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'Madam Secretary' finale recap: 'Varitus'

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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

How are we supposed to wait five months for more Elizabeth McCord (and Blake)? Also, we may need to inquire about a name change to the show. Madam Vice President, perhaps?

I was quite skeptical about the finale since they wrapped up all the drama in Islamabad last week, but the twists and turns of this episode between Bess potentially losing her job, the trade for Dmitri Petrov, and Stevie’s engagement really made for an awesome finale. For the first time in a long time everything was happy and no other countries made serious problems for Bess. Even Russia was telling the truth for once. 

First let’s talk about Bess’ job situation since she’s our leading lady. 

While looking into what would happen if the U.S. returned Peter Buckley to Russia, Mike B. found some unsettling information. He barges into her office and warns her that the White House has hired a company to vet three men who are all being considered to replace Bess as Secretary of State. She initially laughs off the warning, saying Conrad would never do that, which is true. He would be a fool to get rid of her considering all the things she’s done. After all, it’s because of her that the Cuban trade embargo was lifted, Jihadi Judd was killed, got a Buddhist shooter to back down, and negotiated a successful Pacific Rim Trade Agreement. I could go on, but you get my point. 

She confronts Russell Jackson, who doesn’t deny that they’ve been looking for her replacement, making the situation even more cryptic for viewers. He tells her she needs to talk to Dalton. The next day she goes to talk to him and gets pretty defensive about the situation as she should, when Dalton stops her to tell her he’s not firing her. He asks Elizabeth McCord to be his Vice President. She says she’ll have to think about it, but how can you turn down the second most important job in the country? 

Of course, we don’t get to know her final decision in the finale, but it seems like she will take it and next season we will see Bess as the the Vice President of the United States. 

We have to assume the State Department team (Nadine, Blake, Matt, Daisy and Jay) will move with her. At least that’s what we’re hoping for, right? Otherwise, Bess’ first act as Vice President will be saving her team from getting fired by the new Secretary of State, Calvin Hastings. 

Either way, it was a great — and well-deserved — plot twist. It also means that if Dalton wins re-election, we get four more years of the McCords, followed by a potential presidential campaign of her own. 

Now for Stevie. I’ve personally never been a huge Stevie fan and I know other people have felt the same way, but you’ve got to give her credit for handling her engagement like an adult. It was great to see Bess and Henry’s parenting skills in action. 

NEXT: He’s alive!

[pagebreak]

After accepting a two-year fellowship at Oxford, Jareth revealed to Henry during a putt-putt game that he was planning on proposing to Stevie. Henry and Bess agreed that it was too soon, but an engagement can last years, so it was okay. Unfortunately for them, the couple came home, announced they were engaged, and said the wedding would be at City Hall that weekend. Stevie said she was dropping out of college and moving to London with Jareth. Classic Stevie behavior, right? 

And then a miracle happened. Henry went to sit down and talk to Stevie about how all of this was happening too soon, and she said she knew and that she felt pressured to say yes in the crowded restaurant full of people staring at them. My favorite line in that moment was when she said, “I know he’s the forever guy, but she doesn’t want forever to start right now.” The whole conversation showed just how much Stevie has grown up in the past two years. 

She tells Jareth that she doesn’t want to rush into everything and they have their whole lives together. Stevie is finishing school but spending the summer in London with Jareth. I think it was the first time I wasn’t annoyed by Stevie, and I’m glad she’s finally being smart. Plus, Jareth is attractive, smart, and that accent is wonderful. 

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Finally, and I saved the best part of the episode for last because we’ve been waiting for this moment all season: It was basically Madam Secretary’s Jon Snow moment when Dmitri got out of the car and Henry positively ID’ed him. I don’t know about you, but I cried when Dmitri spit at Henry and then hugged him. So many feelings. Also can we talk about how messed up it was when they sent out the wrong guy? My heart actually sunk when it wasn’t Dmitri at first. Thanks for that, Barbara and Lori. 

On top of that, the juxtaposition between the trade and Matt’s commencement speech about great things being done by people you’ve never heard of was brilliant. It really was one of the best episodes I’ve ever seen over the two seasons. 

Looking ahead to season 3, there are so many questions we need answered. Will Bess take the the VP job? Will the entire season revolve around Dalton’s re-election? Will there be backlash to the campaign when the world figures out they released Buckley to Russia? What happens to Dmitri and Talia now? Will Dmitri recover and work for the U.S. government? Will Dalton be running against a Donald Trump type character? 

So many questions, and we have to wait so long to get them. 

Minor Debriefings:

  • Mike B. and Nadine: Are we shipping them? I think in a weird way they would make an awesome couple. Nadine, Mike B., and Gordon could be one happy family. 
  • Blake Line of the Week: To Gordon, the dog: “Who raised you?” 
  • I really want to recognize Matt’s speech. It was so good and that Massachusetts college is lucky to have heard it. He’s an amazing speech writer and I feel like this show does such a great job of recognizing people who are super important to the government that really aren’t in the spotlight. 
  • We learned that Henry proposed to Bess in sky writing! So cheesy, yet so awesome. 

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