Tonight on CBS Madam Secretary airs with an all-new Sunday, March 24, 2019, season 5 episode 17 called, “The Common Defense,” and we have your Madam Secretary recap below. On tonight’s Madam Secretary season 5 episode 17, as per the CBS synopsis, “Elizabeth is away on a retreat thinking about her presidential campaign; and her staff tries to secure an international agreement to protect citizens who have been displaced due to global warming. Also, the staff works to contain a measles outbreak that threatens the life of Daisy’s daughter, Joanna.”
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A group of typhoon survivors arrives on a beach by boat. ICE arrives to arrest them. They tell ICE they are from the Solomon Islands.
Daisy and her daughter arrive in Washington after a trip to Florida. As they land on the runway they are told that they have been exposed to measles. The CDC takes them in for examination.
Henry and Liz get ready to go to Camp David. She worries about leaving as the climate migrant conference will begin. She realizes she needs to focus on her speech to run for president so she needs to let Jay run the show and shine.
At the conference, Kat tells Jay about a possible measles outbreak. Kat takes his spot so he can deal with the outbreak news. He touches base with Daisy. She is fine and going through testing.
Stevie is on a dating app at work when she comes across her Uncle Will’s profile. She is grossed out. Meanwhile, POTUS has been told about the outbreak of measles. They talk about the anti-vaccine population and the fact that they believe it has come from the Philippines, who isn’t willing to work with the US.
They need Jay to deal with President Andrada. Jay tracks down the president of the Philippines at a luncheon where he drops some words about their lack of cooperation and aid packages. Meanwhile, Daisy learns that although her daughter was vaccinated she has the measles. They are told they will be moved to quarantine at a medical facility.
Andrada goes on the news and blames the measles outbreak on climate migrants they took in. His comments cause other nations to start pulling out of the migrant pact.
A couple Daisy met on the plane arrive at the medical center. She learns they didn’t vaccinate their daughter.
Kat reaches out to a political friend to find the locations of the outbreaks. She reminds her friend that they both have daughters and tells her about Daisy’s daughter. The woman leaves her video chat on so Kat can see a map of the outbreaks.
Henry confronts Will about what Stevi found online. Henry is concerned it may be too soon. Will tells him he is trying to figure himself out.
After looking over the map, Kat tells Jay the outbreak did not come from the migrants. He can get the other nations back on board.
Daisy’s daughter is in respiratory distress. She is told to stand outside as they work to stabilize her. After Daisy’s daughter is deemed okay, she comforts the other mother who feels guilty for not vaccinating her daughter.
Jay and the team meet with POTUS to discuss a federally funded vaccination plan.
Stevie confronts Will to ask him about his dating app profile. She is concerned that he is willing to dating a 23-year-old.
Kat gives Jay the bad news that she cannot get some of their nations back to talk about migrant climate issues. She has also learned that Australia is sending away the migrants they allowed into their country.
Matt visits Daisy in the hospital to check on her. Meanwhile, Jay pitches to the president that maybe they need to require citizens to be immunized if they want a passport. Russell goes crazy, It would be against Americans’ civil liberties. Kat adds that those worried about their medical or philosophical beliefs would require a consultation.
Will meets up with his estranged wife. He mentions wanting to move back home to work things out after their time spent together the day before. She tells him it isn’t a good idea. He isn’t the kind of guy who likes being part of a family on a day to day basis.
Jay video chats with the Prime Minister of Australia. He isn’t willing to acknowledge that patient zero came from his country and refuses to reconvene their talks on climate migrants.
Daisy’s daughter is doing better and ready to go home. Her friend plans to advocate for vaccinations as she waits for her daughter to wake up. Jay continues his talks at the convention. Will gets his own apartment. Liz arrives home to see Henry. She has missed a lot. Nurses begin vaccinating newcomers who arrive in Australia.