“Madam Secretary” Season 1 Episode 11 “Game On” aired last Sunday, Nov. 30, 2014 at 8:00 p.m. on CBS. In this episode, Secretary of State Elizabeth McCord (Tea Leoni), her husband Henry McCord (Tim Daly), and her staff all go to Caracas, Venezuela, on the pretense of a good will trip with renowned Venezuelan-born baseball player Emmanuel “Manny” Azucco (Philip Anthony-Rodriguez). They did it in order for Elizabeth and her Chief of Staff Nadine Tolliver (Bebe Neuwirth) could investigate a bank account in a Venezuelan bank that had belonged to the late Secretary of State Vincent Marsh, as part of their investigation into his death. However, their visit slowly started to unravel after Manny made an unexpected statement, thus putting their stay in jeopardy. Read on to learn more about the fall finale of “Madam Secretary.”
The episode opened with Isabelle (Marin Hinkle) coming over to the McCord house, on the pretext of babysitting the children while Secretary of State Elizabeth McCord (Tea Leoni) and Henry McCord (Tim Daly) went out on a movie date. Isabelle then informed them that after looking into the bank account number which Elizabeth’s Chief of Staff, Nadine Tolliver (Bebe Neuwirth) gave her. She discovered that the number traced to a particular bank in Caracas, Venezuela. They also learned that it was registered to a dummy corporation, and that they knew one of the signatories, whose identity was protected by a false name, to the account. It turned out that one of the signatories- Carlotta Tennyson- was Nadine. Isabelle also informed them that in order to gain access to the account, they needed Nadine to access it. It was part of the security measures in that bank included iris scans and fingerprint scans. Because of this, Elizabeth told them that they had no choice but to trust Nadine. She would change part of the itinerary of her goodwill trip to South America to include Venezuela, even if their president, President Suarez (Luis Antonio Ramos), hated the United States. Henry then decided that he would tag along on the trip. Elizabeth told Isabelle to “run intelligence into Russell Jackson.” Afterward, the two pretended to go out on a movie date.
The next morning, Elizabeth’s speechwriter, Matt Mahoney (Geoff Arend) told Elizabeth’s press coordinator Daisy Grant (Patina Miller) that he was excited about the South American goodwill trip. Daisy then informed him that they were also going to Venezuela, which greatly surprised him. He then asked Daisy if she had seen the DS760 forms that were given to them which, when signed, would allow them to travel together as a couple. However, Daisy refused to sign them. It had only been two weeks since she had broken up with her ex-fiance.
At the conference room, Elizabeth’s foreign policy advisor, Jay Whitman (Sebastian Arcelus), informed them that President Suarez refused to allow them to visit. Elizabeth wanted to talk him into agreeing to hold free elections, as he was a dictator. Daisy then suggested that they bring along Emmanuel “Manny” Azucco (Philip Anthony-Rodriguez), a renowned baseball player who had just retired who was looked upon as a hero in Venezuela as he was of Venezuelan ancestry. She suggested this as Suarez is a big baseball fan, and might be persuaded as Manny’s people were open to the idea. Elizabeth then told Daisy to go ahead with her idea.
After they had left, she asked Matt to stay behind so that that they could discuss about his upcoming meeting with Russell Jackson (Zeljko Ivanek), the President’s Chief of Staff, for whom Matt was working as a double agent. She told him that it was time to give him some real information. She told Matt to tell Russell that she had had a private conversation with Israeli Ambassador Lori Dori when the Israeli delegation had visited and that he had overheard them talking about “Dubai.”
Afterward, Elizabeth asked Nadine if she knew who Carlotta Tennyston was. She then confirmed that it was her, and that she had helped Vincent Marsh set up the account at a Venezuelan bank despite the fact that she knew that she was breaking a lot of laws. She believed that the money inside was for them after he had divorced his wife. She also revealed that aside from the trip to Caracas in which he had died, she would always accompany him there. On the trip before he had died, he had asked her to make a deposit there. After Nadine realized that Elizabeth had included Caracas on the trip because of that, she thanked her for not exposing her. She agreed to help her out to access the account.
Right after Nadine had left, Russell Jackson walked right in, and talked to Elizabeth about her trip to Venezuela. He also told her that Marsh had been interested in that place, and had even held meetings with local oil barons there. He then warned her to “tread carefully” there as Venezuela was a major source of petroleum for the United States. Before he left, he casually joked that Elizabeth could “finish” what Marsh “had started”- “to actually land.”
Later, in her office, Daisy, Jay, Nadine, Matt, and Elizabeth’s personal assistant, Blake Moran (Erich Bergen), briefed Manny on what was going to happen. They, President Suarez, Elizabeth, and Manny, would have a picture together. Then, he will say a few remarks which were going to be prepared by Matt with him on the plane. Elizabeth then came to thank Manny for helping them achieve the impossible. Her visit was going to be the first State visit an “American cabinet member” had in that century.
Before they left, Elizabeth and Henry thanked their eldest daughter, Stevie McCord (Wallis Currie-Wood), for coming home for a while in order to watch over Alison (Kathrine Herzer) while they were away. Their son, Jason (Evan Roe), conveniently was on a trip. Before reaching the airport, Matt played double agent, and informed Russell about the conversation Elizabeth had with Ambassador Dori, which left him greatly troubled.
At the Presidential Palace at Caracas, they were greeted by President Suarez and his wife, Sylvia, who had won the Ms. Universe pageant in 2002. After that, the President told Elizabeth that he knew that she was there to talk him into free elections. Before any talk could get more political, Manny was introduced to the President.
During the reception that was thrown in their honor, Daisy had to quickly “run interference” as the President’s wife was getting too familiar with Manny, much to Matt’s chagrin.
Later that night, at the hotel they were staying, Nadine told Elizabeth that she had heard that the President had “approved the open to considering the elections language. She told Elizabeth that she could handle their side business there the next morning. She had free time before the press conference that had been scheduled for noon the next day. Nadine was nervous about going in, but Elizabeth told her to “get in, get out, and say as little as possible.”
In her hotel room, after a while, Henry and Elizabeth called up the house in order to check on Alison and Stevie. They were a little bit worried that Stevie had been gone for a few minutes to buy soy milk. She claimed that she was not drinking real milk anymore. They then became suspicious as Stevie had hung up abruptly, but dismissed it, as it would be impossible for them to “slip a kegger past the detail”.
However, Stevie, as payback against her mom, did slip in Alison’s boyfriend, James Montgomery in. She then almost allowed them to sleep together, but quickly changed her mind and drove him back home at 1:40 a.m., much to Alison’s disappointment, especially as James stopped texting her the next day.
Meanwhile, at the hotel, Matt went up to Daisy’s room; and much to Blake’s surprise, Manny tried to get inside his room. However, Blake told him that he was working, and as Manny wouldn’t stop pestering him, he slammed his door into his face.
The next day, before the press conference, Nadine went to the bank and got into the vault, despite her nervousness.
Five minutes before the press conference, Jay told Matt that they were able to set up “new guidelines” for shared “drilling rights” for American companies. He was happy as it seemed like the President was a little bit open now to holding free elections.
Elsewhere in the room, Manny apologized to Blake about the night before, but he told him not to worry about it. She told him that he shouldn’t be a hypocrite about what he was as he was representing the United States, a country where in one was free to “live the way you want to.”
Nadine then informed Elizabeth that she had discovered that one week before Marsh had died, the account had around $ 40 million. It had been emptied out by Marie Porter, who claimed to be the “corporation’s recording secretary”, the day after Marsh had died. Nadine then asked her to find out who Marie Porter was. She did not recognize the name, and because she also wanted to find out what Marsh was really up to.
The press conference went on without a hitch until it came to Manny’s speech. He then told the world that he was a Venezuelan representing the United States and “the freedoms” it stood for, including the “freedom of speech, assembly, the right to choose to vote”, and revealed that he was gay. President Suarez then unhappily walked out of the press conference. He decided to cancel the visit and disavow them, as he had felt slighted by Manny. Daisy then informed Elizabeth that there had been rumors before that “Suarez had a little fun with the other cadets when he was at the barracks”, and guess that his machismo was attacked because of Manny’s announcement. Blake then revealed that Manny had opened up to him the previous night, and he had “said something about hypocrisy” to him. They were then interrupted as both Nadine and Elizabeth were called in by President Suarez.
The President then told them that he wanted a public apology from the United States and from Manny. If they wanted to humiliate him, that he would humiliate them. He then showed them, thanks to Colonel Fuentes, that they had proof that Nadine had tried to withdraw money from a bank account that was being monitored, as that bank was often used to launder dirty money. He then told Elizabeth that there would be no more “talk of free elections." She would make a public statement in which she would say that she supported the fact that he will be President for life. Outside, Elizabeth reassured Nadine they were “in this together.” She then asked Jay about “currency conversion” and told him to call up the US Treasury. They had to make a bold and clear move.
Back at Washington DC, Russell met up with Ambassador Dori. He asked him about the conversation he had with Elizabeth regarding the Dubai crash. However, the ambassador could not say anything else as it seemed like Russell knew everything already.
Back in Venezuela, Elizabeth revealed to President Suarez that she had really come to “indict” him. Nadine had been “gathering information” for a “broader investigation headed by the US Department of Justice” who were currently looking into the “lax security procedures of certain banks under your regime.” Jay then informed him that the US Treasury Department was concerned that those who were investigating it were investigating it so that they could use it for blackmail. The Treasury Department was considering to ban “all future transactions in US dollars carried out by Venezuelan banks”. Elizabeth then told him that that actually might happen if he canceled the free elections. She told him that she could probably bank for him at the US Treasury. As for damage control for the press conference, Elizabeth revealed that Manny was thinking of playing in the World Series that coming March as part of the Venezuelan team, which would improve their chances of winning. If they did, then they would have national pride, and would garner international attention. After he agreed to their terms, Elizabeth asked Colonel Fuentes to give her all the information he had on the other signatories in that particular bank account.
Back at home, she sent Isabelle a copy of the surveillance footage of Marie Porter withdrawing the $ 40 million from Marsh’s account and asked her to identify her. Isabelle then informed her that Russell had met up with Dori the previous day.
Before she left the office, she was confronted by Russell who was upset over the fact that she had been investigating Marsh’s death. He told her that he couldn’t believe that she would not have thought that he would find out about her poking around. He couldn’t believe that she would think that he and the President (Keith Carradine) murdered Marsh as she had just confirmed that she knew that Marsh had been murdered. She then told him that she had just changed her mind, and now knew that they had nothing to do with it. She knew this because after she had fed him the information on her meeting with Dori. He hadn’t covered anything up, and his reaction had just told her everything she needed to know. He then told her to tell her everything.
Next morning, Stevie covered for Alison and did not react to her mother’s hugs. Elizabeth was then interrupted by Isabelle, who had called her up as she had figured out who Marie Porter was. Elizabeth then informed Russell that Marie Porter had been identified as an Iranian national who was connected to the Iranian Foreign Intelligence Ministry, which meant that it was possible that Iran, because of the peace talks, which had originally been planned by Vincent Marsh, was responsible for his murder. Russell then told her to hand off the information to the CIA, and not to loop in the President yet, as they had just averted one war with Iran.
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And that was all for the recap on “Madam Secretary” Season 1 Episode 11 “Game On.”. For more news, updates and recaps on “Madam Secretary” and other television shows, keep on following Movie News Guide (MNG).
Catch “Madam Secretary” on its new time slot on Friday, January 2, 2015 on CBS.
Photo Source: Wikimedia Commons/Gustavo Fernandez