Madam Secretary: (S03E03) “South China Sea”


Like the episode title tells us, this one is all about the South China Sea and China’s continued infringement on several Asian countries’ sovereignty with their annexation of pieces of ‘land’ in the area. 

It starts with Henry still very much hung up on who is trying to attack the family. He is focused on a former stalker of Elizabeth’s so much so that he harasses the FBI and almost crosses a line with the stalker. Turns out it’s not the stalker so that mystery is still afoot, but whoever the hackers are they hacked the McCords entire house. They switched on lights, turned tvs on and off, even set off the ice maker. It scared the kids and definitely pissed off Henry.

As for the China story, activists trespassed on one of the atolls in the South China Sea to expose to the world that China is paving over the coral. They get arrested and China refuses to let them go unless America asserts that the activists were trespassing on Chinese territory. An assertion American can’t make because the area is disputed. America tries to do an end run around China by increasing relations with Vietnam but that only exacerbates the situation with the Chinese. China got a little petty and a little scary. They fly jets “dangerously close” to American ships and recalled Bao Bao, the Chinese panda at the zoo. (FYI: Bao Bao is actually leaving in 2017.) Eventually, the Chinese do release the activists because they caught, while recording, images of what China was in fact doing on the atoll. They were illegally building a strategic military launching point. Tsk tsk Elizabeth used her Elizabeth magic to leverage this information for the activists. 

There was a little talk of the independent campaign for President but I think more will be said on that in upcoming episodes. I do wonder if the hackers are backed by their party because they know this independent campaign was Elizabeth’s idea. 

Buss laugh moment of this episode: When she told her husband that his punishment for an argument they were having is to do the ‘worst job in the house’ putting the sheets on their bed. Their relationship is the definition of ‘relationship goals’. They have intellectual discussions, petty arguments, family discussions, heavy arguments, all in the span of single conversations and come out the other end still loving and respecting one another. 

Punched in the feels moment of this episode: When the two heads of states, American and Vietnamese, reminisce about their roles in the Vietnam War and how had anything gone even slightly differently neither would be in the position they are now. 

Made me ponder for a sec moment of this episode:  The situation in the South China Sea is a very real one. I honestly don’t understand why it hasn’t received more national recognition. I guess because it’s not a “dramatic” story so the media doesn’t think it’s sexy to cover. China is infringing on the sovereignty of several countries to gain control over a vast fortune, which includes a trade route that affects the American population a great deal. I think this episode had a nice clean resolution because it’s a tv show. I shutter to think what would have happened had this exact situation happened IRL. So people, don’t go trespassing on any atolls no matter how just your cause. 

Hoping for more insight into who is stalking her family in the next episode. 

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