Review: Designated Survivor Season 1 Episode 10 “The Oath”

This is a brilliantly directed and structured episode of television. It allows the panic and suspense to thrive while also perfectly positioning each of the key characters so that they under each other’s suspicions. Creating a relationship between Aaron and Emily raises the personal stakes, and possibly gives us a friendly, surprising face behind the overarching mystery and who blew up the Capitol building. Furthermore, the audience investment in Hannah is great and balancing her incredible determination and skill with other characters concern about her mental state, makes the viewer want her to succeed even more. One may argue the final cliffhanger is predictable and won’t ultimately have much of an effect (will they really kill the main target, I don’t think so), but the direction makes that sequence ooze with tension. It is the build up that is significant and memorable, and a result of great storytelling, not just from this one episode, but from the development of the characters over the series. This pay-off, as Emily becomes concerned about Aaron, Hannah is on the loose and MacLeish becomes VP, is incredibly satisfying. 9.6/10

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