If Madam Secretary had to end, this was the way to do it.
Madam Secretary Season 6 Episode 10 wrapped up loose ends with a beautiful wedding celebration and one last success for Elizabeth.
I will miss the optimism, intelligence, and heart the series brought at a time where there is so much uncertainty and pessimism in the real-life US political climate.
After Elizabeth's victory over the f
orces of evil ludicrous impeachment proceedings on Madam Secretary Season 6 Episode 9, it felt like the series was over already.
The finale was like an epilogue, giving viewers one last glimpse into Elizabeth's presidency before she and Henry quite literally rode off into the sunset on their train tour.
We are not politicizing this wedding. And no one is having a damn coup.Russell
The finale was a departure from most of the series in one significant way: instead of trying to solve a complicated international problem, Elizabeth and her staff struggled to stop such a problem from interfering with the wedding.
Russell's diplomatic solution was elegant and prevented Elizabeth from making the same mistake that had ruined Russell's marriage to Carol.
And that made this final adventure a lot less different from the rest of the series than it seemed on the surface.
Madam Secretary was never just about politics. It was about the delicate balance of political life and family life.
Six years ago, Elizabeth and Henry moved to Washington with their three teenage children and now they were trying to find a way to celebrate their eldest daughter's marriage without their careers encroaching on her special day.
Dedicating most of the episode to Stevie's wedding was a brilliant swan song. The affair was the perfect excuse to bring back all sorts of people for a visit and tell us what's going to happen to them after we say goodbye.
Forgive me for talking shop, but I wanted to let you know I'm with you on the ERA. I know how embattled you must feel. Just don't let anyone tell you you're tilting at windmills.Dalton
Ex-President Dalton was my favorite of the guests.
I wish he'd been available as a mentor throughout more of Elizabeth's presidency. But his advice to her was spectacular, and he officiated the wedding with charm and humor.
The wedding ceremony seemed quick after all the build-up. Dalton said a few words, the couple shared their vows, and onwards to the reception.
Though that was mildly disappointing, it was also realistic.
The anticipation and build-up to a wedding are always longer than the ceremony, and the reception is what people look forward to most.
And Stevie and Dmitri's vows were beautiful, though they didn't vow anything. They just shared their insecurities and declared their love, full stop.
Henry: Stevie, Dmitri... this is what I know about marriage and life. You win some-a, you lose some-a. But the true test of character is how you celebrate the victories and endure the losses. And believe me when I tell you, both are better when you face them with someone you love. Now, one of the things I admire about Aquinas -
Elizabeth: Oh, Henry.
Henry: Come on. ... was that he was inspired to teach beginners. You two are hardly beginners at life, but you're beginners at marriage. This is your first day as a wife and husband. Begin this journey with caring and patience and love and laughter and passionate curiosity. Be each other's teachers and know that you are surrounded by people in this room that love you and will teach you. And invite us over a lot, will you? Especially your mom. You know, in our house I was sometimes known as the Stevie whisperer. So without further ado... may God bless you with a long and happy union.
And was there anyone watching who didn't tear up at Henry's toast to the newlyweds?
Maybe it was because Henry teared up too, as fathers tend to do at their daughters' weddings, but it seemed like an incredibly emotional speech, full of love and wisdom and so typically Henry.
Henry has always drawn upon his vast knowledge of history and theology to guide his decisions, making him the perfect counterpoint for Elizabeth, and his toast was no exception.
It was full of love for his daughter and his belief in love and romance. It also epitomized everything that made Henry my favorite character throughout the last six years.
But Russell almost topped that moment with his offer of a new commitment to Carol.
Russell has always been somewhat of the antagonist among the staff, making it surprising that his marriage problems were so interesting.
Although he usually stood in the way of whatever Elizabeth wanted to do, it was sad to see him go. Yet it was time, and Jay was the perfect replacement as Chief of Staff.
President McCord is trying to get a gratuitous amendment passed that will unnecessarily divide the country on gender lines. And I intend to stop it dead in its tracks.Amy Ross
No discussion of the final hour of Madam Secretary would be complete without talking about the political issue of the hour.
It's a shame we couldn't have one more episode, just one, so that we could see more of how Elizabeth handled Amy Ross.
Tyne Daly's cameo was a nice touch, but I'd have loved to have had another half a season for Elizabeth to butt heads with her now that the impeachment was over.
In any case, the Equal Rights Amendment was the perfect footnote to the series.
Throughout the last six years, Elizabeth has regularly done the impossible, making viewers wish that there was a real-life Elizabeth McCord to push through all sorts of policies that have got lost in partisan gridlock.
And she went out on the highest of high notes, achieving a major milestone for women's rights that no President has been able to achieve since the ERA was originally introduced.
I was glad that Flo Avery pushed her on this issue, and especially that she brought up the racial inequality piece.
When people talk about women having the right to vote for the last 100 years, they often forget that the 19th amendment was originally meant to apply only to white women.
Women of color, particularly in the South, were often stopped from voting by discriminatory laws and did not get the right to vote until the Voting Rights Act of 1965 ended race-based discrimination at the polls.
And as Flo pointed out, unless the Constitution itself was amended, laws protecting women's rights could be rescinded. In recent years, Congress has gutted the Voting Rights Act, leaving the rights of minorities to vote in doubt in some areas.
I appreciated Madam Secretary addressing that issue rather than simply leaving it as "women got the right to vote in 1920."
And Flo pushing Elizabeth to fight for the Equal Rights Amendment led to the perfect ending for the series, too.
Henry and Elizabeth closed out the series by embarking on their whistle-stop tour, but the point was that they were going to have many more adventures together, during Elizabeth's presidency and afterward.
Thank you, Madam Secretary, for allowing us to be part of their journey for six years.
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Madam Secretary premiered on CBS on September 14, 2014. The final episode aired on December 8, 2019.
Jack Ori is a senior staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow him on Twitter.