Madam Secretary Season 4 Episode 7 Review: North to the Future

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There's a new face in the office on Madam Secretary Season 4 Episode 7, and she's fierce. 

Working With Russia - Madam Secretary

It certainly didn't take Sara Ramirez long to settle in with the gang at State. By the end of her first scene with Bess, I had already switched from calling her Callie to Kat. 

The haircut and the suits help with the distinction between Ramirez's roles, but the credit belongs to her. Those are just the finishing touches on the character she's brought to life.

As much as I'm loving Kat (and loving how Elizabeth is loving Kat), I did think that too much of her advice this go round was based in her avocado farming experiences. How many other situations will that be relevant in? 

One thing I learned from the avocado farm, the Earth is basically like a five year old. You give it everything it wants -- the best food and love and attention -- it is non stop bounty, but you pollute it with crap, ignore all the signs that it needs a nap, and push it too far? Pretty soon, you've got an overlooked middle child who will demand your attention by killing the babysitter.

Kat

Don't get me wrong, it seems like the girl woman has some mad skills, and I don't just mean her mastodon art. It was just that all of her advice was so very, very eco-based. If this was an actual coworker of mine, I'd already be tired of listening her go on about the lessons she learned from her farm. 

I look forward to her showing off her policy expertise in the future. And I can't wait to see how she interacts with the rest of the staff.

Matt: Isn't she that crazy consultant lady who threw a chair and had some hysterical breakdown?
Elizabeth: You know, it's funny, isn't it? When...when a man reaches a certain breaking point and throws something, he's passionate, but when a woman reaches the same breaking point, she's hysterical and can't stand the pressure.

After Blake came out as bisexual on Madam Secretary Season 3 Episode 22, we didn't hear anything more on the subject. That's not a criticism of how the show or the network handled the story; the focus is supposed to be on diplomatic issues and it has arisen naturally since.

But with Ramirez's very public, very vocal stance on LGBTQ+ issues and Madam Secretary's history of integrating the actor's real lives into their characters, could that issue come up again? I hope so.

Because taking on contentious issues and the stories where the actors intimately connect to their characters make for the best moments of Madam Secretary. 

Elizabeth: Sixteen is too young. He's not ready. We need to have the talk.
Henry: We already did. We already talked to him.
Elizabeth: No, that was the kids version. We need to get the NC-17 version, with the warnings and the fear.

And now, for my weekly rant about Henry:

So apparently Henry is still working at the War College. I can't help but wonder when he finds time to teach classes when he's already busy with the CIA cover company, briefings in the Oval office, and meetings with the Gang of Eight. Oh, and let's not forget his field work!

In the course of executing his many professional roles that somehow still allow him to be the on-call parent who makes it home for dinner every night, Henry's discovered (another!) conspiracy. This is not at all surprising; the man stumbles across conspiracies daily.

I'm a little surprised (and disappointed) that the great betrayer isn't Henry's underling at the CIA cover. That made sense when we only knew about Nafisa's operation being compromised, but with a bigger betrayal, we're looking for a bigger betrayer. 

Unfortunately, I think we're better equipped to Mother Russia than Mother Nature.

Dalton

Obviously, Senator Jackass Morejon is a possibility. I doubt it though. He's just too obvious a suspect with his bad behavior earlier in the season. Besides, he has a stated goal, and treason doesn't really fit in with a Presidential run. 

Senator Carpenter is played by John Cullum, who is just well known enough to make me suspicious. If Carpenter's not a suspect, why cast a recognizable face?

The fact that I have warm associations with the actor (who played Mark Greene's father on ER and Holling on Northern Exposure) is a zero-sum consideration. He could be playing to type, or it could be a diabolical switch-a-roo.

Our final suspect is Congressman Baskin. Was his decision to deny Henry further funding just the move of a budget conscious representative, or a shrewd calculation to impede the investigation?

Elizabeth: Well, I think I found my exit plan.
Stevie: Yeah, you should totally write a memoir.
Elizabeth: No. Retiring on a farm. Raising animals, growing our own food.
Stevie: Mom, you do realize we already lived on a farm, right?

Dear Lord, I think I may actually be starting to care about the cockamamie arc! Well, I always did love a good puzzle. Until it's solved, I'll just have to hate the fact that I don't completely hate it. At least I can still scoff at the absurdity of Henry's many jobs.

I mean, how does he even manage the commutes? DC is absolute hell after all. 

Morejon and Carpenter are slated to appear on Madam Secretary Season 4 Episode 8, so maybe there will be progress in this ridiculous story. 

Henry: Well, you know, I thought I'd, just, do the basics, risk of pregnancy, STDs --
Elizabeth: Not letting yourself get pressured into anything you're not ready for, giving and getting consent.

But probably not. Elizabeth and her team will be dealing with an escaped Mexican cartel leader. It's possible that Henry could be brought in on that somehow -- not realistically possible, but possible in the sense that Henry somehow ends up involved in everything.

I'm more upset that there will be no movement on the Stevie/Dmitri front. That's the drama I'm looking forward too! How will Henry react? Will we all have to start calling him Alex? Forbidden love makes for such good TV. 

One last note before we go: I thought you all should know that champagne popsicles do exist, and you can make them at home! Sadly, I cannot help you with sourcing chestnuts for your own Thanksgiving dinner. 

Elizabeth: What's this?
Matt: Just a little something to celebrate the successful launch of the Permafrost Protection Project. I thought popsicles were appropriate than champagne.
Jay: Could've gotten champagne popsicles.
Matt: Does that exist?
Jay: If it doesn't, it should.

If you need to catch up or just want to escape to a world where the State Department still has a functioning staff and strives to find diplomatic solutions, you can watch Madam Secretary online.

Let us know what you thought of "North to the Future" in the comments section below! Was linking smallpox to global warming too far fetched for you? What will Russell think of Bess' new hire? Were you surprised by Jason's celibacy? We want to know!

North to the Future Review

Editor Rating: 3.7 / 5.0
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Rating: 4.7 / 5.0 (6 Votes)

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

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Madam Secretary Season 4 Episode 7 Quotes

Matt: Isn't she that crazy consultant lady who threw a chair and had some hysterical breakdown?
Elizabeth: You know, it's funny, isn't it? When...when a man reaches a certain breaking point and throws something, he's passionate, but when a woman reaches the same breaking point, she's hysterical and can't stand the pressure.

Elizabeth: Well, I think I found my exit plan.
Stevie: Yeah, you should totally write a memoir.
Elizabeth: No. Retiring on a farm. Raising animals, growing our own food.
Stevie: Mom, you do realize we already lived on a farm, right?