This review contains spoilers!
Last week we went sans a “Madam Secretary” episode thanks to the US presidential debate, but lucky for us this week Elizabeth McCord was back, doing what she does best – saving the world and dealing with family drama. And in the end she and Henry managed to avert a couple of crisis and start facing new ones, to get the plot rolling and to keep us on the edges of our seats.
In the season premiere review I already mentioned, how I love this show for its realistic portrayal of family, and how often family drama happens right in the middle of drama at work, and you cannot just push one or the other aside, you have to deal with both. And in this episode we saw just that. We saw how both Elizabeth and Henry had to deal with the ultimate threat to their family, someone stalking their children, while Elizabeth was off to prevent civil war in Algeria and Henry was off saving ancient monastery there, just like many parents have to deal with their kids and their work demands at the same time. Of course, since “Madam Secretary” is a TV show, and TV shows need exciting and over the top plot lines for viewers to be interested in the show, there was the heightened element of stalking and impending war, that most of us don’t face on regular basis but it still doesn’t take away from the fact that “Madam Secretary” is the one show on TV right now that shows this struggle accurately, and makes us feel a little better knowing that we are not the only ones in this type of situation. On top of that, I also love the fact that Téa Leoni does show how exhausted Elizabeth is when she finally comes home after work, but despite that she still has to talk to her kids and solve family problems, and that only makes this show more relatable and more real.
The big political story line in this episode was that Elizabeth had to negotiate smooth regime change in Algeria after the man who made this change happen and who was the linchpin in that negotiations Ambassador Roy Curtis died. And although, she of coarse was able to do so, it wasn’t before she had to fly to Algeria twice, see a man get hanged in front of her, Blake and Nadine and she and her protection detail being threatened with guns. This really was a pretty shocking and bold episode in the political plot department, and I loved it for it. It only shows that “Madam Secretary” writers, producers and anyone else who is involved in making of the show and its plot aren’t afraid to go to some dark and extreme places to shock their views and to keep us on our toes. I wonder what will the next episodes bring story-wise, if this type of plot was shown in only the second episode of the season?
Speaking of Algeria, I also loved how comical and over-the-top they made the Algerian president and his associates, including his mistress who also doubles as the Minister of Internal affairs in Algeria. It added an element of weirdness to the episode that I think it needed to make it fun.
But Elizabeth wasn’t the only one who was dealing with a serious issue. Henry, too, was trying to not only save something that is close to his heart but also something that could help in US finally getting rid of the terrorist group called Hizb al-Shahid once for all. I love how Henry isn’t just Elizabeth’s house husband, dealing with the kids while she is off in some foreign country trying to keep world peace. No, he also is working and going after things that he wants, just as Elizabeth is. On top of that it looks like he will be heading back to working for “Murphy Station” or I should say “Black dog station” now, and helping Jose dismantle Hizb al-Shahid. This was an exciting storyline last season, that showed Henry and Elizabeth in a bit reversed roles, with Henry tracking down HS and Elizabeth worrying about him at home. and I hope it bring out some new aspects of my favorite TV couple this season, too.
Lastly I can’t forget to touch on the whole somebody is stalking the McCord kids’ mystery, since it escalated in this episode showing that somebody wants to do harm to either Elizabeth or Henry by doing so. We saw each of the kids get two-man security details and Elizabeth and Henry lying to them about the real reasons why they now have security guards and why all their devices had to be checked. But that wasn’t all. We also saw someone hacking into Jason’s school and unleashing SWAT on him, who tackled him during class, for allegedly bringing a gun to school and wanting to kill his classmates, which of course wasn’t true. And later it was revealed that it was all to leave a note in Jason’s locker that said “We can get to your family any time”. This plotline was very interestingly done, because at first it was building momentum seemingly slowly and the suddenly it exploded into what it was this episode, which is why now more than before I want to know what will happen next and who is behind it all. As for who is the real target of the bad guys that are stalking the McCord’s? Most of you probably think it is Elizabeth, because of her job, but I have a suspicion that it might just be Henry who is the real target. Will see if my TV instinct are right or I am just reading too much into that how quickly they are trying to point the finger at Elizabeth.
Highlights of the episode:
• The State Department morning meeting with the gang
• McCord family time
• Henry fighting for the monastery
• The moment with Elizabeth, Blake and Nadine in the car and Henry on the phone
• The whole who is targeting the McCords mystery
• Elizabeth and Henry’s relationship (always my favorite because OTP)
Let-downs of the episode:
• The attempt to get us to care about Ambassador Roy Curtis and then killing him off a second later
• How Jose so obviously wants to pull Henry back into working to disrupt Hizb al-Shahid
Quote of the episode:
Elizabeth: Where is Nadine?
Blake: She is on the phone in her office, ma’am, she waved me off like a thirsty fan boy when I tried to wrangle her.