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'Madam Secretary' recap: 'Render Safe'

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Sarah Shatz/CBS

Madam Secretary

type:
TV Show
Current Status:
In Season
seasons:
2
run date:
09/21/14
performer:
Tea Leoni, Geoffrey Arend, Tim Daly
broadcaster:
CBS
genre:
Drama

Before we even begin to talk about Pakistan, we need to talk about that jaw-dropping plot twist at the end of the episode.

The Russian Foreign Minister revealed to Elizabeth in the final moments of the show that Dmitri Petrov is still alive. Boom. Just like that, all the guilt Henry has been feeling over his death could be wiped if Bess could find a way to secure the release of Dmitri and his sister, Talia. Unfortunately in return for Dmitri and Talia, Russia wants Peter Buckley, one of the most famous Russian spies ever. I have a strong feeling that Dalton isn’t going to care as much about Dmitri as Henry and Bess do, so making this trade is not going to be an easy feat.

The last time we saw Dmitri he was very much alive on a train attempting to flee Russia after being sold out by Bess and Dalton. It was obvious he wasn’t going to make it out safely, but keeping him alive was a smart leveraging tool for Russia that they’re clearly taking advantage of now.

We also have to question whether or not Russia is telling the truth about Dmitri being alive. It wouldn’t be the first time Russia lied or went back on their word as we learned earlier in tonight’s episode. Either way, we only have to wait a week to find out whether or not Russia’s lying. After that, the show needs to move on from the constant conflict with Russia. We need a new country to focus on in season 3.

Now back to the main events of the night. Last week Pakistan citizens learned that the US had a deal with their Prime Minister to keep tabs on the locations of 110 nuclear warheads around the country and everyone was pissed about it. They evacuated the U.S. Embassy in Islamabad, but Murphy Station (Jose, Jane, and Henry) stayed behind after finally pinpointing Jibral Disah’s location. The Pakistan Prime Minister was attacked (and presumably killed) while trying to flee the area, and the government fell, which is where tonight’s episode picks up.

The U.S. decides to enact their “Render Safe” mission to secure the warheads before terrorists steal them. The main concern obviously being Hizb al-Shahid. The plan is to send U.S. troops to eight of the 12 bunkers where the bombs are stored, while Russia takes care of the last five in southern Pakistan. Right as they put the plan in motion, Russian Foreign Minister Konstantin Avdonin pops by Bess’ office to tell her they are pulling out of the plan and they are supporting Foreign Minister Abedi, who appointed himself Pakistan’s new Prime Minister. Classic Russia just being super sketch.

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After Russia bails on the plan they’ve had in place for years, the US is officially alone in securing the missiles. They successfully clear 11 out of the 12 bunkers, but when they get to the last one, they find the warheads have already been taken by Hizb al-Shahid.

Back in the U.S., Jay has teamed back up with Walter Nowack from the ISN bureau to attempt to track down the missing warheads. Walter points out that if Hizb al-Shahid has the bombs, they would want to use them. What does that mean? The warheads need access codes to be detonated, so they would have needed to enlist a scientist who can rewire the bombs without setting them off. Luckily there are only a limited number of people who can do that. Eventually they remember the nuclear scientist from Moldova who originally helped Hizb al-Shahid steal the uranium that lead to the explosives used in the U.S. So now that they have their scientist, they ask Russia to help track him down.

NEXT: Lights out, Jibral

[pagebreak]

At this point, with the bombs in the hands of a deadly terrorist group, Russia was pretty much like, “Oh, yeah, backing Abedi was stupid, you were right America.” So after Bess tells off Avdonin for being an idiot, Russia hands over the tracking information for the scientist.

They successfully track down the truck and everyone inside. All 110 missiles are now accounted for. One problem solved, onto the next.

Murphy Station has finally tracked down Jibral Disah and they refuse to leave without finishing the job. Russell Jackson even suggests pulling them out because it’s too dangerous, which is pretty out of character considering how hard he’s been fighting to find and kill Jibral.

Jane, Henry, and Jose are on a stakeout near the supposed location of Jibral. A group of men leave the house and get into a black SUV. Murphy Station confirms that Jibral is in the group and order an immediate drone strike. With all the drones busy in other locations they have to wait three minutes for the strike. Which is just enough time to lose Jibral … again. Jane, Jose, and Henry follow the SUVs, but soon realize they’re being followed, too. Murphy Station starts getting shot at just as the drone takes down the black SUV carrying Jibral Disah.

Supposedly Jibral is officially dead, but I’m not so easily convinced. If we learned anything from the end of tonight’s episode, it’s that we need a body or some kind of confirmation it was actually him in the car.

Murphy Station flees on foot, but Jose was shot in the attack. They take cover in a grocery store but get trapped in the middle of violent Islamabad protests without a free car to save them. Finally, at the end of the episode they manage to get to an air field where they’re rescued and brought home. Henry makes a joke about using his vacation time, but after the news Bess got about Dmitri, I doubt that vacation will be happening any time soon. Unless, of course, Bess keeps this new information a secret.

So it seems the story line with Hizb al-Shahid is all wrapped up following tonight’s episode, which is good because I’m tired of typing Hizb al-Shahid. That means the spy trade with Russia will likely be next week’s focus. According to the finale episode description, Dalton is considering replacing Bess as Secretary of State and Stevie and Gareth get engaged.

1. The country will drown without Bess, so that’s a non-starter.

2. At least Stevie’s not marrying that old guy or the President’s son, right? She could do much worse.

Minor debriefings:

  • Blake’s line of the night: “I’m a powerful people pleaser.”
  • The Alison plotline was totally unnecessary and it’s a bit upsetting to me that a fictional character gets to see Hamilton before I do. Damn you, Hamilton lottery.
  • Jose Campos’ Star Wars reference almost made me like him. Almost.
  • Special shoutout to the grocery store owner, who was the real hero tonight. 

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