Madam Secretary Season 3 Episode 17 Review: Convergence

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The title for Madam Secretary Season 3 Episode 17, "Convergence," couldn't have been more on the nose. We don't usually spend a lot of time talking about titles, but they're usually a little more enigmatic then this.

The long running arcs finally started to fit together, and thank god we don't have to have another tease about Henry worrying about Ian.

Personally, I don't care if we never see him again now that the whole point of the religious cult storyline is clear.

The CIA Mole - Madam Secretary

Okay, it was clear before. I've been saying for a while that this is where it was headed, and while it's always nice to be about to say "I told you so," I was so tired of waiting for things to resolve. 

Drawing out obvious plots is like enduring bad dental work. Why would the writers inflict that upon fans?

Let's all try to come up with ideas for Henry that don't seem derivative of previous stories, okay? We'll just email those along to teh writers room for next season

High Five - Madam Secretary

Which, oh yeah, THERE'S GOING TO BE A FOURTH SEASON!!! Everyone take a moment to revel in the announcement

Now that that's done, back to the matter at hand. Setting up Henry as some kind of modern day anti-terrorist Indiana Jones is way more interesting than religious cult/militias.

And there's still plenty of room for him to bump up against the State Department in that role. He can crusade for more UNESCO World Heritage Sites to be named, and help Bess with cultural diplomacy -- or point out where she's wrong.

Also, I think Tim Daly would like pretty damn hot with a hat like Dr. Jones'.

Elizabeth [after Henry gets shot]: Henry, when are you gonna get a desk job that involves a real desk?
Henry: Well, they offered me a cubicle, but I was gonna hold out for something with a window.

I may have been bored with Henry's situation, but I wasn't expecting to be completely delighted by the story about rhino poaching.

So, yeah, the WWF pictures were disturbingly graphic, but everything else was great. Not only was it nice to see the team working together, but I loved Gwen.

I'm not sure how she was so PowerPoint incompetent (was she raised by Luddites or something?), but otherwise she was just so relatable. Her awkward shyness was real and endearing without being too twee; the balancing of Elizabeth giving her a lean in speech and then her responding to a promotion with a hug was perfection.

Elizabeth: Next time, Gwen, don't wait for an invitation. You sat on this proposal for how long?
Gwen: Two years.
Elizabeth: A good idea is meaningless without the courage to act. You must speak up.

The rhino story also gave way to so many puns. And the idea of The Fonz doing an ED education ad in Vietnam is priceless.

And completely believable if you caught NBC's Better Late Than Never last year, where Henry Winkler traveled around Asia with William Shatner. Comedy GOLD. (Next time they need to leave Terry Bradshow and George Foreman at home). 

Back on topic: Between Blake's PowerPoint workmanship and Matt's ability to make a dick joke out of conservation/health diplomacy, I couldn't stop giggling. 

Let's all hope Ambassador Dong rises to the occasion.

Matt [about pitching the Viagra saving the rhinos plan]

Despite the seemingly heavy duty issues being worked through, the dialogue was surprisingly light on "Convergence." All of that heavy stuff played out quickly, with little examination. It was more "show" then "tell."

We did get to chat with Enrico Colantoni's character a few times, but I'm still not sure I entirely know what to make of him. He seems like your typical slimy, cynical, asshole of a defense lawyer. I'm putting my money on there being more to him.

I'm really hoping that Mike B shows up in person with more dirt on him, if only for the opportunity to rekindle things with  Nadine.

I don't care where a good idea comes from, I just want one.


Outside of amateur espionage, sleezy lawyers, and rhino horns, the male McCord's shared some valuable time bonding.

Jason actually managed to not annoy the ever living ish out of me, even if maybe he only started helping Henry as a way to work himself into dad's good graces for a ski pass. 

It was like some kind of weird, reverse parenting trick where the one time Henry wasn't trying with his kid turned out to be the most effective. Maybe it's just that Jason is (finally) growing up, or maybe it's just that there's no way to be a self aggrandized idiot about a toy engine from the 70s. 

Allison [after Henry asks for Jason's help with a mechanical issue]: Don't bother asking me, Dad, because why would a girl be interested?
Henry: Allison, I didn't think...
Allison: That's the point. And I'm not. But, maybe I would've been. Bye!
Elizabeth: Bye! [pause] Well played, Super Dad.

Madam Secretary Season 3 Episode 18 ("Good Bones") looks like it'll leave the lighter stuff behind. Elizabeth is going to take on human trafficking in Kyrgyzstan. Doesn't get much more serious than that.

Especially when you throw in a civilian captive who may be put in harms way because of her campaign. Elizabeth's recruitment of a Hollywood starlet makes the cause high profile, which makes the captors nervous. 

While Elizabeth struggles with what the right call to make is, Henry's out playing James Bond. He's managed to locate the militia's bomb, and things are worse than anyone thought. Not only does he have to warn everyone, he's got to avoid getting murdered by Elizabeth for being a dumbass and putting himself at risk. Again.

Oh, Come On - Madam Secretary Season 3 Episode 17

What do you think the militia's end game is? Who is the ring leader of the smugglers? Will Nadine and Mike B get busy again? 

We want to hear your thoughts! Join the conversation in the comments section below to give us your opinions and best guesses about where things are headed.

And remember, you can always watch Madam Secretary online!

Convergence Review

Editor Rating: 3.5 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 3.9 / 5.0 (9 Votes)

Elizabeth Harlow was a staff writer for TV Fanatic. She left the organization in October 2018.

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Madam Secretary Season 3 Episode 17 Quotes

Henry [upon opening a toy engine kit his father left for him]: Hey, Jace, you wanna help me see if we can finally get this thing to work?
Jason: Uh, and foster a legacy of inter generational cruelty? I think I'll pass.

Elizabeth: Okay, I want a name. Who took the last donut?
Nadine [after no one responds]: It was me, ma'am.
Elizabeth: Noble gesture, Nadine, but I didn't spend the last 20 years in the CIA profiling dissemblers and liars for nothing. Got anything to say, Matt?
Matt: Is that a new jacket?