Madam Secretary Season 5 Episode 18 Review: Ready

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She's in!

Madam Secretary Season 5 Episode 18 involved Elizabeth's latest fight for the rights of the climate change refugees and led to her decision to resign from her position so she could run for President.

Elizabeth's been planning to run for a while, but now that it's official, everything is about to change.

(TALL) State Sponsored Assassination - Madam Secretary Season 5 Episode 18

That had to be the saddest, yet most exhilarating, last five minutes in the history of Madam Secretary.

The show revolves around Elizabeth's dual roles as Secretary of State and family member, so her resignation is sad and scary.

It leaves a lot of questions unanswered, too, as Madam Secretary heads into the last part of its season.

President Dalton Gets Involved - Madam Secretary Season 5 Episode 18

Elizabeth's victory in this latest crisis came from her standing up to Russell and insisting on doing what she believed to be right, with some help from Henry.

I couldn't help wondering who the next Secretary of State is going to be and if they're going to be as strong as Elizabeth or as good at their job.

Elizabeth: I don't know how to do this.
Alison: What?
Elizabeth: Run for President and be a wife and mother.

It's been exciting to follow Elizabeth on her journey thus far. She's grown a lot since Madam Secretary Season 1 Episode 1 when she wasn't even sure she was right for the job she'd been asked to take.

Passing on the torch to her (even as a candidate) will be emotional for Dalton as well. 

Related: Madam Secretary: Celebrating President Dalton

All this is excellent material for the next few episodes and beyond if Madam Secretary gets renewed for Season 6, which I hope it will be.

Meanwhile, Elizabeth dealt with one last crisis before handing in her resignation.

An Important Talk - Madam Secretary Season 5 Episode 18

The loss of Nehru due to a severe tropical storm has been an ongoing issue since Madam Secretary Season 5 Episode 16, and that's as it should be.

A story like that can't be self-contained. The loss of their original home left an entire society homeless, and not everyone could fit on that one island Elizabeth managed to secure for them.

Plus, if Nehru was having this issue, it stands to reason that other islands nearby were also affected.

Listening to What's Going On - Madam Secretary Season 5 Episode 18

By continuing this story arc over several episodes, Madam Secretary runs the risk that viewers get bored with always hearing about it.

But every episode brings a new climate-change related crisis, which keeps the story fresh.

Besides, climate change is a serious issue in the real world that is quickly becoming one of the defining issues of the 2020 US Presidential election, so politically astute viewers are likely to appreciate the myriad of stories Madam Secretary presents around it.

Related: Get CBS All Access via Prime Video Channels for Hit Shows, Exclusive Originals & Live TV!

Even better, the story of the hour mirrored real-world events just enough to be topical without commenting directly on them.

You're the President. You may not have ordered this murder, but you were involved in the cover-up. That makes you corrupt, complicit, and unfit to lead.


Elizabeth accused the Polish President of covering up an assassination attempt against one of his country's citizens and pressured him to resign, after which the Foreign Affairs Committee in the United States Senate refused to consider sanctions because they didn't believe the evidence coming from their intelligence officers.

Kat at a Conference - Madam Secretary Season 5 Episode 18

It felt in many ways analogous to the question of whether there was collusion between the Trump administration and Russia in the 2016 election that has dominated the news for the last two years, especially with the talk of Polish dossiers and whether intelligence reports were to be believed.

I know you're running for President, and this is good for publicity But when the United States doesn't speak with one voice about foreign policy, we as a country are weakened.


Callahan also refused to consider sanctions because it wasn't politically expedient to do so, while Morejon eventually came around to the idea that it was a bad idea to support Poland's extremism and hard-line anti-immigration stance.

This was brilliant. Viewers could still get caught up in this fictional international crisis regardless of their beliefs about the Mueller investigation, and the show took a stand against extremism without getting involved in that messy debate.

An Angry Family - Madam Secretary Season 5 Episode 18

I especially liked Elizabeth stressing to Alison that the Morejon family were not their enemies despite their severe differences in political beliefs.

Carlos Morejon has often been a thorn in Elizabeth's side and undoubtedly will continue to be one as she enters the Presidential campaign in earnest, but one of the things I most love about Madam Secretary is the care it takes NOT to paint him as a one-dimensional villain.

Morejon has conservative political beliefs that are often the antithesis of Elizabeth's positions, but he's also a human being who believes he is doing the moral thing.

Both he and his opponents represent what American politicians should be: people who care deeply about the well-being of this country and its citizens but disagree on the best way to get there.

Related: Madam Secretary Season 5 Episode 10 Review

The differences between Elizabeth and Morejon are only political, not personal, and Morejon will support her politics if he's given a reason that makes sense to him.

No, Senator, I'm asking that you stand up for our shared American ideals. Without them, NATO is just an acronym. Like the UN. Or USA.


That's refreshing to see in this age of extreme polarization in the real world!

I'm glad that Elizabeth straightened out Alison's perception that the Morejon family were the enemy, too. But I did wonder how easy it would be for Alison to un-end her relationship with Lucas after dumping him for political reasons.

Nina Cummings - Madam Secretary Season 5 Episode 18

The problem between Nina and a perpetually grumpy UN Ambassador wasn't the greatest subplot in the world, but it did give viewers a chance to get some of Nina's backstory.

I was wondering why Peter's strongly worded advice left Nina in tears. He wasn't THAT overbearing. 

Nina has a lot on her plate, but she's going to need to learn to leave her personal life at the door if she's going to succeed. She can't let one grumpy superior throw her completely for a loop like that.

What'd you think, Madam Secretary fanatics? 

Are you excited about Elizabeth's Presidential run or does it seem too much like the end of an era to you? 

And how did you feel about the way she handled the Polish crisis?

Watch Madam Secretary online and then hit the comments with your thoughts!

Madam Secretary continues to air on CBS on Sundays at 10 EST/PST.

Ready Review

Editor Rating: 4.5 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.8 / 5.0 (31 Votes)

Jack Ori is a senior staff writer for TV Fanatic. His debut young adult novel, Reinventing Hannah, is available on Amazon. Follow him on Twitter.

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Madam Secretary Season 5 Episode 18 Quotes

If you want to pick a person for Operation Human Shield, choose someone who isn't aware you have no authority over anything but a split infinitive.


We cannot stand idle while entire nations go homeless.