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- Despite Kirkman's questionable reputation, he could tell that General Cochrane wants to engage Iran despite no concrete evidence that Tehran backed the attack on Washington D.C. He also agreed with Seth bluntly that he probably won't be a good leader.
- Wright tells a White House staff member who has been trash-talking Kirkman to keep her mouth shut now that Kirkman is the president.
- Wells quickly determining that the FBI's initial assumptions that the attack must have been by the Taliban, Al-Qaeda, or ISIS are wrong, and also being the first to realize that things are just getting started.
- The entire scene with Kirkman and the Iranian UN Ambassador. You can even see a little bit of Jack Bauer creeping through at the end when he threatens to destroy the Iranian capital if he does not comply with his order to remove his naval destroyers from the Strait of Hormuz. He does it all so calm and collectedly.Kirkman: Mr. Ambassador, dock your destroyers, or the story on the morning news will not be about the attack on our capital, but the devastating attack on yours.
The First Day
- When the governor of Michigan refuses to acknowledge Kirkman as a legitimate authority and starts essentially setting up a new Civil War by ordering all Muslims rounded up, Kirkman gives a total bluff that there were undercover federal agents among them, and he's not cleared to know their names so he'll have to let everyone go. When Governor Royce lamely protests that he's just trying to keep his citizens safe, Kirkman's reply is "How safe is Danny Fayed feeling tonight, Governor?"
- Kirkman getting in Cochrane's face and telling him in no uncertain terms that he will not order an attack on the terrorist group suspected to be behind the attack without absolute certainty that they are in fact responsible.Staffer: How much more certainty do you want [than 75%], sir?Kirkman: [leaving the room] Twenty-five, damnit!
- Royce decides he will not accept Kirkman as the legitimate President after all and goes back to rounding up Muslims. Royce has Emily basically arrested when she comes to Michigan to talk about the situation. Kirkman, via Emily, offers to have Royce fly back to Washington for a heart-to-heart talk. As soon as Royce gets off the plane, Kirkman has him arrested for treason for ignoring a Presidential order.
- To provide some context to Emily's situation as descibed above, Emily herself deserves mention for orchestrating a situation whereby the governor is forced to take her up on the offer to fly to D.C. with her, at which time he is promptly arrested. In contact with Dearborne Muslim residents organising a peaceful protest, she arranges to have them show up at the airport, where there are police and military personnel with orders to oppress them... and a whole bunch of media, ready to catch everything on tape. Faced with losing the moral high ground, Royce has no choice but to capitulate.
- When Cochrane finally oversteps his bounds by ordering planes into Algeria on his own authority, Kirkman finally has enough and fires the general on the spot.
- For extra awesome, he uses the exact same justification Cochrane was using to authorize the attack.
- The covert-ops SEAL team successfully captures Nassar.
- To elaborate, the SEALs had Nassar and his men cornered in a basement. The terrorists had taken several children hostage, threatening to kill them unless the SEALs dropped their weapons. A flashbang goes off and contact with the team is lost for a minute, during which Kirkman and his staff naturally fear the worst. Just when it's looking hopeless, they finally hear from the team: Nassar has been captured, the rest of the terrorists are dead, and all of the children are still alive thanks to one of the SEALs Taking the Bullet for them.
- On the eve of the special Congressional elections, amid fears of bioterrorism attacks on the polling places, Kirkman gives a Rousing Speech regarding how they can't let fear triumph over democracy, before going to vote himself. Later that day, news channels are displaying voters turning out in droves, most saying that they're doing so because the President did.
- Agent Wells realizes just from Atwood name-dropping an old FBI case (and then digging the details out a bit later) why he went to meet a strange woman and then later confess to killing Nassar.
- Agent Wells being a total Determinator throughout the episode, coming back from being near death in a vehicular attack to (maybe) avert an assassination attempt on Kirkman. Along the way, she rediscovers ex-President Richmond's presumed-dead Chief of Staff, and shortly thereafter she manages to gun down a henchman of the conspirators, who to this point had been complete Karma Houdinis in their plot to take over the government.
The End of the Beginning
- At long last, Kirkman and Hannah meet and start working together. The result is them getting shit done at an exponentially increased rate from the season's first half, until in just one episode Beth is forced to kill her husband and herself to keep them from taking down the whole conspiracy in one swoop.
One Hundred Days
- After spending most of the season uncomfortable in his new role as president and making frequent fumbles when it came to dealing with the press and public, Kirkman's townhall demonstrated just how much more confident he's gotten and the sincere admiration a large part of the country has for him.Town Hall Attendee: Mr. President, we were all so worried about you after you were shot. I'm surprised and elated to see you out and around so quickly. How are you feeling?
[the crowd warmly applauds]
- And on a meta level, the show takes a huge swing at Donald Trump when Kirkman tells a laid off factory worker the hard truth that his job is never coming back, and if any politicians had told him otherwise, they were lying.
- Right on the heels of Wells nearly capturing MacLeish and forcing his wife to commit a Murder-Suicide to save The Conspiracy, she and Atwood catch up with the mysterious "conspiracy woman" and shoot her dead in a firefight, something that was royally deserved after she and her associates killed Atwood's son.
- The bill to mandate universal background checks passes, in no small part thanks to Kirkman's and his staff's efforts, as well as a chance encounter between Mrs. Kirkman and a small group of Republican senators.
The Ninth Seat
- A meeting to decide the nine Supreme Court justices to be filled out is hijacked by Bowman wanting a right-wing majority. The Democrats are about to walk but Kirkman slams his palms on the table and yells at them both to sit down. He then rips into Bowman on this and making it clear he's willing to march into the press room and lay it all on Bowman's feet.
- The brilliant solution to the gridlock? Just have the eight justices already approved on the Court. When they argue over the ninth, it's pointed out that the Constitution says nothing about how many judges there have to be and let the ninth spot be figured out later.
- When Hookstraten discovers the identity of the person responsible for the smear campaign against her — a Congressman who was once a staffer she fired for corruption, and who wants payback — she makes sure he can't profit from it, by beating him at his own game. She gives Senator Bowman the evidence behind the incident that led to said firing, thereby killing the Congressman's hopes of riding Bowman's coattails to higher office.
- Hannah uses the underwire of her bra to pick the locks of her handcuffs.
Brace For Impact
- Hannah stopping the bombing of the FBI building by hijacking the van containing the explosives and driving them into the river to contain the blast.
- Her showdown with Lozano, a No-Holds-Barred Beatdown that ends with Lozano impaled on several pipes.
- The Mole is finally outed, as it's revealed that before he died, Atwood emailed Hannah a recording of Whitaker discussing The Conspiracy's plans with Patrick Lloyd. He's shown ominously walking through the White House, as he has been several times in past episodes, only for Mike to suddenly appear in front of him, Hannah and Director Forrestal blocking him from behind. His face says it all.
- Kirkman's Rousing Speech to a joint meeting of Congress, explaining everything about the conspiracy and how it's been crushed (while the camera cuts to show cells being raided and arrested). By the end, everyone's applauding. This includes Senator Bowman, who's been opposing Tom at every turn.
One Year In
- Kirkman realizes that a hijacking of a Russian airliner on American soil is a False Flag Operation designed to give Russia an excuse to invade Ukraine, which Ukraine has figured out and is letting happen, as an invasion would finally gain them some Western aid. So, the President calls in the Russian and Ukrainian ambassadors and chews them out on this, making it perfectly clear that if any Americans die because of this stunt, he'll see to it that both countries are crippled by sanctions, and that the ambassadors are personally held responsible. Needless to say, the situation soon ends up resolved peacefully.
Sting of the Tail
- Towards the end of the episode, Kirkman and his administration finally find a legal ground to send a bunker-buster missile into Patrick Lloyd's hideout in Maryland, decisively ending his reign as a Karma Houdini — although, naturally, he managed to upload something to the internet before time ran out. Fortunately, He's Just Hiding! is not a possibility, because Lloyd's remains are indeed reported to have been found in the wreckage.
- A major debate rages on whether or not to remove a Confederate statue from a courthouse. To the surprise of both sides, a black activist says the statue should stay as a reminder of this time. When a young female white liberal slams him for "selling out," he nicely puts her in her place.Dale: Young lady, you mean well. You declare this is racist and that is racist. But you are young, white and living in America. You don't know what it's like to walk in my shoes and I won't always be around to tell you. But that statue will. It stays.
- How does Kirkman stop a project from his old firm from pushing a Native American tribe off their land? By finding a treaty between the U.S. and Spain written back in 1819 that technically still maintains the government owns the land which Kirkman allows the tribe to keep.
- When the firm's new head blasts Kirkman for being too naive, Kirkman calmly tells him tough luck and get out of his Oval Office.
- Seth using a press conference to finally rip the assembled media a new one for hounding Kirkman over his decision to seek therapy after Alex's death. After perpetual Once an Episode frenzies over whatever-the-latest-leak from the White House, plenty among the Press Corps deserved to be on the receiving end.