Previously: Aaron quit.
One Hundred Days
Samantha: Previouslies remind us that Aaron quit and Hannah is looking for Claudine Poyet who killed Jason’s son. We open with camera flashes and Tom is giving a press conference announcing that he wants his first 100 days to start now, since the actual first 100 were spent keeping the country together. He’s going to be announcing an agenda and polices and stuff. Alex and Leo (who has different hair and I did not know who he was at first) watch on TV. Leo says that Twitter thinks “he’s crushing it” which sounds so much like when I talk to my own mother and use Twitter as an omniscient being that it’s painful.
Dani: I totally side-eyed this because 1) when does Twitter EVER unanimously come together to praise a president, and b) it’s a boring presser, not a Taylor Swift video. Twitter doesn’t care.
Mari: Hard for me to say since we are living in a time when we are hyper-aware of everything the President does? Maybe people are paying more attention on account of the government going boom.
Samantha: Aaron also watches from home and omg what is happening with his hair?????? Apparently jobless Aaron has like… a floppy hair bunny on his head???????? (D: I had the same questions! Has it been so long since we watched this show that EVERYONE has changed their hair?!) (M: Possible.) Tom announces that he’ll be holding a town hall meeting and Aaron texts Seth about how that’s a good move. Tom reassures everyone that he will not be stopping the fight against terrorism, just also expanding beyond it.
Dani: It’s because he’s in luuuurrrrrrve with Hannah and wants her to stay forever. And her saying that no one would think to look for her there just shows how far-fetched she finds the idea of them together. I think.
Samantha: They talk about how Claudine is a ghost and then Hannah gets thoughtful face when she sees Chuck’s very visible fingerprint on his water glass. Like, seriously, this fingerprint is so visible I’m a little worried about Chuck. Are his hands covered in invisible ink? (D: I think he was just eating something? But yeah… try a napkin, bro. No wonder Hannah doesn’t want to date you.) They look at a photo of Claudine sleeping in bed and Hannah wonders if he can get fingerprints off of the picture. As in, specifically, fingerprints off of the wine glass that is on the nightstand in the photograph. What? No. No way. This cannot be a thing, right? What? But, lo and behold, he does it.
Dani: I call bullshirt.
Aaron is out for a run (the bunny on his head is keeping up) (D: Go, bunny, GO!) when he gets a phone call. He speaks Spanish and tells someone that he will be there shortly.
Mari: Sorry, but you said “the bunny on his head” and all I could think of was:
Alex is giving a speech at a AWLC event, where she talks about gender inequality and how women can rise up during this tragedy. (D: Tell your sister that she’s gotta RISE UP!) When she’s done, she is clearly caught off guard by the fact that there is going to be a Q&A after. Seems like something the staff of the First Lady should have been on top of, to prep her. She’s asked if she misses practicing law (yes, but she also loves public service) and her stance on gun control (we need to do better and also background checks). Neither of these answers feel inappropriate to me but I’m sure she’s going to be in trouble for one of them.
Gym. Jason is lifting weights when Hannah appears to tell him that she knows who the woman really is. Brooke Mathison, an army brat who was born in South Korea. Her father was dishonorably discharged and 5 years ago she went off the grid. Chuck also found an address but Hannah needs backup going in and wants Jason with her. Uh. Wait. Odds of that address being legit seem slim and also I’m not sure an angry and grieving father is a great choice here?
Tom watches Alex’s gun control comments play on a news station before a Congressman comes on for an interview. He says some snarky things about who is really making the policy here and Tom shakes his head and looks grim. You guys, maybe it’s just my liberal showing but nothing she said was that extreme. And my god, how American, the President and VP are both separately attacked with guns and it’s still extreme to be like “we are probably not doing enough.” I know Tom needs to get Congress on his side but if they wanted to sell me on “Alex did a thing she shouldn’t have” they should have made her remarks more incendiary. Also, Tom’s people should have prepped her if they wanted her to only talk about certain topics! Basically, I’m #TeamAlex in this.
Dani: I’m right there with you. What was she supposed to say … “I’m not allowed to answer questions without running it by my husband first” … at a freaking WOMEN’S conference???
Mari: And is it so out there for the First Lady to support or echo the President’s policy stances? Go away, show.
Samantha: Emily and Seth walk and talk about how this is probably a big deal. They get to Tom who asks them what they know about this Senator on the news, Jack Bowman. They tell him that he was the governor of Montana and is highly ambitious. Tom asks about his gun control stance and Emily replies, “He’s from Montana, sir.” (D: LOL) Emily tells Tom he has to talk to Alex if he wants to save his 100 days.
Tom heads into the Residence and hugs Alex, who apologizes. Tom explains that he didn’t want to get into polarizing issues yet, which again, should have been explained to her at the start. Tom tells her that he needs her to walk it back and she’s extremely understanding.
Dani: Everything about this scene made my skin crawl — her apology, her willingness to take the blame, how over-the-top sorry she was, and EVERYONE acting like she’d done something truly horrible. She didn’t murder a baby on Live TV, ffs. She made one small comment about gun control.
Samantha: House Office Building. Aaron and his cousin sit in a waiting room. She comments that she’s nervous and Aaron tells her not to be. He lists her accomplishments (interning at the White House and graduating from Penn State) and a Congresswoman comes out to greet them. Aaron and her seem to go way back and he introduces his cousin, Nadia. They head in for, presumably, an interview. The Congresswoman pauses to ask if Aaron will ever tell her the real reason he resigned and he laughs it off. When she’s gone he gets moody face.
Dani: Does anyone else think it’s weird that he brought his cousin to an interview and then waited for her the entire time? That would embarrass the hell out of me, if I were interviewing.
Mari: And as someone who frequently conducts interviews, that would be a red flag for me.
Samantha: It does feel very “I’m pressuring you with our personal connection to hire my cousin.”
Jason and Hannah are driving to Claudine’s. Jason looks over her file and comments that she’s a sociopath when suddenly a car pulls out into the road in front of them. Hannah manages to stop in time and Jason rages out of the car and starts yelling at the man in the drivers seat and grabbing him. He clearly thinks the guy is working for someone but Hannah makes him let the man go as he’s probably just a reckless driver. The man speeds off which like… he should probably get a ticket or something? Hannah is all wtf at Jason, who admits he overreacted but says he’s fine. Hannah is like “I need a partner, not a loose cannon” and girl. This grieving and traumatized father is not your best bet there. Also, he obviously shouldn’t have wigged out but it’s not unbelievable that he did after everything that’s happened to him. Hannah announces that she’s taking him home but Jason walks off.
Dani: “Hmm, how can we fill an extra three minutes of show without advancing the plot or surprising anyone?” – the writers, probably.
Mari: The Writers, always.
Samantha: House Building. Aaron is waiting when Hookstraten walks in. They chit chat and she says that she hopes she isn’t part of the reason he resigned, for leaking that story. We are forever disappointed in you, Madam Speaker. She tells him that if there’s anything she can do for him, she will. Nadia comes out and says that she believes the interview went well. Rooting for you, Nadia! Young women in politics are important.
It’s suddenly nighttime even though it didn’t even look like dusk when we saw Hannah a scene ago. She pulls up to a sketchy looking building and gets out. She peers in some windows but the place is abandoned. (D: I’ve been recapping too much Supernatural, because my first thought was did she bring salt???) She calls Chuck and the camera view changes to show us Claudine watching all of this on a security camera that Hannah, super FBI agent, didn’t notice.
The next day, a dude watches Chuck go into his apartment. RIP, Chuck?
White House. Alex gets ready for her walk back interview. Seth reassures her and Tom tells her she looks beautiful (D: which is all that matters, right?). Alex says that she’s not good at playing the submissive wife. I’m glad, Alex, never be good at that please. Tom says he’s not asking her to do that, just clarify that the comments were her own opinion and not the administration’s. She says that she loves him and will do this and heads out to the interview.
During the interview Alex admits that she got herself into hot water by speaking her mind, but it wasn’t premeditated. She’s learning that she’s always the First Lady and needs to be careful with what she says. Seth smiles appreciatively. (D: And Twitter says she crushed it.)
Nadia and Aaron are walking outside as Nadia talks about her nerves over getting the job. She switches gears and asks Aaron if he’s ever going to talk about resigning. She heard that he wants to move back to Texas and thinks that’s a terrible idea (D: as someone who lives in Texas, I can second this) but Aaron thinks he’s had his run in D.C. Nadia tells him that before him, no one thought they could get out of their town. She remembers when he was so excited just to work in the mailroom and he shouldn’t forget that he came here to make a difference.
Mari: What? That errant bunny curl in his face is distracting me.
Samantha: Bunny needs a haircut.
Chuck’s apartment. He tells Hannah that the apartment has been vacant for 5 years but Browning Reed, the private defense company, is still paying the property tax. (D: Blackwater, anyone?) She tells him to find out more about them and then smells something strange. Chuck tells her there was a gas leak earlier in the building but DC United said it was okay. Hannah tells him that the fire department checks gas leaks, not DC United. They both look at each other in alarm before booking it out of the apartment. We see the man in the van hit a button and Chuck and Hannah run with an explosion behind them.
Dani: It sure was nice of van-guy to hold off on blowing them up until they’d had a chance to talk for awhile and notice the gas smell and run away!
Samantha: Not commercial break. Hannah and Chuck are in her car, breathing heavily. She tries to calm him down and says that if the bad guys think they’re dead, maybe they’ll have an edge. Chuck admits that doesn’t make him feel better. Word, Chuck. All your stuff is gone! That’s horrible! We at Snark Squad know the value of your stuff. Chuck starts checking on Browning Reed on his phone and realizes they own another building in D.C.
White House. The team is running potential town hall questions past Tom. They tell him that he falls into boring professor mode too often and that the people need to see that he cares. He needs to be more personable and relateable. Tom isn’t comfortable talking too much about himself.
News pundits announce that the town hall is just a few minutes away as everything is set up. It begins, and the first question is about what it was like to become President so quickly. Tom admits that it was terrifying and someone else asks how he’s feeling post being shot. Tom jokes that it only hurts when he breathes and that he feels lucky. Tom discusses how to talk to children about everything that’s happened and then gets a factory job question. He starts to talk about his childhood before switching gears and talking about why the factory jobs have disappeared. Alex, Leo, and Penny watch in front of a cozy looking fireplace. He talks about the role technology plays in job loss and moves into solutions, such as public works program and education opportunities for those who have been affected.
The next question comes from a woman who heard Alex’s remarks about background checks. Her daughter was recently killed when her ex-boyfriend got released from jail, bought a gun, and broke into her home. Emily looks worried, and I am again baffled if they didn’t prep Tom for this. She cries as she talks about finding a reason to keep going and I may have gotten a little misty as well. (D: According to Twitter, this actress really crushed it.) (S: LOL you’re the best.) She wants to know what Tom will do to prevent this from happening again. Tom takes a quiet moment before talking about how even though this is a divisive issue, he shouldn’t use that as an excuse to not talk about it. He says that gun control does not mean the government comes into peoples homes and takes their guns away. It just means making sure guns don’t fall into the wrong hands. Emily and Seth watch grimly but Tom gets a standing ovation and hugs the mother.
Hookstraten’s Office. Aaron arrives to see her and asks for an introduction to Buchanan and Associates, a strong lobbyist group. He wants to work for them because he likes their policies and also because he thinks he can’t find any other work, having left under a cloud. She tells him that there isn’t a cloud because there wasn’t a scandal. Aaron admits that he would rather work on the inside, and she asks him to come work for her. Interesting. OR as interesting as this show ever gets.
Dani: It would’ve been a lot more interesting if it hadn’t taken some weird, circuitous route that no one cares about just to get here.
Mari: I would add it would be the most interesting if I gave a damn about any of these characters.
Samantha: Oval Office. Tom is having a meeting with some senators, including Jack Bowman. He tells them that he thinks his registered Independent status is a boon to him and wants their input and help on creating bipartisan polices. He wants to use compassion, cooperation, and common sense. Oh god, please someone make the current administration use any of these. I’ll take them using just one. (D: Yes, but what about the ratings and crowd size and stuff that really matters???) He tells Senator Bowman that he will work with him on finding a gun control compromise that they can both live with. Bowman says he will work in the best interests of the country.
Out on the lawn after the meeting, Bowman announces that he’s going to reintroduce a bill into Congress that would strengthen federal background checks on gun owners. He opposes the bill but wants to open it for debate. Emily and Seth sigh because this means they can’t introduce their own bill now, without looking like they’re competing.
Emily and Seth tell Tom the advantages and disadvantages of supporting this flawed bill, either he’s a hypocrite or he supports a shitty bill. Tom says that he’s ready to fight Bowman on this.
Hannah gets out of her car at a swanky looking mansion. She realizes that Jason is here as well, having followed her from the explosion. He’s ready now. (M: ?) They start combing through the dark mansion, which was definitely home to some hauntings at some point. It’s creepy. (D: Ha, you’ve been recapping too much Supernatural, too!!) Hannah goes down into a basement that is definitely of the Don’t Go In There variety. She finds the computer that Claudine was watching her from earlier in the episode and sees the footage of herself. Claudine comes around the corner and Hannah jumps out of the way of her bullets just in time. They start to fight. Claudine gets Hannah in a choke hold and it’s looking grim until Jason appears behind her with his gun cocked. Dude must have learned Apparition in that gym earlier cause he did not come down the stairs. (D: Or he’s a ghost! (or a demon, angel, etc.) Whatever, I smell a plot twist!) (M: I might have to pull you both off of Supernatural.) (S: It’s impossible, I’ve tried, I’m on that train for life and death.) He makes Claudine let Hannah go and orders her to put her hands behind her head. She starts baiting him to just kill her and Hannah tries to talk him down from being manipulated by her again. He angrily fires some shots into the wall and they move to take her in. But Claudine pulls another gun out and goes to shoot Jason so they have no choice but to kill her. Wow. This show really does not want Hannah to get to interrogate anyone. Also, not ever getting to talk to the villains, just killing them off, is super not interesting.
Dani: It pisses me off, because half the time Hannah’s supposed to be this FBI agent extraordinaire, but then she does dumb shit like fails to see a camera, or get a suspect face-down on the ground with their hands where she can see them. Sense this any doesn’t make.
Mari: Imagine if this whole show will be a string of capturing bad guys and having them die one minute later. IMAGINE.
Samantha: White House. Emily bumps into Arron who tells her about his new job. She’s shocked because Hookstraten is a Republican and Aaron is a hardcore Democrat. Obviously, Emily has never watched my girl Ainslee Hayes on the West Wing.
Dani: And then he checks out her boobs, because he’s super classy like that.
Samantha: Tom shows up at Camp David (I think) with some pizzas to surprise his family. The kids are very excited and Alex hugs him and they talk about how sucky Bowman is. The family heads off to have dinner together.
We watch as Hannah checks out Claudine’s computer. She finds simulations for massive attacks all over the country including the Golden Gate Bridge, Hoover Dam, and Statue of Liberty.
I like that there isn’t much drama between Tom and Alex and that they are communicative and supportive. But sometimes Alex is a bit too smiley and supportive, and I’d like to see just a little more edge or backbone from her. I also wish they’d stop killing all the villains.
Dani: I just wish I cared about any of these characters even a little.
Mari: I wish the writers were trying.
Next time on Designated Survivor: Tom tries to pass a bill in S01 E16 – Party Lines.