Madam Secretary Recap: Standoff

By Kitin Miranda | 2 years ago
Madam Secretary Recap: Standoff

“Madam Secretary” Season 1 Episode 12 “Standoff” aired last Sunday, Jan. 4, 2015, at 8:00 p.m. on CBS. In this episode, while Secretary of State Elizabeth McCord (Tea Leoni) and Dr. Henry McCord (Tim Daly) went off to New York to celebrate their 25th Wedding Anniversary together, things did not turn out the way they wanted it to be, as both of them were distracted by other ongoing situations, which, in their absence, grew bigger. The State Department had to cut their anniversary short as a last resort in order to stop a possible looming civil war with Texas, who kidnapped a Mexican citizen who was ready to be extradited to the United States to stand trial for the death of a Texas State Trooper and Elizabeth’s personal assistant, Blake Moran (Erich Bergen), did not handle babysitting Alison (Kathrine Herzer) and Jason (Logan Wells) well. Meanwhile, while eating dinner at a French restaurant in New York, Henry became suspicious of Klaus, who had appeared suddenly in front of them, as Henry had been spying on him for the NSA for the last couple of months, which also served to ruin the anniversary. Read on to learn more about this episode.

The episode began in Texas, where Texas State Trooper Roger Banks was killed after he was shot during a drug bust which involved known Mexican drug cartel member Carlos Ochoa. Afterwards, Secretary of State Elizabeth McCord (Tea Leoni) consoled Roger Banks widow and her son at the State Department and informed them that Ochoa had already been arrested and were willing to extradite him to the United States if Mrs. Banks agreed to take out the death penalty. Elizabeth then guaranteed that Ochoa would be able to stand trial for what he had done but could not guarantee as to what exactly the punishment meted out to Ochoa would be. Mrs. Banks then agreed, as that meant that Ochoa would be behind bars forever.


After her meeting, her personal assistant, Blake Moran (Erich Bergen), then prompted her to start moving as she was going to miss her flight to New York, as she and Henry (Tim Daly) were going to celebrate their 25th Wedding Anniversary in New York City, where they spent their first ever anniversary. After the entire office reassured her that nothing will happen while she was away, they finally managed to get her home. Meanwhile, Dr. Henry McCord was informed by his NSA handler, Sarah Eckhart (Anna Wood), that his operation was at an end as the religious scholar he was spying on, a good friend of his, religious scholar Klaus von Muhlberg (Ronald Guttman), was clean so far and had no recent activity connected to the terrorists he was linked with. Henry was uncomfortable with it but was told that Klaus’s actions would be monitored by Mossad from that point on as he was going to go to Tel Aviv for six months.

Back at the office, Chief of Staff Nadine Tolliver (Bebe Neuwirth) was pleasantly surprised to learn that Foreign Policy Advisor Jay Whitman (Sebastian Arcelus) was connected to Texan Governor Caleb Lockwood (Peter Gerety), whom Jay was going to have lunch with that day, as Jay had helped out in Lockwood’s campaign back when he was in college. Over lunch, Jay learned that Lockwood’s meeting with Congress to gain funds for the State Troopers who guard the borders was a failure. After learning that Elizabeth had agreed to the extradition by removing the death penalty, Lockwood became annoyed that she had not consulted him first about the matter.

Meanwhile, at the McCord house, Elizabeth handed a list of rules to Alisson and kept on giving them rules. She also told them that Blake was going to check up on them over the weekend to make sure that they were okay. Finally, even if Elizabeth was still giving out reminders, Henry ushered her out the door.

Back at the office, when the Deputy Secretary of State Steven Cushing (William Allen Young) came by to check up on them, Elizabeth’s Press Coordinator Daisy Grant (Patina Miller) informed them that Lockwood was threatening to deploy the National Guard to the border. Because of this, the Ambassador of Mexico called up the office.

In New York, after settling into their hotel Henry made Elizabeth promise that they would go off the grid so that they wouldn’t be disturbed, even if Elizabeth was worried as they were away from home and it was Elizabeth’s first time away from the office.

Back at the office, Nadine and Jay tried to pacify Ambassador Lopez (Teddy Canez), who was furious that Lockwood had deployed the National Guard to the border, as it was a hindrance to legitimate commercial traffic. He could not understand why he had to be received by the Deputy Secretary and started to threaten to cancel the extradition.

Meanwhile, at the McCord home, when Blake went to check on Alison and Jason, he ran into Jason, who was playing football with Alison. This caused him to fall and sprain his ankle.

In New York, Elizabeth was delighted that Henry had prepared some champagne and the desserts they had on their first anniversary in their room. However, they could not have their old room due to some security concerns. Before going up to the roof deck to enjoy some glasses of champagne together, Henry informed Elizabeth that he was able to get them some tickets to a Samuel Beckett play.

Meanwhile, Carlos Ochoa was broken out of prison by some gunmen with helicopters.


Even though they had promised to go off the grid, Elizabeth couldn’t help herself as she needed to check on the kids. Blake then called her up and told her that Jason had hurt his ankle. Alison and Jason both blamed Blake, who was instructed to go with his suggestion to bring Jason to the hospital just in case. After she hung up, she suggested to Henry that maybe they should get their eldest daughter, Stephanie “Stevie” McCord (Wallis Currie-Wood), who was currently on a weekend trip with some college friends, to check up on Alison and Jason. However, Henry did not think that was a good idea as they had discussed that Stevie’s being around her college friends might just persuade her to go back to college. After Elizabeth told Henry that they might be giving her too much space to think about things, she told him that she thought that they should demand from Stevie that she finish college. Henry then told Elizabeth that the two of them should try to clear the air, as Stevie had not recovered yet from the new knowledge of Elizabeth’s old work at the CIA. Henry told her that she should have helped Stevie process it, but they decided not to fight that night anymore so that they could enjoy the play and the rest of the evening.

Back at the office, the entire State Department was in uproar as Lopez had just informed them that Ochoa had been kidnapped. Daisy, after learning from Nadine that a very rattled Blake had just informed her that he was at the emergency room with Jason, headed over to the hospital in order to avoid any press or media. Jay then informed them that he had learned that the Texan militia had been responsible for the kidnapping of Ochoa as a friend of his had just sent him a link of a video in which they claimed responsibility for it. This meant that the extradition would probably soon be terminated as they had just violated Mexico’s sovereignty.

In New York, Elizabeth was shocked to discover that the quaint French bistro they had eaten at during their first anniversary was now an up and coming restaurant. While they waited for their table, the couple argued once again on how to deal with Stevie. They were then interrupted by Klaus who claimed that he had missed his flight after attending a symposium at New York University. Much to Henry’s alarm, as Klaus could not get a table and was alone, and since their evening had not been romantic at all, Elizabeth invited Klaus to join them. During dinner, Henry slipped away in order to call his handler and told her to verify everything that Klaus had told him as to what he was doing in New York.

Back at the State Department, they learned that the Texan militia had given Ochoa to Lockwood. Steven then decided to head over to the Department of Justice and to the Attorney General so that they could discuss what should be done as they were instructed by the White House to handle the situation. Because of this, Nadine decided to tell Jay to go and talk to Lockwood.

Back in New York, Henry learned that there had been a symposium at New York University, but Klaus had not been listed as a guest, and he had no confirmed flights. After Klaus started talking about his son, Adrien, he reached suddenly for his briefcase. This caused Henry to be alarmed and forced the briefcase, unopened, on the table. This alarmed Elizabeth’s head of security, Fred, who immediately whisked them away in a car. Henry then admitted to Elizabeth that his operation had just been cancelled, even though she thought it was long over and that Klaus was the religious scholar that he was investigating. He then told her that he had done that as he wasn’t willing to take any risks. Fred then informed them that Klaus was clean and that he was just going to show them a picture of Adrien.

Back at the McCord house, Blake, who brought the kids back home from the emergency room, insisted that Jason do his paper on the Italian government, as he was chair bound due to his sprain. However, Jason decided to watch television instead. Blake then started to panic as he realized that he had broken Jason. Daisy then calmed him down and told him to just keep moving forward.

In Texas, Jay met up with Lockwood, who was encamped outside of their state penitentiary, and told him to allow Ochoa to get justice through proper channels. The FBI then came with a warrant which told Lockwood to release Ochoa to them, but he refused. Back at the office, Nadine discovered that Ambassador Lopez was now threatening to stop policing the entire border. Because of the severity of situation, they decided to call Elizabeth, who was shocked that this had happened in less than twenty four hours. Before she left for Texas, both she and Henry decided to make it up to each other as their weekend had been a total fiasco.

Before Henry left, he met up with Klaus, who had messaged him so that they could meet. Klaus then admitted that he had intentionally run into them, as he knew that Henry had been spying on him, and asked for protection for his son, Adrien. Back at the NSA, Henry was told that they would only guarantee Adrien protection if Klaus worked for them as a spy for a little bit. Henry then relayed this to Klaus who agreed, and informed them of the location of the missing cans of sarin gas.

In Texas, Elizabeth managed to get Lockwood to give up Ochoa to the FBI as she told him that she had a warrant for his arrest from the Attorney General. As an outstanding warrant like that would ruin his chances and reputation if he wanted to run for president in the future, he gave in to her demands. Back at the office, Blake apologized to Elizabeth for his failure to keep the kids in check. Elizabeth, who allowed him to believe that he had failed, then informed him that Jason had broken a rule as he was not supposed to play ball inside the house and had actually done his paper. She then admitted that her weekend had not been great and told him to chalk it up to a universal fiasco.

Later that night, Henry and Elizabeth apologized to each other and admitted that they had both been on edge. They then realized that they could not dwell on the past and be nostalgic, as they were now very different people. Henry then surprised her with two timeless things to share with each other- greasy take out Chinese food and a game of Scrabble.

And that was all for the recap of “Madam Secretary” Season 1 Episode 12 “Standoff.” For more news and updates, including spoilers and recaps, on “Madam Secretary” and other television shows, keep following Movie News Guide (MNG).

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

Photo Source: Wikimedia Commons/Gustavo Fernandez