On Madam Secretary season 3 episode 12 Elizabeth and part of her team was on the road. While those left home dealt with other serious matters like bombs and bureaucracy. This episode was funny as well as shed light on some serious worldly problems. So let’s get into the review of this episode.

Warning, spoilers ahead!

Case of the week

This week’s Madam Secretary episode concentrated on Elisabeth’s and her staff’s trip to Africa. The trip’s goal was to offer aid to the rapidly developing countries of this continent. However, soon the Department of State team learned, that Chinese Foreign Minister Chen had outbid them for the development aid and therefore ruined this visit’s main goal.

That of course didn’t sit well with Elizabeth or Daisy for that matter. Elizabeth and Susan Thompson, the Assistant Secretary of Bureau of African Affairs, were worried about the long-term implications of this aid deal between China and Africa. While Daisy was worrying about how this Africa trip, the first abroad trip of the new Dalton administration, will look like, especially if they fail to achieve their goal. So the team jetted to Nigeria to beat Minister Chen there, however, they run into some technical difficulties.

It turned out, the State Department’s jet isn’t quite suitable for trans-Atlantic journeys, so one of the engines failed on their way to Nigeria and they had to make an emergency landing in Togo. Which would have been a bad thing, if it later didn’t help Elizabeth outmaneuver Chen and get him to make a deal with Togo, which was favorable to the African nation, but not to China.

Sadly, in the eyes of the media and the world, US still came out as the looser, but Elizabeth and her team decided to think about that another time, because they did manage to help at least one African country. But it seems that this rivalry between US and China and Elizabeth and Chen won’t go away anytime soon. Let’s see if it will lead to some more serious conflict in the future episodes.

Henry’s new gig

While Elizabeth was dealing with China and Africa, Henry also got recruited for a new gig. FBI needed Henry’s assistance, because of his religious knowledge and his personal experience with a certain religious cult.

Do you remember how he almost got killed in season one, after Elizabeth asked him to help stop a mass suicide in Bolivia, carried out by doomsday cult named Covenant of John members? I had forgotten about that too, but was quickly reminded, after a member of this cult, Rex Mayfield, was found to be the bomb maker for the Illinois coffee shop bombing in episode 6 of season 3. So Henry was brought in to help the FBI to find out why he sold the bomb to ISIS and where is the other bomb he made.

With the help of FBI special agent Mohammed ‘Mo’ Alwash, Henry determined that Rex hadn’t converted to Islam, he actually believes to be the architect of the Apocalypse, therefore wants to start the end-of-all war between Islam and the West. And also that one of the remaining members of the Covenant of John has the second bomb. So I have a feeling that this will be one of Henry’s big story arcs for the second part of season 3.

What’s more, it was very interesting to see, how the writers for Madam Secretary have managed to tie two big past events together. That only reminds us, that every action has consequences and that anything we see on this show can and probably will come back into play at some later point. So I am very curious as to how this story line will play out and how it will tie into Elizabeth’s work.

Last thoughts on Madam Secretary season 3 episode 12

My favorite thing about this episode was, how it highlighted those who aren’t the titular character on the show. For example, we saw Daisy deal with her fear of flying, Susan showing Daisy a piece of African culture, Matt and Nadine getting the part for the state department jet and so much more. Each of these moments showed the quirks of these characters and let us get to know them better. And I have always loved how ensemble shows like Madam Secretary not only deal with the cases of the week, but also take time to show the characters and their backstories, which makes the shows that much realer.

Episode highlights:

• Henry’s dinner with Allison and Jason
• Elizabeth’s speech for the Girls Stem Camp and her interaction with the girls
• Daisy’s fear of flying
• Blake this episode
• how Henry helped FBI
• how Nadine and Matt got the part for the plane
• Elizabeth, Susan, Daisy and Blake pretending to admire the statue
• Daisy’s and Susan’s talk during their excursion
• How Elizabeth tricked Chen into doing what she wanted him to do

Episode let-downs:

• Chen sabotaging Elizabeth’s efforts
• Chinese Minister Chen in general
• the man transporting the bomb out of the compound

Quote of the episode:
Blake: “So he, he trolled us?”
Susan: “Arguably tried to Bigfoot us.”
Elizabeth: “I believe the correct diplomatic term is he pantsed us.”
Daisy: “Can I use that quote for the media?”