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Heartwarming / Designated Survivor

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    Season 1 

The First Day

  • When Seth finds the candelight vigil in front of the White House, a cop is watching him. Seth resignedly waits for the cop to confront him (like had happened that morning — with the same cop!)... but the cop only asks him if he has lost someone, and gets a nearby lady to give him a lit candle.

The Results

  • Kirkman steadfastly insists to Leo that Leo is his son no matter what, and after a sleepless night, Leo reconciles with his parents.


  • Kirkman and Hookstraten may disagree on political issues, but he trusts her to have the country's best interests at heart and warns her to keep an eye on MacLeish for him.
  • The people in front of the hospital cheering when Kirkman when he stands up and waves from his room's window. When he started as president, few people had any confidence in him and his ability to do his job. Now, it's obvious the American people (for the most part) love him, and that mere act is enough to get the markets to recover from their previous plunge.

The End of the Beginning

  • Seth started off the series as skeptical of Kirkman and his qualifications/leadership abilities. Now, he tells Emily that Kirkman is a man of dutifulness, decency, integrity, and compassion that had reminded him of what if felt like to be a part of an America that you want to believe in.
  • Kirkman's discharge from the hospital and warmly thanking the doctors and nurses who helped treat him.


  • After Aaron shares classified information with Hookstraten, who then leaks it to the press, Kirkman's reaction is to tell him to take a week and get some rest because he needs a decent night's sleep.

Brace for Impact

  • Crossing over with Tear Jerker territory, Hannah Wells remembers her first introduction to Jason Atwood, who reports that her previous boss praised her commitment and hard work, upon which he welcomes her to his office in D.C.
  • Kirkman gets to see his family again and all are overjoyed to be back together, even if only for a short time before duty calls and Kirkman is asked to go to Command Ops.

    Season 2 

Sting of the Tail

  • Kirkman shares a moment with his daughter after a stressful day dealing with Patrick Lloyd's threats.
    Penny: I have a joke. Knock, knock.
    Kirkman: Who's there?
    Penny: Interrupting bird.
    Kirkman: Interrupting bird—
    Penny: [interrupting] Squawk!


  • Kirkman's conversation with Senator Rouse near the end of the episode. Rouse had taken words from a private conversation between he and President Kirkman out of context to score a political win for himself. Rouse later reveals that he only did this in light of the fact that his wife has ovarian cancer. Kirkman's tone changes from dismissive and uncaring to consoling immediately, underscoring his compassion towards his colleagues even if they do cross him.

Two Ships

  • Seth cheers up Emily after she finds out her father only came to see her again because she's the president's chief of staff, and they share a kiss.
    • On a similar note, Lyor has repeatedly complained about Emily's kombucha drinking, including in this episode. At the end, he brought her a bottle when he saw she was upset.
  • Even though the USS Verona’s crew was rescued, Lieutenant (or I guess Captain since he received a battlefield promotion) Griffin decided to stay behind in order to ensure that the Verona sunk. Being the acting CO of the Verona, he very well could’ve just ordered the sailors onboard to stay and set it for him but he decides to sacrifice himself in order to scuttle the destroyer.

Original Sin

  • Kirkman thinks there's no other way to be an architect than to do his research and turn down projects that'll have negative impacts on communities, and believes in that so deeply, that he's furious when he finds out the project that launched his career only happened because his partner hid things from him.
    • Lyor helps an Ocheole First Nations native conduct his essay for his college application.


  • Seth rips into Lyor's old rival on how he and Lyor are nothing alike as Lyor is a good and decent man and "you're a son of a bitch." As much as Lyor may annoy Seth, he still backs him up.

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