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The Best Episodes of Designated Survivor

Every episode of Designated Survivor ranked from best to worst. Let's dive into the 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.

Genres:DramaWar & Politics
Networks:ABCNetflix

Top Episode Highlight

The best episode of "Designated Survivor" is "The Oath", rated 8.5/10 from 2257 user votes. It was directed by Fred Toye and written by David Guggenheim. "The Oath" aired on 12/14/2016 and is rated 0.1 point(s) higher than the second highest rated, "The End of the Beginning".

  • The Oath
    8.5/10 2,257 votes

    #1 - The Oath

    Season 1 Episode 10 - Aired 2016-12-14

    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.

    Director: Fred Toye

    Writer: David Guggenheim

  • The End of the Beginning
    8.4/10 1,947 votes

    #2 - The End of the Beginning

    Season 1 Episode 12 - Aired 2017-03-15

    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.

    Director: Mike Listo

    Writer: David Guggenheim

  • Pilot
    8.1/10 3,643 votes

    #3 - Pilot

    Season 1 Episode 1 - Aired 2016-09-21

    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.

    Director: Paul McGuigan

    Writer: David Guggenheim

  • Warriors
    8.1/10 1,824 votes

    #4 - Warriors

    Season 1 Episode 11 - Aired 2017-03-08

    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.

    Director: Stephen Surjik

    Writer: Carol Flint, Paul Redford

  • The First Day
    8.0/10 2,781 votes

    #5 - The First Day

    Season 1 Episode 2 - Aired 2016-09-28

    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.

    Director: Brad Turner

    Writer: N/A

  • The Blueprint
    8.0/10 1,853 votes

    #6 - The Blueprint

    Season 1 Episode 9 - Aired 2016-12-07

    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.

    Director: Richard J. Lewis

    Writer: Michael Russell Gunn, Dana Ledoux Miller

  • The Enemy
    7.9/10 2,272 votes

    #7 - The Enemy

    Season 1 Episode 4 - Aired 2016-10-12

    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.

    Director: Paul A. Edwards

    Writer: Dana Ledoux Miller, Jon Harmon Feldman

  • The Mission
    7.8/10 2,131 votes

    #8 - The Mission

    Season 1 Episode 5 - Aired 2016-10-26

    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.

    Director: Paul A. Edwards

    Writer: Michael Russell Gunn, Sang Kyu Kim

  • Brace for Impact
    7.8/10 1,603 votes

    #9 - Brace for Impact

    Season 1 Episode 21 - Aired 2017-05-17

    In the nail-biting season finale, 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.

    Director: Fred Toye

    Writer: David Guggenheim

  • #undecided
    7.8/10 923 votes

    #10 - #undecided

    Season 3 Episode 9 - Aired 2019-06-07

    Trailing in the polls, Kirkman weighs forcing the FBI's hand over the bioterrorism plot. Emily struggles with her mother's final wishes.

    Director: Peter Leto

    Writer: Dawn DeNoon

  • The Confession
    7.7/10 2,387 votes

    #11 - The Confession

    Season 1 Episode 3 - Aired 2016-10-05

    President Kirkman 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. The FBI continues to investigate the Capitol bombing but Agent Hannah Wells starts to develop her own theories about who was really behind the attack.

    Director: Sergio Mimica-Gezzan

    Writer: Jennifer Johnson, Paul Redford

  • The Traitor
    7.6/10 1,900 votes

    #12 - The Traitor

    Season 1 Episode 7 - Aired 2016-11-16

    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.

    Director: Fred Toye

    Writer: Jennifer Johnson, Michael Russell Gunn

  • The Results
    7.6/10 1,852 votes

    #13 - The Results

    Season 1 Episode 8 - Aired 2016-11-30

    On the eve of the country voting to elect a new House of Representatives, an unexpected development forces Kirkman to consider cancelling the elections entirely. News about Majid Nassar’s death leaks out, and Kirkman has to handle the fallout.

    Director: Chris Grismer

    Writer: Paul Redford, Sang Kyu Kim

  • Commander-in-Chief
    7.6/10 1,611 votes

    #14 - Commander-in-Chief

    Season 1 Episode 14 - Aired 2017-03-29

    Turmoil in an African country forces President Kirkman to rely on an unlikely ally for help. Hannah's investigation into the Capitol bombing takes an unexpected turn. Emily settles into her role as chief of staff. Aaron has to make a difficult choice.

    Director: Fred Toye

    Writer: Michael Russell Gunn

  • Bombshell
    7.6/10 1,444 votes

    #15 - Bombshell

    Season 1 Episode 20 - Aired 2017-05-10

    President Kirkman’s first international summit is derailed when journalist Abe Leonard publishes an explosive article. Meanwhile, Hannah Wells uncovers the conspiracy’s next target.

    Director: Sharat Raju

    Writer: Sang Kyu Kim

  • #truthorconsequences
    7.6/10 1,150 votes

    #16 - #truthorconsequences

    Season 3 Episode 10 - Aired 2019-06-07

    On election day, Kirkman turns to his therapist to assuage his conscience about the events -- and his own decisions -- of the momentous prior 36 hours.

    Director: Chris Grismer

    Writer: Peter Noah

  • The Interrogation
    7.5/10 1,990 votes

    #17 - The Interrogation

    Season 1 Episode 6 - Aired 2016-11-09

    When shots ring out at The White House during a Governors Summit, President Kirkman’s plans at electing a new Congress are thrown into turmoil. Agent Hannah Wells continues investigating the Capitol bombing and makes one of her most shocking discoveries yet.

    Director: Michael Katleman

    Writer: Jenna Richman, Barbie Kligman

  • Backfire
    7.5/10 1,646 votes

    #18 - Backfire

    Season 1 Episode 13 - Aired 2017-03-22

    An investigative journalist shocks the White House when he reveals classified information during a press briefing and leaves Seth struggling to contain the damage from the leaked story. Hannah unearths a key connection between MacLeish and the conspiracy.

    Director: Tara Nicole Weyr

    Writer: Pierluigi D. Cothran, Sang Kyu Kim

  • The Ninth Seat
    7.5/10 1,559 votes

    #19 - The Ninth Seat

    Season 1 Episode 17 - Aired 2017-04-19

    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.

    Director: Fred Toye

    Writer: Paul Redford

  • Line of Fire
    7.5/10 1,279 votes

    #20 - Line of Fire

    Season 2 Episode 10 - Aired 2017-12-13

    It’s Christmas Day and President Kirkman is alerted to a group of religious extremists who refuse to evacuate when a forest fire threatens to engulf their cabin. Deploying Emily and Aaron to help diffuse the situation, Kirkman must act quickly to save multiple lives at stake. Meanwhile, the First Lady finally gives her testimony to the FBI director, while what happens next changes the lives of the Kirkman family forever. The Season 2 midseason finale.

    Director: Chris Grismer

    Writer: Keith Eisner

  • Fallout
    7.5/10 914 votes

    #21 - Fallout

    Season 2 Episode 16 - Aired 2018-04-04

    President Kirkman and his staff have credible intelligence that a dirty bomb is on U.S. soil, thrusting the president into a high-stakes effort to find the bomb and stop it from detonating. At the White House, Emily approaches Chuck to help her with something that has damaging and illegal consequences.

    Director: Joe Lazarov

    Writer: Tom Garrigus

  • Kirkman Agonistes
    7.5/10 912 votes

    #22 - Kirkman Agonistes

    Season 2 Episode 18 - Aired 2018-04-18

    As more content from President Kirkman’s confidential therapy sessions continues to leak out, Vice President Darby meets secretly with the entire Cabinet, resulting in attorney Ethan West looking into the president’s past – while playing a large role in his future as commander in chief

    Director: Leslie Libman

    Writer: Pierluigi D. Cothran, Patrick Cunnane

  • Bad Reception
    7.5/10 885 votes

    #23 - Bad Reception

    Season 2 Episode 20 - Aired 2018-05-02

    President Kirkman negotiates with a foreign government to release an American held overseas, while attorney Ethan West continues his investigation.

    Director: Chris Grismer

    Writer: Jessica Grasl, Tom Garrigus

  • Run
    7.5/10 949 votes

    #24 - Run

    Season 2 Episode 22 - Aired 2018-05-16

    As President Kirkman continues to deal with the turmoil surrounding the hacker and Congressional investigation, a natural disaster threatens the lives of two White House staffers. Meanwhile, Kirkman’s closest allies are surprised when the president makes an announcement no one saw coming.

    Director: Chris Grismer

    Writer: Keith Eisner

  • #scaredsh*tless
    7.5/10 893 votes

    #25 - #scaredsh*tless

    Season 3 Episode 8 - Aired 2019-06-07

    Kirkman mobilizes a frantic hunt for the bioterrorist. Lorraine plays hardball and pushes the opioid epidemic into the campaign fray.

    Director: Sudz Sutherland

    Writer: Kendra Chanae Chapman, Ricardo Pérez González