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Recap

Blake has been working on an energy policy project with Kat and is upset to find out that in order to please the sponsor of their project, they'll have to make policy concessions. 

Elizabeth heads to Montreal with Piper and Jason in tow. Piper is supposed to be interviewing an activist boycotting the Arctic Council conference Elizabeth is attending. The Chinese Foreign Minister shows up at the conference and announces that China has declared themselves a "near-Arctic" country, which is a ridiculous attempt to gain a seat on the Arctic Council. The Council has just agreed to a (secret) third party survey of the Arctic geography by the UN in order to resolve boundary disputes when  bomb goes off at the protest.

Elizabeth frantically tries to find the teens. She's so relieved when she finds them in Piper's hotel room that it takes her a moment to register what's going on -- the love birds were clearly planning to have sex for the first time. Once she clues in, Elizabeth is furious at Jason for betraying her trust and disappointed in Piper. 

After being interrupted in Montreal, Piper ghosts Jason. He's reluctant to accept any punishment, trying to get out of trouble by saying that nothing even happened between them and then trying to play the "we could have died" card. Henry and Elizabeth aren't having it and make him own up to his mistakes, although they do have sympathy for his hurt over Piper's abandonment. Stevie is who he turns to when the break up is official though, and she gives him some very good big sister advice -- sometimes you just have to wallow in the pain for it to get better. 

The CIA and Canadian Intelligence is able to race the bombing back to the Russians, who had infiltrated the Climate Defense Fund NGO for over a year. Jay stays behind to make sure that their president, the activist Piper was supposed to interview, is treated fairly and released from custody. But her apology after her release becomes another attack on coal, oil, and gas. This outrages the financial backer of the energy project, who pulls out completely when Elizabeth doesn't bend to his demands. 

Meanwhile, the Russians have taken the opportunity afforded by the chaos of the bombing to move their nuclear powered ships into US territory, staging an occupation. The US doesn't have any ice breakers nearby to help naval ships counter the Russian move and are forced to ask the Chinese to send one of their "research" vessels for assistance. The Chinese demand that they be admitted to the Arctic Council in exchange or their aid. There's a close call where Dalton has to consider firing on the Russian vessel, but they eventually change course. Elizabeth points out that the naval forces were at an extreme disadvantage because of the lack of an efficient power source, and convinces Dalton to revisit nuclear energy policy. 

The team contacts the activist at CDF and convinces her to sponsor the energy project instead. She's not thrilled about the promotion of nuclear power because it will anger some of her donors, but the team convinces her that a zero carbon future is impossible without nuclear. 

Also, Henry's student Andrew Hill (son of NSA Ellen Hill) starts to have doubts about his military career. He intentionally plagiarizes from a former student of Henry's in an attempt to be court martialed, but Henry figures out his ploy. He talks to the younger man and encourages him to take a different route to exit the military, and eventually Andrew applies to be 1-A-O, a conscientious objector. His mother is upset and tries to get Henry to talk him out of it, but eventually comes around and lends her son her support. 

Show:
Madam Secretary
Season:
Episode Number:
19

Madam Secretary Season 4 Episode 19 Quotes

Chip: With no drilling, there's no gas. With no gas, there's no future.
Elizabeth: Your company has been saying that for thirty years, Chip, and it is as false now as it was then.
Chip: Yeah, well, the money's just as green.

Elizabeth: She just wanted their first time to be special and romantic, and I guess Jason went along with the plan, right down to Luther Vandross and chocolate covered strawberries
Henry: It's like they wanted to have sex in the 80s.