Former President and Secretary of State Cornelius Moss were revealed to be The White House leaker on the last Designated Survivor.
President Kirkman was at Camp David negotiating peace between East and West Hanchu with both sides on the brink of full-scale war on the latest Designated Survivor. None other than Andrea Frost (Kim Raver) came along as lead defense contractor to assist Kirkman in getting a deal done. Despite an initial agreement between the two sides based on Frost’s Ricochet defense system being given to both sides (with West Hanchu loaning money for East Hanchu’s payment), the deal quickly dissipates.
The defense system offer goes South when West Hanchu proclaims they won’t loan East Hanchu’s “Brutal dictatorship” one penny. It’s all a political ploy so West Hanchu does not appear to be arming East Hanchu for a future war monetarily. Meanwhile, East Hanchu is relieved because a non-deal means their people won’t look too major day-to-day issues deteriorating the country every day. Their scapegoat remains intact.
In a last gamble, Kirkman offers that Frost’s company Apache Aerospace will lease the Ricochet defense system for thirty years, with the first payment not being due until Year 10. At first sight, it appears Frost is furious, stating she and her company were not consulted on such a maneuver. Kirkman fires back that he’s consulting her now and could easily “deny her government contracts for the foreseeable future if she doesn’t want to do her part.”
This argument appeals to East Hanchu who believes they’re grabbing an opportunity and pulling a fast one. Both sides agree on the leasing offer, and it seems a deal is finalized at Camp David…
What both sides do not realize, however, is that the entire argument between Kirkman and Frost is a ruse. Frost is not angry at all at Kirkman, rather, she’s entirely impressed it worked. Even asking President Kirkman, “How did you know it would work?” and being further astounded when she hears he didn’t and it was all a risky gamble. Frost and Kirkman share a tender moment in the kitchen and walking back to her car, 24 style. A relationship has to be brewing after Frost makes a metaphor about how it’s not good for a country to be in isolation all the time. Earlier, she mentions how Kirkman’s job must be the loneliest in the world.
In the conversation, she also happens to mention she’s no longer married after her husband passed away last year. Just put Jack Bauer and Audrey Raines back together already! The whole 24 fanbases is waiting, it’s inevitable. Their chemistry is undeniable on-screen.
Agent Wells obtains defector who reveals Nuclear Program
Hannah Wells is alerted of an individual who can shed light on East Hanchu’s rumored development of a nuclear program. She gives in to the terms to meet him, mainly losing her Bluetooth connection back home and having a kidnapper’s hood placed on her head. It turns out East Hanchu itself has a defector, the leader’s own son. After being taken to a safe government building, he tells Wells he won’t say one word until his girlfriend is rescued as well. The leader’s son recalls his other family members being taken down by a missile during a flight, citing paranoia from his father.
Wells obliges despite these terms not being part of their initial deal. When President Kirkman is alerted of the defector’s identification, he decides they have no choice but to move forward with the investigation. Kirkman states the call falls on him if everything falls apart. He cites information about East Hanchu’s Nuclear Program being too important. East Hanchu’s leader suddenly alerts Kirkman that he wants a face-to-face private meeting to alert him he’s moving forward with war after discovering his son has been kidnapped. The leader believes it’s the work of West Hanchu but President Kirkman knows the truth. As a father himself, he doesn’t want to lie to East Hanchu’s leader or use the leader’s son as a bargaining chip.
Kirkman decides to tell the truth through a video call with the leader’s son. East Hanchu’s leader, Chairman Kim, is furious and no longer wants to negotiate with Kirkman, stating he can no longer trust him. West Hanchu’s leader, President Han, responds in kind, saying if East Hanchu has lost their confidence in Kirkman, so have they.
Agent Wells makes it to East Hanchu’s Embassy building and takes the son’s girlfriend back. All the while, taking out armed guard the old-fashioned way, of course. The leader’s son still won’t reveal a morsel of useful info when Wells finally has enough, getting irritated. Wells tells Joon Kim, he has nothing, and asks what he’s afraid of? It’s then the son reveals East Hanchu is not a development of a nuclear program, they already have nuclear weapons ready.
Designated Survivor sees a familiar face return
President Kirkman brings former President Cornelius Moss to Camp David to inspire confidence in the two sides. Moss cites that even though he and East Hanchu never got a deal done, they came close. The recently dismissed Secretary of State sings Kirkman’s praises. Moss states that he has always been honest and fair with both sides even when they didn’t want to hear it. That “his word is his bond, just like Tom Kirkman.” Anger simmers and both sides agree on the deal. However, the next morning Kirkman wants a revised deal after discovering East Hanchu’s nuclear silos in play. Despite a denial by East Hanchu’s Chairman Kim, Frost shows her company is fully aware that these locations are missile silos, having built ones just like it before.
When President Kirkman states either the silos are dismantled with a peace-keeping force inspecting or you’re declaring war on our country, Chairman Kim relents. He signs the deal, and so does West Hanchu’s leader, President Han. Crisis averted.
Cornelius Moss is The White House Leaker
White House Chief of Staff Emily Rhodes tasks intel specialist/hacker Chuck Russink with discovering who’s The White House leaker. Russink is hesitant initially when Rhodes tells him she wants it done without anyone’s knowledge, meaning phone records or trails.
Rhodes asks Russink to abandon protocol as it’s an emergency. After telling him the President and your country need you, can we count on you? Russink agrees and locates the leaker pretty quickly, as he did with East Hanchu’s missile silos. It’s Cornelius Moss.
President Kirkman confronts Moss on all his leaks from Icarus Astrotech to the East/West Hanchu negotiation that led to him arriving “on a white horse to save the day.” Moss reiterates he never came for him but his country. Kirkman is bewildered by whether Moss is doing all of this to get his position or simply to have his name back in the limelight. He alerts Moss that if he essentially finds out one more thing, he’s alerting the justice department. Moss responds back that if Kirkman does come after him, he’ll hit back just as hard. That when he fights, he fights to win, and he always wins.
Emily Rhodes and Seth Wright’s relationship is done
White House Counsel Kendra Daynes asks Emily and Seth to make their relationship public for White House insurance purposes, as Emily is in a position of power over Seth. Daynes gives the two forms to fill out, going on the record with their relationship.
Seth fills out his form first before going overseas and when Emily discovers it on Dayne’s desk, she’s unhappy with how Seth has phrased her. Daynes reassured her it’s just a legal document but Emily cannot be swayed. When Seth has returned, Emily still hasn’t filled out the document. Emily cites she likes having privacy when Seth has finally had enough.
Seth comments that’s tired of being ‘the yarn ball the cat plays with’ and if she doesn’t want to go public, it’s a clear case of irreconcilable differences. Seth then storms out of the room.
Lyor Boone is a stand-up guy, loyal to a fault
On the last Designated Survivor, we get more insight into Lyor Boone’s past. It’s the first time since the discovery of his six-year marriage is revealed that we truly learn what happened before The White House. Boone was betrayed by his friend and co-worker who trashed his reputation while he worked in his previous position.
We encounter the former friend working under East Hanchu during Camp David negotiations, and Boone won’t say one bad word about what he did to him. Boone tells him in a one-on-one conversation that real men don’t leave until the job is done, whether the ship is sinking or not. His former friend responds, “Well Davy Jones, by the looks of your administration’s approval ratings that will come soon enough.” Still, Boone maintains his composure.
Press Secretary Wright later confronts Boone’s former co-worker, citing Boone not trashing him another display of what a “stand-up guy he is”. Moments later, after Boone asks what the conversation was about, he humorously tells Wright “that he talks in his sleep and it’s really annoying.”
Designated Survivor goes 24 to end the episode
Designated Survivor ended on a classic 24 Twist last episode, with President Kirkman being informed of “a dirty bomb.” You could almost see President Kirkman about to go full Jack Bauer and on his way to locating it himself. A “Who are you working for?!” never hurts after all. Between Kim Raver’s return and imminent character relationship with Kirkman, Sean Callery’s soundtrack, and the reveal of the plot line of the next (and maybe several episode narrative arcs), Designated Survivor is practically the heir to 24. Considering 24 was one of the best shows in the history of television, that’s excellent news!
Missed an episode of Designated Survivor? No problem! Be sure to check out the official Designated Survivor on ABC’s website for access to previous episodes based on your cable provider.