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Madam Secretary recap: Desperate Remedies

Bess comes up with a plan to release a group of Nigerian school girls from captivity

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Sarah Shatz/CBS

Madam Secretary

TV Show
Current Status:
In Season
run date:
Tea Leoni, Geoffrey Arend, Tim Daly

The Jibral Disah problem is still happening in the background on Madam Secretary, but there’s a different terrorist group the State Department is dealing with this week.

Before we get to the Marburg virus and terrorism, let’s talk about the best part of the episode. Bess finally told Stevie that her choice in men has been pretty terrible over the years. Between the drug addict and the older gentleman, she probably should have figured that out on her own, but at least she has Jareth now. We like Jareth, minus the fact he shares his name with the Goblin King.

Now to the other issues at hand: The episode begins in Maroua, Cameroon, with a man named Chris Santumari, who’s trying to negotiate the release of 106 Nigerian school girls for five fighters of the Boko Haram terrorist group. The leader of the group, Hadi Bangote, laughs at the deal and casually threatens to murder one of the school girls if Chris doesn’t leave now. A man who kills innocent women is always a great start to Sunday night TV, right?

One of the major points in the episode is the fact that the US is trying to have these girls released, even though America “doesn’t negotiate with terrorists.” Chris was there negotiating on behalf of Iraq and later in the episode, they figure out a way to intervene for the Cameroon government. As long as it looks like someone else is negotiating with terrorists, it’s cool, I guess.

Chris gets back to America and is in a meeting with Jay to discuss what he learned of Hadi and Boko Haram when he drops to the floor. He accidentally contracted the Marburg virus. The virus — which according to the internet lives in African monkeys — can be fatal and attacks the body with a hemorrhagic fever. Needless to say, it’s not fun. Jay and several other members of the State Department are rushed to the hospital.

So now there’s an Ebola-like outbreak of this Marburg disease in Cameroon and if they don’t contain it, it’s going to spread like wildfire. Unfortunately the outbreak is where Boko Haram resides. They decide to send in a health team to treat people and the Cameroon ambassador promises that their military will be there to protect the aid workers.

Obviously that plan was going to hit a snag because most of the plans that Bess didn’t come up with fail.

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Right as the team is setting up and the military is securing the tents, a man comes in complaining of a fever and all the symptoms of the disease, except he’s a suicide bomber. Seven people died in the explosion and most of the survivors were infected with the disease.

Dalton’s only plan at this point is to send in the 82nd Airborne Division with hazmat suits so they can fight Boko Haram without contracting the disease. Everyone is pretty much against the plan, but Dalton says they need to go with that unless someone has a better plan to fix everything. I believe that’s Bess’ cue to step in and save the day as usual.

NEXT: Jibral slips away