The US political system is screwed: while the Democrats won the 2020 elections on the pretense of fixing the problems of the Trump regime, they haven’t really done much more than sign dozens of executive orders to please certain demographics. Meanwhile, the country’s two most powerful parties just frown helplessly. Sometimes, you just want everyone to step down at the same time. Tabula rasa. “Designated Survivor” channels that desire into a series. In “Designated Survivor” the entire political ranks of the USA die in an attack. Tom Kirkman, the Minister for Urban Development, survives. As a Designated Survivor, he routinely spends the President’s address in a secret security bunker. Then the Capitol blew up in front of his eyes. And suddenly he is the most powerful man in the world. This show was very well received upon its release and fans have been yearning for more. Is there something happening with Season four? We will find out in this post. Let’s get started.
Designated Survivor Season 4: All You Need To Know
From Outsider to Best President. Ever
Kirkman belongs to no party, has no political experience, no diplomatic skills. But: He is educated, gentle and does his best to lead the country out of its worst crisis. He must catch the terrorists responsible while holding the United States together. Because some states are already threatening not to take the United States quite so seriously.
Tom Kirkman, played by the amazing Kiefer Sutherland, is the best president the US has ever had in the series. He always makes the right decision, always says the right thing, is smart and at the same time has a heart for his fellow citizens. Oh, how nice it would be if real democracy were like that! But it isn’t. Real democracy is hard and sometimes dirty work. “Designated Survivor” on the other hand is political porn – our dirty little fantasy, anti-democratic wishful thinking of the best kind. Anyone who doesn’t suit us, we blow them up and put an educated, delicate ruler on the throne instead. Great. But is it really though?
The second half of the season wasn’t really that great
“Designated Survivor” got off to a rocky start in its first season. The series has already devoured a total of three showrunners – and you can tell. While the beginning of the season is still highly exciting and dramatic, it gets more and more stupid in the middle. One undeserved plot twist follows the next, the dialogues jolt along. But by then it’s already too late to get out.
Despite such low blows: “Designated Survivor” is a great-stupid series – the right mix of “24” and “The West Wing” and so exciting that the 22 episodes fly by.
In the Netflix series “Designated Survivor”, Kiefer Sutherland fights against a massive conspiracy as US President. The series is very exciting in places, but also has one or the other weakness.
The height of the fall could not be greater: Knowing that he would be kicked out the next day, Thomas “Tom” Kirkman, Minister for Housing – not one of the most dazzling posts in the cabinet anyway – sat down in sweatpants in front of the television to give the speech on the situation of the nation of the president before both chambers of Congress, and now this fringe figure in politics is suddenly president himself.
How can that be? Kirkman had been named “Designated Survivor” for the evening, the person who would take office in the unlikely event that the entire government was wiped out. That’s why he’s not where the cameras are and where the country’s political elite gathers but sits in isolation in a secret location. An insignificant minister to whom no one wants to give a stage – and who is most likely to be dispensable and should be dismissed the next day.
The attack makes Kirkman the president against his will
But this is not a normal evening. Kirkman watches as the Capitol collapses in a fireball after a massive explosion, burying members of the government, Senate, House of Representatives and Supreme Court below. Around 1000 people died in this attack. The country’s political leadership has been wiped out – except for Kirkman, who is dizzy when he is sworn in as President – and has to throw up in the face of the enormous task.
There’s an irony in Kiefer Sutherland playing the role of Thomas Kirkman. As secret agent Jack Bauer, he had tried everything in a fight against time in the hit series “24” to prevent just such an attack. Almost any means were fine with him to track down the terrorists and conspirators. Now Sutherland plays a president who is in power because someone like Jack Bauer failed and who has very little in common with the tough CIA agents. Kirkman can’t take a suspect and beat him up for information. He’s president – and he has to be diplomatic.
“Designated Survivor” is unbearably exciting at times
As Kirkman, Sutherland is uncertain, even anxious. The burden of office weighs on him and this almost inhumane task of rebuilding the country’s political institutions. Kirkman is an outsider in Washington. He is not familiar with the rules of power and the games that are being played. He feels the taint of not being a real, elected president and how many people want to see him fail.
In these first episodes after the attack, “Designated Survivor” is at its strongest, most exciting. Who can you trust? Who plays wrong? What is really behind the attack? Are they actually Islamist terrorists – or is it someone else? The power games and the conspiracy – at its best, David Guggenheim’s series is a combination of Homeland and House of Cards with a dash of The West Wing. It’s almost impossible to pause between episodes. You suffer with Kirkman, who is suddenly thrown out of his ideal little world and into the limelight.
However, over time, the series becomes less compelling. On the one hand, this is due to the personality of Thomas Kirkman. While Kirkman’s ideals and lofty goals start out as a pleasant contrast to the usual Washington politicians, his immaculateness becomes increasingly tiring as the series progresses. The man has no edges. His wife (played by Natascha McElhone) is charming, the children are well behaved and he is polite, humble and actually too good for this world. Kirkman embodies the wishful thinking of a politician who does not seek his own benefit but puts the well-being of the people and country first.
However, “Designated Survivor” also has some weaknesses
On the other hand, the conspiracy that the FBI agent Hannah Wells (Maggie Q) uncovers more and more on behalf of Kirkman episode by episode becomes more and more implausible in its dimension. The conspirators seem omnipresent, the attack planned well in advance. At some point you want to shout: Now is good! Don’t overdo it. It is all the more surprising that Hannah Wells can continue her investigations practically unmolested and penetrates further and further into the center of the conspiracy. Aren’t the conspirators overwhelming? And you’re letting an FBI agent jeopardize your mission? Not entirely understandable. And the drumbeat-like cliffhangers several times per episode, when the screen suddenly turns black, get on your nerves over time.
The bottom line is that “Designated Survivor” is an exciting series with many surprising twists, despite some weaknesses. It’s worth looking at them.
The cast of “Designated Survivor” (role name, actor)
- Thomas Adam “Tom” Kirkman: Kiefer Sutherland
- Alex Kirkman: Natasha McElhone
- Aaron Shore: Adan Canto
- Emily RhodesItalia Ricci
- Mike Ritter: LaMonica Garrett
- Seth Wright: Kal Penn
- Hannah WellsMaggie Q
- Kimble Hookstraten: Virginia Madsen
- Peter MacLeish: Ashley Zukerman
- Jason AtwoodMalik Yoba
Has ‘Designated Survivor’ been renewed for Season 4?
In bad news for all fans of the show, “Designated Survivor” was unfortunately cancelled after three seasons because of contract disputes associated with the actors on the show.
When Can We Expect ‘Designated Survivor’ Season 4 On Netflix?
Designated Survivor season 4 was expected to be released sometime in 2020. However, before they could start principal photography for the fourth season, Deadline revealed that the show had been cancelled.
What would have happened in Designated Survivor Season 4?
Fans of the show who have watched all the seasons so far would remember that President Kirkman had been re-elected for another four years at the Oval Office. However, Kirkman had also made deliberate attempts to hide information that would have pronounced Moss not guilty for the bio-attack attempts. This might have resulted in Kirkman dealing with impeachment issues.