassador who is visibly upset and presenting a wall to any possibility of a rescue mission for the victims on the Verona. He makes a pretty interesting point as Aaron pleads. If a Kunami ship were off the coast of New York City, there would be no thought of negotiations because it would already have been shot down to the bottom of the ocean long before the words of peace were spoken. Is this a reason to keep Kirkman from extracting those victims? Apparently so, because there is now a blockade surrounding the Verona, keeping them in and the entire world out.

To switch gears, Kendra informs Kirkman about his mother-in-law’s hearing. There is no stopping John, though and the longer this goes on, the more involved Mrs. Booker will have to become.

Emily’s Estranged Dad Returns

Here’s a little personal story on Emily, finally. After being absent for 23 years, she tells Seth that she has dinner plans with her father. She doesn’t care to see him, but she’s been putting it off for a while. Seth assures her the worries of the nation will still be around when she gets back. Sitting with her father, he looks to still be more focused on himself. His excuse (even though he says it isn’t an excuse) for leaving is that he and her mother were not in love. A teary-eyed Emily brings up birthdays without receiving cards from him and his response is weak. “I didn’t know what to say.” Her response? “How about goodbye.” He comes back with a beaten-up clipping of a young Emily who won the spelling bee when she was 13 years old. (Why didn’t he lead-in with that?)

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Hannah and Damian sit across the table from Catherine Cray and her lawyer. She claims she has nothing to do with her husband’s business. Yet Hannah lets her know quickly that the minute Darius takes the stand implicates that his wife had something to do with his crimes. Chuck enters the room and pulls Hannah and Damian out to show them that Peyton Lane has been taken hostage. If Darius isn’t extradited to Malaysia, then she will lose her life. Catherine has a lot of explaining to do.

S.O.S.

Meanwhile, the Kunami Ambassador has taken to the press to announce that the U.S.S. Verona was an instrument of God, sent by America to spy on their peace-loving country. Yes, he said all of that. Needless to say, the Verona will need a little more than hope and a prayer to send its inhabitants back home to American soil. One thing is for sure, the “war ship in exchange for a weapons program” is definitely off the table.

The diplomatic front is a slow one. There is the possibility of the ship’s coordinates proving they were not in Kunami waters before the monsoon, but that also fails to be a productive plan. The military is ready to take action and strike the blockade down, but Kirkman is a lover, not a fighter.

While all this is happening, Emily’s dad is wandering around the West Wing because she’s been a little carried away with work. He’s been making quite the impression on the staff, though. Perhaps this will help him win his daughter’s love and affection.

Hannah and Damian meet with Cornelius and they tell him of their beliefs that Catherine is behind the Thorn murder and the Lane kidnapping. Malaysia is out of the question, though, because if Cray finds his way there, all he will get for his crimes is “a slap on the wrist” or at best, a house arrest because he has major holdings in East Asia. Cornelius makes a call to the British Prime Minister while the duo set off to find Ms. Lane.

Get on Board, Mrs. Booker

Kendra sits with the First Mother-In-Law, telling her just how things have gone from bad to worse. While the subpoena is squashed, the hounds will come to find her if she does not sign a document saying that she had not had any contact with contractor Eric Little for at least three decades. Her husband (the one who got her in this mess) was a lawyer, so she knows how this can cause her to be surrounded by even more scrutiny, but Kendra assures her that she will be by her side with the best solution to the problem.

Emily’s father is having a conversation with Seth who, when the Press Secretary leaves the room, suggests just how attracted he is to his daughter. (I thought I smelled love triangle in the air earlier, but now I see it forming.) Will Emily choose Aaron or Seth?

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Senators have been assembled in the Roosevelt Room to discuss the program that can possibly bring the Verona home. They don’t believe the regime has “turned over a new leaf” and reluctantly will take the topic to the Foreign Relations Committee. Lyor calls this a “duck and cover” strategy and Kirkman agrees that they won’t be able to save the victims in time at this rate. Mike finds the two in the hallway, “the Verona is sinking.” It’s now or never.

Five or Six Hours

“We’re taking on water faster than we can get rid of it,” Lt. Griffon reports. They only have about five or six hours before the Verona sinks. Griffon and his men are proud of have served the country and are willing to give their lives for it, but Kirkman makes it known that this sort of sacrifice will not be made today. On the other hand, Congress has turned down the program and urges diplomatic efforts to press on to free the Verona. They need another option which prompts the President to ask for information on the recreation of the Verona’s collision.

Hannah and Damian stand with Chuck in front of his computer as they try to pinpoint Peyton Lane’s location. Mike walks in with a package for Hannah. It’s a mobile phone with a number to call: the kidnapper. Before she says too much, she looks over at Damian. (Do they already have an unsaid code that only they can understand? This love connection is already going too far!)

One Epic Grudge

The recreation of the Verona’s collision is now up on screen in the Situation Room. I’m sure we could have done this a long time ago, but it turns out that the garbage barge deliberately rammed the ship. Kirkman presents this to the Ambassador who sticks to his guns, saying that the U.S. was invading after turning his country into a pariah. This is much bigger than one war ship. This is a grudge that the country has against the American nation and he’s threatening to bring in neighboring allies against America in the name of war. Kirkman makes a decision and tells the Admiral to deploy a rescue ship. Kunami can have the vessel but “we’re bringing our people home.” Oh, and he also adds a minor note: “If they engage, take every ship they’ve got.” So “Diplomatic Kirkman” is now, “All About Business Kirkman!”

Everyone sits in the Situation Room listening to the rescue mission and watching the satellite broadcast of the Verona. All casualties are accounted for and the rescue ship will be bringing those stranded back home.

Kendra sits with Mrs. Booker again. More beans are being spilled from this woman. She claimed she had no contact with Little for 30 years, yet now reveals that he came over a few weeks ago for around two minutes, which I suppose she didn’t find odd. This was such a small amount of time it just happened to slip her mind. This is not good at all.

A Signal Before Dying

Hannah, Damian and Chuck watch on as Peyton mentions her siblings. This can’t be right, though, because she’s an only child. No, Peyton has had training in these sorts of things and is signaling that she’s been taken to an isolated area. Hannah and Damian run out of the office before Chuck can finish directions to her whereabouts. The FBI swarm the building and open gunfire on the kidnappers before I can even finish typing out this sentence. Peyton is safe.

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Emily has been warming up to the thought of her father being around again, but it hasn’t been for the reasons she’s been hoping for all these years. He simply wants the President to help him get his new fancy corkscrew up and running. Yes, he wants an endorsement of sorts, using Emily to, once again, think of himself. She walks out on him to get back to work.

All of the Verona crew is accounted for on the Wykoff except for Lt. Griffin who assures the President that he is staying behind. He wishes to stay in order to see the VDR is destroyed, otherwise the Kunami will get their hands on some very important information. Kirkman tries his best with that soothing voice of his, bringing up home and family, but Griffin has made up his mind. “Verona out,” he says as the screen goes black.

Hannah and Damian are back in the presence of Mrs. Cray and her lawyer. The kidnapper’s burner phone could be traced back to her hotel room. She may be guilty of kidnapping, but Charlotte Thorn was not her doing. “I needed her,” she says. She was obsessed with her husband and the attention he grabbed because it took all of it away from her. Catherine was able to operate without scrutiny. So then, who did kill Charlotte?

Emily sits working and is visibly down in the dumps. Aaron passes by the open door with a smile and a salute. Lyor drops a drink on the table for her and leaves. Seth comes in with an impressive spread of food for all to enjoy. He is the one she confides in. “You know what I meant to him?” she says, “a corkscrew.” Like the funny guy he is, he lifts her spirits by saying, “You’re the greatest thing since sliced bread.” Simple, but just what she needed. In return, she gives him a kiss and a hug. (Looks like Seth wins!)

Secretary Moss, A Killer?

Hannah and Damian confirm that Catherine was telling the truth. Chuck pulls up the surveillance cameras outside Thorn’s hotel room and zooms in on a man who visited her that night before she died. Secretary Cornelius Moss! (Yeah, I’m shocked too.)

As Kirkman leaves the Oval Office to the First Family’s residence, Kendra comes in with what she tells Mike is “bad news.” He suggests she wait until tomorrow because The Man has dealt with quite enough today. (Today? How about the last year?)

Fans of this show have to admire the spirit it captures. When the world is in such a what-will-happen-next state, it’s nice to look at a show that mirrors some of our biggest issues and shows positive outcomes. Toss in some love stories and you’ve got a hit. Speaking of, what are your thoughts on Emily and Seth? And could Secretary Moss really have committed murder?

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

(Image courtesy of ABC)