This review contains spoilers!
While the US is picking who will be their next president, I took a step back from all of this craziness to dive into another. Craziness that was this Madam Secretary episode. There was a lot going on, which is why I will jump right into my review.
First things first, this episode we saw an end to the McCord stalker story line, and what an end it was. Although at the beginning of the episode we only saw the McCord children voicing their opinion on the whole stalker ordeal, and later Elizabeth herself being visibly shaken by this predicament, since even the brightest minds of US couldn’t seem to get a lock on the stalkers identity, by minute 12 the storyline was escalated, when Elizabeth walked into a vandalized office. It was just the escalation that was needed to send all of the McCord’s over the edge and to have them openly fearing for their lives. Luckily, Captain Ronnie Baker came through for the McCords and was able to track the money that was paid to the Department of State’s genitor to vandalize Elizabeth’s office. And in the end we found out that Julius Burton, one of the billionaires, who withdrew his support to President Dalton, when he decided to run as an Independent after losing the Primary election, was behind the stalking, since Elizabeth as Secretary of State and the decisions she was making didn’t line up with the billionaire’s agenda. It truly was a shocking ending to this plot line, but in a very good way, because I really wasn’t expecting that this stalking thing will be about Elizabeth and her decisions as Madam Secretary. So I was pleasantly surprised, when Elizabeth and Henry were confronting the billionaire at the end of the episode, but after that it all kind of fell in place, especially the information given in this episode. I really loved how they solved this mystery and now we can freely forget about this plot line and watch other ones intensify, for example the one about Henry and Jose chasing HS again or the presidential election on the show.
Since Julius Burton was responsible for the McCord stalking case, it nicely ties in to the political aspect of this episode. In it we saw two main political story lines, one being Russell worrying about the presidential election and getting sponsors for Dalton and second – trying to keep the peace and alliance with France, while trying to convince them not to withdraw from NATO and to release the US asset that they captured. The episode was quite appropriately titled “The French Revolution”, since all episode Elizabeth and her team had to figure out ways to convince France to do what they wanted them to do, but by not insulting the French in the process, since there was big State Dinner coming up and the President of France had to be in attendance. Of course, in the end Elizabeth and her team managed to achieve everything they hoped for, but it took some doing and some face color changes from Russell, who all episode was emphasizing the importance of this dinner and US relations with France.
Speaking of Russell, as the Presidential elections in the Madam Secretary universe are drawing closer, he more than ever was obsessed with President’s image and sponsors, so Dalton could win his second term. But in this episode we found out, that his motives for this might be more selfish that we initially thought, because Russell explained to Elizabeth, in mind you very heated conversation, that if Dalton doesn’t win the election he is most likely done with his carrier in Washington, that he built for 20 years. This really put a more humane touch to the ever so strict and crass character of Russell and showed, that all of his efforts and actions have a very sound and legitimate base. And I loved that the show’s writers decided to put this little tidbit into the already intense episode, because it allowed the viewers to see Russell in different light, understand his actions better and even to sympathize with him.
It really seemed like this episode was a tie in episode for all of the present story lines of this 3rd season, because we saw even Henry’s work with Jose and The Black Dog Station to cross over into Elizabeth’s work story line, by Elizabeth having to negotiate the release of US operative from French custody. We are used to seeing each character doing their own thing, but I also loved to see how they all came together to solve problems head on. There is nothing better than an ensemble cast appearing together in scenes and working through the circumstances that that particular scene throws at them.
I have to say that this probably will go on my list of my all-time favorite Madam Secretary episodes, because although it had a lot going on, it also allowed us to experience different emotions from happy to sad, to scared, to happy again, while doing it all with a hint of humor. And I think this episode was perfectly summed up by Daisy’s commentary at the State Dinner, which is also why it is my Quote of the episode. Just read it and you will get what I mean and why this episode was amazing.
Highlights of the episode:
• Henry being worried for his asset
• Elizabeth and Blake’s dialogues
• Scene in the kitchen with Elizabeth cooking
• Russell Jackson in this episode
• The scene with Elizabeth and Henry in the bathroom
• Nadine being sneaky about getting Jean-Claude Dubois to talk to Elizabeth
• FBI catching the McCord stalker
• Dalton and Russell siding with Elizabeth and Henry
• All of the State Dinner scenes
Let-downs of the episode:
• The scene between Russell Jackson and the billionaires
• Elizabeth snapping at Captain Ronnie Baker
Quote of the episode:
Daisy: Whew. Okay, so let’s see. We busted a stalker. We rescued some priceless artifacts, took the fight to HS and saved Algeria. And we held together our most vital military alliance.
Matt: All without offending the French.
Blake: Well, the night is young.