Designated Survivor: 60 Days – Season 1 Episode 5 Recap & Review


 

Oh’s Eulogy

To say last week’s episode ended on a cliffhanger would be an understatement. With the entire country watching Park’s every move, we return to Designated Survivor: 60 Days this week right where we left off from before. Backed into a corner, Park admits to being fired much to the dismay of the Blue House administration. After the broadcast ratings sky-rocket and the Acting President’s credibility is called into question, Cha phones Yun and tells her he’s intrigued by her offer but refuses to align himself with Yun. 

Heading home after his ordeal, Park offers some fatherly words of encouragement to Si-Wan who notices a picture in his Father’s bag, prompting him to ask his father if he’s ever lied to him. Eyeing his son and wondering if an alternative motive is at play, the next day the Acting President and the administration breathe a sign of relief as they learn Park can continue on in his role as no foul play was involved.

Investigator Na-Gyung notices that Oh is giving a eulogy speech after the victims have been honoured, prompting her to confront him on the matter. She heads to Oh’s house and shows him the photos from the CCTV footage, asking him about his whereabouts at the time of the explosion. He gets shifty and tells her he doesn’t remember, unbeknownst to him that they’re not alone. However, when the other officers do eventually reveal themselves, he tells them to leave. Outside, Na-Gyung learns the truth, that Oh is actually innocent and he’s a war vet suffering with PTSD.

The memorial gets underway and Park arrives with the Blue House. Oh Yeoung then shows up in uniform to give his speech but Na has her doubts about his credibility. He tells the crowd he can’t give a eulogy and proceeds to ridicule the state and the administration. Its a powerful, rousing speech and a harsh reminder that politics often come before emotions. He rips off his medal of honour and faces the memorial wall while Na’s doubts slowly fade in wake of these new revelations. With a final salute, Oh leaves everyone in silence.

Back at the office, Park learns that the Cambodian government have given him an ultimatum. Unfortunately, General Lee refuses to give Park respect and to make matters worse, someone has leaked the North Korean video to the press. However, this happens to have an adverse effect, leading to public opinion to sway in favour of President Park. After a talk with Yun on the matter, Park figures out whose leaked the video – Cha. He hands Park his letter of resignation, saying he wants to be on the winning side, as Park leaves him in silence to find General Lee.

Ignoring President Park’s wishes, he preps the Special Ops team ready to fight but doesn’t bank on Park using his authority either. The Acting President relieves Lee of duty and appears to promote Ms. Jeong to become his Chief Presidential Secretary but it was actually Cha all along. He admits to her, in a rare moment of vulnerability, that he needs him going forward.

Park then heads off to visit former Secretary Han and they share a drink together. He asks whether the late President felt lonely and burdened and after they talk for a bit, Park heads home while Han reminisces on old times; a single tear running down his cheek. In a flashback, we see the President dismissed Park before he got greedy as Park’s heart was too good for politics.

After leaving her post at the station, Na heads home and begins reminiscing over her late fiance’s death. However, she receives a call from an anonymous person, complete with a voice scrambler, asking her if she wants to find out how Oh Yeong-Seok survived. She’s told to find Room 119 on the blueprints and as she frantically looks through the schematics, we leave the episode on another big cliffhanger.

There’s no doubting that Designated Survivor: 60 Days is a dramatic show. There’s some really good work done here to build the characters up and Park growing a backbone this week and beginning to exert his authority is a really nice sign of his character progression over the weeks. There’s certainly some echoed plot points carried over from the original Designated Survivor too but for the most part, they fit perfectly in with the narrative being built here.

The show does have its quiet moments though but despite a lack of action, the politically charged drama has been great to watch throughout the episodes so far. With the administration seemingly settled for now, tomorrow’s episode promises some answers to the big questions hanging over the series.

 

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