In the beginning of Madam Secretary, fans were skeptical of Secretary of State Elizabeth McCord’s (Téa Leoni) staff that she inherited from the former Secretary of State. We saw that they resented her and wanted their old boss back. They were loyal. One staffer, in particular, needed more time to get use to Elizabeth and to the fact that Secretary Marsh was dead. This staffer was Nadine Tolliver, the chief of staff. Fans soon learned that she had been having a six-year-long affair with Marsh and that she was in love with him.
As the season went on, we saw Nadine warm up to Elizabeth and eventually see that she was right for the job. Even when it was revealed that Marsh was in involved in a government conspiracy, Nadine sided with Elizabeth. Today, the two have a strong working relationship and, we dare say, a strong friendship.
Now going into Season 4, what can the series do with Nadine Tolliver?
Put her in a difficult place – It would see that Nadine has a certain type of man she likes to date: powerful political men. She dated Former Secretary of State Marsh followed by the Administrator of NASA and currently she is in a relationship with political consultant, Mike Barnow.
So going into Season 4, it would be great to see her relationship with Mike cause problems between her and Elizabeth. If fans will recall, Elizabeth and Mike had a bit of a hiccup last season that ended with things still very tense. Elizabeth and Nadine have come a long way so it would definitely change up the dynamic if the two suddenly were at odds because Nadine sided with the man she is seeing outside of work. This would also result in the other staff members in an awkward position. This would allow for a more realistic side to the series because Elizabeth’s staff for the most part as gotten along smoothly with very few disagreements, so by putting everyone in an awkward and difficult position it allows the series to feel more realistic and changes things up.
The series has done a great job so far with finding ways to draw the audience back every week, but now the series is entering the seasons that sometimes have trouble remembering to not make things so predictable. If Nadine is the one who is first placed in the difficult spot, it throws a curveball in because Nadine is also known as the level-headed one who thinks before she acts at work.
Throw her personal life in downward spiral – We saw this happen with Jay (Sebastian Arcelus) during his separation from his wife and how it affected his work. This allowed for some background drama amid the main story of the episode. It also gave fans a better look at Jay and his character. This is why we are suggesting the same with Nadine. We know the basic about her and her job, but now we are wondering who she is on a deeper level.
By throwing a personal struggle her way, it allows us to understand her better and feel a stronger connection to her. For example, fans feel like we know Elizabeth on a personal level because follow every aspect of her life. Now we are aware that this is in part because she is the main character, but the series could just as easily do something similar with Nadine. If someone she was close with in her family died or if someone stole her identity, these sort of things would give us a closer look at Nadine’s character.
Continue to have her play a big role in helping Elizabeth with global issues – From the beginning, Nadine has been an instrumental part in helping Elizabeth be the hero of the day. She helps Elizabeth think out every situation possible. Her knowledge of the political ring and her connections often come in handy and we love to see her use what she knows. She’s great at her job and we hope that series continues to show that Nadine is a true asset to Elizabeth and, for that matter, President Dalton.
Overall, Bebe Neuwirth delivers a great performance every week as Nadine Tolliver and we cannot wait to see what Nadine will accomplish and face this season.
For more news related to Madam Secretary, be sure to visit this link. New season 4 episodes will air starting this fall. (Photo: CBS.)
This story was written by Samantha D’Amico. If you want to follow her on Twitter, you can do so at @SAM_iamXO.