One of the things that is extremely important for both viewers and writers of a given show is to realize that characters are not hatched during the pilot; they have experiences before that, and robust backstories that can be explored over time. Dabbling in them here and there is a great way to give them a sense of richness, and set up plots that will be coming down the line.
So to see “Madam Secretary” utilize this on the upcoming third season (premiering Sunday) is wonderful, given that these characters have a lot of past ground to cover. Remember for a minute here that these are people with long and robust careers, so there’s a lot to explore here! Based on the synopsis below for the upcoming October 23 episode entitled “South China Sea,” there’s specifically a lot in terms of Elizabeth and Dalton’s pasts that could come back to play a big role in the present:
“After U.S. environmental activists protesting China’s damage of a South China Sea reef are arrested for spying, Elizabeth finds herself in a stalemate with the Chinese foreign minister as she lobbies for their release. Also, Henry pushes the FBI to investigate one of Elizabeth’s former students who he suspects is his family’s cyber-stalker, and President Dalton’s trade visit to Vietnam brings back memories of serving there during the war.”
Some of these stories feel a little familiar to the series already — especially in terms of Elizabeth trying to navigate difficult diplomatic crises. The cyber-stalking is something new to the season, and you’ll start to see that playing out in the premiere.
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