“If you’re going to go down, then you’ve got to fight hard and you’ve got to hit them where it hurts.”
Move over Morgan Freeman, Madeleine Albright stole your spotlight on Madam Secretary this week. Elizabeth McCord solicits advice from the former Secretary of State when she starts to feel like she’s losing influence over President Dalton, now that Craig Sterling is lurking around with terrible ideas. I have a strong suspicion I will be bashing Sterling a lot throughout the season, so prepare yourselves for that.
Besides Madeleine Albright’s amazing minute in the spotlight, where she super casually mentions grabbing lunch with “Condi” (Condoleezza Rice), this episode has two main plotlines: Russia is in serious trouble and America’s failure to grant visas to Afghan citizens working for the US. Let’s start with the visa situation.
The show opens with US State Department employee, Tom Garrity, being kidnapped in Afghanistan by what the team thinks is a terrorist group — Taliban, ISIS, etc. — so Elizabeth puts the embassy on it and puts the kidnapping on high alert. However, soon after, she receives a video saying that the three kidnappers want to speak with her directly and has four hours to call them.
Of course Sterling has convinced President Dalton not to let her speak with them because “we don’t negotiate with terrorists,” except for the fun fact that they aren’t even terrorists. The three kidnappers are actually three Afghans who were contracted by the US and promised visas to America for themselves and their families. Unfortunately, they have been denied seven different times over 11 years and were scrambling to come up with a plan since the Taliban found out they were working with the US and are coming after them — and their families.
With Russia’s help, they find the location where the three Afghans are holding Garrity and send a seal team to get them. The bad news? The Taliban knows too and it becomes a race to the location. The seal team and the Taliban pretty much get there at the same time. Shots are firing everywhere as the US grabs Garrity. Elizabeth argues that they need to save the Afghans, but Sterling says they have their man and should leave.
Dalton decides to evacuate, leaving the men behind for the Taliban to kill. I blame Craig for this and so does Secretary McCord. Like I said, Craig is the worst.
NEXT: Drama in Russia