Madam Secretary Recap: So It Goes

By Kitin Miranda | 2 years ago
Madam Secretary Recap: So It Goes

Madam Secretary” Season 1 Episode 9 “So It Goes”aired on Sunday, Nov. 16, 2014 at 8:00 p.m. on CBS. In this episode, Secretary of State Elizabeth McCord (Tea Leoni), Henry McCord (Tim Daly) and Isabelle (Marin Hinkle) investigated the airplane crash that killed former Secretary of State Vincent Marsh. It was too late to realize that they might be against a more formidable foe than they realized. Also, this episode presented several flashbacks into Elizabeth’s old life in the CIA and the last few days of the late Secretary of State Vincent Marsh. Read on to learn more about this episode.

The episode began with a flashback that happened six months ago. It was during the time when the late Secretary of State Vincent Marsh was still alive. Jay Whitman (Sebastian Arcelus), Daisy Grant (Patina Miller), Matt Mahoney (Geoff Arend), and his chief of staff, Nadine Tolliver (Bebe Neuwirth) started to discuss the venue and the schedule for the “next phase of talks” with the Iranians in Vienna. Afterward, he dismissed everyone but Matt. He then asked him how the speech was coming along. Matt felt that some of his “policy stances” went against the “current administration.” He told him that he could “soften” them, but Marsh insisted on keeping them as it was. He then dismissed Matt and told him that he “counted on his discretion."


Afterward, he called Nadine in to tell her that they had to cancel their romantic weekend. He had to handle some family business with regards to a piece of land that they owned in Caracas.

On the plane, Marsh was troubled by the shakiness of the plane. When he went to the cockpit, the pilot told him that he had lost control of the plane and that they were experiencing “severe clear air turbulence.”  As the plane lost altitude, Marsh calmly said, “so it goes."

Back in the present day, Secretary of State Elizabeth McCord’s (Tea Leoni), her husband Henry McCord (Tim Daly) and one of her trusted friends at the CIA, Isabelle (Marin Hinkle), listened to the recording of the late Secretary of State Vincent Marsh’s last words during the air crash. Because he said his last phrase, “ so it goes”, so calmly, both Isabelle and Elizabeth believed that he had expected that something like that would happen. After all, everything did seem a little bit fishy. Two months after the plane had crashed, and right after Elizabeth had been appointed Secretary of State, their late friend, George (William Sadler), who was a great CIA analyst had told her that the plane crash was not an accident, and that “someone in the CIA was behind it." Two days later, he then died in a car crash. Therefore, they owed it “ to George to prove it wrong.” 

The three of them then pored over the report from the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB). He had come to the conclusion that the crash was accidental. It was caused by “stabilizer failure” due to a faulty R47 jackscrew in the C600 plane that Marsh had fly in. Isabelle then reminded them that the only other plane crash the C600 had so far was the plane crash in Dubai, in which one of the top Iranian nuclear physicists had died. That crash was also ruled as accidental and the cause of that crash was also a “stabilizer failure.” It was due to a faulty R47 jackscrew. It had failed as the alloy that both jackscrews had been of were weak and faulty. Then, they realized that whoever had engineered Marsh’s plane crash had known that the NTSB was going to compare Marsh’s crash to the Dubai crash. They ruled it accidental with the same findings. Henry then told them that he did know that the “screw is concealed behind the main frame and tail section,” and promised to take another look at it. It was also because the design of the C600 was pretty close to the F18’s that he had flown as a pilot back in the day. He also told them since whoever had sabotaged the plane would be a “legitimate maintenance worker." Since the tail section would have to be removed, he then presented them with five possible candidates who all had expertise in “tail section hydraulics.” Isabelle then reassured them that she would run “deep background” on them. They then revealed to Henry that that was how they had worked before, back when Elizabeth was not Secretary of State, and when the President of the United States was simply Director Dalton (Keith Carradine).

A flashback of both Isabelle and Elizabeth as analysts in the CIA in 2003 then was shown. In it, Director Dalton asked Elizabeth what she had thought of about the Dubai crash. She was inclined to believe that it had been an accident, but she could tell that he thought that it could have possibly been engineered by Mossad. However, as he wasn’t sure about it, he told her to keep him informed if she learned anything new regarding the crash.

In the present day, later that night, Elizabeth started to have doubts about investigating the entire thing. However, Henry told her that it would be safer for them, their family, if they knew who exactly they were dealing with.

The next morning, before heading off to work, Stevie (Wallis Currie-Wood) was busy talking on the phone with a friend about some guy. On the other hand, Alison (Kathrine Herzer) was trying to break in her soccer cleats as it was going to be the playoffs on Sunday. Elizabeth then promised that she would make it to the playoffs.

At the office, both Daisy and Matt ambushed Elizabeth so that they could discuss the “protocol for tomorrow’s coffee with Nauru” as the head of Nauru was in Washington DC. After Daisy and Matt bickered in front of her regarding the exact title of the head of Nauru, she left them to take care of the planning. She then asked Blake Moran (Erich Bergen), her personal assistant to send in Diplomatic Security Head Agent Fred Cole in order to discuss her security detail during Alisson’s game the previous day. However, she was informed that the President’s Chief of Staff, Russell Jackson (Zeljko Ivanek) was waiting for her inside her office.

Inside, Russell started to ask questions about all the poking she was doing into NTSB’s report on former Secretary Marsh’s plane crash. He asked if she really asked them if they had “polygraphed the maintenance crew." Even if she threw at him the fact that she was “fourth in line for the Presidency,” he told her that he worked for the current president. He told her not to “stick” her “nose in where it doesn’t belong.” Afterward, she kicked him out of her office and asked Fred to come in. It took a little persuasion for Elizabeth to get Fred on board with the fact that she was going to her daughter’s game. He agreed to do so as she told him that he could take “whatever precautions” necessary, just so that she could get to Alison’s game.


Outside, her Chief of Staff, Nadine Tolliver, wanted her to review the seating chart for the coffee with Nauru. However, Elizabeth changed her mind despite the fact that the Naurans would be offended. She told Nadine to bring in the Iranian delegation instead, with only less than a day to prepare for things. However, instead of helping out Daisy right away, Matt left as he had gotten an email, which he claimed was from his landlord.

He then met Russell in a tunnel, where he asked Matt what he had for him on Secretary McCord. Matt then told Russell that he felt uncomfortable about spying on Elizabeth because he had “never agreed to spy” on her. However, Russell reminded him that he could get him an office at the White House. He was okay with it when he came to Russell before.

Later on, Isabelle informed Elizabeth that none of the five maintenance workers that Henry had pointed out as possible persons of interest did not raise any suspicions. Henry then told them that as he had been looking over the schematics of the C600. It was possible that the pilot only “mistook” the air turbulence as the plane had been shaking. They then realized that it could have been possible for them to have sabotaged another part of the plane, but make it seem that a particular part of the plane was responsible for the accident. As they could not know exactly the correct sequence of events during the crash, it was, therefore, possible that the tail section had been sabotaged. When the damaged tail shook the plane, the pilot would help sell it by reporting that they had experienced extreme turbulence. The damaged tail section then would enough pressure on the jackscrew to malfunction.

After dinner, both Henry and Elizabeth, who were both a little bit jumpy over the investigation, jumped in alarm. Stevie screamed as she had gotten a date with the “cutest guy on earth.” 

Next morning, Daisy peppered Matt with questions as he seemed preoccupied and out of it. While they were arguing, Blake informed Nadine that the NASA Administrator, Glenn, wanted to meet with Elizabeth. He then asked Elizabeth to help him out with time travel. Then, they had built a telescope so powerful that it could see back in time. However, in order for the telescope to truly work, they were supposed to be placing it in a country in the equator that was “devoid of light pollution” -Nauru. He then asked her to reconcile with them. They had been offended by the fact that the coffee that they had planned together did not push through. As they both walked to the meeting with the Iranian delegation, Elizabeth told Nadine that she had noticed that Glenn had liked her and that she should ask him out. She then told her that she was not ready yet, and stared at the portrait of Vincent Marsh on the wall. As she did so, she remembered the fateful day that they had learned that he had died. She had felt devastated, but had to compose herself quickly so that she could address the undersecretaries that she asked Jay to gather.

At the meeting with the Iranian delegation, after giving her speech and inviting to eat, she pulled aside the Israeli Ambassador, Lori Dori (David Wohl), who used to be Mossad. She asked him, regarding the Dubai crash, that if it wasn’t an accident, how one could hypothetically pull things off so that it would look like an accident, by causing stress over the tail section so that the R47 jackscrew would break. He then told her that hypothetically, during the fuelling of the C600, one would have to “remove the tail plate” and “script the threads of the vertical stabilizer.” Because of this, “once the pilot loses control, it would be reported as turbulence” and she was informed that “even a correctly placed jackscrew would fail.” He then neither denied nor confirmed that the CIA was read in on it.

After telling Isabelle about it, she then discovered that the fuelling technician for the plane, John Castellano (Peter Cambor) had a hidden bank account in the Caymans where $ 500,000 was wired in the day the plane had crashed. Elizabeth then told Isabelle to figure out a way to get John into a room so that she could question him herself.

 Next day, Nadine was surprised when Glenn, the NASA Administrator, popped by to thank her for clearing things up with Nauru. He then asked her out for lunch. She refused as she had to “hold down the fort” while Elizabeth was at Alison’s soccer game.

During the halftime of Alison’s game, Elizabeth asked Alison for a big favor and switched places with her body double.

Meanwhile, Isabelle met with John at a restaurant on the pretense of interviewing him for a job. She then brought him to a hotel room, as she promised a sit down with his future boss. He started to feel suspicious about the entire thing, but before he could do anything, Elizabeth walked in. He then told them that he had been threatened that his entire family would be killed if he went to the authorities, and if he did not do as he was told. They had talked to him on the phone using a voice scrambler and had emailed him instructions. He then told them that he had never touched the money, and had only realized what he had really done after he had learned about the plane crash. Elizabeth then promised to protect him and his family if he kept quiet about the entire thing, provided that he would cooperate with them, and give them access to his emails and the like.

Back at the office, Blake smirked as he handed Nadine a bouquet of red roses, which were sent from Glenn, as he wanted to ask her out for dinner.

Elizabeth was then surprised by Matt, who told her that he wanted to talk to her, and closed and locked her office door behind them. He then told her that he needed “to come clean." It was revealed that he had spied on the late Secretary Marsh  for Russell after he had realized that Marsh wanted to run against President Dalton come the next election, as the speeches that he had Matt write had policies that were against Dalton’s. He had told on him as he felt that his loyalty lay with the President. He then told Elizabeth that both Russell and the President had been upset about this. Matt knew this as he had eavesdropped on Russell’s conversation with Marsh. He told him that the President had been upset about learning that Marsh was going to run against him. After Marsh asked him if he was threatening him, Russell only responded by saying “and so it goes”, the exact same phrase that Marsh had said before he had died. Matt then revealed that he had come forward to Elizabeth as Russell had asked him to spy on her. Elizabeth then told Matt to tell Russell that he would do it, and to be her double agent.

After relating this to Henry, she also told him that she had also realized that as Ambassador Dori “did not deny that the CIA” was involved in the Dubai crash. If they were read in on it, then Dalton would have known how exactly to replicate the exact same accident. After asking Henry what her “next move” would be, she got called to the situation room, where Dalton brought her up to speed as they had a situation with North Korea.

And that was all for the recap on “Madam Secretary” Season 1 Episode 9 “So It Goes.” For more news, updates, and recaps on “Madam Secretary” and other television shows, keep on following Movie News Guide (MNG).

Catch “Madam Secretary” every Sunday night at 8:00 p.m. on CBS.

Photo Source: Wikimedia Commons/Gustavo Fernandez