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'Madam Secretary' recap: South American enlightenment

Season 1 | Episode 11 | “Game On” | Aired Nov 30, 2014

On Sunday’s Madam Secretary, the CBS drama dove head-on into the mystery of Marsh’s secret bank account, delighting fans eager for more information regarding Bess’ predecessor. “Game On” wastes no time before discussing this season’s thrilling overarching plot. The show opens on Bess, Henry, and Isabelle examining the Caracas bank account. It is linked to a dummy corporation and has three listed signatories. Isabelle figures out that one of the signatories, “Carlotta Tanniston,” is Nadine (her favorite author plus her college favorite professor). The only way to access the account is in person, with Nadine’s eye scan and fingerprint. Bess decides it’s time for a goodwill visit to Venezuela.

No American cabinet member has made an official state visit to Venezuela in over 15 years, and the current elected president, Francisco Suarez, has been open about not welcoming America’s “imperialist propaganda.” The country’s economy is in crisis and there are anti-government protests, because Suarez wants to cancel the upcoming election and become a dictator. Daisy comes up with the idea to interest Suarez in the visit by involving star baseball player Manny Azucco, which appeals to Suarez’s craving for fame and love of baseball.

Matt checks in with Bess about being her double agent. She wants to amp up the game; she tells Matt to reveal to Russell that she met with Ambassador Dory of the Israeli delegation and discussed Dubai.

Bess talks to Nadine about being a signatory, asking, “Do you have any idea how many U.S. and international fraud laws you’ve broken?” Nadine blames being in love and admits she made the deposit. Marsh told her the money was for them to use after his divorce. Nadine agrees to access the account during the trip.

Madam Secretary Téa Leoni Bebe Neuwirth

While in Caracas, Bess’ team makes some progress, as Suarez (Luis Antonio Ramos) agrees to consider opening the election. That night, Azucco (Philip Anthony-Rodriguez) shows up at Blake’s hotel room. Blake turns down the hookup, and the next day, Azucco asks him to keep the incident hush-hush. Blake lectures Azucco on being a hypocrite and not living an open life.

Nadine goes to the bank and finds that the $40 million account was emptied out the day after Marsh’s death by someone named Marie Porter. There is also a bank-camera photo of Porter, wearing glasses and a head scarf.

During the press conference with Bess and Suarez, Azucco comes out as a gay man, infuriating Suarez. He thinks Bess’ whole visit was a sham, Also, there were rumors during the last election that Suarez hooked up with men when he was younger, and he thinks this is related.

Suarez calls Bess and Nadine into his office. His chief of police has a photo from a bank camera that clearly shows Nadine accessing the account. Suarez tries to blackmail Bess, saying that they have videos of Nadine doing business with a dirty bank known for money laundering. Suarez wants no further mention of free elections, and wants Bess to make a public statement supporting his government and saying that she’d be happy if he chooses to be president for life.

Bess realizes she has to “beat Suarez at his own game.” She and Nadine brainstorm with the team, then go back into Suarez’s office. Bess says the goodwill tour was a sham; she came to Caracas to indict Suarez. She says that Nadine’s visit to the bank was part of a broader investigation for the U.S. Department of Justice into the lax security at banks under Suarez’s regime. His own security forces would have been monitoring such fraudulent banks not in the interest of enforcement, but for blackmail. Bess goes on to say that the U.S. Treasury is considering banning future transactions made in U.S. dollars at Venezuelan banks. This will occur if Suarez calls himself a dictator and denies free elections.

This would cripple the country’s national economy and undermine any progress Suarez has made. Bess says she is willing to advocate on Suarez’s behalf with the Justice Department if he backs down. They also state that Azucco is being looked at favorably on social media following his announcement, and he will agree to play for the Venezuelan national team in the World Baseball Classic. The ladies have successfully blackmailed the blackmailer.

Bess asks the Venezuelan chief of police for help identifying the two other signatories on the bank account. He agrees.

She returns to from her trip and goes directly to her office. Russell is waiting there for her and finally questions her about her investigation into Marsh’s account.

“You think I wouldn’t see, wouldn’t know? Nothing gets by me! Do you understand that?” Russell yells, knowing that she suspects that he and POTUS were involved in or knew about Marsh’s murder. Russell says he saw her questioning the report of Marsh’s death and knows she talked to Ambassador Dory about the identical plane accident (and whether it was really an accident). Bess says she wanted Russell to know and used Matt to see how Russell would react. The fact that he came to her tells her that Russell didn’t do it—he could have thrown her off the scent or set up false trails. “I didn’t want to be right about you and the president,” says Bess. Russell is shocked by her brilliant ability to plan and act as she did, and he wants to hear everything she knows.

Bess now has Russell to work with on the case. Isabelle identified the photo of Marie Porter as someone working for Iranian National, a known affiliate of the Iranian Foreign Intelligence Ministry. Russell wants Bess to hand the case off to the CIA.

“You really think we could be sending cruise missiles into Tehran?” she asks Russell.

“If Iranians are behind the murder of the Secretary of State, it won’t just be cruise missiles, and it won’t just be Tehran,” he responds.

Madam Secretary Zeljko Ivanek

Stevie is still angry at her mother after finding out her CIA past. Matt and Daisy hook up during the trip. Matt wants to sign forms with HR stating that they are a couple. Daisy says she isn’t ready; she just broke off her engagement and doesn’t want everyone in the office knowing just yet.

Madam Secretary airs Sundays at 8/7C on CBS.

TV Families | EW.com
Mark Harris
February 23, 1990 AT 05:00 AM EST

The Bradys are back, with a passel of 90’s hassles. Do they represent the typical American Family? Did they ever? Who does? Stare and compare!

Kind Of Family
TheBradyBunch 1969-74: Blended
The Bradys 1990-: Enormous
Married…With Children 1987-: Postnuclear
Thirtysomething 1987-: Extended
The Flintstones 1960-66: Modern Stone Age

Family Pet
The Brady Bunch: Tiger
The Bradys: Alice
Married…With Children: Buck
Thirtysomething: Grendel
The Flintstones: Dino

Typical Guest Star
The Brady Bunch: Davey Jones
The Bradys: There’s no room
Married…With Children: Sam Kinison
Thirtysomething: Carly Simon
The Flintstones: Ann Margrock

Expression Of Joy
The Brady Bunch: Groovy!
The Bradys: Ritual hugging
Married…With Children: ”Oh, great.”
Thirtysomething: ”Of course I’m happy for you. Really. But what about me? Why does it always have to be about you?
The Flintstones: ”Yabba-dabba doo

Expression Of Rage

The Brady Bunch: ”Hmmm…”
The Bradys: ”If you back away from something you really want, then you’re a quitter!” (the angriest any Brady has ever been)
Married…With Children: ”Aaagh, God, take me from this miserable life!”
Thirtysomething: ”I’m not angry, OK?”
The Flintstones: ”Willllmaaaa!”

Typical Problem
The Brady Bunch: Marcia and her rival both want to be the prom queen.
The Bradys: Bobby gets paralyzed.
Married…With Children: Al doesn’t buy his family Christmas presents.
Thirtysomething: Nancy gets cancer.
The Flintstones: Fred and Barney are staying out too late.

Typical Solution
The Brady Bunch: The prom committee decides to have two queens.
The Bradys: Bobby gets married.
Married…With Children: They hate him.
Thirtysomething: If only we knew…
The Flintstones: Wilma and Betty decide to follow them.

House Style
The Brady Bunch: Conservative but mod, circa ’69
The Bradys: Conservative but mod, circa ’90
Married…With Children: Roach motel
Thirtysomething: Enviable
The Flintstones: Suburban cave

Clothing Style
The Brady Bunch: Early Osmonds
The Bradys: Made in the USA
Married…With Children: Flammable fabrics
Thirtysomething: Eclectic earth tones; nice ties
The Flintstones: One-piece

Most Annoying Character
The Brady Bunch: Alice’s cousin Emma, the substitute housekeeper (too strict)
The Bradys: Marcia’s husband, Wally (chronically unemployable)
Married…With Children: Steve (supercilious)
Thirtysomething: Ellyn (goes through Hope’s drawers, babbles, changes hairstyle every other week, generally mistreats her friends)
The Flintstones: Mr. Slate (bossy)

Attitude Toward Sex
The Brady Bunch: Never heard of it
The Bradys: Omigod — even Cindy does it!
Married…With Children: Peg: Yes. Al: No.
Thirtysomething: They didn’t get all those kids by accident.
The Flintstones: Prehistoric

How Spouses Fight
The Brady Bunch: They don’t.
The Bradys: Infrequently, but it happens
Married…With Children: Tooth and nail
Thirtysomething: They stop talking
The Flintstones: Fred and Barney go bowling while Wilma and Betty max out their charge cards.

How Kids Get Into Trouble
The Brady Bunch: Greg takes a puff of a cigarette.
The Bradys: Carol’s grandson steals her business cards and sticks them in the spokes of Bobby’s wheelchair.
Married…With Children: By committing felonies
Thirtysomething: Ethan plays with a forbidden toy rocket.
The Flintstones: They don’t.

How They’re Punished

The Brady Bunch: ”It’s not what you did, honey — it’s that you couldn’t come to us.”
The Bradys ”Next time, ask.”
Married…With Children: By the authorities
Thirtysomething: It blows up in his face.
The Flintstones: They’re not.

What Family Does For Fun
The Brady Bunch: Takes special three-part vacations to Hawaii and the Grand Canyon
The Bradys: Has flashbacks
Married…With Children: Exchanges insults
Thirtysomething: Talks
The Flintstones: Attends showings of The Monster at the Bedrock Drive-In

Unsolved Mysteries
The Brady Bunch: How exactly did Carol’s first husband and Mike’s first wife die?
The Bradys: What’s with Marcia’s new face and Bobby’s blonde hair
Married…With Children: What kind of hair spray does Peg use?
Thirtysomething: Why did Nancy take Elliot back? What do Gary and Susanna see in each other?
The Flintstones: How does Barney’s shirt stay on if he has no shoulders? Where do Fred and Wilma plug in their TV?

Worst Behavior
The Brady Bunch: The Brady children once made Alice feel under-appreciated.

The Bradys: Marcia’s son Mickey watches Bobby’s car-crash tape for fun.
Married…With Children: The Bundy’s kill their neighbor’s dog.
Thirtysomething: Elliot has an affair and talks about it.
The Flintstones: Characters don’t wear under-clothes.

Best Reason To Watch
The Brady Bunch: This is what life should be.
The Bradys: They’re all grown-ups now!
Married…With Children: Terry Rakolta hates it.
Thirtysomething (Tie) This is your life. This isn’t your life.
The Flintstones: This is what life might have been.

Best Reason Not To Watch
The Brady Bunch: Blurred vision from rerun overdoses.
The Bradys: You’re all grown-ups now.
Married…With Children: She has a point.
Thirtysomething: After a while, you think it’s real.
The Flintstones: The Simpsons

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