Madam Secretary Season 3 Episode 5 Review: French Revolution

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Sacre bleu!

Two big story arcs were tied up comme un grand cadeau with a bow on Madam Secretary Season 3 Episode 5. With the mastermind behind the stalking locked up and Henry's beloved statues safe, there's only the election left unresolved. I guess it would be too much to ask that we be given a break from political campaigns?

A U.S. - French State Dinner - Madam Secretary

Having Julius Burton turn out to be the man threatening the McCords was unexpected only because it was so outrageous. His presumptuous directions to Dalton made a smidge more believable, but there were so many other factors that just made it unbelievable.

I try to suspend belief when I watch TV, but my inner political wonk was laughing at the idea that somebody of Burton's standing wouldn't be contributing to all of the candidates. Even if I let that minor gripe go, it's hard to believe that he'd be so stupid as to have an employee run the whole thing.

Nobody other than Mr. Smithers likes their boss that much. 

Loyalty is a tough thing to predict in this town.

Elizabeth

And there are just so many better more efficient ways to get what you want from Washington. 

One thing that has redeemed the bananas Dalton-running-as-third-party-candidate arc for me has been Russell. Watching him losing his mind has been enjoyable, but his rant to Elizabeth actually hit me straight in the feels.

Career politicos don't get nearly enough credit for their work as public servants. Sure they're often party loyalists, but nobody decides to work behind the scenes because it's a well paying, low stress job that lets you get home in time for dinner. Russell's speech hit on what's at stake for him personally while still expressing the kind of patriotism and loyalty that he has for Dalton.

God, I hate hope.

Russell

Still, I'm ready to not hear about any elections for two more years, even fictional ones. At this point, I wouldn't even complain if things got wrapped up as ridiculously easily as Henry's Black Dog Station mission did. 

I really hope that wasn't the end of things for Jose and Henry. There's got to be more stolen art to track down right? The producers wouldn't have built that set just for two episodes would they have? I want Black Dog Station up and running indefinitely. Henry really needs something to fill his days. 

Daisy: Whew. Okay, so let's see. We busted a stalker, we rescued some priceless artifacts, took the fight to HS and saved Algeria, and we held together our most vital military alliance.
Matt: All without offending the French.

I'm ready to get back to international affairs both big and small. I'm ready to stop hearing about the kids and start hearing about the staff. Kathrine Herzer and Evan Roe do a great job, but I just don't care about his partying or her interest in fashion.

But the how and why of Daisy, Blake, Matt, and Jay is another matter. This season has seen Elizabeth relying less on her staff, and while her confidence is a boon in some ways, I can't help but long for the days of yore when there was more collaboration. The support staff is portrayed by a wonderful team of actors and they deserve more.

I mean, look at what Erich Bergen did with just that little smirk in the café au lait scene. I need more Blake in my life.

Blake: Good morning, ma'am. Russell Jackson's office needs your approval on this.
Elizabeth: Coffee?
Blake: Café au lait. The White House barista has been practicing for the state dinner.
Elizabeth: It's coffee with milk.
Blake: The French are picky...and easily insulted.

With the upcoming Madame Secretary Season 3 Episode 5 ("The Statement"), my wish may be granted. Matt's set to take center stage when a member of his mosque bombs a coffee shop in Illinois. While Elizabeth pulls of some diplomatic sorcery with Saudi Arabia, Matt's refusal to comment may end up having dire consequences.

Focusing on a staff member won't be the only throwback though. Everybody's favorite covert asset is back when Henry checks in with Demtri. I guess he isn't appreciative of Phoenix's warm but dry climate after living in Moscow for so long. 

If you missed out on the miraculous way that Elizabeth fixed five seemingly disparate international crises in three days, don't worry. You can always watch Madam Secretary online. Let us know what you thought of "French Revolution" and what you're hoping to see in the future down in the comments!

French Revolution Review

Editor Rating: 4.0 / 5.0
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Rating: 4.9 / 5.0 (29 Votes)

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

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Madam Secretary Season 3 Episode 5 Quotes

Elizabeth: It's a classic negotiating tactic. The more I chase after him, the more control he has over the discussion. Secretary Albright actually taught me that one.
Nadine: I believe it was, uh, Wendy Rogers who taught me another classic negotiating tactic. If a guy won't talk to you, send in a close companion to bridge the gap.
Elizabeth: Wendy Rogers?
Nadine: The most popular girl in sixth grade.

Loyalty is a tough thing to predict in this town.

Elizabeth