Please see last line in a conservation in Designated Survivor S01E09 (emphasis mine):

Foerstel: It's nice to see you, Agent Wells. It's been a while.

Hannah: Well, John, in your line of work, that's generally considered a good thing.

Foerstel: Look, I know that you were close with Jason Atwood, but it's a friendship that could cause problems for you.

Hannah: Why? - Am I under investigation, too? - Come on.

Foerstel: You're smart enough to know that you're wrapped up in this. You were with Jason at the prison when Nassar was murdered. You were there with him during the interrogation.

Hannah: What is the point of this? You of all people know that Jason's not a murderer.

Foerstel: Well, I can't exactly ignore a confession. [Sighs] If this was so cut-and-dry, why are you doing an investigation at all? All right, I'll bite. If Jason Atwood didn't kill Majid Nassar, who did? You're not doing yourself any favors, Hannah. And I know you'd rather answer my questions than a federal prosecutor's.

Hannah: Wow. We used to be on the same side.

Foerstel: Yeah. And we still would be if you and Jason had ever learned how to play by the rules like I warned you to years ago. Instead, here we are. Oh, and, Hannah, I'm paying Jason a visit this afternoon. Your stories better match.

So what's Hannah's story? Was it told off screen?

I'm guessing it's that Atwood DIDN'T kill Nassar while Atwood's story is that he killed Nassar? I don't understand what's happening. Of course their stories wouldn't match. They wouldn't even be close. Atwood probably had a bunch of details made up for him mean while Hannah's story is simply I guess 'We didn't torture him'?

  • Hannah Wells fled before actually giving over her story. She committed to finding out the truth to Atwoods situation before having to give her story. The following events are quite clear. She's sort of on the run for the rest of the episodes. – Mennyg Feb 12 '17 at 9:08

Keep in mind what Foerstel's state of mind is.

  • He's (initially) sure that Jason killed Nassar.
  • He knows that Hannah and Jason are close, and everything points to Hannah and Jason having been working together.
  • Hannah sticking by Jason is not doing her career any favors.
  • Hannah isn't telling him the full story. He's pretty sure that the truth is being hidden from him.

Foerstel isn't sure how everything ties together, but due to his relative certainty that Jason is guilty, he is left wondering why Hannah is sticking by Jason.

Most likely, he's thinking that Hannah is suffering from misplaced loyalty; and is refusing to believe "the truth" (that Jason did kill Nassar) because she can't cope with Jason being a bad guy.

Think of it like a mother who refuses to believe her child did anything wrong, even in the face of irrefutable evidence.


Given Foerstel's state of mind, he then sees Hannah respond in half-truths and not being straightforward with him. He repeatedly thinks that what he sees is Hannah throwing her career away because she's loyal to someone who is actually guilty.

Knowing all this "Your stories better match" conveys a lot of information:

  • It signals that Foerstel doesn't believe Hannah.
  • It signals that Foerstel thinks Hannah's statement is an impromptu lie, one that she didn't secretly plan (and agree on) with Jason beforehand. If Jason tells a different story, Foerstal has proof that he's being lied to.
  • It signals that Hannah will get into serious trouble if Jason's story doesn't match hers. For now, most of her involvement can be dismissed as understandable loyalty to her (ex) boss; but if Jason doesn't corroborate Hannah's story, then she will be under direct investigation.

Note that the script you quoted also indirectly states what Hannah's story is. Foerstel reveals it:

Well, I can't exactly ignore a confession.

Foerstel assumes Jason's guilt, since Jason confessed to committing a crime without any sign of coercion.

[Sighs] If this was so cut-and-dry, why are you doing an investigation at all?

Foerstel realizes that Hannah wouldn't investigate such an easy case (where the criminal confesses) unless she had a good reason to believe the confession is false.

All right, I'll bite. If Jason Atwood didn't kill Majid Nassar, who did?

Jason not having killed Nassar is Hannah's story. Foerstel saying that "he"ll bite" means that he doesn't believe Hannah's story quite yet, but is at least willing to have a hypothetical conversation about it.

You're not doing yourself any favors, Hannah. And I know you'd rather answer my questions than a federal prosecutor's.

These statements are Foerstel's attempt to get Hannah to be open and honest with him. Because if she keeps him in the dark, then the case will be turned over to a federal prosecutor who is going to show considerably less goodwill towards Hannah or Jason.

I think, the stories that Foerstel expects to match is the one from "You were there with him during the interrogation."

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