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Season 1: Episode 4 - Just Another Normal Day
Posted on Oct 13, 2014 12:00am

When you’re the Secretary of State, a normal day at work is anything but normal.

Secretary McCord is focused on signing an environmental peace treaty between China and Japan, while also balancing her upcoming remarks at her predecessor’s funeral. But when a young Chinese girl demands political asylum at an American airport, Secretary McCord is caught in a tight spot. Should she grant the young woman asylum and look like the "good guy” to her staff and all of America? Or should she follow her instincts, which say that the young Chinese woman isn’t being persecuted at all, she's just following the directives of her mother – and send the young woman home?

Secretary McCord tries to balance it all, but often ends up leaving her family under her husband’s watch, as he’s home supervising their daughter’s first DC sleepover.

Secretary McCord’s predecessor, Secretary Marsh, passed away recently, yet is getting short shrift from most of the staff. No one seems that concerned with his memorial remarks, except Nadine Tolliver (Bebe Neuwirth) who seems particularly upset her former boss’ passing. In a weak moment, Nadine admits to Secretary McCord that she wasn’t just fond of Secretary Marsh, but was having an affair with him. Secretary McCord appreciates Nadine’s revelation and hopes this shared confidence brings them closer, more teammates than adversaries.

At work, the Secretary decides to hold her ground and insist that the young Chinese woman go back to her home country, despite the fact that they just discovered the girl’s younger sister, living as an adopted daughter in the United States. But before Secretary McCord can send back the young women to an unknown fate, they learn that the young woman’s mother died in custody in China. Now, the Chinese teen can stay in the U.S. if she’d like, since she now qualifies for asylum. Yet, the young woman decides to return to China to help lead its march towards democracy.

Secretary McCord has been successful, but she’s plagued by her own fears about her friend George, who died after warning her about Secretary Marsh. What really happened to George? Was his death an accident or planned? And if it was planned, what does that mean for the safety of the country and Madam Secretary herself?