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S05. E18. Ready

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A NATO ally carries out a state-sponsored assassination attempt on one of its own citizens, who is also a U.S. Resident and an old friend to Elizabeth. Also, Allison starts dating the son of one of Elizabeth's political rivals.

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It’s unbelievable that every single week Bess et al  and especially Henry solve/survive an international crisis/threat.  And always at the last minute. Plus why is Bess (and Cat) conferencing with world leaders instead of the president?  Finally Lena was shot at least four times by my count  and in a week is making a speech.  Oh almost forgot Bess brought down the Polish government 

Edited by milner · Reason: Grammar
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The ending was a bit of a twist.  Is it true that a Cabinet member has to resign before running forPresident?  Of course, George HW Bush didn't resign as VP when he started running in 1988, but, then again, VP is not part of the Cabinet.

Damn right the US can't go infringing on the sovereignty of an allied country.  That's reserved for all the all other countries where we capture/kill our enemies.

I was with Noodle and her boyfriend right up until the end when they started playing the techno music.  "You're dead to me, Fredo."

So, the internationalist SoS is matched up with the ultra-nationalist Senator.  I wonder if they will actually go there with the election.

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Sooooo....do we need to change the title of this show?

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11 hours ago, Dowel Jones said:

The ending was a bit of a twist.  Is it true that a Cabinet member has to resign before running forPresident?  Of course, George HW Bush didn't resign as VP when he started running in 1988, but, then again, VP is not part of the Cabinet.

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The last sitting cabinet member to run for president was Herbert Hoover in 1928, and he resigned the day he was nominated. The job of the Vice President is to preside over the Senate and wait around for the president to croak. The president gives him things to do and he's basically just a counselor to the president. One the President can't fire. 

We have to Remember that this administration is "Rockefeller Republican" not Democratic. While I love the show, I hope she loses and it goes into the sunset with it's head held high.

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My question is, though, is it required by law or just policy that a Cabinet member resign if they want to make a run at the WH?

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4 hours ago, Dowel Jones said:

My question is, though, is it required by law or just policy that a Cabinet member resign if they want to make a run at the WH?

I don’t know if it’s required by law, but running for President requires all of your time and attention. Practically speaking, you cannot have another job while running for President. Sitting Members of Congress and Governors pretty much neglect their duties while running, and that’s usually ok. A cabinet member who has to be on hand for the Situations Room? That’s less acceptable. 

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18 hours ago, Dowel Jones said:

I was with Noodle and her boyfriend right up until the end when they started playing the techno music.  "You're dead to me, Fredo

I know! I guess they couldn't have had some genuinely awesome music? Or, if that would have been too distracting for this episode, no music a la most Shakespearean performances I've seen (not very many)?

18 hours ago, Dowel Jones said:

So, the internationalist SoS is matched up with the ultra-nationalist Senator.  I wonder if they will actually go there with the election.

I hope they do go there. It seems they're sort of retconning  Morejan into a relative moderate in comparison to some of his ultra cronies.

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1 hour ago, Xantar said:

A cabinet member who has to be on hand for the Situations Room? That’s less acceptable. 

Also, every decision and statement by a Cabinet member running in a presidential primary would be second-guessed since people would openly question whether it's made because it's good policy or for vote-garnering purposes.

Cabinet members serve at the President's pleasure  since they are chosen by him; a VP is elected as part of the ticket. If the President assigns a VP other duties than the very few specified in the Constitution, it is easy to relieve him of those extra files so he can devote himself full time to the primary. Not so easy with a Secretary in charge of a whole department.

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They could have picked a better looking actor to play senator morejon's kid.  Maybe it was the ridiculous styling, but I feel like noodle could do better.  Way, way, way better.

Again, why is Henry in the room?  What are his qualifications again?  I'd sure hope that my president came with a built in moral compass and didn't need to look to some random dude to make an ethical determination for me.  It must be out of deference to Bess that people don't roll their eyes in his face.

And how the heck did that cliche speech sway anyone's mind about anything.  Henry always makes the second grader essay arguments and they always seem to work.  It's ridiculous.  

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19 minutes ago, RealReality10 said:

They could have picked a better looking actor to play senator morejon's kid.  Maybe it was the ridiculous styling, but I feel like noodle could do better.  

I was having similar thoughts, and then they had one camera angle on him in which he looked exactly like his "father," so I guess the casting director was only interested in that.

—which is the opposite of the McCord "kids."

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Ooof

You guys make it hard to simply enjoy a show for it's escapism. 😧

I came here hoping to talk about the things I really find fun and refreshing about the show, from the characters to the writing and back.  Is any show perfect, oh heck no, but still.

Gonna go over in the 'I enjoy the show' corner of the sandbox and keep my opinions to myself.

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2 hours ago, storyskip said:

Ooof

You guys make it hard to simply enjoy a show for it's escapism. 😧

I came here hoping to talk about the things I really find fun and refreshing about the show, from the characters to the writing and back.  Is any show perfect, oh heck no, but still.

Gonna go over in the 'I enjoy the show' corner of the sandbox and keep my opinions to myself.

While it's true that I don't love the show like I used to, I would still like to read what others liked about an episode.

If there weren't so many shows to discuss these days, we could do a whole thread on the significance of Bess's hair styling to reflect her mood.

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5 hours ago, storyskip said:

Ooof

You guys make it hard to simply enjoy a show for it's escapism. 😧

I came here hoping to talk about the things I really find fun and refreshing about the show, from the characters to the writing and back.  Is any show perfect, oh heck no, but still.

Gonna go over in the 'I enjoy the show' corner of the sandbox and keep my opinions to myself.

I was there with you once, but when someone pointed out the Henry thing, I could not unsee it. 

Chief of staff, POTUS, SoS, head of the FBI/CIA, national security advisor.....and some random dude to give an ethical opinion summary?  

I think Henry's character works better as the head of an NGO, where he works with the state department and POTUS for good causes he believes in.  I think that position lends itself to Henry's personality, and it would mean having to actually fight his position in the trenches with everyone else, and not just make some random statement that everyone hangs on to.

I watch the show so I like it.  But I find Henry's situation/character ridiculous.  

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Now that Bess is resigning, will Henry keep his job at the White House or run her campaign? Silly me, he'll do both. And maybe be her running mate too.

Speaking of NGOs, I hope Nadine is running one now, and comes to DC for a meeting some time.

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I really used to like this show, but now can't stand the Madam Secretary character and her sanctimonious attitude that she displays.

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On 4/2/2019 at 12:55 AM, RealReality10 said:

Again, why is Henry in the room?  What are his qualifications again? 

I have been expecting a scene in the WH kitchen where Henry has a discussion with the chef regarding the menu for a State dinner. "Did you make sure that the livestock and fish used for this meal were raised and harvested sustainably? As Spinoza and Averroes said, can it really taste good if it is not ethically raised." That might get him boiled alive.

Edited by Florinaldo
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31 minutes ago, Florinaldo said:

As Spinoza and Averroes said, can it really taste good if it is not ethically raised.

I dunno...  I really like to hear my lobster scream as it goes into that boiling water.....

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On 4/1/2019 at 2:58 AM, Dowel Jones said:

The ending was a bit of a twist.  Is it true that a Cabinet member has to resign before running forPresident?  Of course, George HW Bush didn't resign as VP when he started running in 1988, but, then again, VP is not part of the Cabinet.

On 4/1/2019 at 4:14 PM, Dowel Jones said:

My question is, though, is it required by law or just policy that a Cabinet member resign if they want to make a run at the WH?

It would almost certainly be considered a violation of the Hatch Act.

"[The Hatch Act is] a United States federal law whose main provision prohibits employees in the executive branch of the federal government, except the president, vice-president, and certain designated high-level officials"

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I think something is going to come of the senator’s son burning something on noodle’s computer. Spyware or something. 

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22 minutes ago, tvfanatic13 said:

I think something is going to come of the senator’s son burning something on noodle’s computer. Spyware or something. 

Maybe, it had better not be some storyline about anyone trying to steal his music.  Sorry, but suspension of disbelief can only go so far

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On 4/2/2019 at 3:11 PM, shapeshifter said:

If there weren't so many shows to discuss these days, we could do a whole thread on the significance of Bess's hair styling to reflect her mood.

I'm starting a drinking game with Mrs. Torqy based on sightings of a Peter Frampton t shirt on Mme. Secretary.

On 4/3/2019 at 3:02 PM, cameron said:

I really used to like this show, but now can't stand the Madam Secretary character and her sanctimonious attitude that she displays.

I need to wear a crash helmet while watching to avoid concussions from being hit over the head with sanctimony.

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On 4/3/2019 at 6:02 PM, cameron said:

I really used to like this show, but now can't stand the Madam Secretary character and her sanctimonious attitude that she displays.

Especially the constant 'climate change' mantra she uses almost weekly to explain away every overseas issue. 

Edited by VinceW

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I really used to like this show, but now can't stand the Madam Secretary character and her sanctimonious attitude that she displays.

I think that's on purpose: since Bess told Henry she wanted to run at the end of last season, she's been getting more "presidential," in terms of adopting the attitude (and ego) required to run for the job. And, as Russell has now told her: she's ready.

Even if you're Bess, you HAVE to a belief in yourself to run for president that borders on (or IS) egotistical. 

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On ‎4‎/‎1‎/‎2019 at 2:58 AM, Dowel Jones said:

So, the internationalist SoS is matched up with the ultra-nationalist Senator.  I wonder if they will actually go there with the election.

I really hope they won't. It's a bit too much of art imitating life for my taste. I would have been able to deal with Morejon but Callister is a bit too much for me.

On ‎4‎/‎1‎/‎2019 at 4:14 PM, Dowel Jones said:

My question is, though, is it required by law or just policy that a Cabinet member resign if they want to make a run at the WH?

In addition to what others have said, Bess also said that she can't take part in political fundraisers in S4.

On ‎4‎/‎2‎/‎2019 at 12:55 AM, RealReality10 said:

They could have picked a better looking actor to play senator morejon's kid.  Maybe it was the ridiculous styling, but I feel like noodle could do better.  Way, way, way better.

Yeah, when Stevie said Lucas was kind of cute I thought to myself "he is?" But then I guess, it's in the eye of the beholder.

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Again, why is Henry in the room?  What are his qualifications again?  I'd sure hope that my president came with a built in moral compass and didn't need to look to some random dude to make an ethical determination for me. 

I don't think Conrad is lacking a moral compass or lacked it before Henry or that they were implying that. Mostly, I think they weren't sure what to do with Henry and wanted to do more than have him teach but I do think Henry provides an interesting point of view and has an interesting ability to lay out the arguments without really having an opinion when he gives ethics advise. That said, it was more than enough for me when he advised Bess at home and his students in class and Bess was the one presenting the "other side" to Conrad in the WH in the earlier seasons and presented him with arguments that convinced him to try it her way.

.

I really enjoyed the episode. I thought it had a lot of elements of the "old" Madam Secretary - nice pace, a lot of focus on the State Department team, not too much of Henry and all plots were connected and worked well together.

What was with the beginning though? Did they want to give us the impression that Bess was giving a speech and if so, why? If she had, they would have shown the listeners though, so it was kind of obvious that she was rehearsing.

Good for Blake, finally standing up to Matt. But poor Nina! Although, I did like her interaction with Harriman and that Harriman immediately figured out what was going on. I also thought he was quite nice, for his standards anyway, and I guess, if it hadn’t been for his last line, it all would have been fine. I was a bit confused that Nina burst out crying, though. I didn’t think it was that bad.

Nice how Bess figured out that Nina was lying and I really like the rapport Bess has built with Harriman. I know it’s script and all, but it still feels kind of natural that Bess manages to have a good (working) relationship with almost everyone and it also suits her character, not only of being a diplomat but also of being an analyst.

I liked how they resolved the Nina-Harriman story and that they used it to tell us a bit more about Nina. And that she found the courage to tell Harriman she doesn’t like chocolate (who doesn’t like chocolate?) and that he wasn’t offended.

I thought wearing a cap loosely on top of your hat instead of properly on your head was a thing of the past? I guess not. Or the writers are about as up-to-date on it as I am. :-P

I’m not sure I’d call Bess and Morejon “mortal enemies” anymore. They disagree on issues but he’s willing to work across the aisle and compromise and Stevie knows. At least, I assumed she does since she was there for the discussion about landmines last season and I would think she also heard that Morejon was the swing vote. I don’t remember if he and Bess worked together again after that but I always felt that they let him appear reasonable enough in that episode and even if they didn't show it in an episode, I would imagine that he and Bess weren't all cats and dogs up until now. I’m still wondering if he’s supposed to end up as Bess’ VP, now that they have this Callister guy as a possible opponent. And even more so since they mentioned that he put a price on Morejon’s head, so he could see his re-election in trouble. (Why did they have to choose an actor who kind of looks like an 80s PI character for Callister though?)

Uh, Bess was a math nerd and stayed away from the poli-sci department when she taught at UVA? She was teaching a class called "Postwar politics and the cold war" in the pilot. That sounds kind of political. But, I guess, what they say and do in the pilot with regards to background doesn’t count since she also said she was in the CIA for 20 years in the pilot and that doesn’t quite work and the student referred to her as Dr McCord and that was never mentioned again either. That said, I absolutely can’t see her teaching math. Maybe she just hung out in the math department a lot?

But Lena didn’t get the memo that no one should look forward to Bess’ cooking, did she?

Ellen Hill! I had almost forgotten about her but it was good to see her! Did the actress have other gigs or did they just not have a role for her?

I think this is the first time that I didn’t mind Henry in the oval office. Possibly, because he provided a couple of valid arguments, didn’t have that big of a role or that much to say as a whole and it were mostly Bess and Russell who were doing their usual back and forth. He was sort of supportive, not overwhelming. But if I were Conrad, I would have re-thought my position on hiring a husband and wife. I know they weren’t but it still felt like they were ganging up on Conrad.

I really thought the EMT who asked how Bess’ friend was holding up was a traitor. But I guess, that was the point, since because of him, I also thought it was possible that the extraction team was made and that the ambulance that was stopped by the police wasn’t a misdirect. I’m glad it turned out that it was though and that the extraction went off without any problems.

Having your whole team ride up in the elevator with you and bombard you with all that stuff totally looked like something you’d want first thing in the morning when you arrive at work. I kind of liked how everyone piled it on in the elevator then walked past Bess and Nina kind of nonchalantly.

Where did they find the actor who played the NATO Secretary General and why did he have to look like a private tutor from the 19th century? 

I laughed out loud at Russell’s “charm offensive”. If that’s charming, I guess, we have yet to see him when he’s pissed off. :-P

Schnitzeled away? Does Bess even know what that means because I don’t (and Schnitzel is kind of southern German/Austrian and that’s not Eastern Europe). But it still made me laugh because she was so convinced of what she was saying.

I know it’s happened a lot but it’s always fun when Bess (and Henry) is/are the last to find out about their daughter’s respective boyfriends and the ways how they found out. And I guess, the kids know full well when their parents don’t approve because Stevie did tell them about Jareth and Jason also told them about Piper.

And yeah, I’m so with Bess on the “mostly” when it comes to good judgement.

Loved how they ended the argument. Still makes me chuckle.  

I don’t know if it was intentional but I liked that the exchange between Henry and Morejon had that brief moment that showed that Bess and Henry still are new to politics when Morejon said that paranoia comes with the territory. He’s so relaxed about it all and Henry’s a little awkward and you can tell that Morejon has a lot more experience. And it's another scene that humanizes Morejon and shows that he’s a good guy. I’m actually starting to like him. Maybe not as a politican but as a private person.

I’m assuming there was a lot more to Lena’s speech than we saw? Because the little that we saw wasn’t that impressive and I’m sure Bess could have said that herself ;-)

I liked how Russell’s mood and attitude towards Bess throughout the episode kind of mirrored episodes from S1 but then they had this bit that they wouldn't have had back in the days when he acknowledges that she’s done a good job and sort of explained himself.

Bess and Henry listening to Lucas’ music was another laugh-out-loud moment for me, or rather, the expressions on their faces were. Daughter or not, I don't think I would have sat through that.

Gee, Bess, don’t sound so excited about running for President.

Not at all how I expected the episode to end, and I am a little fuzzy on when the resignation was supposed to be. It looked like twilight outside the WH but I can’t imagine that they’d have a drink in the morning and yet, Conrad wasn’t wearing a suit and I would imagine he still would have worn one if it had been early evening. Maybe it was Sunday evening?

In any case, I did like how it ended and I especially liked the sweet moment between Bess and Henry before we got the final scene.

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