Madam Secretary Season 1 Episode 11 Review: Game On

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The gloves came off in Madam Secretary Season 1 Episode 11, as more secrets were revealed in the death of Vincent Marsh. This was another great hour, and we got some more answers as to who may be behind Marsh's death.

I am really enjoying the Vincent Marsh storyline, which is both great and worrisome. The story has great intrigue, which I love, but it also cannot last forever or even be the A story every week. Madam Secretary is more procedural than serial, and I definitely feel the procedural shows don't hold my attention quite the same way.

They weren't bad, per se, but thus far, the best installments dealt with Vincent Marsh, and this one was no different.

Elizabeth and team discovered Nadine had access to Vincent Marsh's secret bank account in Venezuela, so Elizabeth decided to take a diplomatic trip there in order for Nadine to gain access to the account.

I feel bad for Nadine throughout all of this. She was played through and through by Marsh. Certainly she chose to have a relationship with a married man, but it still had to hurt to realize how much the man she loved had deceived and used her. 

I swear I'm glad he's dead.


Nadine discovered that one week prior to his death, Vincent Marsh's bank account held $40 million dollars. Yowser! There were no names tied to the deposits, only numbers, so I'm guessing it was more than just donations to his presidential campaign. But who was giving to money to Marsh and why remains another mystery for our intrepid team to solve.

Even more importantly, the day after he was murdered, all the money was withdrawn by a woman named Marie Porter. One step forward and stuck again.

Meanwhile Chief of Staff Jackson was becoming increasingly suspicious of Elizabeth. He popped into Elizabeth's office when he heard about her trip to Venezuela and mentioned that was where Marsh was headed when his plane crashed.

Russell: Maybe you can finish what he started.
Elizabeth: What's that?
Russell: Land.

Elizabeth prepped Matt for one of his check-ins with Jackson. This time Elizabeth wanted him to pass specific information: that she met with Israeli Ambassador Dori and he overheard the word "Dubai". Matt worried he would be unable to provide more details when Jackson pressed him, which was what Elizabeth wanted.

If confusion is an asset, then I'm your man.


Jackson's spidey sense was already tingling, and we knew this would ring some bells with Jackson too. He set up his own secret meeting with Ambassador Dori to find out what he discussed with Elizabeth. 

Dori: Sorry I couldn't be more helpful.
Jackson: You may have helped just enough.

He put all the clues together and confronted Elizabeth upon her return from Venezuela. It was a great scene as Zeljko Ivanek let loose and tore into Tea Leoni.

Jackson: So what am I supposed to think? What possible reason could there be except that you think I had him killed.
Elizabeth: Thought you might have knowledge of it, yes.
Jackson: You seriously think I and the President are assassins?
Elizabeth: Not anymore.

And the best part? The best part is that she totally played him. And us too. She wanted to see what he would do. I do believe she originally thought he and the president were behind the murder of Vincent Marsh, but his actions proved him innocent.

She knew he was too good, too skilled, to not lay a convincing false trail for her to follow if he was indeed behind Vincent Marsh's death. Instead he chose to confront her. He may not have really mourned the demise of Vincent Marsh when he thought he died in a plane crash, but murder wasn't something he would ignore.

Jackson: My God. All this time. How could you just go about your business?
Elizabeth: That's what I was trained for.
Jackson: Tell me everything.
Elizabeth: That could take awhile.
Jackson: I've got all night.

Russell Jackson just joined our investigative trio. Yeah? I think so. He will certainly make an interesting partner as he and Elizabeth have butted heads more than they have seen eye-to-eye. 

I was glad they removed President Dalton and Chief of Staff Russell as suspects to Marsh's murder. While it was certainly fun, the longer they remained suspects, the thinner they stretched credibility. Elizabeth might solve world problems with great ease, but this show is still more grounded in reality than soap opera. 

Isabelle identified Marie Porter as Samila Mahdavi who worked for the Iranian Foreign Intelligence Ministry. Given that President Dalton already had a run-in with the Iranian government, it won't take much to get his trigger finger itchy.

If the Iranians were behind the murder of the Secretary of State, it won't just be cruise missles and it won't just be Tehran.


Are the Iranians guilty or being set up? I lean towards set up, or there has to be a lot more to the story. Did Marsh have some sort of an alliance with them? He made Marie Porter a signatory on his very secret bank account that had millions of dollars in it. Why? I can't wait to find out.

Madam Secretary has reached the midpoint of their first season. Their pilot was a bit rough, but they have improved by leaps and bounds. I'm anxious to see what they do next.

What did you think of "Game On"? Were you surprised that Elizabeth eliminated Jackson and President Dalton from the suspect list so soon? Do you think the Iranian Government is behind Vincent Marsh's plane crash? What has been the best improvement of the season so far? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

And don't forget, Madam Secretary is now on its winter hiatus and will return with new episodes on January 4, 2015. In the meantime, you can watch Madam Secretary online via TV Fanatic and get caught up if you're new to the show.

Game On Review

Editor Rating: 4.6 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.9 / 5.0 (22 Votes)
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Madam Secretary Season 1 Episode 11 Quotes

Russell: Maybe you can finish what he started.
Elizabeth: What's that?
Russell: Land.

I swear I'm glad he's dead.