The main plot in ‘The Courage To Continue’ is classic Madam Secretary. Haiti’s new president-elect, Galbert, is liberal, tolerant; everything America wants. Well, almost: he’s a bit high-handed when it comes to accepting aid from NGOs, but Elizabeth is down with that. However, the outgoing president, a military strongman by the name of Dupont, is reluctant to go, in the manner of military strongmen everywhere. So while Galbert is in the States for a grip-and-greet with President Dalton, Dupont declares that Galbert’s election victory was fraudulent (it wasn’t) and that he intends to stay in power, dissolving Parliament and the Supreme Court to make sure no-one can contradict him.
Elizabeth’s dilemma is that she wants to kick Dupont out, but without making Galbert look like an American puppet. Meantime, and without telling her, Dalton has ordered an invasion of Haiti, which would have precisely that effect. And Galbert wants to return to Haiti to stake his claim, running a significant risk of being killed. Dupont, Galbert, Monaco, Haitian oligarchs, and American billionaires are all part of Elizabeth’s diplomatic dance as she tries to remove Dupont, install Galbert, and keep Dalton on a leash, all without the spilling of blood. Frankly, she’s too good at this to run for the Oval. She should stay where she is.
Blake, meantime, is about to get fired, per M-Sec’s promise of a year ago, in order to move him out of his comfort zone. But what, he thinks, if I apply for a policy job within State? Then I could stay with my family! Jay, however, patronises Blake to the point where he loses his confidence, and forgets that he’s dazzlingly gifted and vastly overqualified. Frankly, Jay, Blake should be doing your job. Predictably, though, Elizabeth knows what time it is, and appoints Blake to her policy team. A highly enjoyable episode; even the underfed subplot with Elizabeth and Henry debating whether they should be buried in Arlington is skilfully done.