Review: Designated Survivor Season 1 Episode 13 “Backfire”

This episode could have been a hectic, angry and bullish unrealistic soap drama, with Kirkman on the offence, trying to gain control in a spiralling world of political and social confusion. Instead, however, the writers continue their exemplary look at the place of morals in times of crisis and the interaction between President and people, in a quiet, yet still tense manner. These are incredible timely discussions, and while Abe Leonard’s sudden introduction seems rather convenient as a way of showcasing the Press’ pressure, it sure does that and Rob Morrow is fantastic, even if his character is not so unique. But this beautifully directed and shot episode belongs to Kiefer Sutherland who perfectly portray’s his characters complex, difficult situation of having to run a country amongst a series of compounding and rapidly evolving situations, while also highlighting’s Kirkman’s inner conflict over how to present someone as honourable, who really was a traitor. Sutherland understands this emotional weight and illustrates that throughout the episode, particularly at the end as the repercussions of the situation hit home. 8.9/10


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