Designated Survivor: 60 Days – Season 1 Episode 4 Recap & Review


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Following yesterday’s episode, we return to Designated Survivor: 60 Days for a narrative revolving around the survivor found in the wreckage.

A brief recap gets us up to speed on what’s happened thus far before we see Park and the others scrambling to free the survivor. He happens to be first term assemblyman Oh Yeong-Seok. The press get involved and decide to spin a story about him being a hero, which picks up momentum around the country as Oh is deemed a miracle.

After Park’s solid resolve in dealing with the recent country conflicts, the political polls put him in the top 5 for candidates to take over permanently as President. This makes Park uneasy though, determined that once these 60 days are up, he’ll return to teaching. However, before he can discuss his future further, the lights go out. The Blue House is under attack. Whoever the attackers are, they leave an encrypted video that appears to put the blame squarely on North Korea, with a video depicting both a flag and a videoed confession. However, Park has doubts over its authenticity so gets his administration to look into it.

It turns out the person on the video happens to be a North Korean official by the name of Hae-Jun. Park decides to try and find his whereabouts to check the validity of the tape firsthand and see if there’s an ulterior motive here. With Mayor Kang continuing to be a thorn in Park’s side, following the blackout attack he decides to tell Assemblywoman Yun the truth about the video. However, she tells a fellow reporter whose granted an exclusive interview with President Park.

Na-Kyung heads to the hospital to interview Oh Yeong-Seok who tells her he was sitting in the room listening to the State Of The Nation address when the bomb went off. Back at the scene of the explosion, the rescue workers’ golden window of 72 hours is up but Na-Kyung is unclear on something. After some digging around, she realizes that his story doesn’t add up given where he claims to be and where he was actually recovered.

Na-Kyung digs deeper, feeling like she’s onto something, but the CCTV footage shows him in the auditorium at the time of the blast. Only, there happens to be 1 minute and 23 seconds missing from the tape, presumably destroyed in the blast. She does eventually find the truth out about Oh – he wasn’t present when the bomb went off. As they deliberate over what to do next, Park has issues of his own with the administration.

The administration find Hae-Jun deep in the murky waters of Cambodian politics and decide they need to try and get him out. The military propose a special, risky mission to try and retrieve him but after some careful consideration, Park refuses, much to the displeasure of the military general.

The final scenes of the episode then see Park begin his interview on TV. With all eyes on the acting president, Park downplays the idea of him being a presidential candidate, prompting the reporter to go off script. She uses his dismissal as ammo to throw his popularity with the public off. After a long pause he admits to being dismissed leaving the future of the administration uncertain and thrown into chaos.

With a shorter run-time this time around at a little over an hour, Designated Survivor: 60 Days does a great job packing a lot of drama into its run-time. The pacing is relentless too, and there’s certainly some really tense and dramatic moments this episode. If I’m honest, at times the pace feels a tad too quick and I do feel like the moments last time out with Park and his family were welcome respites from the constant politically charged tension.

With politics playing a heavy part in the overarching narrative, there will inevitably be those slightly turned off from the distinct lack of action. Having said that, the show does well juggling its various characters and stylistically, there’s some nice camera work this time around, especially late on with Park’s interview. The ending is certainly exciting and arguably one of the most exciting moments of the show so far. Quite what will happen next remains to be seen but for now, 60 Days delivers another decent episode and an agonizing week’s wait for the next slice of drama.


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