Designated Survivor: 60 Days Season 1, Episode 2, “Day 60: Commander-In-Chief” ramps up the heat, as The Acting President has some major decisions to make.
This episode of Designated Survivor: 60 Days Season 1, Episode 2, “Day 60: Commander-In-Chief” contains significant spoilers. The Korean Netflix Series will be running weekly every Monday and Tuesday until season 1 ends. You can read the recap of the previous episode by clicking these words.
What a brilliant piece of television. Designated Survivor: 60 Days is not only adapting the original series, it’s embarrassing it. Korean Netflix has grabbed this story and created an unbearably tense environment, polishing the plot points with care. Episode 2, “Day 60: Commander-In-Chief” is a testing time for Park Moo-jin (Jin-hee Ji), who barely speaks in the opening twenty minutes due to crippling nervousness. This is precisely what the character should be like; a young adult swerved into the high office against his will, bowing to the constitution.
The question pursed on everyone’s lips in “Day 60: Commander-In-Chief” is who carried out the atrocious attacks? According to the Anti-Terrorist Unit, the claymore found was made in North Korea, but Anti-Terrorist Agent Han Na-Kyung (Kang Han-Na) is not entirely convinced. Tensions rise in episode 2, as the South Korean Generals begin demanding an attack on North Korea.
Park Moo-jin buckles under pressure immediately, resorting to the toilet, throwing up. All this is part of his character development, so when the moment comes, when he rises to the occassion, it will feel more admirable to the audience. In episode 2 he tries to quit to Presidential Secretary Han Joo-Seung (Heo Jun-Ho), but with the Japanese moving vessels into Korean waters and tensions at an all-time high, Han reminds him that if he vacates his post, the military will recklessly lead the country. Han is a genuinely likeable character, who understands the ropes of the presidency and batting away the opposition party.
“Day 60: Commander-In-Chief” presents a further issue, which begins a series of extreme events. The US and Korean Military teams believe that North Korea has sent a nuclear submarine in Korean waters. Park Moo-jin thinks it has sunk due to some scientific explanation involving fish and lithium, which we haven’t got time to delve into – he’s a genuine square. Han Na-Kyung, who is on the ground where the explosion happened, believes that North Korea is way too quiet, and senses another reason for the events that have occurred.
Now Designated Survivor: 60 Days presents some brilliant television from here on. Episode 2, “Day 60: Commander-In-Chief” sees Park Moo-jin reject moving to Defcon Two on the Korean Peninsula due to a possibility that the North Korean sub sunk and did not enter their waters. The US General does not take this rejection lightly, and it is not helped that Park Moo-jin’s military team is on his side, but Han informs him that he should not tamper with their relationship and give the Acting President more time. Park Moo-jin opts to try to communicate with North Korea via the famed hotline, to confirm that they did not use a submarine to enter their waters and it indeed sunk, meaning it stopped showing on the radar. Making the situation tenser, the hotline remains silent.
But Park Moo-jin’s fortunes turn in such torrid times as the Marine Rescue Team confirm that a submarine did indeed sink and North Korea secretly requires assistance. But unfortunately, Han collapses before he can provide Park Moo-jin with the news. The Acting President declares Defcon Two, implementing further military action on North Korea. But then there’s a twist. North Korea ring the hotline. It’s blatantly a representation of Kim Jong-un refusing to negotiate but confirming that a submarine of his did run into trouble. Park Moo-jin holds his ground, asking the North Korean leader to stand down their Level 2 Combat Readiness and South Korea will reveal the coordinates for their sunken submarine. North Korea retreat their Level 2 Combat Readiness, which gives Park Moo-jin the authority to withdraw Defcon 2.
Meanwhile, Han Na-Kyung learns that agent Jun-o, a man she had a romance with, is dead, but when she logs into his phone, she sees blueprints of the attack of the General Assembly, meaning she is on the right tracks that something else has happened rather than a foreign invasion. Unfortunately, she loses his phone suspiciously while bumping into a soldier.
Designated Survivor: 60 Days season 1, episode 2, “Day 60: Commander-In-Chief” ends with the North Korean leader sending a touching letter to Park Moo-jin, sending his condolences but also thanking him for saving his people. Park Moo-jin also learns his daughter is awake from unconsciousness, prompting him to break down in tears after the most intense day of his career. He finally delivers his speech to the nation as the Acting President.
You can read the recap of the third episode by clicking these words.