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Madam Secretary 4×03 The Essentials preview

Elizabeth tries to help fund an electrical grid in a Syrian refugee camp.

©CBS Broadcasting Inc

On the latest episode of Madam Secretary, Elizabeth headed to Libya to try and get agreement on a peace deal.

If you’re not up to date with Madam Secretary and like to avoid spoilers we suggest you don’t read any further.

The episode opened up with Elizabeth (Téa Leoni) trying to decide what colour to repaint the kitchen. She was video calling her daughter Alison (Katherine Herzer) for advice and she suggested testing each of the paints on the wall to see what looked best. Jason (Evan Roe) came downstairs and left to drive himself to school.

Having the house to themselves, Elizabeth suggested she and Henry (Tim Daly) go back to bed for some fun. Before they could the White House called to request her in ASAP. Henry convinced her to not rush off and said she could blame the traffic. Meanwhile, Blake (Erich Bergen) and Nadine (Bebe Neuwirth) waited patiently in the car outside.

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©CBS Broadcasting Inc

When she finally came out, Elizabeth asked what today’s emergency was and they explain that the Libyan civil war was back on. Elizabeth said at least they still had the aid deal as leverage but at the White House, President Dalton (Keith Carradine) informed her that congress had pulled it. Elizabeth plotted to get the Libyans to sign before congress could fully pull it. To do so she decided to go to Libya against the advice of Russell Jackson (Željko Ivanek).

Elsewhere in the episode, Dmitri (Chris Petrovski) was still struggling with his painkiller addiction which he was trying to hide from his sister. He went to meet Henry who gave him an induction to his new CIA job under his new alias Alexander. Henry explained that the Russians were trying to undermine the democratic government in Afghanistan. Their job was to turn a Russian operative.

Before heading out to Libya, Elizabeth and her team were briefed. Nadine was particularly worried when it was explained that the plane would have to do a corkscrew manoeuvre for safety while landing.

Back at the McCord household, Henry was trying out the new paints. He and Elizabeth both agreed they all looked the same. Elizabeth asked Henry about the corkscrew landing and he said it was no big deal, just like a really sharp turn that keeps on going. Stevie popped down and gave her preference on the new kitchen colours before Elizabeth left for Libya. Henry was a little worried for her trip.

©CBS Broadcasting Inc

Later, Elizabeth and her team all successfully made it to Libya. After surviving the landing their car hit a child that was in the road. Against advice, Elizabeth got out of the car to tend to the child until the medic arrived. The child was alive but losing blood. Elizabeth was advised to leave but she wanted to stay. One of her team was left behind to help out.

Back home, Stevie enlisted her boyfriend Jareth (Christopher O’Shea) to help with painting. It ended up in a row before Stevie got called into work. Jareth didn’t seem impressed.

Back in Libya, an update arrived about the girl and she had survived but had a brain injury. Elizabeth asked Nadine to attend the hospital where the girl’s family had also arrived. There she expressed Elizabeth’s condolences for what had happened. The doctor gave an update to say that the brain swelling had increased and the girl probably had only one day left to live. The father shouted angrily at Nadine.

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Henry went back to see how Dmitri and his team were getting on with identifying a Russian to turn. They were at odds about who was the best choice. Dmitri’s inside knowledge seemed to make sense and Henry backed his recommendation. The team took Dmitri out for drinks. After the team made jokes about Russia, Dmitri gave them graphic detail about how Russian prisoners were treated. He stormed off angry and once outside he took some more painkillers.

©CBS Broadcasting Inc

At the White House, Stevie and Russell crashed into each other. She spilt coffee all over him and he managed not to flip. She asked about her mum and Russell told her she was in Libya and her motorcade had run over a child. Elizabeth updated Dalton and Russell on their progress. Dalton gave her a day to get the job done.

Stevie came across Dmitri in the supermarket. He was bent over with his head in a fridge trying to cool down. Stevie recognised him from a recent event and he told her about his terrible first day. Stevie went back home to find out that Jareth had completed the painting work. He had finished it as an apology to Stevie for his behaviour. Stevie forgave him and they made up.

Dmitri went back to work and quietly sat at his desk. Henry called him into his office for a dressing down. Dmitri apologised and said it wouldn’t happen again. Henry said he would be seeing a doctor from now on. Dmitri was dismissed but decided to come clean about his 10-month addiction to the painkillers.

In Libya, Elizabeth was struggling to get an agreement at her meeting. Nadine called to give her the bad news about the girl and explained her only hope was some medical equipment that the hospital didn’t have. The closest equipment available was on a US hospital ship in the Mediterranean. Elizabeth vowed to get the girl to the ship.

©CBS Broadcasting Inc

Elizabeth couldn’t get agreement to transport the girl from the US military because it was too dangerous. She went back to the Libyans and appealed for their help. She requested a one hour slot to drop the no-fly zone so the girl could be taken safely. The girl’s father was reluctant to get onto the helicopter for fear of it being shot down. She explained about the ceasefire and said she would go with them to show how safe it would be. The family agreed to go and Elizabeth went with them against advice from her security team.

On the ship the girl went for treatment while her father paced around worried. Her mother sat and chatted with Elizabeth via a translator. Elizabeth comforted her as best she could. The doctor came to update everyone that the operation was a complete success. Her family thanked her for what she had done. As they began to leave, Jay (Sebastian Arcelus) came running with good news. The ceasefire held and the Libyans wanted Elizabeth back so they could sign her proposed peace deal.

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At the end of the episode, Elizabeth and Henry got on with their kitchen painting. It ended up with some bickering which turned into a good humoured paint fight!

The next episode is The Essentials. With a government shutdown looming, Elizabeth must think outside the box to help fund an electrical grid in a Syrian refugee camp.

Tune in to Sky Living at 10pm Thursday to see the episode. Preview it with our gallery below:

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