'Madam Secretary' recap: 'The Greater Good'
First things first: We need to talk about theories as to which country was behind that explosion.
It seems too easy for it to be Ukraine. It makes sense — and it was probably everyone’s first assumption — but as we’ve seen in the past, Madam Secretary likes to trick us. Maybe someone else knew about what Maria did to her husband, perhaps General Doroshevich? Maybe the peace talks were all a ruse to try and assassinate Dalton and Elizabeth?
Either way, we have a lot to discuss about this episode, especially when it comes to Dmitri’s fate and how the decision to give him up will affect the relationship between Bess and Henry.
We finally learn how Pavel Ostrov died, and we probably should have guessed that Maria murdered him. She injected him with a drug that caused an embolism, making it look like a complication from his recent surgery (Remember in episode 2, “The Doability Doctrine,” he went missing for a week because he was getting a tummy tuck, but then turned up dead). To be fair, Pavel Ostrov was kind of a dick to his wife, and he probably should have been more scared of her. She looks like an evil murderous dictator. Best line in the scene? “I am killing you, you worthless trash.”
Jumping forward to present day, the episode picks up where it left off two weeks ago. Dalton has given the command to fire at Russian jets, enforcing their no-fly zone over Ukraine, officially starting a shooting war with Russia. Maria Ostrov retreats and gives the command to send in troops to Mariupol, one of the three cities outlined in their plans Dmitri sent over to the DIA. All of a sudden we see that Dmitri is back! We haven’t seen him since the power went out over Moscow while he was fleeing on the train. Looks like that plan failed, but at least we know he’s alive after all that.
We find out that he is still working for the DIA and gives Henry a coded message that they were sending troops to Mariupol. He breaks down and begs Henry to get him out of there. Besides the dynamic between Bess and Henry, the relationship between Henry and Dmitri is probably my favorite. Henry really cares for this kid and feels responsible for his fate after forcing him to become a spy, so it’s no surprise that he pushes Jane to get him out of there.
After the US won the battle at Mariupol, it became obvious that there was a spy and only a matter of time before Dmitri was caught.
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Bess’ team gathers all the info they can on Maria Ostrov and start digging into her past for anything they can find to use as leverage to basically strong-arm her into a negotiation. This brings us to a wonderful video of Maria Ostrov as a former beauty queen. “This is the woman starting World War III?” Jay says, as the Russian dictator dances around singing in what I can only assume is an ’80s prom dress.
After the team gets ahold of her bank information, they discover the truth about Pavel Ostrov’s death and finally have something that could end Russia’s aggression. Elizabeth gets permission to set up a summit in Geneva to plan peace talks and come up with negotiations. At this point, I think everyone knew that something was going to go wrong there, after all, it’s the midseason finale.
NEXT: The greater good
The peace talks in Geneva happen to be the perfect time and place to get Dmitri out of there and safely bring him back now that Russia is aware of the mole in their inner circle. Henry is to accompany Bess on the trip as “arm candy” and help carry out the plan, picking up Dmitri at a quiet intersection. Seems easy enough, except nothing ever goes according to plan, does it?
They arrive in Geneva to find out that Ukrainian President Bozek didn’t even bother to show up for the peace talks. I’m over Bozek. He hacks air force one, messes up his own plane, gets America into the beginning stages of war with Russia and he can’t be bothered to show up? I would be perfectly happy if Maria Ostrov had him killed. He sucks. Also, I have a feeling it might become important to note Ukraine is very upset about the deal.
The negotiation includes the following compromises:
- Eastern Ukraine will become an autonomous state with its borders along the North of the Black Sea from Luhansk to Odessa Oblast.
- An end to US economic sanctions on the Russian government, as well as on individual Russians.
- An end to all travel bans except for those on USA’s terrorist list.
- Russia will restore all gas to Eastern European countries immediately and without interruptions for 15 years.
Maria Ostrov says she wants one more thing. She wants America to admit that Russia was not behind the Air Force One attack and apologize for the blackout in Moscow. Dalton pretty much laughs in her face. They confront her and tell her that they have proof she killed her husband and will ruin her if she doesn’t sign the papers. In order for the deal to go through, she needs to go back with something. She asks for them to name the mole in her army and she will sign the deal. They agree to keep the truth about Air Force One and Pavel Ostrov a secret.
This conversation leads us to probably the most heartbreaking scene of the entire season. Henry and Jane are in the van to pick up Dmitri, who is standing on the side of the road, and Jane gets a call to abort the mission. As they drive past him and Henry is screaming at them to go back as he watches men grab Dmitri. Cue the tears as Henry’s face pretty much broke everyone’s hearts.
Bess confronts Henry, telling him that giving him up was for the greater good.
The next morning as Dalton and Elizabeth are getting into their car and Maria Ostrov is getting into her car, an unidentified man in uniform shoots an explosive and the episode ends.
It’s safe to say that Elizabeth is okay because without her there would be no show, but I predict that Maria Ostrov is dead.
That being said, we need to talk about how giving up Dmitri will change the dynamic between Bess and Henry. They spent the entire show up to this point showing us how this political couple work together as a team and communicate their issues until they figure things out. I would say that we can expect some major problems for Bess and Henry in the next half of the season. Henry is probably going to be feeling all kinds of things after he promised Dmitri safety.
- Stevie’s dating a new guy named Jareth. She would date a guy named Jareth. I am excited to meet him and see what’s wrong with this one. We all know she has a history of dating terrible guys.
- Given the circumstances, is it inappropriate to talk about how attractive Henry is when he’s mad?