Madam Secretary Season 1 Episode 19 Review: Spartan Figures

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President Dalton confronted suspicious world leaders after the failed Iranian coup in Madam Secretary Season 1 Episode 19 as he and Elizabeth worked together to prevent Greece from defaulting on their loan.

President Dalton made the right decision to be upfront with our role in the failed Iranian coup, although it would have been really hard to cover-up. So on one hand, he had little choice, but it also demonstrated a certain amount of honesty and responsibility too. It appeared he was also still paying for that decision.

A vulnerable leader must be like a mouse to a cat – easy pickings.

I liked that we saw how President Dalton was affected by the failed Iranian coup. He may not have been a part of the plot, but his enemies surely thought Christmas came early with all the ammunition it gave them.

Several world leaders gleefully told President Dalton that he had little credibility or power with them after the failed coup. In fact, the Prime Minister of Greece went so far as to suggest that he resign now. Ouch.

I did think it was strange that Elizabeth seemed so unaware that he was dealing with political pressures from within their own party. We live in a world of 24 hour news stations, millions of bloggers and the all-seeing eyes of social media. Lots of people, both within and outside of his party, had to be gunning for Dalton, including asking for his resignation.

There is also no way that he and his administration are not facing some sort of investigation. We know (or at least we assume from the information we have) that Dalton didn't commit treason or plan the coup. But his enemies would publicly speculate that he did and demand an investigation. 

The show functions like a procedural, but there are time where I wonder if it would be better if it leaned more fully into it's serial side. Frankly, the Greek debt problems clued us into the problems Dalton was facing with world leaders and his own party but wasn't very interesting on its own, minus Blake's public urination.

Blake: My coins were too big.
Nadine: Is that some sort of euphemism?

I always appreciate and admire how shrewd Elizabeth is without resorting to being a beyotch. She was smart enough to know that the other world leaders were going to try to block them out. 

While Dalton took steps to reaffirm his position among the other world leaders, I would still like to get a better sense of the discord within their political party and the general public. Frankly, as much as I love Elizabeth, I'd like to see her in a situation where her opponent isn't easily beat. I expect her to win the war, but to lose a battle or two along the way.

And speaking of war, guess who got a new job offer? Henry is going to teach military ethics to future military leaders at the National War College. Honestly, I was surprised that he was even hesitant, since being able to influence future military leaders seemed like something he would want.

Henry: Tell me, Jackson. Does this midnight menacing ususally work?
Russell: On most people.

Even more interesting, it wasn't so much a job offer but an expectation. One that came from Russell Jackson and would also involve Henry in an occasional covert intelligence op. This solved a bit of a plausibility issue they risked with Henry since they clearly want him to be more than Elizabeth's husband. Now they have a valid reason to realistically place him in harm's way. 

We also met President Dalton's son, Harrison tonight through Stevie. He was her "swoop in" friend, meaning he swoops in and out of her life. Well, he swooped back in after completing his recent stay at rehab, which she knew nothing about. Kudos to them for being able to keep the press in the dark. 

I'm a little surprised that they didn't immediately send him back to rehab since he relapsed four days after getting out, but it felt like he was being set-up for a future storyline. Perhaps as a new love interest for Stevie? She seemed pretty uncomfortable with Arthur flirting with her at work. I'm not sure if it was a result of them being at work or her growing tired of him or both. 

What did you think of tonight's episode? Were you surprised to hear about Dalton's problems within his own political party? Do you wish we'd see more of it or do you prefer the show stay more procedural? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

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

Spartan Figures Review

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Madam Secretary Season 1 Episode 19 Quotes

Henry: Tell me, Jackson. Does this midnight menacing ususally work?
Russell: On most people.

Blake: My coins were too big.
Nadine: Is that some sort of euphemism?