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S04.E09: Minefield

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Secretary of State McCord reluctantly agrees to host a holiday party in the hopes of persuading senators in attendance to pass a treaty that requires countries to destroy landmines. Also, Henry tries to find evidence that the Senate Majority Leader exchanged information with the Russians.

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So Bess is going to do her best to hold Russia accountable for their actions?  Uh, that's what countries do to each other.  Madam Secretary, don't think for a moment that the CIA isn't trying it's hardest to infiltrate the Russian government, too.

While Team Henry was surveilling in the park, there was a dark banner across the top of my tv, as though they were trying to shroud something.  Anyone else see this, or was it even connected to the storyline?

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2 hours ago, Dowel Jones said:

While Team Henry was surveilling in the park, there was a dark banner across the top of my tv, as though they were trying to shroud something.  Anyone else see this, or was it even connected to the storyline?

I watched online and didn't notice anything.

 

I actually loved this episode (overall, and apart from Henry, I think the episodes are a lot better again than they were during the second half of last season) I liked the pace it moved at and the intensity and the humor and the Henry bits were short enough. Although, sending him along to be in the van for the search was probably the stupidest idea anyone working in intelligence could have had. He wasn't essential to the search, Bess could have easily called the FBI agent and told him that she was a CIA analyst for 20 years, and that reading people was her job. Henry wasn't needed to tell anyone that he trusted her and it would have been a lot less suspicious to have him at the party. Keep things as normal as possible.

While the acting was great, I could have done without the Stevie-Dmitri scene. With so many minutes hitting the cutting room floor, I would have preferred to fill that with some more Bess-goodness!

But that's about it with the bits I didn't like.

Even if it was what got the Majority Leader to confess, I thought that Henry barging in and asking the Senator how he could live with himself and if it was worth it was realistic. Henry still hasn't gotten over Dmitri, so it would be a question that would probably weigh heavily on his mind. I was expecting the Majority Leader to have a heart attack at any moment though, so I'm glad he didn't.

I'm glad Jason didn't mess up the party. For a second, I wondered if maybe he will cause some controversy. I wonder why they showed Paige but not him but maybe the Evan Roe just wasn't available.

So, so many things that I loved about all the scenes involving Bess. I thought Tea Leoni outdid herself with all of the facial expressions. There were so many of them in this episodes for so many reasons.

I loved the beginning and her reaction to Russell asking and saying please. Blake was great, too! And I also loved how she and Conrad were set-up in the Oval when they were discussing landmines. They could have discussed their holiday plans from the looks of it. It was a great portrayal of how they're at ease with their jobs and that they've known each other for a long time.

I love Mike B, so it was great to see him again. I also loved all of his reactions to Bess' actions.

I'm a bit torn on Stevie yelling at Bess. On the one hand, Bess is her mother, on the other hand, this was official business and it wasn't easy for Stevie and Bess was making it even harder and Stevie was there on behalf of Russell. So, I think I'm good with how it all went down. On a shallow note: I loved Stevie's hair for the party! And another thing I loved is how Stevie showed up at the State Department and Bess realized that Russell had sent her over to plan the party.

Yeah for seeing the Sec of Def again. Interesting that they've kept him on. They've had so many different AG's throughout the show and now it's a new administration, so it's a welcome surprise to see a familiar face. Another scene that I liked.

I thought it was a given that Bess would get the votes (although, I did wonder for a second or two at a point or two) but I liked the turns the episode took along the way. It was a toss-up whether or not what Bess was doing would alienate potential donors or that she would inadvertently end up impressing them. I guess that it ended up being the latter suggests that they're preparing for a potential end after season 4? I'm still hoping for more but either way, I think we all know that the show isn't going to run for another three seasons after this one, so it would definitely be a possibility for them to end the show before Conrad's term is up. But now I want a scene between Conrad and Bess in which Conrad is trying to convince her. I have a hard time imagining that she wouldn't be at least bit tempted if she thought about it. After all, she said that she did want a shot at the Vice Presidency.

I wonder how it would work though. Bess stated that she isn't a member of either party, Conrad's now an Independent and, as we've learned, his party wasn't happy about it. Would they let Bess run as an Independent? I have a hard time seeing that. (If they went this route, Jay actually would get his shot at a WH job. Since I like him, I would love to see it. With everything he's gone through, I think he deserves it)

Anyway, I kind of like the idea that Bess running for President and then becoming President would be that Henry would finally have to give up his SuperHero status. Too bad we won't be seeing it  ;-) (On a side note, I actually think he'd make a great First Gentleman).

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5 hours ago, bros402 said:

Way too much Dr. Sergeant Secret Agent Professor McCord.

Sergeant?  Are you kidding?  You mean Commodore-General, don't you?  My question is, why hasn't he been given a knighthood yet?  It should be Dr. Commodore-General Secret Agent Professor Henry McCord, Knight Commander of The Most Noble Order of the Garter.

5 hours ago, Dowel Jones said:

Uh, that's what countries do to each other.

Sure.  And when they get caught, they have to take their licks.

2 hours ago, CheshireCat said:

Although, sending him along to be in the van for the search was probably the stupidest idea anyone working in intelligence could have had.

Just be glad you didn't have to see him in his ninja-outfit, poking around in the man's house himself, with a flashlight between his teeth.  When confronted, I thought that Senator Aldrich Fuchs was far too quick with the "O!  What have I done?"  boohoo-ing.  That was jarringly unrealistic.  But I suppose when Sir Henry tells you you've been a naughty boy, you immediately confess to high treason and accept your death-penalty fate.

I can't help wonder about the two FBI 'joggers' who ruined the surveillance operation.  Why didn't somebody's head roll for that?

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The directing and camera work deserve awards for this episode, because it can't be coincidental that all the actors reactions were universally spot-on.

3 hours ago, CheshireCat said:

Although, sending him [Henry] along to be in the van for the search was probably the stupidest idea anyone working in intelligence could have had.

That took me entirely out of the story. It would have been so much better to have Henry performing his Arm Candy duties at the par-tay. Bess and Henry could have had a Cute Couple moment while she passed along her spider-spy sense of something being up with the traitor's son. Then Henry could have done a holiday product placement bit by passing along the info a la Dick Tracy via his Apple iWatch.

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Stevie is right: Bess did look Presidential. And Stevie did a great job with the party. Her moments of competence are growing closer together. (Though her lousy judgment is still right there...I'm lookin' at YOU Stemitri.)

The way the baseball scene and aftermath played out with Senator Asshole was excellent. Both of them really did put aside their differences to work together, and both walked away with more knowledge of the other as a person. That's TWICE Elizabeth has told the senator something he could use (and he used it.) 

Also, Mike B. was SO JEALOUS of Sara Ramirez. But Gordon liked her! 

Great to see Patina Miller back (albeit concealed behind a piano.) And any time the 7th Floor singers show up is okay with me. (Such beautiful voices. I wish Nadine had made a flying visit.)

So I guess Beau, the senator played by John Cullum is not just going to resign, but probably going to federal prison. AND, we got an appearance from the Chinese foreign minister. 

Also: landmine treaty signed. 

Nice one.

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1 hour ago, kwnyc said:

(Though her lousy judgment is still right there...I'm lookin' at YOU Stemitri.)

I would have had a great, hearty laugh if Stevie had left to confer with Javi (as she said), and then, 10 minutes later, Javi walked into the house and said to Bess; "I need to talk with Stevie about the party."  Bess:  "STEVIE!!!!"

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3 hours ago, kwnyc said:

Great to see Patina Miller back (albeit concealed behind a piano.) And any time the 7th Floor singers show up is okay with me. (Such beautiful voices.

I couldn't hear very well on my iPad without my headphones on, but there was a really nice jazzy number. Anyone* catch what it was?

*Where is everyone? Has Stemitri driven away all the viewers?

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I didn't have time to watch this one until today, but I thought it was a good episode. I'm still cringing at Stevie/Dmitri, and fear this is the time they'll finally kill him off, just to give Stevie and Henry some major grieving to emote. Argh.

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I'm a bit torn on Stevie yelling at Bess. On the one hand, Bess is her mother, on the other hand, this was official business and it wasn't easy for Stevie and Bess was making it even harder and Stevie was there on behalf of Russell. So, I think I'm good with how it all went down.

I was fine with her yelling. She waited until they were alone and then confronted her, rather than doing it in front of Elizabeth's staff (which would have been far more unprofessional). Instead, she did it in private, and made great points that were necessary for Elizabeth to hear. I think she really impressed her mom - Elizabeth looked like she saw her daughter in a new, more grown-up light. That's pretty cool.

And the scene where Elizabeth realizes Russell sent her daughter to plan the party was hilarious. Nice touch.

Yay for Blake, Jay and Daisy singing at the holiday party, and LOL at Matt: "You know, I can actually sing too..." Allison's "Sorry, man" pat on the shoulder in response was funny, too.

I also cracked up at Jason's gleeful "What should *I* do at the party?" Perfect teasing sibling response, knowing full well she'd tell him to behave. Actually, I expected Stevie to tell him to stay upstairs for the night. Heh.

I liked Elizabeth and Carlos coming to an agreement, it was fun seeing Mike B. return (and with his dog, who apparently likes Kat better, ha), and I always love seeing Chinese Foreign Minister Chen, so this episode had a great mix of characters and stuff going on. Yay.

The only thing that didn't work for me was this...

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When confronted, I thought that Senator Aldrich Fuchs was far too quick with the "O!  What have I done?"  boohoo-ing.  That was jarringly unrealistic.

Seriously. The man commits treason and he's okay with it until Henry points out what he's done? He seriously never thought about those ramifications before Henry pointed them out? Come on.

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1 hour ago, sinkwriter said:

I didn't have time to watch this one until today, but I thought it was a good episode. I'm still cringing at Stevie/Dmitri, and fear this is the time they'll finally kill him off, just to give Stevie and Henry some major grieving to emote. Argh.

Somehow, I can't see it. I'm expecting some huge drama either when Henry realizes they're dating or when Stevie finds out that Dmitri is not who he says he is. Something like that. And if she's going to get all righteous like her father tends to do, I'm going to kick her. She was pursuing him even though he had told her they shouldn't date and she wasn't going to let him off the hook. This is on her.

 

1 hour ago, sinkwriter said:

I was fine with her yelling. She waited until they were alone and then confronted her, rather than doing it in front of Elizabeth's staff (which would have been far more unprofessional). Instead, she did it in private, and made great points that were necessary for Elizabeth to hear.

Definitely.

 

1 hour ago, sinkwriter said:

I think she really impressed her mom - Elizabeth looked like she saw her daughter in a new, more grown-up light. That's pretty cool.

That's what I thought, too. That Bess saw her as a professional and that's why she shut up when Stevie was done and didn't push back.

 

1 hour ago, sinkwriter said:

And the scene where Elizabeth realizes Russell sent her daughter to plan the party was hilarious. Nice touch.

Yay for Blake, Jay and Daisy singing at the holiday party, and LOL at Matt: "You know, I can actually sing too..."

Oh, so that's what he was saying.

 

1 hour ago, sinkwriter said:

Allison's "Sorry, man" pat on the shoulder in response was funny, too.

I also cracked up at Jason's gleeful "What should *I* do at the party?" Perfect teasing sibling response, knowing full well she'd tell him to behave. Actually, I expected Stevie to tell him to stay upstairs for the night. Heh.

I thought she'd tell him to spend the night at a friend's house.

 

1 hour ago, sinkwriter said:

Seriously. The man commits treason and he's okay with it until Henry points out what he's done? He seriously never thought about those ramifications before Henry pointed them out? Come on.

I don't think that he was okay with it. Judging from what Russell mentioned about him, I could imagine that it would be something that has been weighing on the Senator's mind ever since he started. I think he thought he was doing it for the right reasons and then it all spiraled out of his control. I don't see him as a calculated operative or anything, just someone who took a wrong turn somewhere and then didn't know how to make it right again without making a huge mess of things. I think what Henry's rant did was make him realize that it was all over anyway and I also think that what Henry said were questions/doubts that might have been nagging at his subconscience anyway.

 

7 hours ago, kwnyc said:

The way the baseball scene and aftermath played out with Senator Asshole was excellent. Both of them really did put aside their differences to work together, and both walked away with more knowledge of the other as a person. That's TWICE Elizabeth has told the senator something he could use (and he used it.) 

She's kind of rooting for him to run for President, isn't she?

I'm trying to figure out where they're going with him and I can't. I don't want to like him but I'm starting to. So, will they turn him into an ally or will he screw up majorly? I have a hard time imagining that they're setting him up to run against Bess as I don't think we'd see a potential campaign. If they go that route, I think the show would end with Bess resigning and/or announcing her candidacy (and hopefully an "epilogue" ;-)) Do we know if he's from the opposite party that used to be Conrad's? I think he might be since Russell wasn't complaining about him trying to stab Conrad in the back during Bess' and his first encounter in Season 2.

 

7 hours ago, kwnyc said:

Also, Mike B. was SO JEALOUS of Sara Ramirez. But Gordon liked her! 

I wondered if he might have been sulking a bit, too, because Bess didn't consult him on the decision about who to make Chief of Staff and policy advisor. In any case, he seemed a bit grumpy at times, but in a nice way.

And speaking of Ramirez, I liked that they toned down her character a bit but are still keeping her enthusiastic personality.

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6 minutes ago, CheshireCat said:

I'm expecting some huge drama either when Henry realizes they're dating or when Stevie finds out that Dmitri is not who he says he is.

"You LIED to me!!"

Well, yes, but there are times you lie to your new girlfriend.  Like when you are in the CIA and operating under a cover identity!

14 minutes ago, CheshireCat said:

I'm trying to figure out where they're going with him and I can't.

I agree.  It's like they are now trying to sanitize him!

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3 hours ago, Netfoot said:

I agree.  It's like they are now trying to sanitize him!

I'm not sure that they are. Personally, I would prefer him as foe and a take-down à la Craig Sterling happening because of his attitude about immigrants. I hate when people who have taken advantage of a system then don't think anyone else deserves the same chance and I want this to come back to bite him. Hard.

I don't think a take-down is happening though. But I also don't think he's going to be an ally per se. Right now, I think that they're going to leave him as he is, for whatever purpose. When they were talking at the Christmas Party and Bess was saying that voters know he's tough but that they don't know if he has a soul, I wondered if she's inadvertently going to guide towards being a great presidential candidate but given who's in charge of the show, I can't really see them going with him being a candidate over Bess. That's why I'm wondering if he's going to be an opponent but, as I said before, I don't think we'd see that so it wouldn't make sense. So, it's all very confusing.

That said, as much as I don't want to like him, I did like what they did with him in the episode from a character development point of view and also from a realistic point of view. Sometimes people aren't just black and white and they need a push. And as much as I don't want to like him, I would like if he and Bess developed a working relationship based on respect for each other. It seemed like this episode was a start.

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7 minutes ago, CheshireCat said:

I want this to come back to bite him. Hard.

Me too.  But after several episodes wherein he was portrayed as a bit of a dick, all of a sudden he is reasonable and cooperative.  I wonder if this is an indication that perhaps he won't get the serious smackdown I want to see him receive.

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I don't think that he was okay with it. Judging from what Russell mentioned about him, I could imagine that it would be something that has been weighing on the Senator's mind ever since he started. I think he thought he was doing it for the right reasons and then it all spiraled out of his control. I don't see him as a calculated operative or anything, just someone who took a wrong turn somewhere and then didn't know how to make it right again without making a huge mess of things.

You may be right about this. In fact, there was a moment at the party, when Elizabeth and Carlos had cornered the Senate Majority Leader... I can't remember what Elizabeth said to him, maybe it was the part about their kids, but he seemed particularly thought-filled after that. In that moment, it made me wonder if Elizabeth might inadvertently convince him to come clean or eventually turn himself in. (And then Henry's "righteous" speech wouldn't have been needed.)

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30 minutes ago, sinkwriter said:

You may be right about this. In fact, there was a moment at the party, when Elizabeth and Carlos had cornered the Senate Majority Leader... I can't remember what Elizabeth said to him, maybe it was the part about their kids, but he seemed particularly thought-filled after that. In that moment, it made me wonder if Elizabeth might inadvertently convince him to come clean or eventually turn himself in. (And then Henry's "righteous" speech wouldn't have been needed.)

That would have been interesting but I think they would have needed more time for that. I would also imagine that he has been at the brink of coming clean before but the longer he stayed involved, the deeper he got involved and the more difficult it became and then it probably reached the point of no return for him.

But yeah, an event that would have pushd him to do the right thing could have been interesting. The question is, would that have come off as glorifying a traitor? It probably depends on how it would have been done but the show would have needed to put a lot of focus on the Majority Leader and it might have taken focus away from other stories.

I was actually wondering if they might not find anything and that the Majority Leader had been set up and it would turn out to be Senator Asshole after all. It seemed so easy but on the other hand, the show hasn't been so much about complex twists and turns and misleading in that regard but more about the whole story and the "what will happen next". It is something that I'm curious about. Is that it now? Is the story finished? Will there be fall-out? What about Henry and Dmitrti et al?

And speaking of, why did they need to include one pregnant employee who was in one episode only before she went on maternity leave? She doesn't seem to have served a purpose at all, so why didn't they go with someone else from the get-go?

What I thought was surprising is that they went there with the Majority Leader. I would have expected them to stay away from stories like that for fear that it might turn off viewers.

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18 hours ago, Netfoot said:

Sergeant?  Are you kidding?  You mean Commodore-General, don't you?  My question is, why hasn't he been given a knighthood yet?  It should be Dr. Commodore-General Secret Agent Professor Henry McCord, Knight Commander of The Most Noble Order of the Garter.

Sure.  And when they get caught, they have to take their licks.

Just be glad you didn't have to see him in his ninja-outfit, poking around in the man's house himself, with a flashlight between his teeth.  When confronted, I thought that Senator Aldrich Fuchs was far too quick with the "O!  What have I done?"  boohoo-ing.  That was jarringly unrealistic.  But I suppose when Sir Henry tells you you've been a naughty boy, you immediately confess to high treason and accept your death-penalty fate.

I can't help wonder about the two FBI 'joggers' who ruined the surveillance operation.  Why didn't somebody's head roll for that?

I gave him a field demotion for not attending the party with a flimsy excuse!

Also, I want presidential campaign of Bess v. Senator Asshole

then they probably tie or something because some state goes for a libertarian, and Bess offers Senator the VP spot

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The landmine message invoked by the writers in this episode brought back fond memories of the mission by Diana, Princess of Wales to rid the world of landmines. It was interesting to watch Elizabeth take on Diana's persona while persisting with her staff about the danger to children much the same as Princess Diana did in her charity work.  Lady Diana was obsessed with the issue while traveling the globe for many years until her tragic death. This year is the 20th anniversary of Diana walking through a partially cleared mine field in Angola as the world watched on TV. At that time, negotiations on the Mine Ban Treaty were ongoing and Diana’s visit to the minefield and her subsequent advocacy helped galvanize public opinion against anti-personnel landmines. The landmine story was overshadowed quickly with the ‘Elizabeth for President’ mantra which was unfortunate after such a good start to the episode.

The Henry CIA spying on US congressmen stuff has pretty much run off course after the odd revelation that a US Senator was the culprit behind the leaks.  It seems probable that Stevie will find out the truth about Dmitri before he takes her to bed.  However, if that would happen, Henry would likely put out his own marker on Dmitri before the Russians get a chance to kill him.

Edited by VinceW
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5 hours ago, Netfoot said:

Me too.  But after several episodes wherein he was portrayed as a bit of a dick, all of a sudden he is reasonable and cooperative.  I wonder if this is an indication that perhaps he won't get the serious smackdown I want to see him receive.

Or they're rehabbing Senator Asshole just in time for him to get assassinated. But then Bess would give a heartfelt speech about how that's no way to treat one's enemies—which would be giving him too much martyrdom for my taste. So, yeah, at this point, maybe let him just fade away. And, anyway, before this episode, he was kind of growing into too much of the enemy we love to hate. We've already got a cartoonish superhero in Henry. It's probably better to dial back the supervillain.

 

1 hour ago, bros402 said:

I gave him a field demotion for not attending the party with a flimsy excuse!

Ah ha! I too was wondering why Henry was only a Sergeant. Perfect. :D

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32 minutes ago, VinceW said:

The landmine message invoked by the writers in this episode brought back fond memories of the mission by Diana, Princess of Wales to rid the world of landmines. It was interesting to watch Elizabeth take on Diana's persona while persisting with her staff about the danger to children much the same as Princess Diana did in her charity work.  Lady Diana was obsessed with the issue while traveling the globe for many years until her tragic death. This year is the 20th anniversary of Diana walking through a partially cleared mine field in Angola as the world watched on TV. At that time, negotiations on the Mine Ban Treaty were ongoing and Diana’s visit to the minefield and her subsequent advocacy helped galvanize public opinion against anti-personnel landmines. The landmine story was overshadowed quickly with the ‘Elizabeth for President’ mantra which was unfortunate after such a good start to the episode.

I'm too young to remember Diana's exact role but now that you mention it, I do recall that that was one of the issues she was working on. Now I'm wondering if that was part of the inspiration.

 

On an unrelated note, I re-watched a few old episodes and realized that we haven't seen Bess' red-headed aide this season. The woman who appeared every now and then carrying her papers and briefcase.

 

ETA: I meant to add that I really like that Bess' concern about money is an ongoing theme. While, from what I understood, the holiday party would have been paid for by her and Henry, she has shown concern about unnecessary expenses since the first episode. I like that they're not forgetting about it. (And I wonder how Senator M would compare ;-))

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6 hours ago, VinceW said:

It was interesting to watch Elizabeth take on Diana's persona

When you said Elizabeth, for a second I thought you meant Queenie!

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I have been lurking on this site since it was Television Without Pity, but I now feel compelled to post.

Why wasn't Sara Ramirez one of the Seventh Floor Singers ?  She was the Lady of the Lake, for God's sake !

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On 12/11/2017 at 0:30 PM, sinkwriter said:

I was fine with her yelling. She waited until they were alone and then confronted her, rather than doing it in front of Elizabeth's staff (which would have been far more unprofessional). Instead, she did it in private, and made great points that were necessary for Elizabeth to hear. I think she really impressed her mom - Elizabeth looked like she saw her daughter in a new, more grown-up light. That's pretty cool.

I kind of like this Stevie.  This is also the Stevie who went back to work when the government shutdown ended and Russell needed her, so she left her fiancee to travel to the UK on his own, knowing it would lead to their breakup.  I like flirty Stevie, dipping her toe back in the dating pool after the breakup, but I do not like Stemetri.

 

21 hours ago, CheshireCat said:

And speaking of Ramirez, I liked that they toned down her character a bit but are still keeping her enthusiastic personality.

I like that the writers are having Kat find her own level.  She came on a little too strong at first, but she had a Nadine/Bebe Neuwirth  sized hole to fill.

 

Lots to like about this episode.  Other than the cloak and dagger BS with His Holiness, the American 007 Spy God*, I liked it all.

* I really like Tim Daly.  I actually like the Henry character when he's being a great (or even not-so great) dad, husband, professor, and consultant.  I do not like the whole Captain America superhero spy guy "let's inject a little action into this political drama, bring out Super!Henry!!!" plotlines. 

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23 hours ago, CheshireCat said:

.....And speaking of Ramirez, I liked that they toned down her character a bit but are still keeping her enthusiastic personality.

Agree. She presents now as a more realistic and serious policy adviser. Better writing.

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I like that the writers are having Kat find her own level.  She came on a little too strong at first, but she had a Nadine/Bebe Neuwirth  sized hole to fill.

Forgot to mention, there was one line that cracked me up, how Mike B. snarked at Jay that he's no Nadine. 

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9 hours ago, jewishmother said:

I have been lurking on this site since it was Television Without Pity, but I now feel compelled to post.

Why wasn't Sara Ramirez one of the Seventh Floor Singers ?  She was the Lady of the Lake, for God's sake !

<applause> Perhaps next ep she will ask everyone what the hell happened to her part...?

I guffawed at Mike B's <"ouch"> aside as Stevie tried to convince her mom to go along with the party. Also at Blake as they went to DOD: "Well, she's not going to work ou-" "NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO."

But my favorite quote is a tie between two Mike Bs:

Elizabeth [about Morejon]: "You do know we hate each other?"
Mike B: "Yeah. It's classic D.C. jiu jitsu. He has to come, you look gracious, he feels awful, and you win. Trust me, it's perfect."

OR

In same scene w Stevie trying to convince Bess on party:

Elizabeth: "And you're okay with this?"
Stevie: "Yeah. Absolutely."
Mike B: "My God, it's like a hostage video."

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I'm still trying to wrap my head around the idea of the ranking Senator falling prey to Russian blackmail.  They just glossed over the end result after he caved, but I would think the repercussions would be gigantic for the President and his party.  It would overshadow anything else on tv, and eventually some investigative work would likely turn up the fact that Americans had died as a result of his treachery.  Yet the characters are mildly talking about how the party was a success. 

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6 minutes ago, Dowel Jones said:

I'm still trying to wrap my head around the idea of the ranking Senator falling prey to Russian blackmail.  They just glossed over the end result after he caved, but I would think the repercussions would be gigantic for the President and his party.  It would overshadow anything else on tv, and eventually some investigative work would likely turn up the fact that Americans had died as a result of his treachery.  Yet the characters are mildly talking about how the party was a success. 

I don't think we've seen the last of it, we have no idea what happened/happens with the Senator yet. Maybe they'll cut him some sort of deal. If that happens then he'll probably resign for some reason or another or something along those lines. Either way, I'm sure they'll cook up some story to keep the fallout minimal. And it's possible that they've managed to keep a lid on it so far.

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4 hours ago, betsyboo said:

<applause> Perhaps next ep she will ask everyone what the hell happened to her part...?

I guffawed at Mike B's <"ouch"> aside as Stevie tried to convince her mom to go along with the party. Also at Blake as they went to DOD: "Well, she's not going to work ou-" "NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO."

But my favorite quote is a tie between two Mike Bs:

Elizabeth [about Morejon]: "You do know we hate each other?"
Mike B: "Yeah. It's classic D.C. jiu jitsu. He has to come, you look gracious, he feels awful, and you win. Trust me, it's perfect."

OR

In same scene w Stevie trying to convince Bess on party:

Elizabeth: "And you're okay with this?"
Stevie: "Yeah. Absolutely."
Mike B: "My God, it's like a hostage video."

Those lines were great.

I think Sara Ramirez's character just hasn't had time to show the others she has singing chops - though it would've been nice if she had joined in on one of the songs they were doing and they were like "whoa she can sing too??"

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19 hours ago, HurricaneVal said:

I like that the writers are having Kat find her own level.  She came on a little too strong at first, but she had a Nadine/Bebe Neuwirth  sized hole to fill.

I think that's part of my problem with the character.  Nadine was a powerful force but in a quiet way. Kind of like a scalpel.  Then they replaced her with Kat who is powerful like a blowtorch.

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I'm still trying to wrap my head around the idea of the ranking Senator falling prey to Russian blackmail.  They just glossed over the end result after he caved, but I would think the repercussions would be gigantic for the President and his party.  

But the Prez is an Independent, and Beau is not a member of his former party, right? He's the opposition.. Republicrat, Demican, whatever they call it... So Beau's party is in deep trouble. Is that what Senator Asshole senses (and will use to launch his own run?) Conrad can't run again because he will have served 2 terms.

Am I correct in assuming that Senator Asshole is from Conrad's former party, and Beau (Senator Mole) is from the opposing party?

Edited by kwnyc · Reason: Clarity
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3 hours ago, kwnyc said:

But the Prez is an Independent, and Beau is not a member of his former party, right? He's the opposition.. Republicrat, Demican, whatever they call it... So Beau's party is in deep trouble. Is that what Senator Asshole senses (and will use to launch his own run?) Conrad can't run again because he will have served 2 terms.

Am I correct in assuming that Senator Asshole is from Conrad's former party, and Beau (Senator Mole) is from the opposing party?

I thought it was the other way around. My assumption stems from the fact that Senator M. filed the lawsuit against the government to stop the refugees a couple of seasons ago. When the Illinois Senator worked with Craig Sterling, Russell told him that you don't stab your own party in the back. There was no such talk about Senator M. That leads me to believe that Senator M. is not on Conrad's former party. I can't recall if they established that but I'm under the impression that Senator M. and the Majority Leader aren't from the same party. That would make the Majority Leader a member of Conrad's former party. But since they're not big on parties on the show, I think that they may not have thought this out.

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21 hours ago, betsyboo said:

But my favorite quote is a tie between two Mike Bs:

Oh, definitely this one!:

17 hours ago, bros402 said:

Elizabeth: And you're okay with this?"
Stevie: "Yeah. Absolutely."
Mike B: "My God, it's like a hostage video

❤️

 

 

18 hours ago, Dowel Jones said:

I'm still trying to wrap my head around the idea of the ranking Senator falling prey to Russian blackmail.  They just glossed over the end result after he caved, but I would think the repercussions would be gigantic for the President and his party.  It would overshadow anything else on tv, and eventually some investigative work would likely turn up the fact that Americans had died as a result of his treachery.  Yet the characters are mildly talking about how the party was a success. 

Art imitates life in today's Bizarro World? And/or:

18 hours ago, CheshireCat said:

it's possible that they've managed to keep a lid on it so far.

 

 

8 hours ago, kwnyc said:

Republicrat, Demican, whatever they call it...

Heh. Which is why I enjoy this show. They manage to cover substantive issues (e.g., land mines) without dragging American political machines into it.

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What were they thinking replacing the lovely, elegant Bebe Neuwirth with such an over-the-top, loud, knows everything about every subject, “edgy” character. Don’t know her name or the character’s name. 

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On 12/11/2017 at 3:30 PM, sinkwriter said:

 I'm still cringing at Stevie/Dmitri

They have been awful so far. I actually think they might have been cute if they had just slowly bonded after her breakup, buy she is just throwing herself at him and it is off putting. I love Dimitri, and I am so happy he is a regular again, but they need to tone it down a little bit. 

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On 12/11/2017 at 2:22 AM, CheshireCat said:

I'm glad Jason didn't mess up the party. For a second, I wondered if maybe he will cause some controversy. I wonder why they showed Paige but not him but maybe the Evan Roe just wasn't available.

Who is Paige?

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On 12/16/2017 at 1:21 AM, shksabelle said:

What were they thinking replacing the lovely, elegant Bebe Neuwirth with such an over-the-top, loud, knows everything about every subject, “edgy” character. Don’t know her name or the character’s name. 

I miss BeBe and her character too, but I'm guessing they realized she is irreplaceable, so they decided to go with someone very different rather than a poor man's Nadine.

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30 minutes ago, shapeshifter said:

I miss BeBe and her character too, but I'm guessing they realized she is irreplaceable, so they decided to go with someone very different rather than a poor man's Nadine.

And they are socio-political weather-cocks, aren't they?

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Best part of the episode was the scene in the car with Elizabeth, Blake and the party planner.  Tea Leoni's comic acting is underrated.

But for the love of God ... and this goes for everyone on Madame Secretary who wears glasses but particular Elizabeth ... please stop taking the damn things on and off 20 times a minute. There are other ways to appear worried or concerned or surprised.  She must have taken her sunglasses off four times in the scene with the party planner that lasted less than one minute.  Nobody does this in real life and nobody takes glasses off by grabbing them by the nose bridge the way she does.  Real glasses don't come off that way.

On 12/16/2017 at 2:21 AM, shksabelle said:

What were they thinking replacing the lovely, elegant Bebe Neuwirth with such an over-the-top, loud, knows everything about every subject, “edgy” character. Don’t know her name or the character’s name. 

Sadly, must agree. I had high hopes for the introduction of the gender non-conforming character Kat Sandoval. But Sara Ramirez plays her way too perpetually cheery and enthusiastic. It's like she's the cheery off-beat next door neighbor on a sit-com, not a State Department official on a drama.

Edited by RemoteControlFreak
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On ‎23‎.‎12‎.‎2017 at 8:03 PM, RemoteControlFreak said:

But for the love of God ... and this goes for everyone on Madame Secretary who wears glasses but particular Elizabeth ... please stop taking the damn things on and off 20 times a minute. There are other ways to appear worried or concerned or surprised.  She must have taken her sunglasses off four times in the scene with the party planner that lasted less than one minute.  Nobody does this in real life and nobody takes glasses off by grabbing them by the nose bridge the way she does.  Real glasses don't come off that way.

Isn't Leoni wearing glasses in real life? There are a few photos from non-official occasions but she's wearing glasses or glasses which look like they are glasses and sunglasses in one in a few of them, so I assume(d) she's wearing glasses in real life, too.

That said, in the scene you're referring to, she took them off once, cleaned them (for a long time) and then put them back on and they stayed back on.

 

 

On ‎17‎.‎12‎.‎2017 at 5:44 PM, J-Man said:

Who is Paige?

I meant Piper.

 

I'm re-watching the episode and I'm suddenly wondering if Conrad's choice to let Bess try to get the votes herself is a strategic move that also ties in with Russell pushing Bess towards running for President. Now that I've already seen the whole episode, his choice of words is interesting, as he says that on an issue like this, she has the stature to try and get the votes herself. I know he let her and Russell get the votes for the Cuba Embargo but that was on his behalf and he was willing to expend political capital. He isn't now, and he's giving her this look when she tells him that she loves a challenge. Could be I'm reading too much into it but it does make me wonder if he wants to see how good she is in getting Congress on board with an issue when she has to figure out how to get them on board without his backing.

Either way, I still love this scene and the dynamic of it!

Edited by CheshireCat

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On 12/30/2017 at 2:04 AM, CheshireCat said:

 

On 12/17/2017 at 5:44 PM, J-Man said:

Who is Paige?

I meant Piper.

 

Has someone been watching a Charmed marathon recently?

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19 hours ago, Athena5217 said:

Has someone been watching a Charmed marathon recently?

Now that you mention it. But this one was actually due to Major Crimes which I probably watched right before Madam Secretary or I read comments/commented in the forum right before commenting here. Too many characters to keep track of. ;-)

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