Sometimes, the most powerful thing that someone can do is not do very much at all. On Sunday night’s new episode of “Madam Secretary,” we really saw that highlighted from a character in Matt who had an incredible spotlight cast upon him and his life.
The trouble for Matt first began when there was a connection between him and a bomber responsible for taking many innocent lives. What was it? The same mosque … and that was really it. Matt had made a donation in the past to said mosque, and this in turn led to the press having a field day, wondering how in the world sometime tied to the Secretary of State could have something to do with terrorism on any level. Here’s the answer: He didn’t, and much of the story for him was about venting his frustrations over something that he did not do and had no part of. Also, the media and even his own office’s handling of the matter were distressing. They encouraged him to make a public statement, and to put his entire life on blast so that everyone could see that he had something to do with it.
Yet, in a private speech to his colleagues, he crafted the perfect counter-argument to their claims: If a white man is responsible for a tragedy, are other white men with small connections forced to publicly denounce these actions and make it clear they are not involved? The fact that he is a human being should be enough. While Elizabeth McCord was not fully involved for the entire story, we didn’t mind this change of pace and slightly different focus.
Also, Bess had her own matters to attend to in trying to ensure Saudi Arabia did their part at an event in Montreal to distance themselves from terrorists; she even publicly brought the mother of an innocent girl who died to further drive the point home. The officials appeared at first to be disrespected, but they eventually saw the value in what they did as a means to further facilitate trust between the parties so that they could take the next tangible step forward.
While this story only ate up a few minutes of the show’s runtime, it was poignant and well-worth the focus. It also left enough time for a few other personal matters. On a serious note, there was some tension between Bess and Henry over his decision to head to Arizona to help out Dimitri, who was struggling in his efforts to try and rebuild his life. We understand the concern and this was played fairly well, even if the whole TV incident was a little over the top: Dimitri had no family, and the only thing that he felt value in was serving as an asset. Since he couldn’t do that anymore, he was struggling. Luckily, Henry found a way to give him something else in his life in getting immigration to help his sister make her way into the country. Now, he has something else to cling to.
Did Henry absolutely need to go to make this happen? We don’t think so, but he felt that sort of loyalty and responsibility, and it shows just what sort of a guy he is.
Finally, it turns out that Ali McCord can write a heck of a paper to get into college using makeup tutorials on social media as an extended metaphor. We know absolutely nothing about makeup tutorials, so therefore, we can’t tell you if any of this makes sense. We can just say that given how many terrible things have been going on as of late with the family, we’re glad that somebody got a win Sunday night.
Grade: B+. While nothing for either Elizabeth or Henry was powerful enough to be memorable at the end of the season, the strength of Matt’s story and the themes of self-value and power against persecution were outstanding. That’s what makes “The Statement” special.
Next week – Head over here to get a look into what’s happening on “Madam Secretary” next! (Photo: CBS.)