The BEST Episodes of Designated Survivor

Every episode ever - ranked by fan votes!

Last Updated: Dec 5, 2019

Network: Netflix

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.

The End of the Beginning

#1 - 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 8.04
5,680 votes
Directors: Mike Listo
Writers: David Guggenheim
The Oath

#2 - 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 8.03
5,675 votes
Writers: David Guggenheim
Brace for Impact

#3 - 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 7.99
4,890 votes
Writers: David Guggenheim

#4 - #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 7.96
680 votes
Directors: Chris Grismer
Writers: Peter Noah

#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 7.95
5,638 votes
Directors: Stephen Surjik
Writers: Carol Flint, Paul Redford
The Enemy

#6 - 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 7.90
6,435 votes
Directors: Paul Edwards
Writers: Dana Ledoux Miller, Jon Harmon Feldman
The Mission

#7 - 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 7.87
6,283 votes
Directors: Paul Edwards
Writers: Michael Russell Gunn, Sang Kyu Kim
The Blueprint

#8 - 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 7.87
5,658 votes
Writers: Dana Dedoux Miller, Michael Russell Gunn
The First Day

#9 - 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
6,734 votes
Directors: Brad Turner
Writers: David Guggenheim, Jon Harmon Feldman

#10 - #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 7.85
703 votes
Directors: Peter Leto
Writers: Dawn DeNoon

#11 - 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
7,521 votes
Directors: Paul McGuigan
Writers: David Guggenheim

#12 - 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 7.82
4,733 votes
Directors: Sharat Raju
Writers: Sang Kyu Kim
The Traitor

#13 - 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 7.80
5,768 votes
Writers: Jennifer Johnson, Michael Russell Gunn

#14 - 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
1,513 votes
Directors: Chris Grismer
Writers: Keith Eisner

#15 - 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 7.77
5,365 votes
Writers: Michael Gunn
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 7.76
5,158 votes
Writers: Paul Redford

#17 - #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 7.75
684 votes
Directors: Sudz Sutherland
Writers: Kendra Chanae Chapman, Ricardo Pérez González
The Confession

#18 - 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 7.75
6,487 votes
Writers: Jennifer Johnson, Paul Redford

#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 7.74
4,885 votes
Directors: Norberto Barba
Writers: Dana Ledoux Miller, Jenna Richman

#20 - Backfire

Season 1 - Episode 13

An investigative journalist shocks the White House when he reveals classified information during a press briefing and leaves Seth struggling to contain the damage from the leaked story. Hannah unearths a key connection between MacLeish and the conspiracy.

star 7.74
5,356 votes
Writers: Pierluigi D. Cothran, Sang Kyu Kim

#21 - #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 7.74
744 votes
Writers: Peter Noah
One Hundred Days

#22 - One Hundred Days

Season 1 - Episode 15

As President Kirkman releases an agenda to reset his presidency, Alex makes a controversial public statement that threatens to derail it. Agent Wells unknowingly finds herself in the center of a dangerous trap while getting closer to the truth.

star 7.72
5,348 votes
Directors: Ken Fink
Writers: Dana Ledoux
The Interrogation

#23 - The Interrogation

Season 1 - Episode 6

When shots ring out at The White House during a Governors Summit, President Kirkman’s plans at electing a new Congress are thrown into turmoil. Agent Hannah Wells continues investigating the Capitol bombing and makes one of her most shocking discoveries yet.

star 7.71
5,950 votes
Writers: Barbie Kligman, Jenna Richman
Party Lines

#24 - Party Lines

Season 1 - Episode 16

President Kirkman forms an unlikely alliance in the hopes of passing his first bill. Agent Ritter is briefed by Agent Wells about a new alarming threat to the nation.

star 7.71
5,233 votes
Directors: Mike Listo
Writers: Jenna Richman
The Results

#25 - The Results

Season 1 - Episode 8

On the eve of the country voting to elect a new House of Representatives, an unexpected development forces Kirkman to consider cancelling the elections entirely. News about Majid Nassar’s death leaks out, and Kirkman has to handle the fallout.

star 7.71
5,628 votes
Directors: Chris Grismer
Writers: Paul Redford, Sang Kyu Kim