Well after missing last week’s recap, I’m back! And I’m excited to have a fun episode to write about. This week’s Madam Secretary had everything I love about this show. It was simple and was more about the characters as opposed to some insane international crisis.
Episode seven centered around the reopening of the Cuban Embassy in D.C. and the American Embassy in Cuba. Bess and her team (excluding Matt) are very excited about this occasion, but Bess really moves into action when a senator is caught in a scandal and resigns from his post. This particular senator was in charge of what gets brought to a vote in Congress, and Bess takes this chance to push for a vote to lift the United States’ Embargo on Cuba. When Matt hears about this new plan, he tells Bess he wants to help but she at first turns him down. She doesn’t want his help if he isn’t sincerely excited about the U.S. mending its relationship with Cuba. She refuses to let him help her write the speech to be given at the American Embassy’s opening, but Matt insists that Bess let him prove his sincere interest. So instead of writing a speech, Matt goes out and meets with two former Marines who were stationed in Cuba at the time the embargo was instated.
Meanwhile, Bess goes to the President and pitches her idea to lift the Cuban embargo. And of course her nemesis Craig doesn’t think it’s worthwhile, but for once Russel actually agrees with Bess. Not much convincing later, and the President has agreed to support the vote. As soon as she gets the President’s okay, Bess and her team begin scrambling to get enough “yes” votes. Russel even steps in a couple of times to help Bess out, but all does not fair well. Just as they get the last vote they need to win, Bess and Russel see one of their senators giving a press conference on the news. He brings a woman on the screen and announces that he’ll only vote to lift the embargo if Cuba returns a fugitive living there accused of murdering this woman’s husband, a Chicago police officer, decades before.
So instead of being able to enjoy her trip to Cuba, Bess now has to find this fugitive (Afeni) and convince the Cuban government to return her to the United States. But before she can even make it to Cuba, Russel jumps into her limo to catch her up on this senator debacle. Henry suggests that perhaps Craig is behind this whole thing since he opposes this vote, and because he’s still mad at Bess about Russia. Russel thinks Henry’s crazy, but agrees to keep an eye on Craig in the meantime.
Upon her arrival, Bess meets with Cuba’s foreign minister and convinces him to take her to Cuba’s First Vice President. At this meeting Bess presents the VP with three Cuban prisoners the U.S. government is willing to trade for Afeni, but the Cuban VP shoots her down. The Cuban foreign minister is disappointed in this outcome, so he takes Bess to meet with Afeni in person. He suggests that since she can’t get the Cuban government to turn her over, perhaps Bess can convince Afeni to turn herself in. Of course this does not happen. Afeni refuses Bess’s offer because she never shot the police officer, and she fears she won’t get a fair trial since she’s an African-American woman. Never one to take no for an answer, Bess does her research and discovers that the FBI purposely hide evidence that proves Afeni never shot the cop. She comes back to Afeni with this news, and also promises to give her as much press coverage as she wants so that the American people will know her story.
And so, with Afeni returned to America, Congress votes to lift the embargo on Cuba. Bess gives a lovely speech at ceremony, and she’s accompanied by the former Marines Matt sought out. Even in the White House, everyone seems thrilled with this historic moment. That is of course except for Craig who Russel sees cozying up to the senator who derailed the vote in the first place. This moment convinces Russel that Craig was behind the whole debacle, and tells Bess the only way they can solve this problem is to “bury” Craig. I really hope they can pull this off. I will not be sad to see Craig go….