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Madam Secretary - Mitya - Review

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Oh, Mitya. We hardly knew ye. Actually, we knew you for 2.5 seasons, but I was hoping your end would be more exciting than it was.

Dmitri’s time in DC officially came to a close in this episode. We all knew it was coming, we just didn’t know how it would happen. As safe as Dmitri thought he was being, he slipped up, repeatedly meeting Stevie at the same hotel for afternoon delights. Smooth move, dude. The Russians track him down, but the feds catch on first and put him in protective custody. Stevie is also in custody, and poor Ephraim Ware has to break it to the McCords why. Busted. Elizabeth and Henry are obviously shocked and upset. Henry confronts Dmitri in his hotel/cell. I appreciated the clock ticking loudly in the background. It added to the “time’s up” and tense feeling of the scene. Henry mentions that Dmitri shouldn’t be dating anyone, much less his daughter, because he’s newly sober… a detail I’m happy the writers included. Dmitri fires back about why he became addicted in the first place, and Henry apologizes. “I’m sorry for what you went through and any part my wife and I might have played in that.” It was smart of him to mention Elizabeth because we all remember Season 2 and the decisions she helped make.

It’s decided that Dmitri be transferred to Alaska for his own safety, where he’ll continue to monitor Russia. “I can see Russia from my house” is the first thing I thought when I was watching. So Dmitri is basically banished to the farthest reaches of the United States. Stevie, unsurprisingly, is not thrilled with any of this. Of course, it’s not her fault. She really thought she was dating Alexander from the War College. She screams at Elizabeth and Henry when they tell her what they can about Dmitri and storms up the stairs to her room. I admit I was hoping for a much bigger fallout from all of this. We got, like, two scenes. My entire reason for keeping Dmitri around was for the drama it would cause the McCords when they found out Stevie was dating him. Instead, we got 5 minutes of shock and anger. I’m not sure what I wanted, but I know I wanted more than that.

Eventually, Zhukov is captured (after Henry throws Dmitri out to be the lure, which even I challenge) and everyone breathes a sigh of relief. My only question is, didn’t Zhukov have friends? Or cohorts? People who will pick up where he left off? Elizabeth and Henry are happy that Stevie is once again safe, but I wouldn’t be letting that child out of the house until she’s 60. Before Dmitri ships off to the frozen tundra, Henry brings Stevie by. Stevitri/Dmivie have one last hurrah. OK, not that kind of hurrah… but they’re able to talk for the first time without the pretense of Alexander, the War College worker. Stevie finally learns his real name and they enjoy a farewell kiss. I’m sure the Dmitri and Stevie fans enjoyed it, and I’m happy they had that scene for closure-ish purposes. Admittedly, I still felt nothing for them as a couple, but potato potahto. So is Dmitri really gone this time? Is the third time the charm? Never say “never” with this dude. He keeps popping up every season.

Throughout all of this, Henry has an incredible sense of guilt that his actions could have had a lasting, or deadly, effect on Stevie. He even gets tripped up while talking to her about it, unable to finish his sentence, “Just the idea that I would be involved in something that put you in danger…” So. Professor. How bout we stop doing these things, OK? No more jumping on bombs or going into war zones or putting yourself in the middle of chaos with your Super Henry cape on. I’m sure it would be difficult for him to go back to solely being a college professor. It would probably be easier if Elizabeth was by his side, also living the quaint collegiate life instead of literally saving the world, but she isn’t. I’m not saying he needs to be a stay-at-home dad or wax poetically about religious scholars and saints 24 hours a day, but take a week or 15 off. Leave the world saving to your wife.

Speaking of saving the world, Elizabeth’s task this week is to convince Russia to lift its ban on Americans adopting Russian orphans. She’s used to working with Conrad and Russell, but now she’s forced to work alongside Vice President Hurst. Elizabeth seems open to the possibility. Hurst does not. It quickly becomes apparent that Hurst is threatened by Elizabeth and doesn’t seem to care what the seasoned Elizabeth has to say. While in Russia, Elizabeth offers tips to the VP about what she should do or say, but Hurst is less than receptive.. to say the least. It almost feels like Elizabeth is trying to teach her kids something and they’re rolling their eyes, positive that they know better. When Russia’s president wants to negotiate, Elizabeth says the United States needs to walk. Hurst’s response, “Why? It’s not like he declared war.” For someone who thinks she’s POTUS material, she doesn’t know crap about international diplomacy or the repercussions that could come from even the simplest of moves. “I’m leaving, Madam Vice President. So are you.” Elizabeth drops the mic. The way she says that is like a mom who tires of fighting with her child and eventually puts her foot down saying, “Because I said so, that’s why!”

In the end, Elizabeth comes up with the idea to use Zhukov to convince Russia to lift its ban. Elizabeth and the VP stand next to each other, a united front, when talking with the Russian president. The two seem to be coming to an understanding when Hurst wants Elizabeth to publicly declare that she will not run for President. That’s something Elizabeth is not prepared to do. Is it because she doesn’t want to officially close the door to that possibility? She doesn’t want to show her hand to world leaders? She’s afraid that would lessen her bargaining power politically? Everyone seems to think Elizabeth will run for President… except Elizabeth. Personally, I’m just wondering if we’ll even have another season to see how that possibility could play out. Theresa Hurst (or Teresa Hirst, depending on which CBS press release you read) is in the credits for next week’s episode, so we’ll see how their relationship grows… or weakens.

My favorite scene of the episode was sort of an innocuous one. It’s towards the end when Henry finds out Zhukov was captured, and he tells Elizabeth. Elizabeth literally collapses in Henry’s arms, relief engulfing her. Henry then sits behind Elizabeth. As Elizabeth laments about her trip to Moscow and the seemingly bleak future for Russian orphans, Henry is wrangling to take off her coat. She’s being so serious and Henry is like a one-man comedy skit, grunting and grimacing as he tries to pull her coat out from under her. Even in the midst of her dejected moment, Elizabeth finally leans forward to help him out. I’m not sure how Tim and Téa never broke character or even cracked a smile. Henry then peppers Elizabeth with kisses. We’ve had such a drought of cute, innocent scenes for the last few seasons that this is the most memorable of the entire episode for me. Or I just need to get out more.

Other things:

--”You and I both want the same thing: to bring those orphans home as quickly as possible.” “Yes, but only one of us is cutting a campaign ad.” All the bloops.

--Of course the code names during the takedown of Zhukov were “cardinal” and “bishop.” A little Catholic church hierarchy.

--”Look, Alexander was no Harrison or Armon.” “Do you mean Arthur?” Henry darn well remembers Arthur’s name, but I love this little playful game he plays with Stevie, as she questions her choice in men.

How did you feel about the Dmitri reveal and his future? Were you satisfied with his storyline? Next week, the mental status of Conrad is questioned… not really a storyline I’m jumping to watch play out. We have enough of that in real life.

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