Madam Secretary Season 2 Episode 5 Review: The Long Shot

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Do svidaniya, Anton. 

The situation with the Russians continued to escalate on Madam Secretary Season 2 Episode 5, with a dizzying array of moves and counter-moves playing out.

It's no wonder that Elizabeth couldn't keep up with her daughter's latest school activity with everything else going on!

I love that so many of the storylines are coming together so earlier in the season. Not only does it make it easier for us to keep track of things, the tight writing style gives us a more nuanced plot and better characters than so many shows out there. 

It was nice to see Jay get a chance to shine in "The Long Shot." He's been the least developed character of the senior staff, and at times I've even wondered that he was still around. He certainly proved himself as a civil servant and as somebody worth my attention.

Even though this was a subplot, it was directly tied to the main story of the season so far. It really highlighted how massive and varied diplomatic relations can be. 

The anti-propaganda campaign was inspired even if it didn't work out – at least yet. Was I the only one left wondering if Jay might hear back from one of the executives sometime soon? The woman didn't say much, and was definitely the most sympathetic. 

I-I'm sorry. Helping to stop World War III is a "special interest"?


Henry is also getting himself in all the Russian action through his work with the NSA. He seems to be going above and beyond with his duties as handler, but it gave him the opportunity to redeem himself after Dmitri's beating.

It was really hard for me to reconcile his behavior in Madam Secretary Season 2 Episode 4, and I'm relieved he's backing away from the tough love and towards his anecdotal mentoring style. The scene in the alleyway struck a good balance between those two, and actually managed to generate some results with his asset.

Henry McCord: What are you doing?
Dmitri: Walking down a street. This is a free country, isn't it?

Dmitri may have been a bit petulant (and who wouldn't be a little bit sore about being beaten with a phone book?) but his true character shone through when he told Henry about the plans to abduct Olga. Henry may have identified him as a good asset based on his political leanings, but he's cooperating because of the individual human impact.

Henry managed to get to Olga just in time (oh, the wonders of television!), giving Elizabeth a tricky political situation to navigate. At least as a former student of Henry's, she had some kind of plausible reason to be there. You have got to love how deftly the kids handled her arrival.

Oh yeah, she's just visiting like any other normal person, without extra clothes.

Jason McCord

I have to give the writers and Katherine Herzer big kudos for the most realistic portrayal of a teenager I've seen on television in a while. My only complaint is that this: if Allison is so into fashion, why has she not gotten her mother to stop it with the long sleeved blouses under the three-quarter sleeved blazer?

But really, her outburst about being invisible to her mother could come from any teenager's diary, or Tumblr, or emo Instagram account. I felt bad for her even as I was laughing at her outburst. That Elizabeth took it so seriously is proof that she's a good mother. 

I'm going to go downstairs and talk to Olga, the stranger who finds me more interesting than my own mother!

Allison McCord

By the way, did anybody pick up on the reference to the previously unmentioned brother when Elizabeth apologized to Allison? Coincidence that Eric Stoltz will be filling that role on Madam Secretary Season 2 Episode 6? I think not. 

Of course, with everything going on at work – you know, that little matter of preventing the next World War from starting – it's no wonder that Elizabeth is dropping a few balls on the home front. She's busy trying to avoid a knife in her back courtesy of Sterling.

I don't know why I was so surprised when Dalton listened to his advice about leveraging Gorev for intelligence. Obviously, Sterling is there to heighten the difficulty of Elizabeth achieving her goals, but from a real world perspective, it just didn't make any sense. A man who wants to run for president of his country – who our government wants to run – can't take the risk of spying against said county. 

That ended up being a moot point in the end though. With Gorev dead, and an assassination attempt against the Ukrainian prime minister, what will Maria Ostrov's next move be? We may have to wait to find out, with the upcoming "Catch and Release" focusing on Syria and the ISIS situation. 

If you missed out on "The Long Shot," don't worry, you can watch Madam Secretary online. Catch up, and then join the discussion in the comments section.

We'd love to hear your thoughts on where the hacker story is going, what poor decision Stevie is going to make next, and what program you would watch over a Russian game show!

The Long Shot Review

Editor Rating: 4.0 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 3.9 / 5.0 (25 Votes)

Elizabeth Harlow is a staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow her on Twitter.

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Madam Secretary Season 2 Episode 5 Quotes

I-I'm sorry. Helping to stop World War III is a "special interest"?


So, he's done picking up weapons at the Pentagon, and he doesn't have any lunch plans?

Sec. Elizabeth McCord