Madam Secretary Season 4 Episode 18 Review: The Friendship Game

at .

♫ Make new friends, but keep the old... ♫

Was I the only one humming the scouting tune to themselves during Madam Secretary Season 4 Episode 18? Henry and Elizabeth's search for new couple friends was completely endearing, if a little confusing.

Let's just retcon the scene from Madam Secretary Season 4 Episode 16 where Elizabeth was begging Henry not to make them befriend Piper's parents, shall we?

Matt Looks Happy - Madam Secretary

If only the retconning could stop there. Did anybody else feel like some episodes may have been aired out of filming order this season? 

Fingers crossed that's the case. I find it hard to believe the wonderful writers would be so sloppy on purpose. But there were just so many little things that felt off. 

Let's start with Captain Ronnie shall we? 

Related: Enjoy UNLIMITED access to thousands of Movies & TV Shows with Amazon Prime Video!

Even without all the clues that have been dropped that Matt is still in love with Daisy, we haven't heard about Ronnie since the dinner at Le Diplomat. Who knew they were even still dating?

And if they were, why in the hell was Matt running around pushing Daisy to adopt a dog and saying ridiculously sweet things to her like how he worries about her and Joanna? 

I'm getting whiplash watching this play out. 

Blake: Oh no. Family emergency?
Matt: Yeah. I'm, uh, almost thirty-five and still single.

However, I did enjoy his date. Strike that, I loved his date. I loved how Matt acted on his date. The whole thing was adorable and twee as hell.

Especially the part when Ryan showed up. Pretty sure most of us would have quietly slipped out of that date, not stayed and tried to fix someone else's relationship.

All while making borderline inappropriate quips. 

Couples Therapy - Madam Secretary Season 4 Episode 18

Matt may have decided to give it another go with Ronnie, but I'm not convinced it will work. 

Some of that is probably my stated bias for his relationship with Daisy, but it's also based in reality. Long distance relationship can work...but probably not ones that are as new as this one. 

That's a lot of pressure.

Related: Get CBS All Access via Amazon Prime Video Channels for Hit Shows, Exclusive Originals, & Live TV!

After trying to work out the timeline of Matt's relationships, dealing with the disaster of the week seemed easy. Presidents who kidnap their own citizens? Total breeze.

This was a really unique ethical dilemma to put Elizabeth and Dalton into. Err, well, Elizabeth anyway.

I can't help but wonder how much trouble she'll get into for not following POTUS' directive about keeping Tejeda's deception under wraps. 

Look, Jay, you have been around here long enough to know that this job is just one impossible situation after another. Sometimes we can't fix it, all we can do is take it.


I found it hard to flat out hate Tejeda because she had some really good points. What she did was despicable and stupid. But it obviously came from a place of concern for her country, not concern for her power. 

And Elizabeth's being swayed to out her because an American was among those taken didn't feel right either. For one thing, I doubt that Tejeda's people knew they were grabbing a US citizen. 

It's not like they would have needed to. The goal was to impress the Honduran people; it seems plausible that Olivia was just collateral damage in this poorly thought out wag the dog scheme.

So now the US is timid about meddling in our affairs? Por favor. How many elections has the US subverted in Latin America? How many coups and dictatorships have you backed?

President Tejeda

I'm afraid that Elizabeth will come to regret her decision to weigh in on the Honduran election. It's really a lose-lose situation. Either the anti-US knucklehead is elected, or she's ruined relations with Honduras. 

She really should have listened to Dalton and Russell. 

Speaking of Russell, where were his biting one liners? What the point of putting Zeljko Ivanek in the game if you won't let him play?

Matt: I know you think I'm a dreamer, but I'm a pragmatist.
Daisy: No. I think you're an idiot.

Not to mention that Stevie is still missing, and Kat was MIA again.

Sara Ramirez's absence may be because she had prior commitments arranged before she abruptly joined the cast last fall. Or maybe this is just another sign that filming is happening out of sequence.

Then again, Wallis Currie Wood has been a no show for several consecutive episodes, so maybe I'm just reading too much into things. 

Henry: I've got good news and bad news. Um, and I'm gonna tell you the bad news first. So I don't want you to freak out, okay?
Elizabeth: That never helps.

Stevie will be back soon, but first we have to find out exactly how much the Boroumands like the McCords.

They apparently trust our favorite couple enough to send Piper with the McCords to Montreal on Madam Secretary Season 4 Episode 19 ("Thin Ice"), but that trust is going to be shattered when a bomb goes off at the Polar Conference. 

Terrible things happen every single time they take their kids on diplomatic trips. I'm starting to think the educational experience isn't worth the risk. They're going to need a really big fruit basket this time. 

Fruit Basket - Madam Secretary Season 4 Episode 18

Besides worrying about her son and his girlfriend's safety, it turns out that Russia was in on the bombing...somehow. It always comes back to Russia in the end, doesn't it? 

Despite the fact that he doesn't have any ridiculous CIA concerns anymore, Henry isn't going to be much help to Elizabeth during this crisis. 

Professorial duty trumped a trip to the great white north, and Henry's got to help a student make a tough decision. I know wrangling teenagers sounds miserable, but based on past experiences, Henry needed to be on that trip. 

Elizabeth: We used to have a regular Cranium night with them!
Henry: You used to make people cry at Cranium.
Elizabeth: Look, it's not my fault I can still spell backwards after two drinks.

Did Matt make the right decision in chasing Ronnie down? What's your go to plan for a first date with another couple? Was President Tejeda's plan too convoluted or deviously brilliant? What blowback will Elizabeth face for outing her?

And most importantly: Now that Season 5 is confirmed, what will Elizabeth's decision about running for president be?

Related: CBS Renewals: Which Major Show Is Missing?

We want to know your opinions! Join the conversation in the comments section below!

You can watch watch Madam Secretary online with us anytime. 

The Friendship Game Review

Editor Rating: 3.7 / 5.0
  • 3.7 / 5.0
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
User Rating:

Rating: 4.4 / 5.0 (10 Votes)

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

Show Comments
Tags: ,

Madam Secretary Season 4 Episode 18 Quotes

Jay: President Tejadas is only up by two.
Blake: Over an ex-soccer player who hates America.
Matt: There is so much more to Maynor Fonsea that that. He's also semi-literate.

Elizabeth: We used to have a regular Cranium night with them!
Henry: You used to make people cry at Cranium.
Elizabeth: Look, it's not my fault I can still spell backwards after two drinks.