Madam Secretary Season 4 Episode 10 Review: Women Transform the World

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Well. that was disappointing. 

Madam Secretary Season 4 Episode 10 certainly highlighted a lesser seen aspect of politics -- unsatisfactory negations.

All too common in the real world, compromises like the one faced in Afghanistan force a person to put their cards on the table and show what matters to them most.

Compromise or War - Madam Secretary

I really could have done without Daisy's trip to Connecticut. Sure, it was supposed to be connecting to the theme of women surviving and thriving and over coming odds, but I just didn't care.

I was far more interested in Matt's offer of lending his family to Daisy if she needed it. Not only was the description of his family lovingly funny, but it pinged my 'ship radar. 

Matt never really was over Daisy after all, and he seems real right with his friends kids. With their banter as strong as ever, I have to wonder how long before he thinks about making a move with his ex flame.

Matt: I don't want to say that parts of it are timeless, but that would not be totally inaccurate.
Daisy: Except the demographics have changed. We have a twenty percent uptick in attendance in women under thirty, who seem to think equal pay for equal work is a fine idea.

Speaking of flames, Stevie and Dmitri are heating up, but for how much longer? Or to ask the more interesting question: What will be their downfall?

There's so many possibilities. Dmitri's over developed sense of guilt, Stevie finding out about his work for the CIA and no being able to deal, Henry finding out and threatening Dmitri's job are all contenders.

My favorite wild theory is that Stevie is kidnaped by someone trying to exert pressure on Dmitri, which reveals their relationship to Henry in the absolute worst way. 

PDA - Madam Secretary Season 4 Episode 10

Anything more benign would be boring. And boring got left behind with Jareth.

Besides, if they don't have some incredibly messy situation interrupt their romance, how will we get the satisfaction of watching them repair things?

And they better repair things. These two have turned out to be a really great couple, and Stevie nailed why that is when she told Dmitri that he makes her feel more like herself.

Henry: It's a huge risk.
Dmitri: And you have taught me, sir, that those are the only ones worth taking.

Henry's trip to Afghanistan was probably a bit of a stretch, but he did manage to do something useful while he was over there, and he did it without a theology lecture! Considering he was talking about Sharia law with the imprisoned general, that's quite impressive!

I don't know if the McCord's didn't debate the plan to compromise with the Taliban because they were on the same page or because Henry was literally half a world away, but it's something I missed.

Henry's a good sounding board for Elizabeth, and her argument needed a little more practice. 

Look, I'm not happy about it either, but other countries have declared independence and labeled themselves free while neglecting to give their female citizens an equal voice. This country we're standing in, for instance.


I needed Elizabeth to struggle a little more with her recommendation. Yes, we had her friend Amina and Admiral Hill giving us the counter argument, but I wanted somebody closer to Elizabeth to challenge her. She never really wavered, and that bothered me. 

I did appreciate that the discussion was focused amongst the women, and especially that Amina's viewpoint was highlighted. She was the character most effected by the plan; her lack of agency in contributing to the decision was a poignant echo of the lack of agency of women in her country. 

Old Friends - Madam Secretary Season 4 Episode 10

Johanna Day really killed it this time. Admiral Ellen Hill may not have been able to convince Elizabeth to fight the good fight against the Taliban, but she reminded us all that we love that character.

She was able to be passionate where Elizabeth was not, and let's not discount the set down she gave to Russell Jackson. 

Even if I didn't already have an opinion, Ellen would have swayed me. Too bad Elizabeth always gets the deal she wants; this is one time I would have liked to see her fail at making a deal.

Ellen: I understand that you swim in a vast universe of gray area, Russell, but there are some of us that can still see a clear and distinct line between what's right and what's wrong.
Russell: Well now you're just trying to hurt my feelings.

I can't help but think that the political nature of the Afghanistan negotiation is one reason that the Vice President will be gunning for Elizabeth on Madam Secretary Season 4 Episode 11. 

VP Hurst (played by House of Cards' Jayne Atkinson) is, like everyone else in Washington, convinced that Elizabeth will be running for President. Considering the odds of a party holding onto the executive office for three terms, I don't know why she's so threatened. 

Nonetheless, Hurst decides to set Elizabeth up to fail. Like that's really going to happen. Especially since her trap seems so bizarre -- stating that Americans will continue to be able to adopt Russian orphans.

Proud Mama - Madam Secretary Season 4 Episode 10

Not only is that a very niche voting bloc to set against your opponent, but it also seems like it would easily backfire. Unless she can trick Elizabeth into making the statement, wouldn't she be the one to look like a fool? 

This will be Geoffrey Arend's first time at the helm, and I trust him to bring more nuance to the story. The only downside I see is likely less screen time with Matt. 

Daisy: Wow, lot of changes since I was gone. Congratulations, Boss.
Jay: Don't be ridiculous. Blake is still the boss.

If you need to catch up, or just have some time to kill during the break, you can always watch Madam Secretary online, or read our past Madam Secretary reviews like a true Fanatic!

And don't forget to join the conversation about  "Women Transform the World!" Is little Joanna the cutest thing ever? How long before things between Stevie and Dmitri get messy? Will Afghanistan come back to haunt Elizabeth? We wan!

Tell us what you think in the comments section below!

Women Transform the World Review

Editor Rating: 3.7 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.1 / 5.0 (7 Votes)

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

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Madam Secretary Season 4 Episode 10 Quotes

Daisy: Let me know when I'm oversharing. I've been alone with the baby for a long time.
Elizabeth: As a rule, just pull back when you find yourself wanting to share the color or texture *anything*.

Daisy: Wow, lot of changes since I was gone. Congratulations, Boss.
Jay: Don't be ridiculous. Blake is still the boss.