Madam Secretary Season 3 Episode 9 Review: Snap Back

at .  Updated at .

I'm pretty sure being able to ask the chief of staff to the President of the United States for a recommendation letter when you've barely spoken to him is the definition of privilege.

Stevie didn't really realize what she was getting into on Madam Secretary Season 3 Episode 9 when she asked Russell for a sit down.

Stopping Israel - Madam Secretary

As a former young "mod-pro" resident of DC, I had so many feelings about the opening scenes at the McCord house. I'll start by saying that, for once, Jason was the least annoying and most in touch person in the family.

Let's start by how hilarious is was that Elizabeth and Henry were worried about law school tuition. Not only are they probably pulling in at least $300k between them, but there's family money.

Of course, my middle class Midwestern upbringing leaves me baffled as to why mom and dad are paying for post grad at all. 

At least the writers were self aware of the absurdity of the situation, even if Stevie wasn't. 

Stevie: Maybe I'm just being entitled and stupid.
Jason: You and the rest of America.

As ridiculous a plot point as Stevie pestering Russell for a letter of recommendation was (seriously, you don't know any other Harvard lawyers?), it did provide a (overly contrived) opportunity for Russell and Stevie to interact. I mean, how else would you get those two in a room together?

I wasn't surprised by Russell's advice to Stevie about not going to law school, but I did think it was funny that he echoed Jason's statements about law being taken over by robots. I suppose IBM's Watson would be pretty bad ass at researching case histories.

I'm not sure if I completely agree with his final piece of advice though. Sure, compromise is a skill that we all (hopefully) learn as we get older, and leverage is sometimes necessary, but he made it sound so...sinister.

If you want to do good, you have to be prepared to do bad. Okay? To be canny and watchful and mean. So when the bad guys come, you know just where to stick the knife. 'Cause it is a fight to the death, and that is the only language they understand.


Russell's collapse could not have come at a worse time. Not that it was unexpected. If you haven't caught the hints being thown out all season, I'm not sure what show you were watching.

If the show was completely based in reality, I would feel much more confident about Russell's health. I mean, he's right next door to the Oval Office, surrounded by the Secret Service. There's a medical staff of twenty plus in the building!

That being said, I'm sure the drama will be drawn out and milked as much as possible. On the upside, I haven't heard any rumors about Zeljko Ivanek jumping ship.

Can't you find another Harvard alum? This is D.C., they're everywhere, telling people they went to Harvard.


Let's just hope that his recovery isn't upset by Henry's "friend" causing problems. Just kidding! We all know that that is totally going to happen!

I will be shocked, shocked I say, if Jeff Pearson's sudden conversion doesn't come back to bite Henry and Team Dalton in the ass. Henry's half hearted apology shouldn't have swayed anybody, even a friend, on an issue as important as appointing the next president. 

So what did? Will there be a blackmail scheme? Was it all some duplicitous plot to lull Russell and the rest into complancy while Evans builds up his own base? I can't wait to find out. 

Henry: How's the world doing today?
Elizabeth: Well, the fate of the Middle East rests on China's appetite for chicken.

Evans has got to be feeling a little revengeful after Elizabeth's masterful takedown on Wolf Blitzer. If only disturbing hot mic confessions tanked people's presidential aspirations in the real world. 

While the election arc is (maybe) finally starting to pay off, I'm getting so bored with the Iran deal drama.

The whole idea that Iran was denying things because they didn't know what was actually going on felt like a rinse and repeat of what just happened with Russia.

Israel joining in on the party is realistic to be sure, but I'm just as interested in what the audience response will be to the Israeli troops shooting down an Irani plane as I am Elizabeth and the fictional UNs. Middle East politics is ridiculously complicated, and it'll be interesting to see how the show handles all the nuances.

The fall finale, Madam Secretary Season 3 Episode 10 ("The Race"), will follow up with Russell's heart attack and we will finally get to meet his coffee banning wife. She won't be the only family stopping in -- Henry's niece is in town. We can only guess for what.

While Russell fights for his life, Elizabeth is battling for peace between Israel and Iran. I'm not sure who has it worse.

Oh, and did we mention that the January 6th deadline for the House vote for President is looming? 

If you need to catch up, or just review exactly went down with France, Iran, and Israel, you can always watch Madam Secretary online. It's a great way to prep yourself for our comments section!

Snap Back Review

Editor Rating: 3.0 / 5.0
  • 3.0 / 5.0
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
User Rating:

Rating: 4.9 / 5.0 (15 Votes)

Elizabeth Harlow was a staff writer for TV Fanatic. She left the organization in October 2018.

Show Comments
Tags: ,

Madam Secretary Season 3 Episode 9 Quotes

Henry: How's the world doing today?
Elizabeth: Well, the fate of the Middle East rests on China's appetite for chicken.

Can't you find another Harvard alum? This is D.C., they're everywhere, telling people they went to Harvard.