Elizabeth McCord (Tea Leoni) speaks at a charity event for the Society For Global Aid. Matt Mahoney (Geoffrey Arend) receives congratulations for writing the speech, before he is interrupted by an old school colleague, Zach (Frankie J. Alvarez). Zach offers to write a report on Matt. Elizabeth is stopped by Gary Coomer (Dennis Boutsikaris), who asks if she would help to stop mass suicides of a cult, which has taken up refuge in a foreign country. He shows a picture of his daughter, Christine (Libby Woodbridge), who has joined the cult. Gary shows her an email, which suggests all of the cult members are going to kill themselves, before Gary is rushed away. Meanwhile, Stevie (Wallis Currie-Wood) and her friends act like fools at work.
When she returns home, she explains the situation to her parents. Elizabeth and Henry (Tim Daly) instantly realize Stevie has developed a crush for one of her co-workers, but Stevie refuses to give up details. Liz questions Henry about the religious group, The Covenant of John. Henry agrees to look into it, before giving Liz her anti-anxiety meds. At work, Liz is briefed regarding Reverend Wesley Finch (Glenn Fitzgerald), who heads the cult, which has taken up in Bolivia. They discover the group is going to commit mass suicide on next Thursday, since they believe it to be the end date. They express their concerns working with Bolivia, since the DEA wrecked their relationship with the government’s country.
Liz insists speaking with Congressman Larry Ames (Brennan Brown) since he is causing a stir about the cult. When she finally gets alone, she contemplates taking her medication, but resists. Liz speaks to Ames, who sent Coomer after her. The pair argue a little, before Liz tells him to stay away and let her do her job. Next, Liz speaks to the Bolivian Ambassador, Mariana Dominguez (Selenis Leyva, Orange is the New Black). Mariana insists Liz is attempting to interfere with religious worship, before complaining about the DEA. Liz insists in helping, but allowing the Bolivian government take the credit for stopping the mass suicide. Mariana isn’t impressed and suggests showing more of a threat, before the Bolivian government can help.
Elizabeth tasks her team with preventing Ames from traveling to Bolivia and discovering more information to get their government back in good graces with Bolivia. Stevie’s male friend, Arthur Gilroy (Josh Hamilton) comes over and surprises her, which forces him to introduce himself to Liz and Henry. Her parents instantly begin second guessing her choice. Arthur is forced to explain his situation and reveals he has a daughter, before getting into his micro-loans discovery. Meanwhile, Matt gives an interview to Zach, who convinces him he could be the next big political commentator.
Back at home, Henry and Arthur argue over the micro-loan programs. Arthur finds an escape, before Henry and Liz pretend to be supportive to Stevie. Next, Matt heads to work wearing sunglasses and instantly gets shut down by Daisy. Mike B calls Matt into the office and attempts to straighten him out. Mike insists Matt needs to get back into the shadows, before he leaves angrily. Jay tells Liz that Ames went to the compound in Bolivia and is now being held hostage by the cult. The group discusses the cult, which is armed and has been stockpiling poison. Russell Jackson arrives and makes the situation even worse, before insisting they’re turning it over to the Department of Defense. Liz begs for 24 hours to work her magic, but Russell refuses.
Liz receives a visit from Coomer, who gives her a necklace, which belonged to his wife. Elizabeth asks Henry how they can avoid another Waco. She suggests Henry speak to the Reverend. Afterwards, she attempts to sell her plan to the president. Russell seems to side with her. The President contemplates sending Henry to Bolivia. Next, Henry prepares to ship out to Apolo, Bolivia. With snipers in place, Henry approaches the compound, which is padlocked shut. Christine introduces herself and invites Henry inside. Henry is forced to go inside alone. Henry is introduced to Wesley and the pair instantly being questioning one another’s religious beliefs.
Henry tells about his childhood friend, who drowned. He explains about his priest, who told him about God going silent from time to time. Henry winds up being served tea, while they continue their conservation. Jeff grabs Henry and complains about Henry’s attempt to get the gate open. Henry reverse the roles and disarms Jeff, before the sniper shoots him. The pair end up praying for Jeff, before Christine enters and panics. She runs out and triggers chaos. Henry attempts to talk to Wesley, but he insists it is too late and pulls out a gun.
Ames is rescued, but Henry’s condition is unknown. Finally, Henry emerges and is escorted out of the compound. Coomer waits for his daughter, while Ames returns and Henry makes it back to Elizabeth. Henry seems depressed, since 37 individuals died. Henry explains that Christine didn’t make it out, before Liz breaks the news to Coomer. He learns about her suicide and refuses to accept the necklace back. Stevie and Henry discuss Stevie’s professor and Henry’s trip to Bolivia. The pair end up fighting over Stevie’s relationship, before she insists she might even love Arthur and runs out. Elizabeth enters and tells Henry he might need to let Stevie make her own choices, before the episode ends.
This was certainly a different type of Madam Secretary, with a unique plot. Although it was somewhat cliche, when compared to historical cults, it was interested nonetheless. The arguments with the McCord family and Arthur helped to make the episode compelling. While the cult aspect was intriguing, it is always the family environment of the show that makes it thrive. All in all, a decent episode, which deserves a 7 out of 10.