Madam Secretary Season 3 Episode 11 Review

Madam Secretary episode 10 left us with doubts, if Conrad Dalton will in fact get his second term as POTUS. So Madam Secretary season 3 episode 11 was focused on this suspense, adding in a dash of comedy and new story lines. How it all played out? Let’s find out shall we?

Warning, spoilers ahead!

Case of the week

This Madam Secretary season 3 episode 11 was focused on the law suit Sam Evans failed against the Dalton administration. And this lawsuit got everyone on the edge, since it interfered with Dalton’s win in the election. What’s more, Sam Evans named Elizabeth personally in the lawsuit, so this time is really hit close to home. And that was reason enough to for Elizabeth, Conrad and Russell to try and figure out how to make it go away.

Russell suggested that Conrad release information about Evans’s having the early onset Alzheimer’s gene, which of course would put Evans’s chance at being the president in jeopardy. But Conrad being Conrad once again proved, why he is such a great president. He told Russell that he won’t do that, and to let the situation play out itself.

Of course Russell couldn’t accept that, since he have done so much to get Dalton elected. Russell threatened Evans to release the genetic testing results. That once again showed Russell’s readiness to do everything it takes to get Dalton elected. And it also showed that his heart attack didn’t change him as much as we maybe thought it would.

Sam Evans of course dropped the law suit and Dalton peacefully celebrated his inauguration. But am I the only one who feels like this will come back and bite Russell in the ass at a later time? That’s just how politics work, especially on TV shows.

The gift horse

The two secondary story lines this episode were filled with comedy, yet dealt with pretty serious matters. Firstly, Elizabeth and her team had to deal with a unique gift that Mongolian minister of Education sent her. It was a horse. That in itself posed a serious problem for Elizabeth and the rest of the State Department staff. But since the gift also had a very serious subtext, it became Elizabeth’s main concern.

If Elizabeth chose to accept the horse, she would be insinuating that she supports Mongolian independence from China, which would upset a lot of Asian countries. But she couldn’t just send it back after Russia hackers leaked the faith of the horse, if it was returned to Mongolia. Not this close to Dalton’s inauguration. So how did Elizabeth deal with this seemingly impossible situation?

With diplomacy of course. Elizabeth’s fab five found the horse, named Mandy by Blake, a loving and rule-abiding home in Cuba. Everyone was happy and the Dalton administration managed to avoid another public incident.

This was probably one of weirdest story lines that Madam Secretary has ever done. But surprisingly enough it worked. It was serious enough to fit with the State Department agenda, and humorous enough to provide some comic relief. And that is not easy to do, especially with story lines that involve horses.

A wild poet

Secondly, Stevie had to conquer her own set of problems regarding her new gig as intern for Russell Jackson. She had to escort the poet Roland Hobbs, who was set to read his poem at the Presidential inauguration ceremony, to his hotel. But everything went awry, when Roland decided to search for inspiration in a local pub.

That led to Stevie calling her fiancé Jareth, who mind you got into a heated conversation with the poet before Roland passed out, and them hauling him to the hotel. The next morning the poet was well rested and delivered his Jareth’s rant inspired poem with grace. But the same couldn’t have been said about Stevie and Jareth, who spent the night on the poet’s couch.

I think this particular story line highlighted how not all people involved in huge events like the Presidential Inauguration ceremony really want to be there. And it also made for an eventful first day for Stevie, which might be an indication how her time as intern will go.

Henry’s CIA re-debriefing

Henry also got a story line for himself this episode, which seemingly kicked of his character’s work arc for the second part of season 3 of Madam Secretary. He had to go to CIA and take part in a re-debriefing session, which was more like masked interrogation.

I like when Henry gets his own story lines, because his character shows how religion is not some boring subject, but can actually be very useful in the real world. However, I hope, that this time around, the arc won’t drive a wedge between Elizabeth and Henry. I don’t think I can handle another near breakup between those two.

Last thoughts about Madam Secretary season 3 episode 11

Finally, I have to give my appreciation to Blake Moran and Erich Bergen, who plays Blake, because his scenes this episode were fantastic. It is no secret that Blake is one of my favorite characters on this show, but lately writers have been giving him some great stories. And I really hope it stays that way in the future, too.

Episode highlights:

• Elizabeth taking her frustration out on her clothing
• all the gifts that Elizabeth received
• Blake bonding with the gift horse
• Henry seeing through the CIA guy’s bullshit
• Stevie’s first day as Russell’s intern
• Allison helping Elizabeth pick out a dress
• Jareth coming to Stevie’s rescue
• Russell being Russell
• the inauguration ceremony

Episode let-downs:

• how the Chinese minister acted towards Elizabeth
• the CIA not being straight with Henry
• poet stealing Jareth’s words

Quote of the episode:
Elizabeth: “So, how does Blake sound?”
Nadine: “Remember when pigeons got into his apartment when he was out of town?”
Elizabeth: “Wow. That bad huh?”
Nadine: “Worse.”

Promo for Madam Secretary season 3 episode 12:

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