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Madam Secretary - Labor of Love - Review

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As a wise woman once said, love is a battlefield. Listen, Henry quotes history’s greatest scholars and philosophers; I quote Pat Benatar. This show’s theme was love: old love, new love, broken love, complicated love. So much so, I’m surprised this episode didn’t air around Valentine’s Day… although we would’ve had to have a new episode in February for that to happen.

Elizabeth’s work life is revolving around the pending nuptials of two twenty-somethings. Not Stevie and Jareth, Soledad and Juan-Luis. The children of Colombia’s President and rebel leader have fallen in love and appear to be the only tie binding the two sides to peace. Sounds stable. While in America, seeming land of opportunity, Soledad takes off, deciding she wants to stay in the U.S. to attend medical school. No Soledad --> no wedding --> no peace deal --> no peace. At some point, Soledad and Juan-Luis stopped being two people in love and instead became the face of peace in Colombia and a cog in the wheel of democracy. That’s an awful lot of pressure to put on a girl and a young couple.

Jay has seen better days. His marriage is reaching an end, no matter how much effort he puts forth. It takes two people to make a relationship work, and Abby clearly isn’t interested. Jay goes Dateline, thanks to the suggestion of Blake, and finds a number Abby has been frequently calling. One night in a bar, Matt and Jay call the number, and Matt’s best friend’s phone rings. It’s one thing for your marriage to end. It’s another for your spouse to be cheating. It’s a straight up gut punch to learn your best friend and your wife are hooking up. Jay slugs Scott. I actually applaud him for not slugging him again. The romance happened quickly, or so Abby says. She claims it started when she cried on Scott’s shoulder about her marriage falling apart, but why would she be seeking comfort about her relationship from her husband’s best friend? That seems like something she should turn to HER best friend for. I never go to my boyfriend’s friends after a break up. I go to mine. With it only being 4 weeks since Jay moved out, I also question if something has been simmering between Abby and Scott for a while.

Turns out Daisy and Kevin were endgame… at least for Kevin. Too soon? Daisy goes up to Budget and Planning for a date with Rafael (any Jane the Virgin fans in the house?) and is met with a surprise: he’s dead. Like dead dead. Sooooo I guess Justin Baldoni won’t be sticking around. What looks on the surface as a simple natural causes death quickly escalates to something much more dramatic. Kevin isn’t even his real name. He’s actually Joseph Garcia, a CIA operative working on a classified investigation, who met an untimely death thanks to cyanide poisoning. The FBI scours Daisy’s apartment, looking for something or anything, and Daisy is left with more questions than answers. I’m not usually a murder mystery plot fan, but I’m into this… at least for now. What exactly was “Kevin” doing and what possible repercussions could his job or death have? I’m also wondering if Patina’s pregnancy will be written into the show. It is possible that Daisy could be pregnant. We know she and “Kevin” went on at least one date. It’s not a storyline the Madam Secretary writers typically steer towards, and I’m not sure how the timing would work out, but it could be interesting to see the typically in-control Daisy pregnant with a child fathered by a man she knows nothing about.

Henry is still living the clandestine life as a handler for Ian Conroy. Ian is cocky, but he’s done his homework. He rattles off Bible verses like some dudes rattle off baseball stats from the 1926 World Series. That faux fanaticism has allowed him to talk his way into the Covenant of John compound. Henry is supposed to keep track of Ian thanks to a GPS in his wallet (which was trashed) and a camera that’s embedded into his skin. Vomit. The camera is apparently not waterproof (was the guy not supposed to shower?) so when he took the massive baptism-that-looked-more-like-a-scuba-trip, it died. Now Henry is basically left with no way to track Ian. Do I care? Not really. But Henry does. Even Elizabeth sees it. Fearing a repeat of Season 2, she reminds him that Ian is not Dmitri and the situations are far from similar. Henry is coming to terms with the fact that doing his job well means putting other people at risk. It’s one reason why I question if this type of work is good for him in the long run.

As the Colombian peace deal is crumbling around her, Elizabeth has to act fast. She tries to relate to everyone from the standpoint of a mother or young bride, but this week’s rabbit-out-of-a-hat comes thanks to the help of Daisy and Jay. Both staffers meet with Soledad and Juan-Luis, sharing their recent love loss issues. The young love birds then go back to their parents and plead for the peace deal to continue. The leaders look at each other, nod slightly, and the music swells. It’s a bit like “Full House.”

Other things:

--Nadine again takes the role of office den mom to heart. She listens to Jay, consoles Daisy and even takes a page out of Henry’s book by quoting an expert. We don’t see Nadine nearly enough.

--“What is it with women and the fairy tale? Even if you grow up thinking you want to look life square in the eye, there’s still this part of you that’s looking for the pink, bubbly, happily-ever-after thing.” Truer words, my friend.

--Apparently the language of Costco translates down in Venezuela. Who doesn’t want five pounds of hummus?

--Russell quips that Soledad sent Juan-Luis a “Dear Juan” letter. It’s so wrong… but so Russell.

What were you most happy to see after this short hiatus? Who do you think “Kevin” really is? On to the next episode... which is already causing a real-life international incident.

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