Madam Secretary Live Review: “Hijriyyah”

Madam Secretary

Madam Secretary has always tried to be faithful to current events, and this week is no different.

In keeping with the current Refugee Crisis, this week’s story follows a sinking Libyan refugee ship requesting asylum in Italy on the basis that he has seen Jibral Disah, the man responsible for the bomb that Henry was in. The man claims he worked mechanics for the bomber, so Italy contacts the US.


Concurrently, now that Henry is fully healthy again he is looking forward to his new job. This is especially exciting since he no longer has to hide things from Elizabeth. It’s nice that his work intersects with hers and they can actually work together as a team both at home and at work. He’s also back to working with Jane, who is apart of the team tasked with finding Disah.


The team, Elizabeth, and the President are apart of an overseas interrogation with the mechanic. They need to know that his intelligence is accurate. He claims that he saw the bomber with one of his wives, but US intel claims that both of his wives haven’t left their native country. His knowledge doesn’t seem credible, and since the refugees aren’t under US jurisdiction, all they can do is leave it in the hands of the Italians. The Italians will turn them away due to overcrowdedness, and luckily Henry finds evidence that shows the mechanic is actually telling the truth.


Elizabeth wants to work on saving the refugees at the same time. Russell has reservations about this, but let’s face it, it’s his job to worry. She tasks her team with finding a way to transfer the refugees to an American Naval ship at an Italian port and use “Joint Naval Exercises” as a cover in case the press gets ahold of the story. It’s not so much the press that Elizabeth has to worry about, it’s a racist Arizona senator whose campaign platform was basically a call for segregation and isolation. The senator spouts on about keeping America for Americans, and Elizabeth finds the hypocrisy of his argument disgusting considering his own parents were Cuban refugees. Elizabeth has no choice but to read him in to keep him quiet.


Henry has to work with a difficult team who doesn’t necessarily trust his assessment of the level of devoutness of a potential witness to Disah. Once they are home, it’s nice to see Henry and Elizabeth be able to freely talk about work. The intelligence team decides to trust Henry’s assessment, so they send a member of the team to Libya to bribe their potential source of his information. Everyone gathers in the situation room to watch to see if the source is credible or a threat, and unfortunately he is the latter. He sets of a suicide bomb which kills soldiers and a member of Henry’s team. This time Henry was wrong.


The operation may have gone bad, but Henry still believes that his initial assessment was correct. Sure enough Russell calls later and tells them that the bomber didn’t trigger the bomb, it was detonated remotely. So Henry’s assessment was right all along. This man was most likely threatened into taking the actions that he did. Elizabeth is determined to have some part of this week turn out well. She instructs her team to go full steam ahead with the plan to rescue the Libyan refugees. She faces an uphill battle as the Justice Department tries to get an injunction to keep the refugees out. Gee I wonder who they got that idea from. Elizabeth reminds the Senator that the President has the power to place refugees in any state he chooses, including his own. She also reminds him that one of those refugees could grow up in a free land a maybe become a Senator like him. (Pay attention people).


Now knowing that their source/bomber was coerced, Henry works diligently to figure out anything he can about the circumstances and he finds a clue. In the bomber’s last moment he yells out a name-Hijriyyah. Brainstorming with the rest of the team, Henry, Elizabeth and Russell figure out that it is the name of a woman, the new 3rd wife of their target. Since her identity has been so heavily guarded, they know that she is important, and therefore a weakness to be exploited.


Stevie has a new boyfriend named Jareth, who she seems to be intent on pushing away. She gives it a chance though and decides to bring him home to meet the parents. Not that I doubt Stevie’s intentions, but this particular move never seems to end well. For once it’s actually the parents who mess it up. Preoccupied with the current crisis, both Henry and Elizabeth drop the ball and forget their dinner. When Jareth shows up for dinner he is surprised to learn that Henry was in the hospital and Stevie didn’t tell him. Stevie gets upset quickly. The real reason she didn’t tell Jareth was to shield herself from the weight of worrying about her family. It was easy for her to see Jareth as the fun part of her life to distract her, but he is really there for her. The next day he comes to the McCord house bearing scones and makes a very good impression on the family.


How does the new arc of the season compare to the Fall Arc? Thoughts?

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