Designated Survivor Recap 10/5/16: Season 1 Episode 3 “The Confession”


Tonight on ABC their new conspiracy thriller Designated Survivor airs with an all-new Wednesday, October 5, 2016, episode and we have your Designated Survivor recap below.  On tonight’s Designated Survivor episode 3, President Kirkman (Kiefer Sutherland) and his staff deal with a high-level security breach of the White House, which they try to keep secret as Tom prepares for his first TV interview as POTUS.

Did you watch last week’s Designated Survivor premiere where Kirkman struggled to keep the country and his own family from falling apart while navigating the highly volatile political arena?  If you missed the episode we have a full and detailed Designated Survivor recap, right here.

On tonight’s Designated Survivor as per the ABC synopsis, “President Kirkman (Kiefer Sutherland) and his staff work to keep a high-level security breach of the White House a secret just as he’s about to give his first television interview. Meanwhile, the FBI continues to investigate the Capitol bombing, and Agent Hannah Wells starts to develop her own theories about who was really behind the attack.”

So make sure to come back to this spot between 10PM – 11PM ET for our Designated Survivor recap.  While you wait for our recap make sure to check out all our Designated Survivor recaps, spoilers, news & more!

Tonight’s episode begins now – Refresh Page often to get the most current updates!

#DesignatedSurvivor starts with Hannah watching as a survivor is pulled out of the mess at the Capitol. The guy is in bad shape. It’s a Congressman named Peter McLeish. So far he’s the sole survivor that has been found. The guy is a decorated war hero and very popular.

Emily, Aaron and Seth watch it on the news as Kirkman comes into the Oval. He thanks them for coming in early. Seth is working on the former President’s eulogy and he says his son Tyler is coming in to help. Aaron says they’re looking for verification on the source of the attack.

Emily says he’s got an interview with Elizabeth Vargas. The lights flicker and everyone begins to panic. Aaron says there should not be a blackout. They worry they might be under attack. The lights come on but the phones are dead and they realize it’s a digital intrusion.

Sole survivor?

They show that someone is headed for the Oval. Ritter goes running. Ritter tells him to get away from his computer. They tell him the White House was hacked and gather up all the computers. Later, Kirkman gets an update and Seth says the public won’t like this.

Kirkman asks what they were after and Ritter says they don’t know who it was yet or what they were after. Kirkman worries it’s the same people that bombed the Capitol. Seth wants to cancel Vargas but they decide it looks bad. Aaron pushes Kirkman on choosing a Chief of Staff.

Kirkman scoffs at him and sends his team out. Hann is at the office looking at the board of victims from the attack. McLeish is moved over to the blank survivors board. Hannah wonders how the guy survived. Atwood says it happens.

Find the hacker

Hannah wants to go talk to McLeish and get his statement. Atwood reluctantly agrees she can go. The only computer hacked was Kirkman’s. They find a file on Kirkman’s computer that looks like it came from overseas.

Aaron hassles Emily about being a bit late to work and she says her boyfriend proposed that morning. Aaron says that always happens after a disaster. Emily says he wants her to say yes so he can get Chief of Staff. Aaron denies it and says she’s lucky.

Aaron and Emily meet with Kimble about cabinet choices since she’s all of Congress. She asks about the security issue that morning. She says she saw the IT staff moving computers from the West Wing. They fib to her but then Aaron and Emily are called away from the meeti

Hacker left a gift

Kirkman tells Aaron and Emily that no data was taken, but something was left. It’s a message from Majid Nassar and it confirms that Al-Sakar is taking credit for the attack. General Cochrane is smug and says now they know the enemy. Hmm. Seems a little too convenient doesn’t it?

Why not just post the video online? Does this remind anyone of the Mandarin from Iron Man 3? Is that an actor? The military people tell him that it’s a match for Majid Nassar. Kirkman asks why not just release it on Al Jazeera like normal and says it doesn’t feel right.

Another adviser tells him that sometimes the group takes credit for attacks that they didn’t do. KIrkman asks them for doubts. Atwood stands and says one of his agents has a theory that the evidence was manipulated to point to Al-Sakar intentionally.

Hannah grills the survivor

Atwood says his agent is solid. Cochrane asks for his orders. Kirkman thinks and says keep the video quiet and find Nassar right now no matter what cave he’s hiding in. Kirkman shows the video to Kimble and say since she’s Congress, he wanted to loop her in but doesn’t want it to go public yet.

Kirkman says it could prompt a national call to arms. Kimble thinks it’s a good idea but Kirkman says uniting American through war may not be the best route. Kimble says she’ll do what he asks and wishes him luck with Vargas and the interview.

Hannah goes to meet McLeish at the hospital and asks how he is. He says he’s lucky to be alive. Hannah asks about the events of the night. McLeish says he was sitting in his seat watching the president speak then everything went black.

Survivors and sons

McLeish asks why is he the only survivor. He surprises her when he grabs her and pulls her closer and says please let me know what you find out. Kirkman meets with Tyler, the dead President’s son. Seth is there too and asks for Tyler’s input on the eulogy.

Tyler says his father was a great man but he was just dad to him. He says he had the hardest job in the world but was still always there for him and now he’s not.

Alex and Penny unpack Leo’s stuff for him and chat. Penny finds a packet of pills and hands them to Alex who covers for him. She opens the drawer and also finds a thick roll of cash. Emily gives Kirkman last-minute notes and Aaron is there too.

Vargas attacks!

Kirkman sits for the interview with Elizabeth Vargas who brings up Royce and the near-riot. Kirkman is very positive. Vargas asks about how he was HUD secretary and now President. Kirkman says he never had Presidential aspirations.

Vargas asks him about President Richmond firing him the day he died and asks if he has no business being President of the United States. Kirkman steps away to speak to Aaron and Emily. Aaron says he has no idea how they got that info.

Emily says tell the truth and says he wasn’t fired. Aaron says don’t admit to it. Aaron and Emily bicker and she says he can’t start his presidency with a lie. He goes back and takes his seat. Kirkman asks her to ask the question again.

The truth and nothing but

He says he was offered an ambassadorship and had not accepted yet. Vargas asks if the President wanted him gone and Kirkman says yes. Hannah looks at footage of the Capitol and at McLeish in his seat. The footage cut out before the explosion.

Hannah looks at another angle and sees a woman with a camera and Hannah asks to download the woman’s cloud. Hannah says to get it and says this is the greatest act of terror since 9/11. She says they have to play dirty and tells him to hack the account.

Leo searches his drawer for his pills and cash and Alex confronts him and asks if it’s MDMA. She says her son is a drug dealer and says it’s possession with intent and says his little sister found it and it would have killed her.

Family feud

Alex has to leave for the funeral but tells Leo they are not done with this. They head to the funeral. Kirkman asks Alex what’s up and she says it’s Leo but it can wait. They head inside where the President’s body lies in state. Seth hands him his speech.

Tyler approaches and says he saw his interview clip and says his dad fired him and he won’t let him use his dad’s funeral as a PR stunt. Emily says he can’t do that and says you’re the President. Kirkman says they’ll respect his wishes for now.

Kirkman tells Alex what Tyler said. Tyler takes the podium and says his dad loved his job and the people he worked with and says he has someone there that his father spoke about with great respect. He introduces Kimble. Alex says this is bad. Kirkman says this is what you get for being honest in DC – opportunists.

Politics as usual

Kimble takes the podium and delivers the eulogy that Kirkman should have. She called Richmond her friend. She makes a passionate speech that earns her a standing ovation and Kirkman has no choice but to stand too.

Outside, Ritter tells Alex that Leo left the White House. Kirkman gives Kimble the cold shoulder. Seth, Aaron and Emily check in on social media that shows a wave of negativity about Kirkman. Ritter takes Alex to Leo who went back to their old house.

Leo tells Alex he doesn’t know why he did it. He says he knows he screwed up and people do stuff without reasons. Alex says the White House did not cause their problems, those problems were already there. She says she didn’t tell his dad yet.

Tyler’s a liar

She tells Leo to be at family dinner and they’ll deal with it then. She grabs a pic off the fridge and leaves. Kirkman leaves a voice mail for Tyler when Seth comes in to chat. He tells him that he ran in some staffers that were close to the President.

He says Tyler hadn’t talked to his dad for the last two years.  Seth and Kirkman see a leak of the video and the Pres says he thinks Kimble leaked the video. He’s angry and wants her on the phone now.

He says Tyler hadn’t talked to his dad for the last two years.  Seth and Kirkman see a leak of the video and the Pres says he thinks Kimble leaked the video. He’s angry and wants her on the phone now. Kirkman brings her in and reams her.

Kimble says she didn’t leak the video but says it’s good for him. She says it will take the attention off his Vargas interview. Kirkman says that group may not have done the attack. Kimble says like it or not he has to act and is the Commander in Chief.

Kimble wants his job

Kirkman asks if it’s true she doesn’t want to be President and she says “for now” then makes it clear, she’ll run later. Atwood calls in Hannah and asks about the hack she asked for. He says this is not the wild West. He says she jeopardizing the case.

Hannah says she understands. Atwood says Scott Wheeler is among the confirmed dead. Hannah is stunned and tearful. Atwood tells her sorry. She was involved with Scott and is surprised Atwood knew. The guy was married and she says he told her he was leaving his wife.

Hannah says she went too far but Atwood says the hack request was just one bad call. He says make good ones from now on. Hannah agrees. Aaron hears from his team that the Al-Sakar video has changed the conversation. He tells Kirkman that it changed things.

Aaron under fire

Kirkman tells Aaron he knows he leaked the video. Aaron says he did the best thing for him. He says the country will unite behind him and Kirkman says he’s not ready to declare war and they’re still not sure. Kirkman says that was insubordinate to him when he leaked it.

Aaron says lots of people would love to see Kirkman fail but he wants to help him thrive and succeed. Aaron says he thinks he made the best move for him and then offers him a letter of resignation and says he can accept it any time. Kirkman takes it from him.

Tom stashes the letter in his desk and then Tyler shows up as requested. Kirkman sits to talk to him and says he owes him an apology. Kirkman says he has a story for him and Tyler asks if it’s the one where he got fired.

Kirkman floors the kid

He tells him that his dad was at a recital of his last year hidden away in the back and says he talked an hour in a cabinet meeting about his performance. Kirkman gives him a program and says he gave them out to all the cabinet members and says his dad was so proud of him.

Tyler asks if he can keep the program and thanks Kirkman and calls him Mr President. Tyler leaves. Hannah sits crying in her car later. Her phone chimes – it’s Chuck the FBI hacker. He says she needs to come see the video feed ASAP.

Kirkman calls Emily in to talk and says she was right to tell him to be honest and says he’s been thinking about his Chief of Staff position. He says he’s going with Aaron. She’s stunned. He says he needs someone who can think differently from him and her.

Emily gets 2nd place

Kirkman says he still needs her and this position is beyond what they expected and he’s scared. He says he’s scared he’ll fail the nation and is going to appoint her as his special advisor so she has full access. Emily thanks him and says she’ll speak up when she disagrees with Aaron.

She thanks him and goes. Kirkman looks at the clock and says – family dinner – and sighs. Aaron is in his new office and pulls out a bottle to celebrate. Emily comes by to congratulate him. He says she got a fiancé and he got a job but she says she told the guy no.

Emily tells Aaron not to get too comfortable because that position gets replaced all the time. Kirkman sees the empty table and goes to sit. The door opens and Penny comes to hug him. He asks why she’s up so late. Alex says they waited up.

Family dinner

Alex says Leo is over at a friend’s house. But Leo is there and says he changed his mind. He sits down and says family dinner. They smile. Hannah comes to see Chuck who says he hacked the cloud. The woman caught two photos before the explosion and in the second one, McLeish is gone.

Chuck says the guy wasn’t there and that’s how he survived. Kirkman calls Aaron and says he forced his hand today by releasing that video so now he needs to make sure they find Al-Sakar fast. Aaron agrees and says good night.

Aaron meets a woman who hands over a file on Kirkman. He asks if there’s anything good in it and she says it depends on whose side you’re on.