Designated Survivor

10 Best Episodes of Designated Survivor

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.

Written by Sophie and last updated on jan 28, 2023.

PS: The following content contains spoilers!

PPS: I will admit that parts of this page was written with the help of AI - it makes my work so much easier to not start from a blank page!

Designated Survivor - S1E19

#15 - 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.

The episode was rated 7.79 from 4714 votes.

Designated Survivor - S1E7

#14 - 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.

The episode was rated 7.79 from 5594 votes.

Designated Survivor - S1E17

#13 - 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.

The episode was rated 7.79 from 4966 votes.

Designated Survivor - S1E20

#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.

The episode was rated 7.83 from 4568 votes.

Designated Survivor - S1E1

#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.

The episode was rated 7.84 from 7231 votes.

Designated Survivor - S1E9

#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.

The episode was rated 7.85 from 5431 votes.

Designated Survivor - S1E2

#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.

The episode was rated 7.85 from 6422 votes.

Designated Survivor - S3E9

#8 - #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.

The episode was rated 7.86 from 780 votes.

Designated Survivor - S1E5

#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.

The episode was rated 7.86 from 6058 votes.

Designated Survivor - S3E10

#6 - #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.

The episode was rated 7.88 from 787 votes.

Designated Survivor - S1E4

#5 - 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.

The episode was rated 7.89 from 6154 votes.

Designated Survivor - S1E11

#4 - 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.

The episode was rated 7.97 from 5416 votes.

Designated Survivor - S1E21

#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.

The episode was rated 8.02 from 4694 votes.

Designated Survivor - S1E10

#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.

The episode was rated 8.03 from 5452 votes.

Designated Survivor - S1E12

#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.

The episode was rated 8.06 from 5512 votes.

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