Madam Secretary s2 ep 23

The second season of Madam Secretary has just finished on UK TV. And, perhaps a little to my surprise, I’m forced to reflect that it has stealthily become one of my favourite shows on TV at the moment. To be clear: it’s not “great TV”. It’s not a Sopranos, a Mad Men, a Good Wife. Nor is it even a seasons 1 and 2 Scandal; although, as it happens, it’s significantly more consistent, in terms of quality and tone, than present-day Scandal. It’s very good, though. Really very good indeed.

In this finale, ‘Vartius’, Elizabeth learns, through her idiosyncratic consultant Mike B (the always-welcome Kevin Rahm) that President Dalton has identified a replacement for her. This perturbs her – not only has POTUS said nothing about it to her, but dude’s a friend – but the explanation, which arrives in due course, is that Dalton wants her to run as his Vice-President at the forthcoming election. Which… eh. I wouldn’t want to limit the character – and I’d hope we’re way beyond tokenism; in five seconds I can think of two shows with female VPs – but I quite like Elizabeth where she is.

Still, I’m confident that, whatever happens, Madam Secretary will be fine. It’s an intelligent, well-constructed show which appears comfortable in its skin; a show which knows what it’s doing, knows its strengths, and uses that confidence to grow and evolve. The longer story arcs in season 2 were a perfect demonstration of that: the way in which geopolitical crises in Russia and Pakistan were developed, and the consequent strain on the McCord marriage, was a model of how to do that sort of thing within the constraints of a network drama.


2 thoughts on “Madam Secretary s2 ep 23

  1. smkelly8 June 30, 2016 / 11:50 pm

    You’ve convinced me to get the DVDs. I’ve been in China and couldn’t see Season 2. (Someone would upload Season one on three hours after it appeared in the US — with Chinese subtitles. That’s bad for intellectual privacy laws, but to get the Chinese subtitles up so quickly was remarkable.)

    I liked Elizabeth, Henry and Dalton and found the kids at turns annoying and the immature staff members even more so. Kevin Rahm should be a regular.

    • Jed Bartlet July 1, 2016 / 12:14 am

      Oh yes, the kids are annoying. Although even they irritated me much less this time round. Maybe they’re getting older. Maybe I am. And I positively like (most of) the staff (most of the time), in particular Blake, who is adorbs.

      Agree entirely about Kevin Rahm. Perhaps he has another gig somewhere.

      Tim Daly, though, is series MVP as far as I’m concerned.

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