Elizabeth McCord wasn’t able to put out the fire this week

By Lindsey Kupfer
February 15, 2016 at 01:03 AM EST
Sarah Shatz/CBS
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Last week’s funeral was underwhelming compared to tonight’s episode of Madam Secretary, which ended with a bang … literally.

I don’t know about you, but when Jay came in to inform Bess that Hizb al-Shahid was the buyer behind the Uranium heist, my heart was pounding. At that point, you knew what was ultimately going to happen. The fact that they kept flashing to the security guards around the conference only made things more intense.

Let’s start from the beginning though, shall we? There’s so much happening this episode it was hard to keep track of all the sub-plots.

The episode opens outside of Tiraspol, Moldova where two men in a truck are stopped and attacked. We learn quite soon into the episode that the truck was full of Uranium. Bess gets the go ahead to put the States International Security and Nonproliferation Bureau on the job. Her inquiry is met with backlash because no one thinks the heist is really that big of a deal. Boy, how wrong they were on that one! Luckily, Bess is smarter than everyone else.

Speaking of everyone else, the new CIA director, Dennis Ellerman, kind of sucks. He just might be the new Craig Sterling. He argues that the Chinese stealing a piece of an American defense is more important than the theft, which it most likely is, but you don’t talk back to Dalton. Also every time they assume something isn’t a big deal, it’s always the opposite. Regardless, after this meeting we never hear about the problem with China again, so it’s either not super important or they will revisit it in another episode.

Next we meet Walter Nowack from the ISN bureau. He and Jay are tasked with the Uranium heist. He reveals that the man in the truck who wasn’t driving was the chief inspector of the power plant where the Uranium was taken. This is obviously suspicious because why would the inspector, who conducts his inspections during the day, be there at night? So sketch.

Back to that drama in a bit.

Meanwhile, there is a conference for women in education that Bess is hosting and their keynote speaker is Noura Al-Kitabi, a Saudi Arabian woman who was attacked with acid after she stood up to her government by demanding equal education and the right to work. She’s a hero, but Saudi Arabia is not impressed.

Russell tells Bess that she’s not allowed to attend the conference in order to keep peacewith their ally while they are trying to make an arms deal. Obviously, she’s upset, but would rather not attend than un-invite Noura. The entire McCord family is going to the event, which we all know doesn’t turn out well.

Now for the third problem this episode. Two teen girls from Ohio ran away to join the terrorist group Hizb al-Shahid in Libya. While everyone assumed they made it to Libya, the Deputy Director of Counter-Terrorism for the FBI stopped by Bess’ office to inform her that they did not make it to their destination. Instead the Saudi Arabian government stopped them and has been holding them. The SA government claims Hizbul Shahid was using the girls to plan a terrorist attack against Saudi Arabia. Are you with me still?

Sidenote: This is the first time we are meeting Marguerite Sanchez, and I think I’m a fan. I don’t know if she’s coming back or will become a regular cast member, but I hope they keep her around. Bess needs some close friends, especially after losing her two friends last season.

NEXT: Full circle

Bess confronts Saudi Arabia’s Prince Asim. Here’s the gist of what she says: We know that Saudi Arabian citizens help fund the terrorist group Hizb al-Shahid, so you’re worried that if you give us back our girls, they will tell us which of your citizens are supporting the group.

After that meeting, Saudi Arabia handed back the girls. As it turned out, the terrorist group was planning an attack on Saudi Arabia. They tasked one of the teen girls to pose as an admirer of Noura Al-Kitabi, go to her house and detonate herself, which would kill Noura and as much of her family as possible. At this point, we know that Noura is in danger and heading to a conference where Bess’ whole family is going to be.

Now about that Uranium. They figure out it’s being stored at a warehouse outside of Chișinău, Moldova, and send in a team to bust the deal. But the blueprints they had of the warehouse were wrong and their cover is blown. They lose men as well, but the deal didn’t go down so everyone, except Jay, assumed they were safe.

The conference begins and Bess is watching from her office with her team when Jay comes in to tell her that Hizb al-Shahid was behind the Uranium purchase. Just like that all of the pieces clicked. Bess immediately tries to shut down the conference, but doesn’t get everyone out in time. An American girl runs in and detonates herself, blowing up everyone around her.  

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The kids got out, but Henry being the hero he is, went back in to help. The episode ends with men in hazmat suits arriving, which means there is a very good chance Henry has been exposed to a ton of radiation.

Whew. That was a seriously intense episode and now we have to wait a week to find out if Henry’s okay. I have a strong suspicion they would never ever kill Henry off, but I’m still worried about him. We also don’t know if Noura is okay, and how the Uranium got from Moldova to America. Considering next week is titled, “Right of the Boom,” I assume we will be getting the answer to all of this.

Minor debriefings:

  • Best line of the show coming in hot from Jason: “Hot, bearded dudes with guns, I’m guessing?” Loving the sarcasm.
  • I feel for Alison. There is nothing worse than parents being “disappointed” in you. Mad is one thing; disappointment feels awful. To be fair though, she did deserve it. Online bullying needs to end now.
  • Jay’s baby. is. so. cute!
  • Tim Daly holding a baby almost killed me. That image will never be erased from my mind.
  • We have confirmation that Daisy and Oliver are still together for those who were worried (like me).
  • Also have to acknowledge Blake’s best one-liner tonight: “If you’re asking me to weigh Quakers vs. terrorists, I think the Quakers can wait.”
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