Following the dramatic ending to last week’s episode, we return to Designated Survivor: 60 Days this week for a somewhat subdued slice of political drama. It’s here we see the end-game of Assemblyman Oh come to fruition and this can only spell trouble for all those involved in the Blue House.
The sniper gunshot last week did hit President Park but Na’s ability to distract the shooter did enough to avoid killing the Acting President. It turns out bullet fragments are wedged inside him though and he needs surgery immediately. As the non-party committee deliberate over who is next to take Park’s place, the Minister Of Finance is brought in with a gunshot wound too. This means Assemblyman Oh is now officially Acting President Oh. While he’s sworn in, Park tells Yun at hospital to keep an eye on Oh as he suspects foul play.
Immediately following his arrival to Blue House, Oh takes centre stage while Park is put under anesthetic and begins his surgery. His meeting with the advisors is fiery, meeting everyone’s hostility with a deadlier bite. He keeps the stock markets open despite weak forecasts in the wake of the shooting and demands the Command Centre looking into the bombers be created at Blue House.
Meanwhile, an apprehended Na remains silent until Kang arrives and takes over the interview, asking for evidence relating to Oh being in collusion with the bombers. She tells him she’ll give the information to Park personally. Unfortunately it’s here she learns that Oh is now Acting President. Realizing she may be telling the truth, Kang risks his job by writing a cryptic message on a photo saying he met with Agent Kim. She gives him a name while feigning an assault – Tae-Ik – and instructions on how to find him.
Meanwhile, Oh continues his destructive stint by ordering that the soldiers at ground level operate on a shoot-to-kill principle. There are, of course, objections to this around the room but Oh reminds everyone that he is the captain of the ship – it’s no longer a democracy here it seems.
As everyone waits anxiously to find out what’s happened to Park, they learn the surgery was successful but the blood loss may have resulted in brain damage. Han relays the message to the Blue House trusted circle and they formulate their next move. Mayor Kang and Yun then discuss Oh’s plans with the stock market that descends into chaos – just as predicted. While Mayor Kang laughs about Oh’s inexperience with economics, Yun raises suspicions, questioning whether this was his plan all along.
While Cha tries to explain his impartiality, Oh arrives midway through a press conference to take over some difficult questions. He tells the crowds that the sniper is dead which sees his approval ratings sky-rocket. As things stand, Oh will easily win the presidential race. Until we see Park wake up that is – the old dog still has fight left in him.
Despite an underlying sombre tone and subdued pacing, Designated Survivor: 60 Days continues to deliver another dramatic episode. With Park spending most of the episode out of commission, we see firsthand here the damage someone else can do at the wheel. With an ulterior motive and his true colours finally revealed, Oh’s ascendancy to the top has been an orchestrated and well-rehearsed play to snatch at power.
Much like the original series it’s based on, Designated Survivor, this Korean drama continues to deliver compelling, exciting narrative work here. Quite what part Na will have in all this remains to be seen but with Park now awake, Oh’s days seem numbered. Has the damage already been done though? I guess we’ll have to wait until tomorrow to find out!