This episode of Madam Secretary starts us off in the Sea of Okhotsk and a Russian Submarine. The Captain (Jack Dimich) enters and gives the crew new orders. All of the crew members seem worried, before we jump to Henry and Elizabeth. Henry rushes to get his stuff together for a trip to Mother Russia. Stevie (Wallis Currie-Wood) and her boyfriend, Arthur, stroll down the street. The pair discover a picture of Harrison and Stevie, which was posted to Alison’s Instagram account. When she returns home, she belittles Alison (Katherine Herzer). At work, Elizabeth (Tea Leoni) learns about the Russian submarine, which is very close to the northern border or America.
Blake interrupts and sends Liz towards the situation room. Russell (Zeljko Ivanek) lets her know that the Russian submarine has entered American waters. Meanwhile, Henry arrives in Russia, where he meets with Russian Foreign Minister Anton Gorev (Yorgo Constantine). The Russian president introduces himself to Henry, during his speech. The pair agree to go hunting together, before we jump back to the situation room. They discover that the submarine is completely invisible to all sonar and satellite imaging systems. Nadine and crew are tasked with clearing her schedule, so Liz can speak with Anton.
Anton insists the Americans end their Nato expansion and they’ll call back their submarine. Anton informs her of Henry’s hunting trip, which gives her a little concern. Meanwhile, Henry and the Russian President hike through the woods and Henry is given a lesson from the President, who kills a bird. Elizabeth receives a reassuring phone call from Henry, before she is forced to rejoin the situation room. The US President gives the order to move a fleet close to the Russian border for posturing.
Daisy is pulled aside by Blake, who shows her the picture of Stevie and Harrison, before she gets a call from Stevie. In the situation room, the group discuss the motives of the Russians and the potential of sinking their submarine. Meanwhile, Elizabeth gives a speech for Helzinger, who knows all about the Russians. It appears Liz decides to use the man’s knowledge to her advantage, before he officially retires. The pair insists the submarine isn’t doing what it is supposed to be doing. Meanwhile, Henry joins the Russian officials at the monastery and ticks everyone off.
Meanwhile, Daisy attempts to rectify the photo problem. She learns about Stevie’s relationship with Arthur and insists it is a terrible situation and Stevie must end it. Meanwhile, the Americans drop bombs on the Submarine, which counterattacks the Kirkland. Elizabeth attempts to convince the President to avoid attacking the submarine any further. She insists chatting with the submarine, without the Russian President knowing. As it turns out, the submarine is seeking help, before Stevie gets ambushed by the paparazzi on a dirt bike.
Stevie meets up with Arthur and tells him she is quitting their relationship, in order to keep him safe. Meanwhile, the situation room speaks to the Russian submarine, which updates them on the situation. As it turns out, they only have a few hours of oxygen left and need help. Liz recommends using Henry to speak to the Russian president, in order to get the submarine crew the help they need. Henry convinces the Russian President to make contact with Conrad. Russell informs Elizabeth and Conrad of the rescue of 20 Russians, who will be given citizenship in the United States.
Afterwards, Liz gives Helzinger his gift and questions him about his future. He tells Liz he thinks she is the one for the job. When she returns home, Liz apologizes to Stevie and insists she did the right thing.
All in all, the episode wasn’t bad, although it was slightly anti-climatic. At this point, its beginning to feel like 22 episodes a season is a bad idea. Instead of forcing long seasons, shows could toss everything into 8, 10 or even 12 episodes. The longer seasons are also flawed with gaps in-between. Still, the episode wasn’t terrible, but the Russian President sure wasn’t as charismatic as Vladimir Putin. A 6.5 out of 10 is probably generous.