Sea change…an appropriate title for this episode. I like the word play.
The episode starts with us immediately finding out that President Dalton lost his primary bid and with that his shot at a second term as president. The blame for this fiasco is placed upon Elizabeth by none other than Russel Jackson. The look of contempt on his face made it seem like she had done something…unconscionable.
Cut to a reflection two months prior. A base in Bahrain gets badly damaged and one individual is in a coma because of a massive storm that hit the base. Discussions are held with her and her staff regarding why the US still has a base there since the country’s values are not in line with the US’s values. This thought process is reinforced when a representative from Tunisia points out to Elizabeth that Tunisia’s values are more in line with the US yet they are not given the same consideration as other countries who have, for example, oil.
Elizabeth takes this into consideration. This information is given further thought when one of her staff members informs her that reports are continuously being written warning the US about climate change threats to military bases. The reports are being ignored because of a Congress who partially does not recognize climate change as an issue and the company who rebuilds the bases because of costs.
When Elizabeth confronts President Dalton about this she is shot down, rather harshly, because idealism does not win elections. She then goes on national television and unbeknownst to her actually does set in place a series of events that leads to President Dalton losing the primary. She is asked about climate change and whether or not she believes in it. She responds by saying its not about belief, it’s about acknowledging the overwhelming evidence from the scientific community that says climate change is an issue. She is sure to include that she this is her opinion because she was never a partisan politician, but a public servant.
There’s blow back but not for long because the one individual that was severely injured in Bahrain, passed away right as President Dalton was about to enter his primary debate. It’s here that he rips all of Elizabeth’s ideas and presents them to the country. Unfortunately, members of his party disagree with him and he loses the primary.
As part of his new idealism President Dalton makes a relationship with Tunisia official. At the end of this meeting Elizabeth runs into the new candidate for president who tells her that he will undo her work with Tunisia while also asking her to stay on the job when he becomes president. Diplomatic as usual, she skirts the question and goes back into the office with President Dalton and convinces him to run as an independent.
After Russell Jackson crunches some numbers he realizes that in order for President Dalton to win as an independent he needs Pennsylvania which means his VP needs to hand him that state. This means that Elizabeth must stay on as Secretary of State and not as the VP candidate. (Cue all the music because Elizabeth as VP means no more show!)
The b-story of this episode is going to be the a-story for next week. While at breakfast Jason mentions that his laptop keeps restarting itself. (Hello my thought that he’s been hacked.) Henry takes it in to get looked at and the tech guy tells him to take it to the FBI because Jason was hacked. Henry doesn’t take it seriously at first because there’s a kid at Jason’s school that’s a baby hacker. But then he gets mugged and the only thing stolen is the laptop. In the very last moments of the episode Henry and Elizabeth are staring at photos slipped to them of their children. Apparently, someone is stalking them.
Then roll credits. Like…hello…don’t just leave me hanging like this! Madam Secretary did not disappoint. I like that the writers really tackle relevant issues and they really hit the mark by starting with climate change. This, the stalker children aspect, and Dalton’s independent run for president should make this series very interesting.
Can’t wait for the next episode…which we have to wait a little longer for because apparently Christopher Columbus still gets a day to himself even though all he did was destroy indigenous people.