Tonight on CBS Madam Secretary airs with an all new Sunday October 5, season 1 episode 3 called, “The Operative.” On tonight’s episode a hostile reporter confronts Elizabeth [Tea Leoni], threatening to publish confidential documents that were leaked from inside the State Department. Meanwhile, Henry ends up in the middle of an international negotiation when his wife uses his job as leverage to broker a deal with Pakistan.
On the last episode while in the process of dealing with a crisis in Yemen, Elizabeth faced a challenge at home when her oldest daughter made headlines for protesting her university’s new policy. Did you watch the last episode? If you missed it, we have a full and detailed recap right here for you.
On tonight’s episode, Elizabeth is confronted by a hostile reporter who threatens to publish confidential documents that were leaked from inside the State Department. Meanwhile, Henry is dragged into an international negotiation when his wife uses his job as leverage to broker a deal with Pakistan
This is definitely one series that you don’t want to miss. Don’t forget to stay tuned to Celeb Dirty Laundry where we will be live blogging every episode of Madam Secretary’s first season.
Tonight’s episode begins now – Refresh Page for Updates
A woman is instructed to take the battery out of her phone and leave it in the dumpster. She says no that it’s a burner but the voice says it’s non-negotiable. She asks how she knows this is really Viper and that it’s not a trap. No answer. She tosses the phone. A door creaks open and she heads over to investigate. She steps inside and hears a clatter. She’s welcomed by Viper – he knows her name Gina Fisher – and says what he has will bring the US to its knees.
Bess is at an official function with a French representative – Minister Dubois – who gifts her with cognac. She says they value their French allies. The press gets to ask questions. They ask Bess why Jay referred to the guy as an empty crepe. The reporter says it’s from a confidential cable. Bess says she doesn’t know anything about it. The reporter says it’s part of a whole report on the US spying on its allies and says it’s going up on the Chronicle’s site today.
The reported is Gina and the leaker is Viper. Bess tells Jay to fix it. The French minister is leaving the country and a whole bunch of other countries are furious about the names their representatives have been called in internal emails. Bess says to make apologies in order of importance. She also wants to find out who Viper is and what security clearance he has. Nadine says they are all going to spend all day eating crow.
The German ambassador, Reinhart, tells Bess this is small and rude. Bess soothes her ruffled feathers. She’s made 47 apologies and Nadine says the reporter will be releasing more emails tomorrow. She also says he has no more than a secret clearance. Bess says to bring in Fisher, the reporter, and have Daisy put together background on her but says not to violate the Constitution doing so. She comes home and finds Henry still up. She asks what’s wrong.
He says Josh broke up with Allison but she hasn’t said anything left. He broke up with her in a text. She asks if they should be reading the kids’ texts and he says it’s not his fault it was synced to his iPad. She says we spy because we love and he asks if that’s how it is with France. Their son has also painted a V in tribute to Viper on his door. At breakfast, the kids rake her over the coals about the spying activities. Stevie says she got a job as a hostess at a steak house.
The Russian foreign minister calls the house and Henry takes the call. He says it’s for him and he wants to talk to him about the article but Bess tells him to go even though it’s a bid to get her ear. Nadine tells her she has another 23 apology calls to make this morning. She tells her the reporter is here but says anything she says to her can wind up on the news. Gina says she knows she brought her in to intimidate her and asks if she thinks she’s a traitor.
Gina says more than half of Americans polled think Viper is a patriot. Bess asks if it isn’t beneath her to release stolen emails from a secret level analyst. Bess calls them the TMZ of diplomatic cables. Gina tells her that he’s top secret and the next round of cables are going to make her eat her words. Bess asks for a week to review them before they release them. Gina says no chance and Bess tells her she needs to leave. She stomps out and Bess’ team comes in. She tells them that the guy is top-secret level and it could blow covert operatives. They says she Jedi mind tricked the reporter to get that.
Bess tells the President and others that they can’t stop the cables and that covert operatives are at risk. She wants to call them all in. She says Gina has an even bigger story with this second release. The Prez tells the others he’s going with Bess on this one. Dubois is calling for Jay to be fired. He says she should and she says she has no one else who can do his job. She tells him not to be flattered but says he has to be dead man walking until she can find someone else.
He says he’ll turn in his resignation letter but keeping on working. They ID’d Viper – Jed Heller – who left five months ago – he’s now in Guinea where there is no extradition. Bess says to release his identity and says he can’t release state secrets and sip margaritas on the beach. All hell starts to break loose – the new cables just dumped. They all run to their computers. Henry is having lunch with Minister Gorev and they talk about his article.
Gorev tells him that Olga, his daughter, is in his ethics class at Georgetown. He says he’s got a couple of hundred students so he hasn’t seen her. Gorev says she wanted to be anonymous and not be known for her. Henry agrees to keep an eye out for her and Gorev says she’s been getting Cs on her papers. He says she needs an A. Henry says it’s an ethics class and Gorev says he can make life hard for his wife and this is no time for her to have troubles with Eastern Europe.
Bess’ staff is looking at the leaked documents and Nadine says they are putting together analysis for her. Munsey comes in and says 37 agents were blown and they’ve got all but one. He’s in a van on the way to Islamabad. The guy will be executed if he’s caught. Bess comes in to watch the video – he’s nine blocks from the Embassy but there is a security chief on his tail. He speeds up and they open the gate for him. They warn Schaeffer that the vehicle is going to cut him off.
The Marines ask if they can go get him but Bess says they can’t start a fire fight. He’s almost at the Embassy but they stop him. Bess says they have to stand down and not engage. Schaeffer says to tell his parents and sister he loves them before he’s dragged out of his vehicle. The President asks where he is and Munsey says likely in jail in Sahiwal but have to know exactly where he is to get him. Russell suggests threatening to cut their aid.
Bess says she can offer an apology to the Pakistani Ambassador. Russell mocks her but the Prez says to give it a shot. Russell tells her he knows a guy that can take Jay’s place – he says he’ll send his resume. Henry tells the kids about his lunch with Gorev and his confrontation over grades. He says he got really mad and then he says he laser focused on him and ripped him a new one. Bess asks how big and he laughs and says pretty big.
He says he told him that his daughter had to live with whatever grade she earned and his wife could handle herself. After dinner, Bess says Allie still won’t talk about the break-up. She tells Henry that work is tough and she needs to be able to turn it off before she comes home. He says he hopes he didn’t make things bad with Gorev and she says it was sexy that he stood up to him. She says his ethics are sexy. They kiss.
Schaeffer sits in an interrogation room. A guy comes in and he says there has been a mistake. He asks what his job is for the CIA. He says he’s there with the safe drinking water operation. The guy says the cable leaked says he’s an operative. He insists he’s an American aid worker and they ask why he was rushing to the Embassy. They begin to torture him. Ambassador Hesbani meets with Bess and says they’d like to find an amicable solution.
She offers a public apology and says they value their relationship with Pakistan. He says his government’s hands are tied after Bin Laden and all the drone strikes. She asks him to bring her offer to his President and she asks for human treatment and to hold off on a trial. He says they treat all prisoners humanely but says the trial has been scheduled for next week. He says when you’re caught, you have to face the consequences.
The staff tells her that Schaeffer’s capture has made the news. She says to issue a statement saying they expect him to be treated in accordance with the Geneva Convention. Blake tells her Gina is there and that Russell sent over a resume for Jay’s replacement. She goes to talk to the reporter who tells her that Jed (the leaker) is sick. He didn’t get immunizations before he fled. She says the medical care there is bad and he’s vomiting non-stop and wants to come home.
Bess says it’s interesting he’s not going by Viper anymore and says he can come home and face an espionage trial any time he wants. She says that it’s Bess’ fault because she leaked his name and now the Guinea government doesn’t want to let him go. Bess gets angry and asks how she dares to call her a leaker. Gina repeats that if something happens to Jed, it’s on her.
Bess sits at her desk late when Nadine comes in to tell her that they confirmed that Jed as been admitted to the hospital in Guinea. He’s got a rare disease caused by worms in the skin and the CDC says he needs medication to live that aren’t available there. Nadine says he is an American citizen regardless of what he’s done. Bess asks the US Ambassador to Guinea to make an appeal. Nadine says she looked at the resume and the guy is highly qualified.
Juliet comes in and says that Schaeffer has been sentenced to death. She goes to the President and says he’s scheduled to be hanged in two days. He says he’s open to ideas. Bess says they can try the op Munsey suggested even though she was against it initially. Russell says he job is to offer diplomatic solutions not cowboy ops. She asks what if there isn’t a diplomatic solution and what their response should be if they kill him. Russell says Pakistan is a valuable ally.
Bess talks to her staff about Jed and Schaeffer. They discuss a prisoner swap and then Jay comes in and says there is a defense system they want. He says it’s called Steel Cage and says it’s a defensive system and they want it because India has it. Bess’ predecessor killed the offer. The Chinese and Russians have it too but neither would sell it to them. Bess goes to Henry and tells him about the deal.
She says Russia will give Pakistan something they want, but secretly. She says they have to give Russia something they want. She says he needs to give Gorev’s daughter an A. She says she didn’t think he’d go for it but he did. Henry is annoyed and says to tell her that she’s kidding. She says Gorev’s office is on hold waiting for word that he’ll do it. He asks her how dare she do this – he says this could ruin his academic career. She says it’s top secret.
He reminds her that Viper didn’t keep secrets. The kids come down in the middle of the argument. Allie says she was dumped. They send them all back upstairs. Bess begs him and says it’s important and he tells her that his integrity is important. She tells him she has to compromise her ethics all the time. She says she moved heaven and earth to cut this deal. She begs him to say yes, but he says no. He says he’s going upstairs to comfort their daughter whose heart is broken.
Later, Bess asks Henry how Allie is and he says she’s okay. She says she called Gorev and got him to move off the A. She says if he will give her an incomplete that will work. He says that deadline is passed. He asks if the guy will really die if he doesn’t give the grade. She says yes and he asks if he has family and she says yes. He agrees to give the grade and she thanks him. They hold hands and she lies down on his chest. He pats her hair.
Bess holds a press conference and makes a public apology to Pakistan then goes to watch the video of Schaeffer’s release. He hasn’t been released yet but just before they go to call the Ambassador, a truck rolls up, the gate opens and Schaeffer is released to the American soldiers. Munsey confirms that’s him and the room breaks into applause. He looks up the camera and says “thank you” knowing he’s been saved from death.
Bess pours some of the spendy French cognac with her staff and they toast Schaeffer’s salvation. They all drink and are thrilled. Jay asks how she cut the deal and she says she was persuasive. Nadine gets a text saying that Jed has been released. The Russians helped with that too and she says they have sway with Guinea. Bess drafts a memo to her staff and says that all correspondence at every level must be respectful and professional.
Jay stays and hands over his envelope. She says unless it’s good concert tickets, he can keep it. She says she called Dubois and told him that she appreciates France but he doesn’t make personnel decisions for her. She says Jay got them the winning idea. He says he was hoping to ride Marsh’ coat tails to the White House but since he’s dead, that’s out. She says until another opportunity comes up for him, he’s there and he’s her guy.
Henry tells Bess that Allie is doing better. She’s leafing through their iPad and shows him a text from a new boy. She says he’s a varsity football team and 17 years old. They are horrified that this guy will pressure their daughter for sex. They are freaking out and agree they need to stop reading her texts. Henry says if he pushes this button, it will sever the link forever. He does and their spy program is gone. He says this is parenting without a net.
She says Stevie turned out okay and he reminds her that she dropped out of college. She says at least she doesn’t do meth. She tells Henry she’s worried that she’s compromising her morals with this job to the extent that he can’t be with her anymore. He tells her that won’t happen and tells her he’s all in. They cuddle and kiss.