Like I mentioned in the previous review, episode 22 really felt like the Madam Secretary season 3 finale. Whereas this newest episode very much set up season 4 and showed us a glimpse of what we can expect to see in the show’s new season. So without further ado, here is my recap of Madam Secretary season 3 episode 23.

Warning, spoilers ahead!

Case of the week

This week Elizabeth and her team were dealing with yet another situation that would have serious consequences if it went unchecked. This time around, it was Russia’s aggression towards Bulgaria, and therefore towards NATO, since Bulgaria is a NATO ally. So President Dalton sent Elizabeth to Brussels to try and evoke “Article 5” aka the rule that an attack against one is considered an attack against all, which might stop Russia’s invasion plans. But all didn’t quite go according to plan.

Once Elizabeth got to Brussels she met with the NATO country Permanent Representatives and instigated a proposal for evoking the famed “Article 5”. However, since for it to be in effect all the leaders must agree to evoke the article unanimously, and France didn’t share the rest of the countries’ sentiment, Elizabeth had a big problem on her hands. Moreover, France decided to withdraw from the North Atlantic Council, which threatened NATO’s stability as a whole. So Elizabeth had to use drastic measures to get France on board.

Meaning, that Elizabeth went as far as threatening the President of France with blackmail. But when even that didn’t work, she and her team had to come up with a different solution. And with the help of Henry’s new job and Mike B., Elizabeth managed to get France to abstain, “Article 5” was in effect and democracy was safe. At least for now.

I have to say that Madam Secretary season 3 episode 23 felt a little like a political thriller since the whole episode was about politics and getting France to play nice with others. And although it wasn’t the usual action-packed season finale that I am used to, I really liked it. It retained that unique show’s flavor, which is what makes Madam Secretary such a great TV series.

Mike B. (and Nadine)

However, France, Russian invasion and the faith of NATO weren’t the only things that Elizabeth (and her team) had to deal with on Madam Secretary season 3 episode 23. In particular, this was a pretty big episode for Nadine, because she had a direct connection to this other problem since the problem was Mike B. and his previous employer.

At the beginning of the episode, we found out that Nadine and Mike B. are having a relationship. And I have to say, I really like them together. They aren’t the most common of couples, but somehow their dynamic works. And then, when Daisy picked up on Nadine and Mike’s relationship status, she convinced Nadine to troll Mike. However, it uncovered an unexpected information about Mike and his work. One, which might cost Mike his relationship with Nadine and his partnership with Elizabeth.

It turned out that Mike previously worked for a French think tank, which actually is covertly funding radicals who want to dismantle EU, NATO, and other important European institutions. So when Nadine brought this information to Elizabeth, she instantly started to doubt Mike’s loyalty. But, once Elizabeth confronted Mike about this, he explained, that he hadn’t known the think tank’s real purpose, and all was well in Elizabeth and Mike’s partnership. Although the same couldn’t be said about Mike and Nadine’s relationship. So I guess we will just have to wait for season 4 and see if their romance survived this.

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Henry’s new gig

The third big story line of Madam Secretary season 3 episode 23 was Henry’s new job at the CIA’s Special Activity’s Division.
The episode started with Henry preparing for the last job interview and we found out that he, in fact, got the job. And since President Dalton himself wanted Henry for this job, CIA didn’t waste any time and Henry met his new team and started working on a new case right away. What was the case? To figure out why the Russian president was getting rid of his most trusted advisers. And you can probably guess who he contacted for help. None other than Dmitri Petrov.

Dmitri managed to provide valuable intel for Henry, which resulted in Henry helping Elizabeth to get France to abstain from the “Article 5” vote and NATO staying intact. But from this episode, I got the distinct feeling that we might see more of Dmitri in the next Madam Secretary season. Especially, since we saw that moment between Dmitri and Stevie, which seemed a lot more than Henry’s daughter accidentally meeting Henry’s asset.

Last thoughts on Madam Secretary season 3 episode 23

I really loved the little story line that was weaved through the rest of the episode about Elizabeth wanting to go to the remote cabin with her family. It not only added some realness to the show and touched on an important subject matter of addiction to technology. But it also reflected the way I was feeling after this intense season of Madam Secretary. Now we have a couple of months to recuperate so we can enjoy Madam Secretary season 4 once it starts in fall.

Episode highlights:

• Elizabeth wanting to go to the cabin and nobody supporting her on this wish
• Mike and Nadine’s relationship
• Russell asking Elizabeth to wear flats for a meeting
• Henry and Elizabeth’s conversation before Elizabeth goes to Brussels
• Mike helping Elizabeth blackmail the French president
• Henry’s new job and his
• Daisy picking up on Mike and Nadine’s relationship and talking Nadine into trolling Mike
• Henry asking for Dimitri’s help and him agreeing to help Henry out
• Henry comforting Elizabeth about NATO falling apart
• Nadine going to Elizabeth about Mike’s previous job
• Dmitri and Stevie’s meeting
• Elizabeth and Mike’s run aka Elizabeth questioning Mike’s loyalty
• Elizabeth’s speech to the NATO country representatives
• “Article 5” getting evoked
• Blake tipsily asking Elizabeth to join her staff’s celebration
• the McCord kids surprising Elizabeth at the cabin

Episode low points:

• France pulling out of the NAC
• the soldier’s mother going to press about her son, not trusting Nadine and Elizabeth to help

Quote of the episode:
Russell Jackson: “This situation requires some brass balls.”
Elizabeth: “So you’re sending me in? Well, there’s a compliment in there somewhere.”