Madam Secretary Season 3 Episode 18 Review: Good Bones

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Life doesn’t always offer us a happy ending, and Madam Secretary Season 3 Episode 18 didn’t either. 

It’s one of the things that makes this entire series so compelling. 

Backfire - Madam Secretary

The human trafficking story was both horrifying and heartbreaking, not because I was rooting for Laura Cramer’s safe return, even though I was, but because that’s what human trafficking is.

Matt: Isn't Nogoyev the Russian lapdog who outlawed free press on the first day?
Daisy: And made his mother's birthday a national holiday.
Matt: Well, that would totally work on my mom.

It’s absurd to think that some President would allow people's lives to hang in the balance for a visit with a beautiful actress, but it also didn’t surprise me at all. 

It’s also appalling that the press would choose the celebrity as their focus instead of the hundreds of people saved or the 43 who were killed, but again, that is the world we live in. 

Nadine and Matt - Madam Secretary Season 3 Episode 18

Faced with such atrocities, it was satisfying to see Elizabeth’s staff finding it difficult to cope with the aftermath,

Elizabeth: None of this is easy today but we have a budget to pass and we need to pull it together and fight for a lot of programs that matter.
Jay: Do they? Does any of this matter? All of our big meetings and political positioning, is any of it going to save one person who shouldn't die today?

When politicians with power play god with people’s lives, including orphaned children, you’ve got to wonder what’s the point in it all. 

Matt: I want to slay dragons, Ma'am, not play whack-a-mole with evil.
Elizabeth: Sometimes making evil have to duck and find another hole is the best we're going to do.

Henry was coming up against a similar fight with evil, but the elders of the cult had already jumped into their holes. 

Unfortunately, they had already made their getaway; they still had a drone and possibly a highly trained former CDC scientist with a deadly strain of avian influenza. 

What could go wrong there?

I don’t believe that Ian Conroy was converted as much as he was drugged and got played, but it’s terrifying to think that a trained field agent could be turned into an unsuspecting suicide bomber. 

Can you explain to me why the ethics professor, the injured ethics professor, is the guy driving the truck with the bomb in it?


The simplest answer is because the McCord’s can’t help but try and make the world a better place. 

Which leads us to Allison and Jason. 

Elizabeth: How old were you when you stopped fighting with your siblings?
Henry: I'll let you know.

I love the McCord kids because they are so real with one another. They bicker and fight like normal teenagers, but that doesn’t mean they don’t love one another. 

Allison Makes Her Own Dress - Madam Secretary Season 3 Episode 18

Allison’s date was disturbing on many levels. 

First, Thad couldn’t just be happy that a smart, funny, beautiful girl like Allison asked him out. He had to talk her down to his friends, make fun of her dress and crow about how he thought she wasn’t even making him “work for it.”

What age do we live in that I can't ask a guy out without getting dragged to some room?


Just because Allison showed and interest in him and wore a certain style dress, that gave him the expectation that she’d have sex with him in some back bedroom at the party. 

It all made my blood boil as much as Allison’s. 

The world is full of mixed signals, especially for young girls. Watch TV, or a movie, or flip through a magazine and you’ll see lots women in short skirts, low-cut tops and tight fitting clothes. 

Heck, watch any sporting event, and you’ll see cheerleaders and dancers wearing barely there outfits. 

On the one hand, the world pressures women, especially young women to look pretty and show off their “assets.” 

But the flip side of that coin is that when they do, they can easily be “slut shamed” and blamed for giving men the expectation that they are open and ready to have sex, even when they say no. 

When Allison said no, Thad didn’t force the issue as much as he got mad and pouty because she didn’t give in to his perceived expectations. 

As much as I agreed with Henry’s advice about not resorting to violence when faced with this attitude, I also agreed with Allison in this Madam Secretary quote where she reacted to her brother keeping his mouth shut.

Guys like Thad are everywhere but guys like you are the reason they get away with it every day.


If no one ever stands up and says it’s wrong, then it’s as good as condoning the words, attitude, and actions. 

Jay Is Disheartened - Madam Secretary Season 3 Episode 18

After watching all three of these stories play out, it was good to hear the words from the poem Jay was sent.

Somebody sent me this after one of the terrorist attacks. It's a poem called Good Bones by Maggie Smith. The last part of it goes, "Life is short and the world is at least half terrible and for every kind stranger there is one who would break you, though I keep this from my children. I'm trying to sell them the world. Any decent realtor walking you through a real hell hole chirps on about good bones. This place could be beautiful, right? You could make this place beautiful?”


If we all work together to make the world a better place, much like the McCords, I hope that’s true.

Check back in two weeks for our review of Madam Secretary Season 3 Episode 19.

And if you can’t get enough of the McCord family, you can watch Madam Secretary online here at TV Fanatic.

Good Bones Review

Editor Rating: 4.7 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.7 / 5.0 (24 Votes)

C. Orlando is a TV Fanatic Staff Writer. Follow her on Twitter.

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Madam Secretary Season 3 Episode 18 Quotes

Matt: Isn't Nogoyev the Russian lapdog who outlawed free press on the first day?
Daisy: And made his mother's birthday a national holiday.
Matt: Well, that would totally work on my mom.

Matt: How are you doing with the whole…
Daisy: Guy I was dating getting poisoned by some nefarious agent still at large? Not great, but thanks for asking.