Madam Secretary Season 5 Episode 12 Assessment: Strategic Ambiguity


Company cash in politics resulting in conflicts of curiosity.

Finances disagreements threatening to show right into a authorities shutdown.

Madam Secretary Season 5 Episode 12 as soon as once more pulled from present political occasions with out turning into partisan or preachy, leading to a tense story that raised extra questions than it supplied solutions.

All through the hour, Elizabeth stored making an excessive amount of headway too quick, so it was apparent one thing was going to go fallacious.

She was proper in her prediction that promoting the F-40s to Taiwan was going to trigger World Conflict III, so it was a aid that the disaster was averted at halftime regardless of understanding there needed to be extra to the story.

I noticed the man with the digicam, however I did not guess that he was working for some Congressman. I believed that was one among Mike B’s individuals taking undesirable publicity pictures once more.

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In any case, for the reason that State Division had simply closed a safety loophole that had led to the information in regards to the deal being leaked to China, you’d suppose they’d be certain that undesirable individuals weren’t hanging across the assembly with Chen!

It made for excellent drama that they weren’t, although.

I wasn’t positive whether or not the digicam man labored for Brandt or whether or not it was one other leak, however both method that allowed the Congressman to aim to undermine Dalton and Elizabeth.

Russell stored saying that their solely choice was to close down the federal government. I am unsure how he deliberate to try this, since not like in the true America in January 2019, Congress was keen to vote on measures the President did not wish to signal and had sufficient votes to override a veto.

Extra importantly, would this have been the fitting factor to do on this state of affairs?

Effectively, I for one am bored with the tail wagging the canine, so let’s go.


Brandt’s strongest argument for his emergency rider was that canceling the Fossor contract put a ton of People out of labor. So how would shutting down the federal government and furloughing extra People who reside paycheck to paycheck assist something?

It looks like that might be horrible optics and simply give Brandt extra help as a result of he claimed to be pro-jobs.

If Brandt runs in opposition to Elizabeth, which I believe he would possibly, the very last thing she wants is him stating she was a part of an administration that allowed such a factor to occur.

Dalton: A great President accomplishes two, possibly three issues that transfer the nation ahead. A wonderful President, possibly 4. I believe you will be a superb President.
Elizabeth: Thanks, sir. However what does that should do with Fossor?
Dalton: You possibly can spend your Presidency combating this. However earlier than you do, be certain that that is actually what’s necessary to you, as a result of it should eat your total Presidency.

Elizabeth was naive to suppose that convincing Congress to vote in opposition to the rider can be the top of Fossor Industries’ involvement within the authorities.

She felt betrayed that Dalton agreed to let Fossor eat the price of the additional planes and hold them in America. However Dalton was pondering extra long-term than she was. 

If the contract remained canceled, individuals would nonetheless be out of labor — and Dalton does not wish to finish his time period because the President who let that occur. For the reason that new take care of Fossor did not have an effect on worldwide relations, it was a win-win for him and Elizabeth to take that deal.

Dalton may protect his legacy and exit on a excessive notice that might make it simpler for individuals to wish to vote for his most well-liked successor, whereas Fossor was placed on discover that if it engaged in shady dealings, the Division of Justice would be certain that the executives concerned have been caught and punished.

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Elizabeth is insisting on dying on this hill, however is it actually as price it because it appears?

She has lofty beliefs, however she’ll should play the political recreation to perform something, assuming she succeeds in successful the Presidency.

I believe she in all probability is aware of it, too, as a result of she so eloquently warned Alison in opposition to letting her beliefs intervene together with her voting for the most effective candidate on Madam Secretary Season 5 Episode four.

Look, Jeff, I am not a Congressman, however I used to be a Marine, similar to you, and I swore an oath to defend the Structure, not a company.


In order offended as she is, she’ll in all probability settle down, particularly with some assist from Henry.

In any case, Henry shouldn’t be solely an skilled on historical past and philosophy however was enlightened himself when he realized his pal Jeff had different pressures to think about when voting moreover the stress to do the fitting factor.

Blake’s response to Gary was fascinating.

There was a ton of chemistry between the 2 males, and since Blake identifies as bisexual, I puzzled instantly if Gary’s provide of drinks was the beginning of one thing greater than a piece relationship.

It wasn’t, however I loved their interactions a lot that I used to be disenchanted that Gary left to take the job in Boston Blake had discovered for him!

Blake: Why did you ask to get a drink if you happen to do not drink?
Gary: It is simply one thing individuals say. Let’s lower to the chase. No person needs to hang around with me socially. So I am guessing Madam Secretary despatched you right here to search out out one thing. Am I proper?

It was unhappy that Gary was so cynical and distrusting. Perhaps if he’d put much less belief in his girlfriend and extra in Blake and his different co-workers, he would not have gotten himself into the state of affairs he was in.

In any case, Blake put his entire coronary heart and soul into attempting to defend Gary, even demanding to know why Jay was being so arduous on the man.

Jay’s clarification that Gary had introduced labeled materials dwelling and that the problems he labored on have been issues of life and dying ought to have been a no brainer, however clearly, Blake noticed one thing in Gary that nobody else did.

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Blake’s checking on Gary and providing him a brand new job was candy, and so was the recommendation Gary supplied him in return.

Gary: For a seventh-floor sort, you actually have a giant coronary heart.
Blake: Too large, or so I have been instructed.
Gary: Take heed to me. If you happen to’re gonna struggle the great struggle, you are gonna want a giant coronary heart, trigger this job’s gonna chip away at it on daily basis.

Let’s hope these two keep in contact, not like Jay and his Dutch chess champion girlfriend, who hasn’t been heard from once more since they parted methods on the finish of Madam Secretary Season 5 Episode 6.

I’ve to confess I wasn’t a lot of a fan of the Daisy/Matt story.

Jay thought their issues paled compared to the worldwide disaster the employees was coping with, and I needed to agree.

Perhaps it is as a result of Matt is my least favourite character, however I discovered this subplot to be foolish and considerably predictable, even when it did spotlight how arduous it’s for Daisy to steadiness all of the elements of her life whereas working at such a high-pressure job.

So what do you suppose, Madam Secretary fanatics?

Who was proper: Dalton or Elizabeth?

Would you want Blake and Gary to share greater than this one story?

Was Daisy and Matt’s facet story a welcome aid from the extreme plot, or was it foolish filler?

Weigh in beneath, and do not forget you’ll be able to watch Madam Secretary on-line if you happen to missed something!

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