First things first: We need to talk about theories as to which country was behind that explosion.
It seems too easy for it to be Ukraine. It makes sense — and it was probably everyone’s first assumption — but as we’ve seen in the past, Madam Secretary likes to trick us. Maybe someone else knew about what Maria did to her husband, perhaps General Doroshevich? Maybe the peace talks were all a ruse to try and assassinate Dalton and Elizabeth?
Either way, we have a lot to discuss about this episode, especially when it comes to Dmitri’s fate and how the decision to give him up will affect the relationship between Bess and Henry.
We finally learn how Pavel Ostrov died, and we probably should have guessed that Maria murdered him. She injected him with a drug that caused an embolism, making it look like a complication from his recent surgery (Remember in episode 2, “The Doability Doctrine,” he went missing for a week because he was getting a tummy tuck, but then turned up dead). To be fair, Pavel Ostrov was kind of a dick to his wife, and he probably should have been more scared of her. She looks like an evil murderous dictator. Best line in the scene? “I am killing you, you worthless trash.”
Jumping forward to present day, the episode picks up where it left off two weeks ago. Dalton has given the command to fire at Russian jets, enforcing their no-fly zone over Ukraine, officially starting a shooting war with Russia. Maria Ostrov retreats and gives the command to send in troops to Mariupol, one of the three cities outlined in their plans Dmitri sent over to the DIA. All of a sudden we see that Dmitri is back! We haven’t seen him since the power went out over Moscow while he was fleeing on the train. Looks like that plan failed, but at least we know he’s alive after all that.
We find out that he is still working for the DIA and gives Henry a coded message that they were sending troops to Mariupol. He breaks down and begs Henry to get him out of there. Besides the dynamic between Bess and Henry, the relationship between Henry and Dmitri is probably my favorite. Henry really cares for this kid and feels responsible for his fate after forcing him to become a spy, so it’s no surprise that he pushes Jane to get him out of there.
After the US won the battle at Mariupol, it became obvious that there was a spy and only a matter of time before Dmitri was caught.
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Bess’ team gathers all the info they can on Maria Ostrov and start digging into her past for anything they can find to use as leverage to basically strong-arm her into a negotiation. This brings us to a wonderful video of Maria Ostrov as a former beauty queen. “This is the woman starting World War III?” Jay says, as the Russian dictator dances around singing in what I can only assume is an ’80s prom dress.
After the team gets ahold of her bank information, they discover the truth about Pavel Ostrov’s death and finally have something that could end Russia’s aggression. Elizabeth gets permission to set up a summit in Geneva to plan peace talks and come up with negotiations. At this point, I think everyone knew that something was going to go wrong there, after all, it’s the midseason finale.
NEXT: The greater good