“Madam Secretary” Season 1 Episode 7 “Passage” aired last Sunday, Nov. 2, 2014 at 8:00 p.m. on CBS. In this episode, Secretary of State Elizabeth McCord’s (Tea Leoni) first official trip to India turned into a disaster as an earthquake struck during her visit. The earthquake then caused a leak in an American chemical plant, which caused an even bigger disaster than the earthquake. Read on to learn more about this episode.
At the beginning of the episode, Secretary of State Elizabeth McCord (Tea Leoni) informed her staff that that they were going to go to Turkey for her first official trip, where she will be accompanied by her staff and family. However, her press coordinator Daisy Grant (Patina Miller) and her speechwriter Matt Mahoney (Geoffrey Arend) stayed behind. Daisy was a bridesmaid at her boyfriend’s sister’s wedding. On the other hand, Matt’s passport would not be ready in time for the trip as it had gotten held up. Instead of him, his deputy, Scott (Corey Cott), would be going as her speechwriter. After choosing to give a basketball signed by Michael Jordan as her present to the President of Turkey, her husband, Henry McCord (Tim Daly) arrived as they had planned to have lunch together. Before they left, he told her that he would not be able to go with her as his publishers had pushed up the deadline for the book he was writing and needed to do research at the archives. She complained as it was supposed to be a family trip. He then took the opportunity to remind her that Stevie (Wallis Currie-Wood), their eldest daughter, would not be going as she had work. Their conversation was then cut short as she had been summoned by the President (Keith Carradine) to Camp David.
There, she met up with him and his friend, Ted Graham (John Shea). The President asked Elizabeth if she considered going to India, especially as his friend, Ted Graham, who owned the Hepanza Chemical Factory in India, was going to be christened. They encouraged that she go there so that she could present America to India as a friend and partner. Hepanza held a “crucial stake” in American interests in India. Back at home, Elizabeth failed to convince her husband to go with her, but admitted that she was alright with the fact the President “rerouted” her trip.
The next day, Stevie, who was running late for work, was surprised to see her father at a café talking to a woman, instead of being in the archives. He then told her that she was a graduate student who was helping him out on a chapter in his book, but Stevie wasn’t convinced that he was telling her the truth.
In India, Elizabeth, together with Ted Graham and the Indian Foreign Minister, Chondita Samant (Sakina Jaffrey), christened the newest Hepanza plant. Afterwards, Foreign Minister Samant and other Indian dignitaries attended a lunch in her honor. During the lunch, Scott worried about the speech that he had written for the christening of the Hepanza Plant, as it seemed like Elizabeth and Samant were arguing with each other. At the presidential table, Samant and Elizabeth were discussing what the Hindustan Free Press had called her speech. However, their discussion turned into a toast, as Samant admitted that she liked that fact that Elizabeth was “passionate” about her work. She then learned from Jason (Evan Roe) that Alison (Katherine Herzer) had gone on the grounds with Sanjay in order to look at peacocks. Before any of them could take another step, they felt a tremor before it turned into a full -fledged earthquake. After everyone was brought to a safe location, Elizabeth was able to reunite with an unhurt Alison, who had been found by Elizabeth’s security detail. They then learned that they had experienced a 7.3 earthquake, leaving many parts of India devastated.
Back in the United States, Matt and Daisy ate and drank at a bar. Daisy told Matt that their relationship or affair was over because she was serious about her boyfriend. However, they were interrupted, as they saw Stevie, who was underage and drunk at the bar. Matt then left ahead, so that they would not be seen together. Afterwards, Daisy went to Stevie and got her sober. After a while, the two talked, and Stevie revealed that she suspected her father of cheating on Elizabeth. She had seen with a younger woman, and because she had discovered that he had not been in the archives for weeks, when he said that he was going to be there. As news of the earthquake came to them, Matt was suddenly glad that his passport had gotten held up, and Daisy had to miss the wedding as they had work, and a video conference call with Elizabeth.
During the conference call, they learned that Elizabeth had sent her kids home as soon as she could. She had been busy that day as she was busy going around with Minister Samant and the USAID in order to help those that were most hit by the earthquake. Daisy said was also beneficial to her as it was good press for Elizabeth. Elizabeth also informed them that she was coming home that night and told Matt that Scott would be working on her exit address.
That night, on her way to the airport, Henry called to tell her that the kids had arrived home, shaken, but alright. He then began to tell her something about his work, but was cut short. They had just learned that the Hepanza Factory had sustained a leak in one of their tanks which contained a highly flammable and toxic chemical which ignited, caused a blast, and caused the Ganges River to burn up, leaving more than four thousand people dead.
Back at the State Department, Elizabeth learned that the factory had leaked as the Indian industrial standards were lower than American standards. Scott apologized for adding a Ganges River metaphor in his Hepanza speech. Daisy told her that now, her name was linked to the leak and the fire, due to the fact that news stations kept on playing clips of the blast and her speech on the loop. Elizabeth’s Chief of Staff Nadine Tolliver (Bebe Nuewirth) then suggested that they bring in the Texas Hotshots, the only ones who could handle and stop the fire from spreading. However, Elizabeth told them that she was not worried about her image at that moment. She was concerned about making sure that their ties with India have not been totally severed. She then handed out her instructions to her team. Matt and Scott were to work together to come up with a response speech, Nadine was to get the Texas Hotshots on a plane to India, and her personal assistant, Blake Moran (Erich Bergen) was to set up a conference call between her and Samant. However, even if America was offering aid to India regarding the Hepanza blast, Samant could not accept it, as the Indian President was all about Indian nationalism, and to accept American aid for an American plant who refused to apologize to India regarding the incident, would go against what he stood for.
At the White House, Ted refused to apologize as Hepanza had complied with all of India’s requirements. However, the President told him that Hepanza and India should resolve their problem on their own. As Elizabeth and the President’s Chief of Staff, Russell Jackson (Zeljko Ivanek) left the President, he told Elizabeth that he had wanted her to go to Turkey instead of India.
Back at the State Department, Matt started to complain to Elizabeth about Scott, whom he could not seem to work with. She then pulled him aside and told him that the reason why she had not let him go with her to India was because she was testing Scott out. This was because she knew that Matt did not seem to have his heart in his work. His speeches were nowhere as good as what he had come up with before during former Secretary Vincent Marsh’s time.
Later, during their meeting, Daisy got called out. She kept on talking on trying to put a “spin” on her visit to the plant in order to save her standing as Elizabeth was looking for more than just “press manipulation”. As they took a one-hour break, Daisy took the opportunity to inform Elizabeth that a “close source” had told her that her husband was having an affair. He had been seen around town with a younger woman. Elizabeth then told Daisy that she was out of line, especially as it seemed as if she was using it as a “smokescreen” in order to have a handle on “her situation with Matt”. Afterwards, Elizabeth, who could not rest easy regarding that piece of information, confronted Henry at home about it. She had noticed that he had been sneaky and secretive as of late and that he did not talk a lot about his newest book, which he usually does when he was writing a book. She then realized that he was acting very much like when he was working for the NSA. He then told her that he was working on a top secret mission that he could not reveal to Elizabeth. However, he told her that he had the girl he had been seen with was his handler. She then guessed that he and the NSA were working again on the regarding another religious scholar. He told her that he had been chosen as he was one of the few that could walk up to him without raising any suspicions.
Back at the State Department, Matt told Elizabeth his plan. As India refused to accept American aid because Hepanza would not apologize to them, he suggested that since Elizabeth was already linked to the accident. She should be the one to take responsibility, and apologize for what had happened, It was said that she had not double checked the plant to make sure that it held up to both Indian and American industrial standards. In doing so, she would be able to get the world’s attention, which was crucial , because if she did so, the world will wonder why India would continue to refuse American help, to the point that India would be forced to hire the Texas hotshots. This would also cause the news cycle to be disrupted, and it would reframe her entire visit to the plant. She then congratulated him for a job well done before leaving to run the speech by the President.
Before her press conference, Daisy apologized and told her that she would not bring her issues at work again. She was more than ready to work again, which was good news to Elizabeth as she needed Daisy’s “magic to survive Matt’s speech”.
Afterwards, the President congratulated her on her speech. It had the desired effect that they had hoped for. America had apologized for the incident, India saw it as an opportunity to prove that they were more powerful than the United States. The fire and leak had been contained, and Ted had resigned after his board called an emergency meeting regarding the incident.
Later that night, after the speech, Matt ran all the way to Daisy’s apartment and tried to tell Daisy how he felt about her, as he was done with just coasting through life. However, Daisy interrupted him, and told him that her boyfriend had just proposed to her, and she had accepted.
Back at home, Elizabeth reassured Stevie that Henry was not having an affair. But that she could not offer any explanations, as it was a private matter. She asked Stevie to respect their privacy as much as they respected hers. She told her that she was grounded for two weeks. Daisy had told her that she had gone to a bar while she was still underage and had gotten drunk.
And that was all for the recap of “Madam Secretary” Season 1 Episode 7 “Passage”. For more news, updates and recaps on “Madam Secretary” and other television shows, keep on following Movie News Guide (MNG).
Catch “Madam Secretary” every Sunday night at 8:00 p.m. on CBS.
Photo Source: Wikimedia Commons/Gustavo Fernandez