“Madam Secretary” Season 1 Episode 2 “Another Benghazi” aired on Sunday, Sept. 28, 2014. In this episode, Secretary of State Elizbeth McCord (Tea Leoni) dealt with a situation in Yemen that proved to be almost fatal for the United States Ambassador to Yemen, Paul Wellington (Tim Guinee). However, in order to keep him safe, Elizabeth had to turn to some unlikely allies. Meanwhile, both Elizabeth and her husband Henry (Tim Daly) dealt with their eldest daughter Stephanie “Stevie” McCord (Wallis Currie-Wood) who had organized a protest against a new school policy and quit college altogether. Read on to learn more about this episode.
The episode began in Yemen, where a protest had started outside of the United States Embassy, placing the Ambassador, Paul Wellington (Tim Guinee), and his family in a potentially dangerous situation. After talking with the Secretary of State Elizabeth McCord, Wellington informed her that his family was out of Yemen already. However, he was reluctant about her decision to beef up his security for his own protection.
The next day, at her office, CIA Director Andrew Munsy (Patrick Breen) informed Elizabeth of the situation and told her that the group, although not organized, is called “Death for America,” as that is what they were chanting. He also asked for a picture of George (William Sadler), a former colleague of Elizabeth’s who died in an accident. According to Munsy, for now, that is what they are calling it.
At the usual morning meeting, Elizabeth and her team discussed two important matters. First off, the team had gotten wind of some press regarding Elizabeth’s eldest daughter, Stephanie “Stevie” McCord, who had organized a protest against her university, Lovell University, as she was against the new policy change. Some of the team, such as Elizabeth’s writer, Matt Mahoney (Geoffrey Arend) was surprised about this fact, as Elizabeth had never mentioned it before. Elizabeth then told them that Stevie had wanted to keep a low profile and did not want to be hounded by reporters, which is why she was never really mentioned. However, they still had to give out a statement to the press in order to quell any rumors.
Afterwards, when they discussed the Yemen situation, Elizabeth learned that she would have to talk to Everard Burke, the Chairman of the Appropriations Committee, if she wanted to add extra men to Wellington’s security detail. She met him on the golfing range and showed him that she could play a good game, but he refused her request.
Afterwards, she and the President’s Chief of Staff, Russell Jackson (Zeljko Ivanek) briefed the President (Keith Carradine) regarding the situation. Elizabeth told the President that Yemen was currently a hotspot but was told that it would be tricky to send in extra troops as they were preparing to remove the troops from Afghanistan. However, since the safety of Wellington fell under her jurisdiction, the President handed over the matter to her, telling her to proceed with caution as it could not look like a military action.
Elizabeth then told her team during their meeting that they would use the Discretionary Fund in order to push through with their last option — to hire Vesuvian, a private security firm to help them out. However, this did cause a little bit of a problem, as during her stint in the academia, she called them “the latest guise of Satan” and “bloodless mercenaries who would kill out of ambition,” who were only interested in getting a paycheck. However, it was the only way that they could give more security for Wellington, without things looking like a military action.
After she met with Isaac Bishop, the CEO of Vesuvian, they both agreed that Wellington would have 50 men on the ground — some in the air and a helicopter on standby. This proved to be effective, as they were able to handle the situation by bringing out dogs and were able to round up some of the protesters.
However, things got out of hand when during a video conference call with Wellington, the screen went blank, and there was no signal at all from the Embassy. Elizbeth, Russell, and the President were called into the Situation Room, where they were informed that the news had reported that Vesuvian had fired on the prostestors, who had retaliated by bombing the Embassy. To this, the U.S. government responded by sending in Special Forces.
According to a preliminary examination of the site, it did not look like anyone had survived the attack and that there was no sign or word from the Vesuvian men. However, Isaac Bishop reassured Elizabeth that once the Vesuvian men got to a safe place, he would be notified.
While Elizabeth was at home, she got a call from the office, telling her to go right away to the situation room, as the Isaac Bishop was unwilling to share any information with them until Elizabeth got their. He informed them that he had received word from his men, and they patched them through via video. It was revealed that Wellington was safe and sound, as the Vesuvian team had moved him right after the first explosion. However, one of their men, a sweeper, who made sure that no one was left in the building, was killed during the second explosion. They were also informed that the news report got it wrong and that the Vesuvians had not fired on the people first.
Later on, Russell informed Elizabeth that the entire result wasn’t just all about luck and that the President thanked her for saving his face regarding the entire matter.
Elizabeth also took the opportunity to thank Isaac Bishop for his help and services and apologized a little for what she had said. However, Bishop revealed that because of her article against them, they had created stricter protocols and tried to practice restraint, which as it turned out, paid off. She then visited the family of the Vesuvian man that had died in order to pay her respects.
While all of the political drama was happening at the White House, Elizabeth had to deal with the fallout of Stevie organizing a protest. Stevie, much to Henry and Elizabeth’s surprise, showed up at home, announcing that she was going to quit college. Elizabeth tried to reason out with her to go back, but she had made up her mind about it.
However, during her lunch date with her father, she revealed that she had a difficult time adjusting to being the daughter of the Secretary of State. Keeping a low profile had failed as her schoolmates had found out about it, and then all of a sudden, it seemed like the entire world turned on her — her best friends tried to become closer to her; some students tried to become her friends; and some students hated her as they did not like Elizabeth’s policies or style. She also revealed to her father that she had quit college so that Elizabeth would not have to quit her job.
In the end, both Henry and Elizabeth decided that Stevie could take a year off from college, under the condition that she would get a job.
She was successful in getting an interview with a company that she liked as a writer, but as she had not graduated yet, they could not accept her. However, for just a moment, she decided to play the card that she was the Secretary of State’s daughter. When she mentioned this, the company started changing their tune, saying that they could probably work something out. However, Stevie decided to take it back, as it would be unfair to take advantage of her mother’s job.
At the end of the day, she congratulated her mother regarding the Yemen situation and told her that her job hunt for that day was unsuccessful.
Elizabeth then noticed the invitation from Munsy to attend the memorial service of George. As Stevie and Elizabeth reminisced about how George would perform magic tricks in front of Stevie, Stevie asked her mother what had happened to George. After a long pause, Elizabeth told Stevie that he got into an accident.
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Photo Source: Wikimedia Commons/Gustavo Fernandez