Designated Survivor Season 2 Episode 13 Review: Original Sin

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Welcome to the White House, Trey Kirkman!

On Designated Survivor Season 2 Episode 13, we caught our first glimpse of Breckin Meyer in action playing Tom's younger brother, and it was the absolute best. 

Before this, there is very little that we knew about Kirkman's family or childhood. Most people were unaware of the fact that he had a brother at all. The introduction of Trey couldn't have come at a better time. 

Ties To The White House - Designated Survivor

Alex knew what she was doing adding Trey on her board of trustees. Deep down, she wanted the position to lead to the brothers making up because she knew they had a strained relationship. 

The temperature of the room dropped to the negative when Tom and Trey came face-to-face for the first time. Well before they delved into their past, you could sense that there was a great deal of strife within the family. Tom resented his brother for being flaky and inconsistent, flitting in and out of their lives whenever. 

Trey was your typical younger brother who felt like he didn't live up to the impossibly high standards that Tom set. He considered himself the screw-up, and he committed to it. He struggled with being in his brother's shadow, so he felt the best way was to cut ties and get from beneath it completely. 

Trey Kirkman

Maybe that wouldn't have been so bad if he didn't leave Tom to tend to their ailing mother. In Tom's eyes, Trey took off to "find himself" and had the luxury of avoiding responsibilities because it all fell on Tom. By the time the two had an honest talk towards the end, both sides were expressed well enough where no one was at fault. 

Leo gets all the credit for getting both the brothers to move past their issues. He has so much of his mother in him, and while he doesn't appear nearly as often as one would expect, he makes his limited time count. 

Kirkman doesn't have anyone else to help him with the kids. He's mourning and still trying to run a country, and their other family (if there is other family out there) is M.I.A. He could use his brother around for the emotional support. The kids could benefit from having a family member around. 

Leo: You're always talking about family, but what about ours. Mom's gone. Grandma moved back to Paris. We need uncle Trey in our lives, but every time one of you walks in the other walks right back out. That's not what family does, right?
Tom: No, it's not.

It appears as though Trey will be sticking around, in part to enact Alex's wishes, but could he have a bigger role in some other capacity? [Insert obligatory joke about Kirkman still not having a Vice President or a Secretary of State]. 

The brothers Kirkman could make a hell of a time now that they have officially made up and they're willing to move beyond their troubled past.

Related: Designated Survivor Review: Season 2 Episode 12

I still can't place Trey. There's something about him that gives off the vibe that he can have ulterior motives or he could shake things up a bit. That aside, I believe that Alex hoped he would look out for Kirkman, especially now that she's gone. 

Kirkman is still struggling to cope with the loss of Alex, and he had a handful of moments where it showed, but the Kirkman we know best may be back sooner than anticipated. 

A Broken Man - Designated Survivor Season 2 Episode 11

He was in full-blown Tom Kirkman mode when it came to addressing Cousins and the tribal land dispute. The tribal case put me in the mind of the Sioux Pipeline conflict, but fortunately, this case didn't lead to hundreds of Indigenous people being bean-bagged, tear-gassed, or arrested. 

It was a strong possibility that their protest would have led to their arrests if not for the poor media coverage already out there due to the prison footage leak. 

They had to play it smart and careful because Kirkman's approval rating dipped, the White House waited too long to release a statement addressing the leaked footage, and the media was ready to have a field day with everything. 

Emily: They're calling you imperial, angry, distraught.
Tom: Yeah, well I am angry and distraught!

Seldom do I ever find myself on the opposing side of Indigenous rights cases, but up until Tricia (it was nice to see her again) find that letter, I disagreed with Cousins. 

Before the information about the letter was revealed, all we knew was that Kirkman was one of the orchestrators for this deal 18 years ago. There was no dissent back then, so with no resistance, there was never an issue. 

Related: Designated Survivor Review: Grief 

Cousins coming to him 18 years later, after kickstarting a protest in the middle of the hallway at the White House, and demanding that he make amends was absurd.

If there was no opposition at the time (sympathies for her and the rest of the tribe's plight aside, it was damn near 20 years ago), there was ample time to get to it. 

I respected Cousins' position, and I felt for the tribe, but it felt like it was too little too late. Then Tricia found the letter that Billy withheld, and without hesitation, it was pro-Cousins all the way. 

Kirkman has always been an idealistic, good-hearted person who looks at every possible scenario before deciding because he wants it to be the right one. Billy and the other developer knew that and found a way to work around that to get what they wanted. 

Related: Watch Real Lives, Real Stories, & Real Celebrities on Reelz Channel via Amazon Channels! 

They handled him like a child to get their way. It was despicable. Billy was unapologetic about it too. 

I'm so glad Kirkman kicked him to the curb. The solution to the problem was an interesting moment. That's where I felt myself making a Lucy Ricardo cringe face (for you classics junkies or the mature crowd) or a Chrissy Teigen cringe-face (for you younger ones or pop culture enthusiasts). 

Kirkman: An architect's first responsibility is to the people affected by his work.
Billy: That's the wrong way to look at it.
Kirkman: As far as I'm concerned, that's the only way.

The loophole consisted of a 200-year-old treaty from before Florida was even a state. I don't know; Kendra made it work. 

Lyor's meaningless arc of the hour was helping a young protestor write the perfect college essay. He went from annoyed by the presence of protestors in the halls to thrilled he could help this kid get into his alma mater. He's the comic relief, at least this time it was amusing-ish. 

Now, for this hacker business. Of course, Hannah didn't find the hacker responsible yet, but the quest is on, and it's getting fiery. 

Aaron made his obligatory appearance, and this time he had a whole two extra minutes of screentime. Woohoo! 

Hannah is Pissed

Damian's Russian handler was so damn sassy, and I kind of loved her. The Russians don't have it in for Damian like he thought, so that's good news for him. That hacker wants him dead though, so it cancels itself out. 

They have figured out that the person who released the footage of Kirkman is also the person who hacked into NASA. The connection to Damian needs to be fleshed out more. 

Related: Somewhere Between: Who Really Killed Susannah? 

What's frustrating is that Damian doesn't give them all the information, but when he attempts to give Hannah more, she shuts him down. Hannah's heart, or her hoo-ha, is interfering with her interrogative skills. She won't listen to Damian at all, but then something else will happen, and she's pissed at him afterward because he didn't tell her. 

Hannah: [shoots intruder trying to kill Damian]
Damian: What the hell?!
Hannah: You're welcome.

I don't know, man. Hannah needs to focus. At this point, they may need to side-bar her until she gets her feelings in check and let Aaron take the lead in handling Damian. 

It's too bad they couldn't get anything off of that laptop before it exploded. This hacker business will take the rest of the season to resolve, won't it? 

Over to you Designated Survivor Fanatics, what's your first impression of Trey Kirkman? Did Tom nail his apology to the American public? Should Hannah take a back seat to handling Damian? Sound off below!

As always, you can watch Designated Survivor online right here via TV Fanatic! 

Original Sin Review

Editor Rating: 4.3 / 5.0
  • 4.3 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.1 / 5.0 (7 Votes)

Jasmine Blu is a senior staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow her on Twitter.

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Designated Survivor Season 2 Episode 13 Quotes

Lyor: God, I hate a free press.
Seth: Yeah, the feeling is mutual.

Emily: They're calling you imperial, angry, distraught.
Tom: Yeah, well I am angry and distraught!