Madam Secretary Season 4 Episode 9 Review: Minefield

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'Tis the season for peace on earth, goodwill towards men, and taking down dirty Senators.

The McCord's holiday party went off without a hitch on Madam Secretary Season 4 Episode 9, thanks entirely to Stevie. She might be over privileged and the beneficiary of some insane nepotism, but that girl will take on any task. 

Holiday Party - Madam Secretary

Part of my bristled at the outrageousness of this plot point -- you simply cannot plan a party of that caliber in DC on such short notice. And Bess may have poo-pooed the valet, but it would be totally necessary unless she wants to start a fight with the neighborhood association again. 

But man, I loved the outcome. I am a total sucker for a good holiday party! The decorations were beautiful, I wanted the recipe for that punch, and I need to know where to get Stevie's dress.

The Seventh Floor Singers were the icing on an already decadent cake, even if it did make me miss Bebe Neuwirth more than ever. 

Seventh Floor Singers - Madam Secretary Season 4 Episode 9

And as outrageous as foisting the party planning off onto Stevie was, especially as part of her official duties, I loved that let Stevie (and Allie) share their insight into their mom. 

The show has always done a good job of showing how parenting has intersected with Elizabeth's role as Secretary, but with the kids getting older, it's refreshing to hear their perspective on things. 

I was a little annoyed that Jason got off so easy in the family meeting though. It better have been because of his age and not his gender. There were too many traditional gender role job assignments as it was. 

Elizabeth: And he thinks that, just because you're a woman, of course you'd *want* to plan a party.
Stevie: I think it's more that you just can't fire me.

Stevie's on board with Elizabeth running for office, but we still don't know how the rest of the McCord's feel. Despite Elizabeth's protestations otherwise, I'd be really surprised if we didn't see some real movement on this idea before the end of the season. 

It's the logical way to move the show forward, especially because Elizabeth's current job has an expiration date. Although maybe with her new friendlier relationship with Morejon, there could be an extension.

It's not likely though. 

Elizabeth [about Morejon]: You do know we hate each other?
Mike B: Yeah. It's classic D.C. jiu jitsu. He has to come, you look gracious, he feels awful, and you win. Trust me, it's perfect.

Besides, Elizabeth running for office -- any office -- would potentially give us even more scenes with Russell, which is only a good thing. Then there's the added benefit of Russell having to start deferring to her.

I don't even know what that looks like, but I love it already. I can just imagine him slipping back into his old ways and her just glaring at him. 

Maybe that's the incentive they need to dangle in front of her to convince her to run. 

Russell: Elizabeth. Did you bring a land mine to the office?
Elizabeth: :I was making a point.
Russell: Yeah, that's what most people who bring weapons to the workplace say.

Here's a question for consideration: If Bess does run, will Henry have to quit his work with the CIA? It doesn't seem like a potential first husband would be able to continue with covert work. 

Not that his role as husband to the most powerful woman in government is slowing him down now.

He seriously should not have been at the raid on Carpenter's house. It would have made more sense for him to keep an eye o the Senator at the party than to have him hang out in a van with binoculars like a creeper. 

So, in the words of Aristotle, we have jack squat.


I'd really rather be getting Henry's input on Elizabeth's potential future gig than having to keep track of the cockamamie plots he's uncovering. Just how much financial trouble did Carpenter's find himself in that he had to go to the Russians? Seems like a stretch.

The only upside to that crazy story is that John Cullum didn't turn out to be an evil villain, just a dad doing whatever he had to to save his kid. 

Bipartisanship - Madam Secretary Season 4 Episode 9

Henry's shenanigans may go off the rails on Madam Secretary Season 4 Episode 10 when he decides to use Dmitri as bait. You just know something is going to go wrong with that scenario. This may force Stevie's relationship with the Russian out into the open. 

Which will lead to a whole other headache for Henry. Even though they both wanted to keep things light, it's become pretty obvious that Stevie and Dmitri are falling hard for each other. 

Dancing in the Street - Madam Secretary Season 4 Episode 9

Elizabeth's week at the office isn't going to be any better than her husbands. I'm not sure how she's going to get Dalton or Russell on board with a recommendation to negotiate with the Taliban, but they might not be as hard a sell as the audience. 

Luckily, she'll have Daisy back at her side. We got a little tease of everybody's favorite spokesperson as she regaled the crowd with carols, but she'll be back full time now. Daisy's just got one last baby related thing to take care of though -- telling the grandma. 

Elizabeth: She passed away last night, I head. Russell, I'm so were friends.
Russell: Bunny? God no, I hated her.
Elizabeth: Oh. Everybody loved her parties...
Russell: They were just scared of getting left out. It was like drinking eggnog at Sadam Hussein's palace.

If you missed "Minefiel" or just want to binge while you wrap presents, you can always watch Madam Secretary online.

And don't forget that we want to hear what you think! Was Stevie's dress gorgeous, or did it leave her too washed out? Were you shocked by Elizabeth's land mine stats? Is there a detente between Morejon and Elizabeth on the horizon? Let us know and join the conversation in the comments section!

Minefield Review

Editor Rating: 3.7 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.5 / 5.0 (17 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 9 Quotes

Russell: Elizabeth. Did you bring a land mine to the office?
Elizabeth: :I was making a point.
Russell: Yeah, that's what most people who bring weapons to the workplace say.

Blake: Ma'am, Russell Jackson just asked to see you as soon as possible.
Elizabeth: He asked?
Blake: He even used the word please.
Elizabeth: I don't like the sound of that.