The United States is 30 days away from World War III.
Credit: Sarah Shatz/CBS

“Anton Gorev becoming President of Russia might mean the difference between peace and World War III.”

This one phrase offered hope to the United States — until it didn’t. I have to be honest before I dive into this recap. I thought this week was going to be a filler episode, where a whole bunch of information was dumped on us, with very little action. I was very wrong. After tonight’s episode and the sudden death of Anton Gorev, it seems that the United States is about to be in another world war.

Last week’s photo scandal with Stevie is well in the past and the focus has shifted back to Russia and Ukraine. In case you forgot, President Ostrov died and his wife (who turned out to be way more evil than anyone thought) made a power play to take over control of Russia. In episode 3, “The Rusalka,” Maria Ostrov planted evidence to make it seem like America and Anton Gorev were conspiring against Russia, forcing Gorev to flee to London, where the new episode picks up.

Anton Gorev is now in London, and the episode begins with him attempting to get sanctions lifted so he can have access to his funds, return to Russia, and run against Maria Ostrov for the presidency. He enlists Elizabeth McCord to help him make a deal with Britain, because in truth, the only way to stop a war is for Gorev to win. Since Maria has called for a special election, they have 30 days to set a plan in order for Gorev to win. While Maria may have the generals on her side, Gorev tells Bess that the high-ranking officials and billionaires want peace and he can use them to win.

Bess makes a deal with the UK that instead of them lifting the sanctions on Gorev, he can sell his UK properties for cash and get the money that way. She presents the plan to POTUS and Craig Sterling and they’re upset that the US is getting nothing out of the deal, so they agree to help only if Gorev spills some secrets to the American government, which of course, he’s not going to do.

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Meanwhile, General Doroshevich is back in town and Henry advises Dmitri to attend an event at the Russian Embassy. His assignment? To listen around for any information about Maria Ostrov’s upcoming plans. As it turns out, the General pretty much confirmed the first order of business is attacking Ukraine with one very simple quote: “Russia without Ukraine is a country. Russia with Ukraine is an empire.” Dmitri then overhears that Maria Ostrov is bringing Olga, Gorev’s daughter to the Russian Embassy for a few weeks. Undoubtedly to use her as leverage in the election. He relays the information to Henry who ends up saving Olga’s life and bringing her to stay with the McCords for a while.

This episode brought a very important change for Dmitri and Henry’s relationship. Dmitri has realized that helping the US in this situation is for the best and will probably end up saving lives. It was one of those “this is the start of a beautiful friendship” moments between the pair and personally my favorite part of the episode.

Elizabeth receives important information from Gorev (which I will go into detail about in a bit) and he gets the money he needs to return home. Before he can even leave his room in the UK, he is shot and killed, causing me to say out loud: Uh, what the hell just happened?!

The death of Anton Gorev means that Maria Ostrov is one step closer to becoming the Russian President and it’s back to the drawing board for Bess and her team. Craig Sterling may get his war after all.

NEXT: Hollywood sucks

While everyone else is dealing with Anton Gorev, Jay is on a mission to stop Russian propaganda from airing in Eastern Ukraine and the Baltic states. In the simplest terms, Russia airs a cheesy game show followed by a news program full of false reports about Russians being murdered in the West and lies about Ukraine’s plans to invade Russia. Jay’s plan is to air an American TV show followed by a real news program at the same time to draw viewers away from the false propaganda. Seems like a good idea right? Well, he has no budget.

They bring in some bigwig Hollywood execs to listen to the plan, but it ends up being pretty much useless because why would Hollywood help the American government and try to potentially stop a war if no one is paying them to do it? As the execs get up to leave, Jay gives a big empowering speech about how they will regret not helping out when they had the chance, but they simply apologize and leave. Womp wompppp. #fail

Alright, last, but certainly not least, there is an update on the hacker situation this episode. We first learn that the hacker who broke into Air Force One goes by the name of Dash. He has worked for China, North Korea, Russia, and Iran, and they are still attempting to figure out who hired him for the Air Force One attack, but they did find out that he’s planning another attack. I mean, we are all convinced that it’s Russia at this point, right? I don’t think there’s any doubt that it’s anyone else, but if you weren’t convinced, what happened next should have confirmed those suspicions.

Remember when I said Gorev exchanged information to get the money he needs to go back to Russia? The important piece of information was the hacker’s name, “George Lasco.” They quickly started to track him, but it wasn’t quick enough to stop the next attack from happening.

After receiving aid from America, Ukrainian President Bozek was on his way back to the Ukraine when someone gained control of his plane and sent it into the ground. Fortunately, every single person made it off alive thanks to parachutes, but of course at this point we know it’s this hacker behind everything and who else would want to take the Ukrainian President down besides Maria Ostrov?

I feel like I’ve said this in the past, but if I were on this show, I would refuse any type of travel that involves an airplane. How many planes have to go down before they realize everyone who gets on a plane dies?

Minor Debriefings:

  • Alison McCord is dealing with some major middle-child syndrome this episode because Bess didn’t really care and/or notice that she’s been into fashion for years and is now a fashion columnist for her school paper. I get being annoyed, but also, our Madam Secretary is kind of dealing with a potential World War III, so relax Alison.
  • We learn that Stevie is taking a psych class. A month ago she was taking the LSAT, now she’s in psychology, what is this girl actually doing with her life?
  • There was a moment between Dmitri and Ivan that made me wonder if Ivan is going to be the one to discover that Dmitri is spying for the US government. Anyone else get that vibe?

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