It was a big episode for the McCord family, especially the two McCord daughters, who were waiting for their college acceptance letters. But the McCord parents also experienced an interesting set of circumstances in their respective jobs. What happened on Madam Secretary season 3 episode 19? Let’s find out!

Warning, spoilers ahead!

Case of the week

The case of the week for Elizabeth and her team in Madam Secretary season 3 episode 19 was Somalia, more specifically global relief efforts there. But of course, everything wasn’t as easy as getting food to the regions-in-need. First, the State Department team had to figure out how to make sure that the second food aid delivery wasn’t seized by one of the Somali rebel groups. And their solution was interesting and unorthodox, to say the least.

After Elizabeth learned the fact that the first food shipment was intercepted by rebels, she knew that they needed to use a different approach to delivering the food to Somali people. But, since the US government has strict rules about only using US shipping routes in aid missions, it wasn’t easy for Elizabeth to come up with a valid solution to this problem. And it became even harder after the senate majority leader refused to try and convince the senate to waive this rule just this time.

Fortunately, where was a way to get the food where it needs to go if only someone would negotiate a sees fire between the aggressive rebel groups. And after one of Elizabeth’s former employees wasn’t able to do it, Elizabeth turned to the Russian arms dealer Dito Pirosmani, who supplied the rebel groups with weapons, for help. Dito managed to get the rebels to stop shooting which allowed the aid to be delivered. But in the end, once Dito went into hiding, he turned out to be one of the missing pieces in the illegal arms dealings puzzle.

Illegal arms smuggling case

So the mystery of the arms dealings that started with the death of Daisy’s love interest continued on Madam Secretary season 3 episode 19. In fact, it made a bit of a headway when Elizabeth figured out that Dito Pirosmani, the arms dealer who helped her out on the Somalia case, was the same man they were looking for in regards to the stolen weapons from Texas.

Unfortunately, Dito already went to ground, but at least now Elizabeth and all other involved parties have a name, which might lead to some new revelations in the case. And I can’t wait to see where this case goes next and how other bits and pieces of information factors in the bigger picture.

Fired and hired again

While Elizabeth was dealing with Somali rebels, Russian arms dealers and college fears, Henry got fired and then rehired. How did this come about?

Well, once he and Mo had a meeting with their FBI higher-ups about the failure of the mission as a whole, Henry was let go from working on this case. But of course, this exciting story line couldn’t have such a bleak end. So when Mo showed up at the McCord house wanting Henry to look over some files after the case hit a dead end, it was clear that the McCord patriarch will definitely be back on the case sooner rather than later.

After FBI let Henry go of working on this case, there had been anonymous tips about where the doomsday cult leaders might be. But it all turned out to be a ruse and the case was back to square one. Luckily, Mo came to Henry for some perspective, which, of course, Henry was able to provide. Moreover, Henry actually figured out where the cult members are actually headed and where they will use the biologic weapon that is in their possession.

So Henry was back working for the FBI. And they were now looking for the VFF not in the US, but in the Middle East. Meaning that this whole case just got not only bigger but a lot scarier as well, since Henry is convinced that the cult is looking to bomb a mosque in Israel which could result in World War 3. So by the end of this season, we could be seeing Henry averting a war.

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College girls

When it comes to the family stuff in Madam Secretary season 3 episode 19, in this regard the episode revolved around Alison and Stevie waiting of their college acceptance letters. And every single family member was roped into the excitement and angst that this process brings.

While for both Alison and Stevie the date and time when those who had been accepted will be announced couldn’t come fast enough, their parents were trying to figure out ways how to console their daughters if they didn’t get accepted to their first-choice schools. And it was hilarious to watch. Elizabeth was putting together a list of good things about the girl’s second and third choice schools, while Henry was questioning their parenting style.

In the end, it turned out that Alison did get into her first choice school. While Stevie, even with the stellar exam results and letter of recommendation from Russell Jackson, didn’t get into Harvard. It was a bit of a shock to everybody, especially since Stevie didn’t tell anyone about it and Elizabeth found out from Russell. But that wasn’t the only surprise. Alison also delivered the news that she changed her mind and will actually go to her second option school instead.

So now I am curious as to how this will play out. Will we see Russell storming Harvard and trying to get Stevie accepted? Or will we see Stevie settle for another college? Hopefully, these questions will be answered by the end of Madam Secretary season 3.

Last thoughts on Madam Secretary season 3 episode 19

Lastly, I wanted to mention how much I loved the support Henry and Elizabeth were giving to their daughters. It truly showed how great of parents they are. But more than that, it showed that they are not perfect, that still after more than 20 years of raising children they are still winging it more times than not. Which I think is a very valuable lesson for any parent, no matter if you just had your firs child or have already raised 5 kids.

Episode highlights:

• Elizabeth making pro lists about Alison and Stevie’s second choice schools
• Henry and Elizabeth supporting their daughters no matter what schools they get in
• State Department’s morning meeting
• Blake’s recap of his research about Alison’s second-choice school
• the way Elizabeth tried and eventually succeeded to get Somalis the food they need
• Alison and Elizabeth’s nighttime talk
• Elizabeth’s meeting with Dito Pirosmani
• how the McCords were all present for Alison’s college announcement
• Russell being ready to storm Harvard, because Stevie got put on a waiting list
• Elizabeth and Henry’s talk about their parenting style
• Henry figuring out where VFF will strike
• FBI reinstating Henry as a part of the VFF investigation team
• the end twist in the arms smuggling case

Episode low points:

• the senate majority leader being an asshole towards Elizabeth
• FBI kicking Henry off the case

Quote of the episode:
Henry: “Stevie hears from Harvard Law this week, too, right? Did you make a thumbs up for her other choices list for her, too?”
Elizabeth: “She aced her LSATs. And she has a letter of recommendation from the White House Chief of Staff.”
Henry: “And her mom is Secretary of State. It’s a lock.”
Elizabeth: “Ish.” (knocks on wood)

Promo for Madam Secretary season 3 episode 20: