Madam Secretary Season 1 Episode 18 Review: The Time is at Hand

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Henry got out from behind his desk on Madam Secretary Season 1 Episode 18 and negotiated with a cult leader who had taken a U.S. Congressman hostage. 

As an unapologetic Henry fan, I enjoyed this episode and his chance to steal a bit of the spotlight away from Elizabeth. Don't worry, I'm a big Elizabeth fan too.

Elizabeth was doing much better emotionally, but she was not 100% either. It's good that they still had Elizabeth suffering some aftershocks from her experiences in Iran. Something like that is not forgotten overnight or ever. 

Stevie had a new boyfriend who she tried hard to hide from her parents. Of course, it's hard to hide such news from normal parents, and given Elizabeth and Henry's background, it was virtually impossible.

Stevie: Would you guys not spycraft me before 8:00 AM?

Foolish girl. It was certainly understandable why she wasn't keen for them to meet him since he was her boss. And as Elizabeth helpfully pointed out, she was his boss. Yikes!

Henry or Elizabeth weren't overly impressed, given that Arthur was twice her age, and Stevie seemed to follow his lead, which particularly upset Henry. I understood the age and boss concerns, but I didn't think her favoring him was excessive or worrisome, yet. Did she side with him more than she did with her parents? Probably, but that's normal too.

Henry's concern seemed two-fold. On one hand, he saw what could happen when people forget to think for themselves from his interactions with the Covenant of John. But there was also a hint of jealously too, especially when she took Arthur's side over his. That was unfamiliar territory for Henry. 

When she hates you, it's a crisis. When she hates me, it's natural progression.
Elizabeth. I know. It's so weird.


They really do hit the family scenes out of the ballpark. Henry and Elizabeth seem like genuine parents, rather than TV characters. Honestly, when I first heard about the show, I expected the family scenes to be the weakest link, not the strongest.

Because of Henry's involvement, the political side was more interesting tonight. The Covenant of John was planning a mass suicide and who better to defuse the situation than Henry? Or more convenient.

President Dalton decided a phone call, which was what Elizabeth wanted, wasn't good enough. In some ways, she inadvertently goaded him into making this decision.

No half measures. If we're going to do this, let's send Henry down there.

President Dalton

What I found most interesting was Dalton seemed less enthused about Elizabeth. Perhaps, he was beginning to view her less as an ally and asset and more as a threat, due to her popularity. We know from previous conversations that her approval rating was higher than his. My guess after Iran, her approval rating is sky-high. 

Meanwhile Matt was feeling good, maybe a little too good, after a speech he prepared for Elizabeth was a big hit. He got a little cocky and let himself be interviewed by a former college classmate who ran a popular blog. There appeared to be some old rivalry between the two, which might be why he did the interview. 

Not only did his head get big, strutting in with his sunglasses on, but he managed to irritate Daisy and more importantly, Hatchet Mike. Matt was right that he deserves a life, but Mike was also right that Matt's job was to make Elizabeth shine, not draw attention to himself. I hope this storyline leads somewhere.

Henry agreed to speak with Reverend Finch to negotiate the release of Congressman Ames who, in his eagerness to be the hero, got himself taken hostage. Henry seemed more at ease with the situation than Elizabeth, which made sense given how great her last trip went.

Elizabeth: Do you think you'll have God on your side?
Henry: I have you.

I had to laugh and agree with Chief of Staff Jackson's comment when the good Reverend offered Henry a drink.

Am I the only one thinking he shouldn't drink the tea?

Russell Jackson

My thoughts exactly, although the drink was fine, but Reverend Finch's lieutenant was not. He saw Finch was softening and Henry was getting through to him. In the end, it was mixed results with Congressman Ames being saved, but 37 members committing suicide. 

The one thing that struck me was how happy the surviving members seemed to be when they were reunited with family members. These were the same individuals who hours before were ready to drink poison. It seemed like the thrall and their belief that the "end was nigh" wasn't very strong. 

All in all, it was a good episode and blend of family and politics. What did you think? How would feel if your daughter dated her boss who was twice her age? Did sending Henry to Bolivia seem reasonable or contrived to you? Let me know if the comments below.

Don't forget you can watch Madam Secretary online via TV Fanatic at your convenience.

The Time is at Hand Review

Editor Rating: 4.2 / 5.0
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Rating: 3.9 / 5.0 (23 Votes)
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Madam Secretary Season 1 Episode 18 Quotes

Stevie: Would you guys not spycraft me before 8:00 AM?

When she hates you, it's a crisis. When she hates me, it's natural progression.
Elizabeth. I know. It's so weird.