Tonight on the Madam Secretary 100th episode, we saw the show do something that it doesn’t often — take an up-close look at an issue that is happening within the real world. While there are often comparisons between what’s going on with the series and with the real world, very rarely is it ever this direct.
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For the sake of this episode, that issue that was so important was that of family separation. It’s been everywhere in the headlines over the past several weeks and, at the tail end of the installment, Elizabeth McCord was arrested after giving a speech outside of a detention center that was holding children that were split from their parents. She toured the center already and had caused so much anger within the state’s Governor that he did this act out of retaliation.
So why did the producers tell this particular story? As executive producer Barbara Hall told TVLine, it was showing a version of reality that viewers often haven’t had a chance to see:
We decided to dramatize it in a way that would give people more insight into the process. But the reality of this world — you know, we weren’t allowed really to see inside these detention camps, just sneak, sort of a peek inside —and so we wanted to do our research and figure out what it’s really like and then take people in there. In reality, senators and congressmen requested access to these detentions centers and were denied it, so we wanted to take that scenario and allow our Secretary of State in, treating it as a foreign policy problem.
The foreign-policy issue that is present here is that at least some of these people being held were Mexican citizens, and the ambassador had a chance to see how these people were treated and the terrible response by some in local government.
Moving into the show’s January 6 episode, we imagine that we’ll see the other side of Elizabeth’s arrest — we have a feeling that after everything that she’s been through, she will not go quietly into the night on this issue. There could be a lighthearted moment at the end of this episode courtesy of a potential vow renewal, but it could be a rather difficult road for Elizabeth to get there.
What do you think about Madam Secretary choosing to feature this specific sort of story? Be sure to share right now below. (Photo: CBS.)