“Madam Secretary” Season 1 Episode 3 “Operative” aired on Sunday, Oct. 5, 2014, at 8:00 p.m. on CBS. In this episode, Secretary of State Elizabeth McCord’s (Tea Leoni) political and home life become intertwined as a man’s life dangerously hangs by a thread. However, the entire debacle only happened when several cables containing valuable information, including private emails, were released to the public by a journalist. Read on to learn more about the episode.
The episode began in Guinea, where Washington Chronicle journalist Gina Fisher met with her source, Viper, who revealed that he had intelligence that would bring the United States to its knees.
Three weeks later, at a press conference between Elizabeth and the Foreign French Minister Du Bois, Gina Fisher told everyone that Elizabeth’s foreign policy advisor, Jay Whitman (Sebastian Arcelus), had insulted Du Bois. She also revealed that she had more information and cables that she would be posting on the Washington Chronicle.
Back in her office, Elizabeth leanred that Du Bois had cut his meeting short with her and that the White House wanted to contain the situation as soon as possible. Elizabeth’s personal assistant, Blake Moran (Erich Bergen), told her that Jay’s email wasn’t the only out in the open, but other cables in which state officials openly insulted other foreign ministers and officers. She then instructed them to find out who exactly Viper was and his security clearance. Afterwards, together with Nadine (Bebe Neuwirth), her Chief of Staff, she called different foreign ministers and officials and apologized to them. Before she left for the day, she instructed Nadine to make sure that Gina Fisher was in her office the next day.
At home, Stevie (Wallis Currie-Wood) told her parents that she finally got a job, as a waitress. Henry (Tim Daly), her husband, was pleasantly surprised when the Russian Foreign Minister Gorev wanted to meet with him to discuss his article on Orthodox Church Schisms.
The next morning, she met with Gina Fisher, who told her that she would be posting a new release that afternoon and that it would be more serious than the first release. She then revealed to Elizabeth that her source was a top level SCI and had clearance for many programs and operations. This caused Elizabeth to worry as this might blow the covers of all of their covert operatives all over the world. She then asked Gina if it would be possible for them to review the cables before she released them, but she refused.
Meanwhile, Henry met up with Foreign Russian Minister Gorev, and they talked at length about Henry’s paper. However, afterwards, the minister revealed the real reason why he was there. His daughter, Olga, was one of Henry’s students and was currently getting Cs in his class. Now, as a C would affect her chances of getting into Harvard afterwards, he asked Henry to give her an A.
Because of the gravity of the situation, Elizabeth wasted no time in meeting up with the President (Keith Carradine), his Chief of Staff Russell Jackson (Zeljko Ivanek), and CIA Director Munsey (Patrick Breen). She then suggested that they should call in all covert operatives, as their covers might be blown due to the article. The President decided to side with Elizabeth, and Munsey worked as hard and as fast as he could to get his operatives to safety.
Back at her office, Jay informed her that Du Bois had called for him to resign. However, since she needed him at the moment, she told him that they would deal with it when everything was over. Then, thankfully, they were able to discover the identity of Viper. He was an INR analyst named Jed Heller and was top level SCI. As he had exposed information on them, Elizabeth instructed them to publish and reveal the Viper’s identity.
At that moment, Fisher’s new article came up, which compromised around thirty-seven operatives, but everyone was safe except for Roy Schaefer, whose real job in Pakistan was to keep an eye on their nuclear weapons. However, based on the footage in the Situation Room, Roy did not make it to the American Embassy as he was grabbed by the Pakistani military. The soldiers on the embassy had asked if they should engage in order to get Roy out of there, but as Elizabeth knew that they could not afford to go against Pakistan, she did not allow it.
They then discussed several options to save Roy, including an exfiltration operation. However, that was shot. Elizabeth then decided to meet up with the Ambassador of Pakistan to openly and publicly apologize. However, after the lunch with him, all the Ambassador told her was that he would make an inquiry for her, but that was it.
At home, Henry told his family what had happened during his lunch with Gorev and revealed that he had told Gorev that he wouldn’t be giving Olga an A.
In Pakistan, Roy was interrogated by the Pakistani soldiers and was tortured.
Back at Elizabeth’s office, Gina confronted her, saying that Heller was sick. Because they had revealed his identity as the Viper, the Guinean government did not want to let him go, as he was valuable. However, this caused some complications as Heller had two diseases — a worm disease and a disease where the necessary medicines needed to treat him were not available in Guinea. However, he had to be given the medicine and proper treatment as soon as possible or else he would die.
Meanwhile, things became even more serious as they learned that Roy had just been sentenced to death and that he would be hung in two days’ time. The entire team worked hard in order to come up with a solution, while Nadine informed them that Heller’s condition had gotten worse and was currently in the Intensive Care Unit.
Jay then suggested that they offer to give Pakistan a defense system that they had been asking the United States for, as India had one as well. Upon researching on the other countries that had this system, Elizabeth discovered that Russia had a defense system that could be given to Pakistan with the right leverage.
At home, she informed Henry about her solution to the problem — a three-way deal. The United States would give Russia something that they wanted so that they, in turn, could give Pakistan what they wanted — the defense system. Henry would figure in the entire equation, as all Foreign Minister Gorev wanted is an A for his daughter. Henry would have to give Gorev’s daughter an A so that Pakistan could get the defense system. And once they had that, they would release Roy to them.
At first, Henry was furious at Elizabeth for involving him in the operation, and she refused to give Olga Gorev an A because it would mean that his career would be ruined, as integrity was all that he had. He continued to refuse and asked Elizabeth to think of another way. She then asked if Henry could give Olga an incomplete mark instead so that it wouldn’t affect her grades. However, the deadline for submitting that grade had already passed. After much consideration and since Roy had a family to go back home to, Henry relented in order to save Roy’s and his family’s life. At the same time that Henry and Elizabeth were arguing, Ali (Kathrine Herzer), Elizabeth’s second daughter, revealed that her boyfriend had broken up with her via text. However, her parents already knew that as they had been spying on her as her phone plan was tied in with Henry’s iPad.
The next day, Elizabeth held a press conference with the Ambassador of Pakistan and informed the public that Pakistan was an important ally of the United States.
In the situation room, everyone held their breath, as they waited for Roy to appear on their screens. After much trepidation, he was returned, alive and well, to the guards holding the fort at the US Embassy.
At Elizabeth’s office, she opened up the bottle of cognac that the French Foreign Minister had given her and toasted to the return of Roy Schaefer. Nadine also informed them that Guinea had given Heller up, who was on his way to the United States to receive treatment. Apparently, Guinea was largely influenced by Russia, who had convinced them to let Heller return home.
Jay then confronted Elizabeth and handed in his resignation letter. However, she would not accept it, as his idea about giving Pakistan the defense system helped them get Roy back. She then told him that as he now worked for her, that he was now “her guy.”
At home, Henry and Elizabeth continued on spying on Ali, who had moved on from her ex-boyfriend pretty quickly and had been texting 17-year-old football player Flint Summers. However, because they weren’t sure if what they were doing was correct, they decided to cut the ties between their iPad and Ali’s phone. Afterwards, Elizabeth apologized to Henry for putting him in the middle of everything. He then told her that he was alright, especially when he saw that Roy was happily reunited with his family. She then asked him if this job of hers has made her into someone that he would never want to be with, but he assured her that that would never happen.
And that’s it for the recap on “Madam Secretary” Season 1 Episode 3 “Operative.” For more news and updates, including spoilers and recaps, on “Madam Seretary” 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