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'Madam Secretary' fan recap: Trouble in Turkey

Season 1 | Episode 15 | “The Ninth Circle” | Aired Mar 8, 2015

In the newest episode of Madam Secretary, episode, Bess must travel to Turkey to smooth things over after the Turkish government releases a video that could be damaging to Bess and Russell’s investigation. “The Ninth Circle” is all about the continued investigation into Marsh’s and George’s deaths—and Samali Mandavi, the Iranian woman who withdrew Marsh’s money and who was last located in Istanbul.

But first: The familial issue du jour is that Jason, Bess and Henry’s son, stands up for his mother at school after a bully is talking meanly about her. Jason ends up breaking the kid’s nose after punching him multiple times. Jason has to issue an “unreserved apology” to avoid expulsion, which he doesn’t give. In a great scene, Bess and Henry stand up for Jason during the school meeting, even after he gets expelled. But Jason is happy because he wants to go back to a more normal school with “normal kids,” as opposed to this fancy prep school where everyone brags about how rich and powerful their families are. Seeing Henry, Bess, and Jason all stand up for each other was both fun and touching.

Jason about to get expelled

Other than that side story, the entire episode is dedicated to political intrigue. So let’s get going.

“The Ninth Circle” begins with Isabelle visiting Bess. Of course, Isabelle is still upset with Bess for thinking she could be the mole, i.e., the person behind both George’s and Marsh’s deaths. Instead, it was their other best friend from the CIA, Juliet. Isabelle implies that she will forgive Bess after some time passes. Bess announces that a task force has been created to look for Juliet. Juliet’s note for Bess, found at the end of the last episode, states: “Whatever happens, know this—I did it for my country. This is a righteous cause.” They can rule out coercion and financial motivation for Juliet’s involvement. She believes she is a patriot.

Russell and CIA director Munsey show Bess a video. Samila Madovi, the woman seen withdrawing money from Marsh’s account (who was then located in an abandoned Iranian safe house in Istanbul), is seen murdered while trying to be detained. One of the American Special Ops agents, Brett Boris, is also murdered. Turkey refuses to release Brett’s body back to the U.S and accuses the CIA of attempted kidnapping (of Madovi). “Deny everything” and “disavow all connection to the op in Turkey” are the plans Russell and Munsey agree to. Bess must agree. Daisy is told to spin the story with the press by saying that Boris was there on vacation, as a tourist.

POTUS Dalton tells Bess, Russell, and Munsey that they need to get the problem contained. Bess offers to fly to Ankara and apologize for violating Turkey’s sovereignty. The sooner this will go away, the better. They need to make nice with the Turks for that to happen. Not even Bess’s staff can know why she’s really going.

Bess gets visited by Brett’s mother, who states that she knows he wasn’t on vacation in Turkey. She knows he was acting as Special Ops and wants to know what is going on. Bess can’t tell her, but invites her to come to Turkey with her and help bring home her son.

Bess is next seen in Ankara, and we see a woman in disguise meet her. It’s Isabelle, there to help! Isabelle says that Madavi had an encrypted laptop in her backpack. They need that hard drive.

The Minister of Turkey (pictured below) meets with Bess. She asks for access to the laptop and apologizes for violating sovereignty. She states that they were both betrayed by the same people, and access to the laptop can help her find out who they are. Bess makes a deal, offering discounted American gas in exchange for the hard drive. The Minister will bring the deal to the president.

Turkey Minister

Back in Washington, Daisy feels betrayed, as if she “was served like chum” to the press because of being in the dark about Istanbul. Matt tells her how he was Bess’ double agent, feeding false info to Russell about Dubai. He wonders if the whole thing is connected to the covert ops in Istanbul. Matt says that the whole town might work shady this way.

Bess meets with the Iranian foreign minister, who asks why Samila Madavi was grabbed: “Why kidnap your own asset?” Bess doesn’t understand. He states that Madavi was turned by the CIA; she became known when evidence was found in her apartment in Iran. He doesn’t believe Bess when she says she had no idea. He states that Iran will be withdrawing from the peace talks: “If it’s war you want, then war you will get.”

Bess thinks Juliet must have been the one running Madavi, now known to be involved in a plot against the Iranian government. She also realizes that without proof that they weren’t plotting against Iran, the nuclear truce is dead.

The Minister of Turkey and Bess meet again, and he accepts the offer of discounted gas from the U.S. in exchange for Brett’s body. But the access to the laptop is denied. “Never violate our sovereignty again,” he warns Bess. But on her way to the airport, the Iranian Foreign Minister pulls her over and brings her the hard drive. He says he was wrong for thinking she was lying about knowing Madavi was working with the CIA. “There are forces in both of our countries trying to foment war,” he tells her. “Once, at the Canadian embassy, we found a way to defeat them. I want to believe that working together, we can do so again.”

Her trip was a success. But all Nadine wants Daisy to say is that “the Secretary was in Turkey to clear up the misunderstanding in Istanbul. The Turks are withdrawing the accusation of CIA involvement. And Brent’s body is coming home.” Daisy is not sure she’s willing to spin the story. Overall, Daisy seem very unhappy with her position in this episode; she does not like lying to the press and being kept clueless. The press conference ends up being given by Daisy’s understudy.

Dalton, Russell, and Bess

The last scene shows President Dalton, Bess, and Russell in a war room. Munsey is escorted in. Juliet was not Samila Madavi’s handler. The hard drive revealed that Munsey was! The three of them confront him and reveal that he had Madavi killed when Bess, etc. got too close. They ask why he murdered George and Secretary Marsh. Dalton is livid, because he mentored Munsey for 20 years and handpicked him as his replacement for CIA director. Bess realizes there is a coup in the works.

Munsey says that the core objective Dalton taught him was a nuclear-free Iran. “I am simply following your directive,” says Munsey, “wiping out the Ayatollahs once for all. The coup is in motion and there’s nothing you can do to stop it.”


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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