‘Designated Survivor’ Season 2 Episode 2 Recap and Review: Sting of the Tail

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Designated Survivor Season 2 Episode 2

Maggie Q and Ben Lawson in ‘Designated Survivor’ season 2 episode 2 (ABC/Ben Mark Holzberg)

My family! He’s coming after my family,” yells President Kirkman (Kiefer Sutherland) to Aaron (Adan Canto), his special advisor, after hearing the wanted American terrorist Patrick Lloyd (Terry Serpico) broke into Kirkman’s mother-in-law’s house in season two episode two of ABC’s political thriller, Designated Survivor.

As the episode begins, Agent Hannah Wells (Maggie Q) and MI6 Agent Damian Rennet (Ben Lawson) are back in the States hunting Lloyd. With the help of her FBI colleague, computer expert and friend Chuck Russink (Jake Epstein), the two agents are able to track Lloyd around D.C. and discover he has an estranged son in the nearby area. Wells and Rennet question Patrick’s son, Travis, and he insists he doesn’t want anything to do with his father who he hasn’t seen for 10 years. “I wouldn’t even take his money,” says Travis, which raises Rennet and Wells’ suspicions.

They remind Travis they know he hasn’t done anything wrong and isn’t in any trouble but if he isn’t truthful with them in answering their questions, that would make him an accomplice. Travis, not wanting to be in trouble with the authorities, admits to the agents his father paid him a visit earlier that morning but he turned him away.

Over at the White House, Aaron is telling President Kirkman he can’t go public with the new intelligence they have on Lloyd because it would hurt the investigation. Emily (Italia Ricci) agrees but reminds Kirkman he’s supposed to inform Congress. Kirkman tells Emily and Aaron he will inform the House Senate Committee.

Two senators, along with their lawyer, meet with Emily and Aaron who fill them in on the situation with Lloyd being back in the States. After a few questions from the senators and after Aaron and Emily’s guarded responses, it becomes clear to them they haven’t been brought in to consult but just to be informed of the latest on the situation. That definitely doesn’t sit well with the senator from Missouri.

Back on the manhunt, Wells and Rennet are tracking a car they believe Lloyd stole not far from his son’s place. But, it’s not long before Wells realizes it’s not him in the car. When they have it pulled over to check, Wells’ hunch is correct…no Lloyd.

At the White House, President Kirkman asks the senator from Missouri back to talk over any misunderstandings that may have occurred earlier in the other meeting. However, that’s not the real reason the President asked him back. It turns out the Missouri senator leaked fake information to the press because he was upset earlier and because of an impending base closure in his state. President Kirkman rips into him, warning him he won’t be blackmailed or bullied as Commander in Chief. The senator tries to feebly apologize and explain and Kirkman replies, “I don’t play ball,” telling the senator to leave.

It’s not long after handling the senator that Kirkman is informed Lloyd broke into his mother-in-law’s home to send a message that their fight is personal and he can get to people the President cares about. Tom tells his fairly upset wife, Alex (Natascha McElhone), that her mother is fine and that he promises their family is safe.

Meanwhile, Chuck does some deep digging and finds a piece of property that used to belong to the company Lloyd created. He tells Wells and Rennet that it should be deserted and lets them know it’s located in Rockville, Maryland.

When Wells and Rennet arrive to check it out, they find an empty parked car. As soon as they begin to investigate, the two agents are fired upon. Rennet is nicked by a bullet but Wells is able to chase after Lloyd who runs and seals himself inside a metal bunker. Not long after, Lloyd sends a message to the President and threatens to dispense a deadly gas on D.C. unless President Kirkman delivers a speech giving Lloyd amnesty.

The President and his team quickly weigh all the options, agreeing there isn’t enough time for evacuations and an aerial drop would be too conspicuous. “How is it possible the most powerful country in the world finally has its monster cornered and he is holding all the cards?” asks Kirkman to his staff. Aaron suggests they use a drone to strike the bunker. Emily points out that military action against a civilian target is unprecedented and could be unlawful. Kirkman wants confirmation that Lloyd is indeed in the bunker and has the deadly sarin gas before they attack.

Meanwhile, just outside the bunker Wells and Rennet believe Lloyd might have another exit somewhere that they can use as an entrance into the tunnels to try to locate him. After a little investigating, they find it and move in to try to and stop Lloyd.

Kirkman decides using the drone is the best option and tells the General to get it ready. Unfortunately, Emily tells Kirkman they have a new problem. The female senator from the committee has called for an emergency court hearing regarding using military force on an American citizen which is unlawful. It seems earlier at the White House Correspondents Dinner, Emily told the curious senator about the possible drone strike.


Aaron goes to court to try to get the legal okay from the judge. After some legal back and forth with Aaron telling the lawyer representing the senator she can go and inform the families of those who die from Lloyd’s gas attack if it happens, he catches a break (seems this lawyer has a conscious) and she subtly makes it known to Aaron that if it’s not a military strike but say an FBI drone strike the legal problem goes away. Aaron calls for a quick time-out and calls Emily who tells the President to put the FBI in charge of the strike.

After going over Lloyd’s background and history again, Kirkman realizes Lloyd blames the government for him losing his father when he was a boy (his father was arrested for tax evasion and died in prison) as well as the fall-out between Lloyd and his own son. Kirkman wants one last attempt to reason with Lloyd to try to get him to give up.

“Patrick Lloyd, this is Tom Kirkman,” says the President after Chuck sets up a direct line to Lloyd’s bunker. The President tells Lloyd he felt for him after hearing about his visit with his son and that he knows this can only end one way. Lloyd becomes indignant and tells Kirkman “I’ve already won.”

Meanwhile, Wells and Rennet are working their way through an elaborate maze of tunnels trying to find the main room of the bunker. Rennet realizes they’ve found the entrance to the heart of the bunker but that he also tripped the bomb set up to blast anyone from getting in. He and Wells make a run for it and barely make it clear of the blast. The communication between Kirkman and Lloyd goes dead so with no other options and time almost run out, Kirkman orders the drone strike.

Later, Kirkman is informed Lloyd’s remains have been found in the wreckage but he did not have any sarin gas…it was a bluff. The President addresses the nation a little later and informs the country the most hunted man, Patrick Lloyd, who planned the attack on the Capitol and threatened a new attack against Americans has been killed.

President Kirkman meets with the lawyer who represented the senator and let Aaron know about the military loophole exit to offer her the job of White House legal counsel. She happily accepts.

Closing in on 10pm, Tom Kirkman checks in on his daughter, Penny (McKenna Grace), who’s still awake. They spend a few minutes telling each other briefly about their days and telling silly jokes. Kirkman tucks his daughter into bed and tells her goodnight.

The last scene is at the bunker wreckage where Wells is told that Lloyd was able to get around a firewall Chuck had put up earlier to keep Lloyd from getting intelligence out into the world. He sent something to the Cloud just before the bomb strike, but they don’t know what it is.

Review of Designated Survivor Season 2 Episode 2 – “Sting of the Tail”

Suspenseful, dramatic, and full of action, episode two saw the end of the master terrorist Patrick Lloyd after an exciting manhunt and the birth of his last attempt to hurt Kirkman and the American people. Once again it’s Kiefer Sutherland who shines in this episode of Designated Survivor, showing how Kirkman is more capable than ever of being leader to the free world and calling out selfish and self-centered politicians. The scene where he calls out the senator from Missouri and puts him in his place is one of the highlights of the show.

Sutherland also shows wonderfully the decent, loving, and caring man Kirkman is with the sweet and quiet scene between Tom and his daughter as he puts her to bed with a light laugh and hug. It’s truly a great performance.

With Lloyd gone but his last attack out on the Cloud somewhere (remember his last words – “I’ve already won”), it should be interesting and undoubtedly suspenseful to see what Kirkman and his team face next.

GRADE: B

More on Designated Survivor:
Designated Survivor Season 2 Episode 1 Recap
Designated Survivor Season 2 Episode 3 Recap
Designated Survivor Season 2 Episode 4 Recap
Designated Survivor Season 2 Episode 5 Recap
Designated Survivor Season 2 Episode 6 Recap
Designated Survivor Season 2 Episode 7 Recap
Designated Survivor Season 2 Episode 9 Recap
Designated Survivor Season 2 Episode 10 Recap
Designated Survivor Season 2 Episode 11 Recap
Designated Survivor Season 2 Episode 16 Recap
Designated Survivor Season 2 Episode 17 Recap
Designated Survivor Season 2 Episode 18 Recap
Designated Survivor Season 2 Episode 20 Recap
Designated Survivor Season 2 Episode 21 Recap
Designated Survivor Season 2 Episode 22 Recap




Kevin Finnerty

Kevin Finnerty

Professional film critic since 2003 and a member of the San Diego Film Critics Society. Host of “The Movie Guys” radio film review show from 2007 through 2013. Film and television critic for Showbizjunkies.com and a movie buff since 1973.
Kevin Finnerty
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