For any TV show that wholly centers on politics within Washington D.C., it's been mildly rough to craft storylines that can elevate how challenging things have gotten in the real world. But with its Season 5 premiere, CBS' Madam Secretary is more concerned with putting pieces back together again than in drawing out how they got split apart in the first place. Executive producer Lori McCreary spoke with CinemaBlend recently about the drama's episodes, and when I asked what she was most excited for fans to see with Season 5. In her words:
The premiere episode talks about so many issues. It talks about the difference between patriotism and nationalism. It shows Secretary of State Elizabeth McCord reaching out, and reaching back to former Secretaries of State to ask for advice and to find the things that worked for them, and sometimes the things that didn't work for them. To really pull everyone together so that she can make the best next move and the best speech that the President has asked her to make. And that she reaches out on a bipartisan level and brings voices in. That's what I'm excited for people to see.
Indeed, Madam Secretary kicks off Season 5 with some of the biggest cameos of the fall season, as the CBS drama will welcome back former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, who previously appeared in a Season 2 installment. As well, her successive former Secretaries Colin Powell and Hillary Clinton will be making their Madam Secretary debuts in the episode. And while Lori McCreary would no doubt be enthused by their presence even if they just made momentary appearances in a less-important episode, their inclusion for the episode plays heavily into the themes that the executive producer is so driven by. And it definitely helps the faux-reality of the situation that the trio aren't overly glorified when they arrive.
As it was revealed in the episode's synopsis, the White House will be the target of a frightening and deadly attack. Which means Elizabeth has to do some quick thinking and talking in order to keep her nuclear disarmament deal from dissolving. That's where the former Secretaries come in, and where the storyline can sidestep party lines to appeal to the American spirit in all of us, regardless of our labels and our ideals. And even though the episode might not cause any monumental changes in anyone's minds or opinions overall, it's easy to grasp why Lori McCreary is fired up about viewers finally getting to see it. She also said this:
There's so many issues, that I think we can really speak to the heart to what the real condition of her plan is, that we can probably agree on most things. We have for hundreds of years in our country.
Having seen the episode, I can vouch for Elizabeth's speech being a genuinely convincing and winning appeal for the country's citizens to put aside strifes and replace them appreciation and love for others. It's one that stands up there in the ranks of President Whitmore's speech in Independence Day, and hopefully won't be the last powerful monologue of the season.
Madam Secretary fans should keep an eye on Sara Ramirez's policy advisor Kat Sandoval, since the actress was recently talking about going back to Grey's Anatomy. Only temporarily, of course, but fake Seattle is along way from fake Washington D.C.