Madam Secretary Recap: The Call
“Madam Secretary” Season 1 Episode 6 “The Call” aired last Sunday, Oct. 26, 2014, at 8:00 p.m on CBS. In this episode, Secretary of State Elizabeth McCord (Tea Leoni) got the United States involved in helping out the situation in the Republic of West Africa. She was asked by Father Laurent Vasseur (Louis Gossett, Jr.), Henry’s (Tim Daly) old friend, for help. However, things go sideways both in the effort in helping out West Africa and Henry and Laurent’s friendship. It was when they learned the distressing truth about the good priest. Meanwhile, Blake Moran (Erich Bergen) continued to investigate her Chief of Staff, Nadine Tolliver (Bebe Neuwirth). Read on to find out what happened in this episode.
The episode began in the Republic of West Africa, where a distressed mother of two called someone for help on her cell phone. She called when troops and soldiers had started to come into their village. They managed to escape and fled on foot. Unfortunately, their journey was dangerous as they had seen some others being beaten or shot to death in front of them.
McCord practiced her speech in front of her staff. She rejected it because she felt that it did not contain anything of substance. It was despite the fact there were only two days left until her first speech in front of the World Affairs Committee. Afterwards, she learned from Blake that he did not have any incriminating information yet on her Chief of Staff. She then reminded him that the reason she was doing that was because Nadine’s former boss, the late Secretary Vincent Marsh, had been trying to sabotage the Middle East Peace talks, which, thankfully, they were able to salvage. She wanted to know where Nadine’s allegiances lay so that she would not be “stabbed in the back.”
At home, Elizabeth was surprised when her husband informed her that his friend and former professor, Father Laurent Vasseur, had dropped by to visit. He then told her that the reason why he had come was to ask Elizabeth for help as his people and his niece and her children in the Republic of West Africa were being slaughtered. Currently, the new junta government wanted to kill off his people, which was an ethnic minority. He had also learned that an attack against them would be imminent so he wanted the United States to help.
The next day, at the office, she was told that the situation so far was unclear as they did not really have any “vital interests” there. Ambassador Odilon Bokassa (Owiso Odera) of the Republic of West Africa was then sent up, much to the surprise of Nadine who had not been informed of the visit by Blake.
At the meeting, Bokassa informed Elizabeth that the junta government was not planning an attack on that particular ethnic minority. Before he left, Elizabeth told him to tell his government that the U.S. was watching them, just in case.
Blake then informed Elizabeth that he had discovered something. Nadine had talked to Constantine Stahl, one of Secretary Marsh’s biggest backers and another person who gladly welcome any opportunity to bomb Iran for 20 whole minutes. As they had no audio recording yet of the call, Elizabeth became suspicious. Stahl could have been asking Nadine for information on the Peace Talks, which would have made Nadine a spy. She then left to have lunch with Isabel, a friend of hers from her days at the CIA. During lunch, she was told that her source had been correct about the imminent attack mentioned by Father Laurent.
At the White House, Elizabeth tried to convince President Conrad Dalton (Keith Carradine) and his Chief of Staff, Russell Jackson (Zeljko Ivanek) to help out in the unfolding situation. However, as the United States really did not have any “vital interests” in the area, the President told Elizabeth that he did not believe that they warranted their help.
Meanwhile, Father Laurent and Henry met with a reporter from the Washington Chronicle and a friend of Henry’s in order to ask if he could get the story out on the news. He was interested, but much to Father Laurent’s annoyance, they needed some time to properly vet out the story and to get their facts straight. He also said that it would take some time, which Father Laurent’s people and relatives did not have.
However, at home, much to her surprise, her eldest daughter, Stephanie “Stevie” McCord (Wallis Currie-Wood), encouraged and motivated her. Stevie repeated what Elizabeth had told her during her school camping trip — that she has guts and to use it to achieve what she needed to do.
The next day, in the middle of her speech in front of the World Affairs Committee, she threw everything out and challenged the world to help out the situation in the Republic of West Africa. Bokassa was distressed about what she had done, but the African Union and the French responded positively to her speech. At home, Henry, who was with Father Laurent, was proud of his wife. He said that it took a lot of courage to speak out like that, especially after the President had refused to help West Africa out.
After the speech, Nadine confronted Blake. She told him that she knew that Elizabeth was deliberately having her kept out of the loop, and she knew that Elizabeth does not trust her. However, she reminded Blake that she was a patriot and had a sense of duty towards Elizabeth.
She thought that she was going to get fired as she had gone against the President’s wishes, but surprisingly enough and much to the chagrin of Russell, her speech had convinced the President to help out. He told her that they would be able to provide “radar satellites” and a few fighter airplanes.
The next day, she discovered that the French were willing to provide air support while the African Union would be able to assemble a “reaction force” on the ground. However, Henry came into her office as he had heard some distressing news about Father Laurent. At the same time, a television news host asked Father Laurent about the allegations that he was tied to drug smuggling. It turned out that he had cut a deal with the Mexican Cartels in order to smuggle refugees to Europe. He helped them smuggle guns and drugs over land into Europe through the refugees from West Africa. This news caused Henry to have a falling out with Father Laurent. He should have told Henry about it before he learned about it for himself before dragging Elizabeth into the picture, compromising her integrity because of it. Because of this, the French suddenly withdrew their air support from the coalition.
At the White House, Elizabeth told the President that he should not back out in helping save the lives of thousands of people, just because of that minor detail. As the President did not want the lives of more than 50,000 innocent people on his hands, he told her to stay on top of everything and that they would be giving air support and logistics support.
However, they ran into another problem as the African Union. They were already near Cameroon, but they could not move forward as several warlords were attacking them. As they could not get anyone to help them out, Elizabeth and Henry asked Father Laurent for help in brokering a deal with the warlords. They would get paid by the United States government through Father Laurent if they let the African Union forces go through. Thankfully, they agreed to this, and they were able to stabilize the main city and established refugee camps, where Father Laurent’s niece and her children went to.
Because of this, Bokassa visited Elizabeth and asked if he could cut a deal with her. He would continue to stay in the United States in exchange for information about the junta as he had been called back to face disciplinary action by his superiors. However, she rejected the deal and wished him luck.
Afterwards, Blake informed Elizabeth that he had discovered that phone call that Nadine got from Constantine Stahl was regarding a job offer, as Stahl wanted to hire Nadine. However, because of her sense of duty, she had turned down the offer.
Elizabeth then told her staff to celebrate that night as they had been successful in intervening and helping out West Africa. She then informed Nadine that she had her investigated. However, Nadine told her that she had known about it as Blake had been scared of her for quite some time because of it. However, she was not going to fire Nadine and told her that she was going to have Secretary Vincent Marsh investigated as well. Then they shared a glass of scotch together.
At home, Elizabeth surprised Henry as Father Laurent had come to visit. He was hoping to reconcile with him before he went to Rome to face “disciplinary action.” They reconciled after Father Laurent apologized for not telling him the truth from the very beginning.
And that was all for the recap on “Madam Secretary” Season 1 Episode 5 “The Call.” For more news and updates, includes spoilers and recaps, on “Madam Secretary” and other television shows, keep following Movie News Guide (MNG).
Catch “Madame Secretary” every Sunday at 8:00 p.m. on CBS.
Photo Source: Wikimedia Commons/Gustavo Fernandez