The Best Episodes of Designated Survivor

Last Updated: Jun 9, 2019

Tom Kirkman, a low-level cabinet member, is suddenly appointed President of the United States after a catastrophic attack during the State of the Union kills everyone above him in the Presidential line of succession.


#1 - #truthorconsequences

Season 3 - Episode 10

On election day, Kirkman turns to his therapist to relieve his conscience about the events and own decisions he made 36 hours ago.

star 8.17
46 votes
The End of the Beginning

#2 - The End of the Beginning

Season 1 - Episode 12

Circles must tighten as a new discovery within the conspiracy emerges. Tension rises between Aaron and Emily as suspicions loom in the White House. A new lead places Agent Wells closer than before to the truth.

star 8.07
5,342 votes
Directors: Mike Listo
Writers: David Guggenheim
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The Oath

#3 - The Oath

Season 1 - Episode 10

President Kirkman fears there could be a traitor in the White House when he discovers shocking information connected to the Capitol Bombing. Confiding in Emily, Kirkman puts her in charge of quietly investigating. New information surfaces about Congressman MacLeish, raising concerns regarding his vice presidential nomination.

star 8.05
5,277 votes
Writers: David Guggenheim
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Brace for Impact

#4 - Brace for Impact

Season 1 - Episode 21

Hannah Wells must stop the conspiracy from carrying out a final attack while President Kirkman authorizes a nationwide manhunt for the mastermind behind it all.

star 8.02
4,548 votes
Writers: David Guggenheim
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#5 - Warriors

Season 1 - Episode 11

The nation reels from the aftermath of the shooting on the steps of the Capitol while Emily struggles with the knowledge there may be a traitor in the White House. Agent Wells grapples with her decision to reveal what she knows about the conspiracy behind the Capitol bombing.

star 7.98
5,249 votes
Directors: Stephen Surjik
Writers: Paul Redford, Carol Flint
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#6 - #undecided

Season 3 - Episode 9

Behind in the polls, Kirkman weighs forcing the FBI’s hand over the bioterrorism plot. Emily struggles with her mother’s last wishes.

star 7.96
48 votes
The Enemy

#7 - The Enemy

Season 1 - Episode 4

Kirkman learns who is behind the attack and needs to grapple not only with the prospect of war, but brewing domestic troubles as well. Kirkman taps Emily to monitor the domestic situation. Alex may be in for more than she bargains for when she seeks out help from Hookstraten.

star 7.89
5,988 votes
Directors: Paul Edwards
Writers: Dana Ledoux Miller, Jon Harmon Feldman
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The First Day

#8 - The First Day

Season 1 - Episode 2

Hours after the attack on the Capitol, President Kirkman steps into his role as Commander-in-Chief in the midst of chaos and confusion. Facing dangerous new challenges and adversaries, Kirkman struggles to hold a country together that is on the brink of falling apart.

star 7.86
6,239 votes
Directors: Brad Turner
Writers: Jon Harmon Feldman, David Guggenheim
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The Mission

#9 - The Mission

Season 1 - Episode 5

Realizing his attempts at diplomacy with Algeria have failed, President Kirkman makes the difficult decision of sending Navy SEALs on a mission that will define his presidency. Agent Hannah Wells discovers more secrets than answers.

star 7.86
5,895 votes
Directors: Paul Edwards
Writers: Sang Kyu Kim, Michael Russell Gunn
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The Blueprint

#10 - The Blueprint

Season 1 - Episode 9

When classified government documents are leaked online, President Kirkman searches for the party responsible only to find that they have taken refuge inside a foreign embassy and are beyond even his reach. Agent Hannah Wells races furiously to gather evidence of MacLeish’s involvement in the conspiracy before he can be confirmed as the country’s next Vice President.

star 7.86
5,274 votes
Writers: Dana Dedoux Miller, Michael Russell Gunn
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#11 - #nothingpersonal

Season 3 - Episode 5

Emotions run high after a despicable fake news story goes viral. Isabel makes waves with a controversial appeal. Wells finds a clue pointing to conspiracy.

star 7.86
78 votes

#12 - Pilot

Season 1 - Episode 1

Lower-level cabinet member Tom Kirkman becomes President of the United States after a catastrophic attack on the U.S. Capitol. Kirkman must keep the country and his family safe while leading the search for the those responsible for the attack.

star 7.85
7,025 votes
Directors: Paul McGuigan
Writers: David Guggenheim
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#13 - Bombshell

Season 1 - Episode 20

President Kirkman’s first international summit is derailed when journalist Abe Leonard publishes an explosive article. Hannah Wells uncovers the conspiracy’s next target.

star 7.83
4,410 votes
Directors: Sharat Raju
Writers: Sang Kyu Kim
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#14 - #identity/crisis

Season 3 - Episode 7

A stray Russian bomber threatens Seattle, Mars crusades against a drug company. An event from Aaron’s childhood rings trouble to Kirkman’s campaign.

star 7.83
66 votes

#15 - #scaredsh*tless

Season 3 - Episode 8

Kirkman enacts a frantic hunt for the bioterrorist. Lorraine plays hardball and pushes the opioid epidemic into the campaign.

star 7.81
52 votes
The Ninth Seat

#16 - The Ninth Seat

Season 1 - Episode 17

As President Kirkman struggles to put together a new Supreme Court, FBI Agent Hannah Wells goes undercover and discovers much more than she ever could have imagined. Seth Wright has to contend with journalist Abe Leonard, who returns from the Middle East with an explosive story.

star 7.80
4,803 votes
Writers: Paul Redford
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#17 - #privacyplease

Season 3 - Episode 3

A political attack on Kirkman puts privacy and transgender rights in the spotlight. Aaron weighs a major decision. Wells and Eli track a bioterrorist.

star 7.80
124 votes
The Traitor

#18 - The Traitor

Season 1 - Episode 7

When an American track-and-field coach heads to Russia, President Kirkman is thrust into a hostage exchange involving the CIA and the Russian government. Agent Hannah Wells and Deputy Director Atwood’s investigation into the Capitol bombing uncovers information that puts Atwood and his family’s life at risk.

star 7.79
5,433 votes
Writers: Jennifer Johnson, Michael Russell Gunn
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#19 - Misalliance

Season 1 - Episode 19

As the White House gears up for President Kirkman’s first international summit, Kimble Hookstraten faces her toughest political battle yet when her speakership is challenged. Meanwhile, Alex wrestles with whether or not to bring the kids back to Washington.

star 7.79
4,561 votes
Directors: Norberto Barba
Writers: Dana LeDoux Miller, Jenna Richman
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#20 - Commander-in-Chief

Season 1 - Episode 14

Turmoil in an African country forces President Kirkman to rely on an unlikely ally for help. Hannah’s investigation into the Capitol bombing takes an unexpected turn. Emily settles into her role as chief of staff. Aaron has to make a difficult choice.

star 7.79
5,000 votes
Writers: Michael Gunn
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#21 - #thesystemisbroken

Season 3 - Episode 1

Running for office for the first time, Kirkman and his new campaign stumble out of the gate. Wells gets a critical reassignment.

star 7.78
238 votes
Directors: Chris Grismer
Writers: Neal Baer

#22 - Run

Season 2 - Episode 22

As President Kirkman continues to deal with the turmoil surrounding the hacker and Congressional investigation, a natural disaster threatens the lives of two White House staffers. Meanwhile, Kirkman’s closest allies are surprised when the president makes an announcement no one saw coming.

star 7.78
1,339 votes
Directors: Chris Grismer
Writers: Keith Eisner
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#23 - #whocares

Season 3 - Episode 6

A dying Guatemalan child in a Texas hospital brings immigration up front. A mugging opens Kirkman’s eyes to the reality of life in the capital.

star 7.77
66 votes
Line of Fire

#24 - Line of Fire

Season 2 - Episode 10

It’s Christmas Day and President Kirkman is alerted to a group of religious extremists who refuse to evacuate when a forest fire threatens to engulf their cabin. Deploying Emily and Aaron to help diffuse the situation, Kirkman must act quickly to save multiple lives at stake. Meanwhile, the First Lady finally gives her testimony to the FBI director, while what happens next changes the lives of the Kirkman family forever.

star 7.77
1,946 votes
Directors: Chris Grismer
Writers: Keith Eisner
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The Confession

#25 - The Confession

Season 1 - Episode 3

President Kirkman and his staff work to keep a high-level security breach of the White House a secret just as he’s about to give his first television interview. The FBI continues to investigate the Capitol bombing but Agent Hannah Wells starts to develop her own theories about who was really behind the attack.

star 7.76
6,051 votes
Writers: Jennifer Johnson, Paul Redford
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