Madam Secretary, Elizabeth McCord (Tea Leoni), is scheduled for her first trip aboard, as Secretary of State. As the show opens, her team is discussing her possible destinations. The relationship between Daisy (Patina Miller) and Matt (Geoffrey Arend) seems to be picking up. Elizabeth enters and declares they’re going to Turkey.
As Elizabeth and Henry (Tim Daly) get cozy, Matt and Daisy’s relationship takes a turn for the worse. Of course, Henry ruins Elizabeth’s plans to turn the trip into a family affair. It seems that Matt’s background isn’t clear, since he has a bench warrant for a speeding ticket, and won’t be able to get a password in time to visit Turkey.
Elizabeth visits the President, on the green and is told that Turkey isn’t such a good idea. Business tycoon, Ted Graham (John Shea), seems to be pressuring the president to send Liz to India. President Conrad Dalton (Keith Carradine) is keen on sending Elizabeth to India, while leaving the option up to her. However, she has little choice in the decision.
Elizabeth, Jason (Evan Roe) and Alison (Kathrine Herzer) are all going to India, while Henry and Stephanie stay in Washington. Outside of a coffee shop, Stephanie (Wallis Currie-Wood) has a run in with her father, who is having a lunch, with a mysterious woman. This could very well be a page out of the history books.
At the chemical plant, Elizabeth begins making her speech, which was written by Scott (Corey Cott). She mentions that America hopes to become partners in profit, with India. Liz isn’t sure what to think about her Indian counterpart, Foreign Minister Chondita Samant (Sakina Jaffrey).
Back in Washington, Daisy and Matt share a dinner date. They spot a waste Stephanie inside the restaurant and argue other whether or not to take her home. Matt leaves Daisy to deal with the situation. Daisy approaches Steph, who is only interested in another wine. Of course, Daisy orders her a black coffee.
Back in India, Chondita and Elizabeth begin discussing the matters at hand. They do not see eye-to-eye about the situation. Of course, they connect and share a drink. The Indian boy and Alison go off to see peacocks. Back in Washington, Stephanie is opening up to Daisy, about her potentially cheating father. Stephanie explains that her father is supposed to be researching for his book, but hasn’t checked the archives in weeks, which increases her suspicions.
Back in India, Jason explains to Liz about Alison going off to check out the peacocks with some stranger, as a full blown earthquake erupts. As the show returns, we’re in the aftermath of the accident. Scott begins explaining that a large number of innocents could be dead. Finally, Alison rushes in and hugs Alison. Back in Washington, Matt and Daisy begin discussing Henry’s possible infidelity. Matt suggests keeping it a secret.
Liz sends the kids back home. Matt and Daisy discuss the support that is being sent to the region. Matt complains about having to do Scott’s work. Before ending the conference call, Liz says that she is flying out tonight and will be back in DC tomorrow. Back at the McCord house, everyone is back, aside from Liz. Alison seems shook up by the situation, while Jason doesn’t seem to care. On the other hand, Stevie is upset with her father and verbal spars, with him.
Henry makes a call to Liz and explains that the kids are fine. He prepares to tell her something important, when Nadine begins reading some important information, regarding a chemical spill, at one of the plants. It is explained that 4,000 are dead. Nadine explains that the Hotshots need to treat the area immediately to get the fire out and the leak plugged. While the team begins blaming everyone, Liz focuses on getting the fire put out, before rushing to judgement.
Nadine continues explaining that the Hotshots should be sent to the region to help with the clean up. Matt and Scott being arguing over responsibilities, while Liz shares a video conference with Chondita. Chondita beings to explain that the chemical spill is a sign to keep India away from American influence. Chondita explains that India is refusing to accept help from America.
When the show returns, Liz is in a meeting with the President and Ted begin discussing the possibility of setting up a victim’s relief fund. Ted explains that his plants were up to India’s standards. Of course, Liz says that Ted could have made the plants much safer at a cheap price. Conrad makes Liz leave to sort out of the problem.
Matt begins questioning Liz about Scott’s responsibilities. Liz explains that she didn’t help Matt out with the passport, in order to test out Scott’s skills. She explains that Scott is more motivated and serious about the work. Matt is left with a deflated face. Nadine is still interested in hiring the hotshots and mentions getting them in with the help of Graham. Of course, Liz knows that Graham won’t help their cause.
Liz explains that no spin will cover up the fact that she was seen on the same platform, as Ted, minutes before the explosion. Daisy explains to Liz that Henry could potentially be having an affair. Of course, she explains the situation, as a source and admits to having no facts. Liz gets upset by the accusation and belittles Daisy for her relationship with Matt. Liz attempts to call Henry, but doesn’t get an answer.
Back at the McCord home, Liz directly questions Henry about the affair. Henry immediately answers and denies the affair. By using her female instincts, Liz is capable of knowing that something is definitely wrong with Henry’s story. Finally, Henry admits to working for the NSA again. He says that the young woman, who he was seen with, was his handler. He is supposedly working on a case with a religious scholar. That seemed a little too easy honestly.
Attempting to prove his worth, Matt writes a speech for Liz. The speech requires Liz to apologize for visiting the plant, without investigating the standards. Matt explains that the speech will give Liz enough time to explain that India is blocking American aid. Finally, Matt seems to be back in Liz’s good graces. Daisy apologizes for being unprofessional earlier and Liz says that she’ll need Daisy to help her make it through Matt’s speech, before walking into the room and presenting her speech.
The President celebrates with Liz and congratulates her on the speech. It is revealed that India is lighting up Twitter to demand the Hotshots’ aid. Ted is finally forced to admit to his mistakes and is forced to step down as CEO.
Alison and Sanjay (Shiva, Chopra) continue texting back at forth. Henry tries to relieve Alison of her guilt for being at home in a safe place. Matt shows up at Daisy’s apartment. She begins questioning his presence and he mentions that he has nobody to share his success with. He admits to doing everything easy in life, before strongly coming onto Daisy. Daisy says that she was proposed to tonight and she accepted. Matt feels that is in a nightmare and Daisy admits to feeling bad for Matt, which we do too.
Henry is finally back working on his book. He admits to lying about them moving up his deadline. Liz begins questioning his work with the NSA. Henry declares that this is the life that the pair signed up for and Liz agrees. The two come up with a plan to deal with Stevie and her suspicions. Liz declares that she needs to hear about it from her.
Liz approaches Stevie and tells her that Henry isn’t cheating. Of course, Stevie isn’t so convinced and believes that Liz is naive. Stevie gets grounded for two weeks. Finally, she hugs Liz and says that she is glad that her dad isn’t cheating. Of course, Liz sticks firm with the grounding.
This was quite possibly the best episode yet for Madam Secretary. Much of the episode’s success had to do with it focusing on the family aspect of the show. This is where the show truly shines. The cheating aspect was definitely suspenseful and still leaves some questions open. Are we to really take Henry for his word? I am not so sure that he can be trusted. However, we’ll have to give him the benefit of the doubt for the time being. Will Stevie let her suspicions die so easily?
Matt finally stepped up his game at work and with Daisy. Of course, the latter backfired badly, which was slightly depressing to see. Still, it’ll be interesting to see where this leads in future episodes. It is likely that Scott and Matt will continue to battle it out for awhile to come and it’ll be interesting to see who comes out on top. Overall, this was a solid episode and worthy of an 8 out of 10.