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'Madam Secretary' recap: Ways to ruin an anniversary weekend

Season 1 | Episode 12 | “Standoff” | Aired Jan 4, 2015

To fans’ delight, CBS’s hit political drama Madam Secretary returned Sunday after a break for the holidays. When we left off, Elizabeth, Henry, and Isabelle worked together to find former Secretary of State Vincent Marsh’s secret bank account and used Nadine’s access to gain information. The $40 billion account was withdrawn by someone working for Iranian National, a known affiliate of the Iranian Foreign Intelligence Minister. Also, Bess and Russell are now working together on the case.

How often does Secretary of State Bess McCord get away for the weekend? Not often! But to celebrate their 25th wedding anniversary, Bess and Henry plan a weekend vacation to the Big Apple. Does Bess get to enjoy a relaxing, romantic rendezvous? Guess again.

“Standoff” begins with two members of a Mexican drug cartel pulling up to the Mexico/Texas border. U.S. Border Patrol finds them there, and a shootout follows. One of the cartel members is killed, as well as Border Patrol’s Officer Banks.

Bess meets with Banks’ widow and son. They want the killer, Carlos Ochoa, to get the death sentence, but he is going to be tried in Mexico. Bess can get Ochoa extradited, moving him and his trial to the U.S., but the death sentence will have to be taken off the table (Mexico has a standing policy against extraditing prisoners up for the death penalty). Bess can only promise a fair trial and seeking the maximum penalty. The family reluctantly agrees.

After the meeting, Blake pushes Bess out the door so she can leave Friday afternoon for her anniversary trip to NYC. He will look in on the family. Before leaving, Henry has a meeting with his NSA handler, Sarah, who tells him his assignment is complete; the bug he planted in Klaus’ home came up empty.

Bess’ policy advisor, Jay, has lunch with Texan governor Caleb Lockwood, whom Jay used to work with. Lockwood is upset Bess didn’t consult him regarding the deal with Mexico about the extradition.

“Since when does a foreign country dictate terms to the United States?” yells Lockwood.

“The Secretary was thinking about Banks’ family. Second tier justice is still justice. The family deserves that,” Jay replies.

But Lockwood goes on television and says the same thing. This concerns Bess’ staff because he is pulling a stunt while she is gone—one that could effect border and immigration policies.

A brief scene shows Ochoa in his prison cell when a helicopter approaches his window. He is broken out of jail/kidnapped off-camera by an anarchist militia called the Citizens of the Republic of Texas. They bring Ochoa to Texas, claiming to take control of the extradition process. This is bad news for Bess’ team and her getaway.

Also bad news for Bess and Henry’s trip? They keep arguing about Stevie. She is still not talking to Bess, and upset about finding out her mother was in the CIA and involved in any way with people being tortured. Bess thinks they give Stevie too much lenience. Bess and Henry go to dinner, but are not getting along well. Before sitting down, Henry alarmingly bumps into Klaus. Bess doesn’t know who he is and invites him to join them. Henry calls Sarah and wants her help investigating the truth of Klaus’ story about why he is in town. It’s not. He’s lying and Henry is on edge.

Henry and Klaus Madam Secretary

Klaus is talking about making sacrifices for his 14-year-old son when he grabs his suitcase. Henry slams it down and calls in Bess’ security guards. Bess and Henry head to the car, where he tells her everything. She is angry that he lied about his involvement with the NSA being done. Klaus comes up clean with security. He is a money launderer and a smuggler, but not an assassin.

The Deputy Security of State, Steven Cushing, still doesn’t want Nadine calling Bess. But Lockwood and militia supporters refuse to release Ochoa to the FBI, who have a warrant for his release. It’s officially a standoff. Jay heads to Texas and calls Bess to meet him there.

“I haven’t been gone 24 hours. Civil war with Texas? Really?” Bess’ NYC weekend is officially over.

Jay tells Bess that Lockwood has aspirations to run for president. This is perfect ammunition for solving the problem. Bess meets with Lockwood, who continues to be obstinate. She tells him that her office received a Mexican warrant for his arrest for illegal confinement of a Mexican citizen—at her suggestion. If he were to go to any country that has an extradition agreement with Mexico, they would ship him to Mexico. She reminds him that this would cause a serious problem if he wants to to run for president. Also, if he continues to refuse, she will recommend to the Attorney General that he be charged with abuse of official capacity, unlawful restraint, and conspiracy, to name a few. With that, Lockwood backs down and releases Ochoa.

Klaus asks to meet with Henry at an NYC park. Klaus knows Henry planted the bug. As Klaus puts it, “Running into you wasn’t a coincidence, but I had no intention of hurting you. I want protection. I am in too deep with certain people whose views have become too radical.” Klaus is worried that these people could use his son as leverage to keep him in check. Klaus wants protection for his son and is hoping Henry and Bess can help him. Henry arranges for Klaus to meet with Sarah and the NSA. They flip him but will not provide protection until they get more information from Klaus, angering Henry.

Last, Bess’ son Jason hurt his ankle while under Blake’s watch. It was supposedly Blake’s fault. Daisy is concerned about PR, but they are able to get Jason into and out of the hospital without the paparazzi seeing. Blake apologizes to Bess, but she is not upset. “If it’s any conciliation, my anniversary was a crushing disappointment even without family injuries and civil war,” she tells him.

Henry and Bess apologize to one another. Henry says all the nostalgia and trying to make everything perfect puts pressure on them and is a reminder of how different everything is. They decide to be more spontaneous and to not orchestrate their romance so much.

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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