Madam Secretary season 2 midseason finale postmortem
Our jaws are still on the ground from the shocking midseason finale of Madam Secretary.
Stop reading now if you haven’t watched the episode.
With the peace talks concluded, it seemed like the conflict with Russia was finally coming to a close, but then an unidentified military man launched an explosive at Elizabeth, President Dalton and Maria Ostrov. (For the full episode details, read our recap.)
Luckily the show returns on Jan. 10, so we don’t have to wait too long to get answers — and we can get a few right now from creator Barbara Hall and Executive Producer Lori McCreary. While chatting with EW about the midseason finale, the two drop hints about the explosion, the fate of Dmitri, and what we can expect from the second half of season 2.
ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: First of all, that ending was crazy. Does the explosion kill someone important?
BARBARA HALL: Yeah, we’re not going to waste an explosion on a bystander.
EW: There were two separate cars, one with Maria Ostrov and one with Elizabeth and Dalton. Was the man aiming at a specific car or the general area?
BH: It’s a confined area, so it could have landed on any number of dignitaries.
EW: The Ukrainian ambassador at Geneva said they were going to regret signing the negotiations, are we meant to assume that Ukraine is behind this attack?
BH: He’s really just responding to the peace agreement that they’ve reached and that Ukraine is going along with it, but not happy about it. It can be any number of actors, but that was just meant to comment on what happened in the room and ongoing tensions with Ukraine.
EW: Russia and the US were finally about to go their separate ways and end the aggression. Does this mean the negotiations are off?
LM: [Laughs] You’re trying to get some information from us!
EW: I am! I think I’m just still in shock. Let me ask you this, will Russia continue play a role throughout the rest of the season?
BH: We’re certainly going to do, yes, more episodes about Russia and evolve the relationship we’ve already started there.
EW: We need to know about Dmitri. Is he alright? Henry’s face as they drove past was so heartbreaking!
LM: Don’t you love Dmitri? He is so great. That’s exactly where we want you.
BH: Episode 11 is going to be very exciting for [Dmitri fans]. We will get back into the story of what happened to him.
LM: You will definitely see more of Dmitri and continue to have a little bit of conflict between Elizabeth and Henry over it.
EW: That was my next question! One of the things people love about this show is the relationship between Bess and Henry. It’s amazing and they’re always a team. How is this going to affect that relationship?
BH: That’s one of the things we laid the groundwork for when we started this arc. That’s the idea: That Elizabeth works in the State Department and Henry works in the Defense Department, and even though they are working for a common interest, they often don’t have common goals, so it puts them at odds with each other. That is the pinnacle of where these two jobs and this situation takes them at the end of 10. And it’s a conflict we are going to keep delving in for the rest of the season.
LM: The thing that we like is that it’s not only balancing their relationship and what they’re doing, but now it’s their relationship, other people’s lives, and the good of these countries, and our own country — big stakes.
EW: What else can you tell us about the back half of season 2? other spoilers can you give us about what’s next for Elizabeth?
BH: We’re going to take Elizabeth into a more personal story, a more family-related story, and we’re going to do some stand-alone episodes that are about individual countries that she gets into conflict with.
EW: Any guest starts we can expect?
BH: [Kate Burton] plays Henry’s sister. She’s part of the story that takes us into a little bit of the Henry and Elizabeth origin story, how they got together, and how that affected their relationship with each other and their families. You’ll get to see the relationship with Elizabeth and Henry’s sister. … [Also, Tim Daly’s real life daughter], Emelyn Daly plays one of Henry’s family members.
EW: Are you ever going to have Hillary Clinton on the show? I hear she’s a big fan.
LM: We keep seeing that, and we can say that we heard directly that she’s a fan. We’re definitely open whenever she feels that she has time in her schedule to come join us.
BH: I think it’s safe to call that an open invitation.
Madam Secretary airs Sundays at 8 p.m. ET on CBS.