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Henry leaves his position as Chair of the Ethics Department at the War College to become Dalton's Presidential Ethics Advisor. 

After the White House bombing, Daisy struggles with anxiety about the world she is raising Joanna in. A visit from some Texas school kids (and their teacher nun) helps her reset her perspective. She gives them a motivational speech that is still based in realism, then surprises them with a visit from Dalton in Elizabeth's office. 

Mike B wants Elizabeth to start focusing on her presidential run and defining her candidacy. He helps a woman that she meets white at the courthouse for jury duty win her misdemeanor case, which inspires Elizabeth to choose criminal justice reform as the central plank of her domestic platform. 

Elizabeth wants to leverage a tragic fire at an illegal Chinese sweatshop in Italy to restart a global free and fair trade initiative. Her efforts are hampered by the Chinese, who are preparing for a party meeting in which a new president may be nominated. Chen needs to toe the party line in order to help his chances of selection, including defending the tariffs put in place as a reaction to Elizabeth's call for a WTO investigation. Even though he is able to explain the situation to Elizabeth upon her arrival in Milan, she still pushes for China to join the initiative, pulling a stunt with an empty chair when they refuse. Current President Li announces that he will appoint himself as president for the next five-year term. China agrees to sign on the agreement, so long as there are changes to certain passages they object to the language of. Chen is clearly upset at Li's announcement but takes the news stoically, insisting to his aide that they will continue to serve China. In an act of rebellion, he disobeys orders and visits the site of the factory fire and lays a wreath in remembrance of the lives lost there. 

Madam Secretary
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Madam Secretary Season 5 Episode 3 Quotes

I mean, a bunch of white guys were so enraged by the prospect of making space for someone like my daughter, like me, they would literally rather blow up the White House, rather destroy the country than share it. And also I can give you the names of at least five unarmed black people who have been killed by the police in the last six months. Just driving along and get pulled over and, boom, that's it.


Elizabeth: We know how this works -- once we respond, China escalates and so on until the both of us go over an economic cliff, probably taking the rest of the world with us.
Russell: A few months of being locked out the Chinese markets and many of our pork producers, soybean farmers, they could go under.