'Designated Survivor' Recap: Hannah Learns the Truth
'Designated Survivor' Recap: Hannah Learns the Truth
Jilliane Johnson
Jilliane Johnson
Contributing Writer, BuddyTV
After an episode of what seemed to be nothing but filler side stories, Designated Survivor returns with its last installment before the winter finale. The White House springs into action when President Kirkman receives some letters. Meanwhile, Hannah and her new boy toy/partner-in-anti-crime, Damian pursue answers that will hopefully help to exonerate the First Lady. Let's hope this episode delivers some worthwhile information.


Here's a scene you don't see too often. Welcome to the White House mail room. Thousands of letters come through the White House on a daily, asking the President for help. Emily informs Kendra and Aaron that Kirkman is to choose three letters to respond to. He assigns Aaron and Emily to a case of a military widow whose husband was denied the Medal of Honor. Seth and Lyor are to figure out why a sad soul is losing his bees. (Yes, something is killing his bees and they have to figure out why. They seem thrilled.) Kendra is given the task of investigating a federal execution, looking for a pardon. She has 72 hours to figure it all out.

Kendra reminds Kirkman that there are some developments in his wife's case. The only possibility to keep Alex from any indictment is for Hannah to find the banker who opened that St. Lucia account in her name. Hannah takes things into her own hands, literally. A suspicious guy in the bank follows her out of the building when she attempts to open an account. She manhandles him in the alley way and holds him at gunpoint, demanding he hand over the name of the banker he was seen speaking with.

The Kirkmans dismiss Kendra and Alex is concerned, as she should be. Her husband knows that where there is a will, there is a way and he says, "we fight this thing!" Now this is just the kind of episode we were looking for!

Chuck's Spidey Senses Tingle

There seems to be a bit of tension brewing between Chuck and Damian as Chuck delivers news of Alfonso Lang, the banker in question. Damian says he'll check with the British Embassy to see if there's any word of his whereabouts. Chuck wants to say something, but opts for something nice. "Play nice, boys," says Hannah as she walks out to work. She sits in with Kendra, listening to Chandler Dern's story. He's the man looking at federal execution. He didn't send the letter, but he claims to be innocent of committing any murderous crimes. He says that he wasn't going to be a coward, looking for a pardon. "Hope is a dangerous thing," he says. Hannah assures him that this duo will do what they can. First, they'll be meeting with his son, Frank.

Frank informs Kendra and Hannah that his sister,Tracy has been into drugs for since she was a teenager. When Chandler was taken to prison, he didn't want to implicate his daughter and mention anything about the bad people Tracy hung out with. Now that his life is on the line, Frank hands over all the information he can.

Aaron and Emily speak with the Sergeant Daniel Goff's widow who informs them that her husband single-handedly held off opposing forces when battling ISIL. After his death by an IED, she wrote twelve letters to Colonel Baines in four years and all were returned. She wants answers. Aaron and Emily then speak with the colonel about Goff's death. It turns out that the details of his death aren't adding up. He actually died miles away from where his widow had been told he met his end. It appears Corporal Mankiewicz, a Special Forces colleague and someone who is now deceased after committing suicide, was filling her head with talks of a Medal of Honor. 

John Forestal is becoming more and more of an issue as he meets with Emily about the Icarus investigation into the Cincinnati police. The belief is that he has ulterior motives that involve the First Lady and a conspiracy. Emily, Kendra and Lyor all suggest that Kirkman take precautionary measures, but we all know Kirkman. He's taken their words under advisement.

Seth is concerned that Emily has informed the President about his hiding those illegal drugs for his brother and also taking the fall for him as well. "It's an evolving thing," Emily says. Just episodes ago they were so cute together in their budding relationship, but now Emily can't even look at him longer than five seconds. Lyor steps in with information on bees. They meet with the couple who are concerned about their bees. Lyor is all of a sudden, the expert on bees and their eating habits. He assures the couple that the FAA will be handling everything. The FAA representative knows the gentleman well and tells them that his wife informed the FAA that the problem was taken care of. Odd.

Dern Family Drama

Hannah and Kendra spot Tracy Dern who does not want to talk to anyone about her dad. They piece the story together. It's possible that Chandler has taken the fall for his strung-out daughter and, now feeling guilty, writes a letter to the White House to have him freed. Kendra leaves to look into it while Hannah meets with Damian who has looked into his British Embassy resources. It turns out that Lang has dual citizenship and two passports. Without Chuck, who has just called, they may not have been able to trace this banker down. On her way to track him down, Hannah is nearly run over when getting into her car. 

Hannah and Damian show up at the address Chuck has given them for Lang. They find a key on the front step, enter and the microwave sounds. "Someone tipped him off," Hannah says. This is getting interesting.

Aaron and Emily sit across the table from Colonel Baines. It seems that the colonel had a bone to pick with Sergeant Goff after his wife filed for divorce after having an affair with the fallen soldier. He agrees to award the medal, but he will also make the affair known. Kirkman decides to speak with Mrs. Goff before announcing what he'll do. Emily takes the opportunity to tell her boss about Seth and his charges. He already knows that's to a district attorney friend, he just wanted to know when his right hand would inform him of the goings on. Having said that, he wants her advice on what to do.

Seth and Lyor return to the Adamson's where they discuss, you guessed it, the bees. While she finishes dressing after a shower, Lyor does some snooping in the kitchen and finds evidence that Helen Adamson is the reason all the bees are now gone. She must have killed them herself to win the attention of her husband.

POTUS Takes the High Road

Mrs. Goff and her son meet with Kirkman in the Oval Office. The President tells them both that her husband will not be awarded with the Medal of Honor because the investigation was inconclusive. Instead, he hands over a boxed flag and explains to the young boy that his father was a brave man. Nicely done, POTUS.

Seth and Lyor give the Adamsons hope that their bees will return with a resurgence. Mr. Adamson stops them from leaving in order to confess that he poisoned his wife's roses. She responds with saying she killed the bees. That's all Lyor wanted to hear, that he was right. The duo leaves.

Kendra calls Hannah with information on the Derns. They were on Tracy's trail, but it was actually Frank who Chandler was covering for. A drug deal went wrong when Frank was looking for ketamine and Chandler took the fall, leaving Tracy to keep it all a secret. Mr. Dern will not give up his children. He will sacrifice his life in order to keep his children's intact.

Seth is Off the Hook

Seth is in the doghouse on two accounts and he offers to turn in his resignation. Emily stops him and tells him she suggested Kirkman fire him, but the President declined. Seth says he would do it all over again for his brother and that is just the reason why Kirkman will not fire him. I suppose all is forgiven as Emily grants him a kiss. "Go forth," she says, "and sin no more." 

Kirkman tells Kendra that he will grant Dern that pardon from execution, but he must still pay with his life, being held behind bars for life until he chooses to tell the truth.

Chuck has a list of the vehicles that could have been trying to kill Hannah. Nineteen cars is a lot of cars, but one of them was in an accident the other day. She has a hunch and it leads her to Frank Dern's auto repair shop. He was the one who committed the crime his father is in prison for and she is taking him into custody.

Alex confronts her husband and demands he fire John Foerstal because he is not doing his job as it should be done. With him investigating Icarus and Patrick Lloyd haunting their family from the grave. Kirkman's advisors are telling him to hire a Special Prosecutor but he believes everyone is missing the fact that the First Mother-In-Law committed a crime and there are consequences. Alex challenges him to do what she claims he should do and be her husband. This stings. 

Sleeping With the Enemy

Hannah and Damian are enjoying some adult fun when her phone rings. Chuck has pinged the location of the call to Frank Dern that tipped him off. One guess whose phone it was. You got it! Damian made the call after his meeting with Hannah just before she almost got run over. She's been sleeping with the enemy. (I knew that guy was a bad idea!)

There's just one more episode before the winter break. What do you think about Damian's involvement? Could this be the start of a split Kirkman family? How did Seth find his way out of the doghouse so easily? Leave us your comments below!

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

(Image courtesy of ABC)