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Madam Secretary - Catch and Release - Review: "The Adams siblings"

An American ISIS leader hit close to home on last Sunday's Madam Secretary. Also, Dmitri tried to convince Henry to stop Ivan from going back to Russia.

The episode begins with the beheading of an American aid worker at the hands of an ISIS leader. The terrorist also makes a threat against all American aid workers working within ISIS territory. As a result, all American aid workers are indeed evacuated from the area, including Elizabeth's brother Will Adams. It is discovered that the ISIS leader is an American in his 20s who is fluent in Egyptian Arabic. It turns out his name is Adam Fanning and his mother Judith is a State Department employee. Elizabeth makes her watch the video of the beheading, at which point Judith recognizes her son. Judith says she hasn't been in contact with her son for a while. However, evidence reveals that she sent him $7,800 within the last year. Nadine discovers that Judith's husband died in a car accident caused by a seizure, which is a symptom of Huntington's disease. Huntington's disease is genetic so Judith tells them that she sent the money to her son to get him the medicine he needs. Judith also pleads with Elizabeth to save her son's life, but earlier the President got really mad about the situation and told Bess he wanted the son of a bitch either captured or killed and he didn't care which one it was. Will tells Bess that they get medicine from the black market in Syria from a courier. The US has a drone follow the courier and he delivers medicine to Adam Fanning. After briefly considering alternatives, Dalton decides to have the drone take out the both of them.

With Will returning to the US, he comes for a visit to Bess' house. This causes conflict between the two, even though Henry says they are also quite alike. Will has not seen his wife and daughter in a few months, because he prefers to just run around the world saving people's lives. The siblings later go fly fishing and they seem to come to a better understanding. However, when Will finds out Bess used him to get information about the courier, he gets upset with his sister. Will has trouble seeing the bigger picture that Elizabeth is constantly working with. Bess gives her brother a ticket back to the battle field, but not before taking a layover in London with his wife and daughter.

Meanwhile, Dmitri asks Henry for help when his friend Ivan is called back to Russia. Since Ivan is gay, it is likely that Maria Ostrov wants to imprison him in Moscow. Dmitri asks Henry to give Ivan asylum. The DIA does not want to be involved, so Henry has to be a concerned professor. He asks Elizabeth about the asylum, to which she replies that Ivan needs to come out in order for the asylum to be accepted. However, Ivan is unwilling to do that and says he has no life is he isn't a soldier. Henry tells Ivan he should talk to General Doroshevich, which Ivan agrees to do. Before he goes, he sends Henry a text message thanking him for everything. Henry then calls his phone and when it is not answered, he runs to Ivan's room. Unfortunately, he is too late: a gunshot is heard. Ivan killed himself. Dmitri freaks out and thinks it's all his fault, but Henry doesn't agree. Dmitri wants to take Ivan's asylum instead, but Henry suggests Dmitri to be recalled to Moscow to make a difference. At the end of the episode, Henry asks his wife when she was a CIA operative at what point she knew she was in too deep. Bess answers that she didn't know until it was too late.

I've said this before, but I like how the weekly problems of this season don't always turn into a victory for Elizabeth. Basically, the same happened in this episode. Even though Adam Fanning is not a threat anymore, there is still a mother who lost her son. I really enjoy that the weekly crises are more complex this season and that we are seeing more sides to the story. It gives these problems more layers. I liked that the President acted out so much about the beheading. Also, it was great seeing Elizabeth's brother! The fact that the two basically have the same desire to save the world, but go about it in different ways gives them an interesting relationship. Despite them being alike a lot, they differ in regards to the importance of family. To Bess, it's probably the most important thing in the world, but Will has a different opinion on that. I wouldn't say Will doesn't see his family as important, but I think his desire to save the world is his first priority. I would like to see Will again sometime. The story of Henry and Dmitri took a drastic turn with Ivan's death. It will be interesting to see how the relation between Henry and Dmitri changes as a result. If Dmitri really heads back to Russia, things will become even more dangerous for him. Henry might as well have signed Dmitri's death warrant. At least Henry realizes he's in too deep, so maybe he will pull out before things go south.

What did you think of "Catch and Release"? Do you enjoy the problems of the week becoming a bit more complicated? How do you feel about Will and the relationship between him and Bess? What do you think about Ivan's death? And did Henry just sign Dmitri's death warrant? I would love to hear your opinions in the comment section below.

Madam Secretary airs its next episode this Sunday at 8/7c on CBS. Here's a promo for the episode:

About the Author - Daniel van der Veer
Daniel van der Veer is a Dutch university student studying Psychology. On SpoilerTV he is a reviewer of NCIS, The 100, Madam Secretary and Quantico. He also enjoys LOST, Arrow, NCIS: Los Angeles, NCIS: New Orleans, Nikita, The Blacklist, Scorpion and How To Get Away With Murder.
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