Episode Summary (taken from Wikipedia):
The first of a two-part-episode story arc, Allen is discussing the possibility of running for reelection with her family, when she is summoned to deal with a huge crisis: a submarine has just collided with a seamount and drifted into North Korean waters. Furious, she questions the Secretary of Defense, the Director of Central Intelligence, and a member of the Joint Chiefs as to why a submarine was there, to which they reply that it was sent on a spy mission ordered by President Bridges. Annoyed that she was kept out of the loop, Allen tells the trio that nothing will be kept from her.
Several plans are tossed around: Vice President Keaton even suggests abandoning the sub in fears that North Korea will find out about the entire operation. However, Allen brings in the subject of possible assistance from the Chinese, and Templeton is brought in, since he is on friendly terms with the Chinese Ambassador and knows the situation well over there. The United States can’t send a rescue boat in time to save the crewmen inside the sub, so Allen and Templeton brainstorm and come up with the idea to ask the Chinese to pilot their rescue boat. This information, of course, is kept from most people in the White House to ensure that the secret of the submarine will not be compromised.
Allen and Templeton meet with the Chinese Ambassador, and expecting that the Chinese will want something in return, come up with the deal that they will let China sell arms to Myanmar and Algeria. The Chinese Ambassador takes the deal back to his government, and they accept the terms.
Plans are underway for the rescue mission, and Mac retires to her private residence. However, she is alarmed to find that the North Koreans have found out about the submarine, and that they consider the submarine in their waters to be an “act of war”. Mac rushes to the Situation Room, and the episode ends here.
The episode also deals with Rebecca’s reluctance to be a part of the reelection campaign, the negative aspects of Jane’s new job as well as Jane’s friendly encounter with Dickie, and the staff trying to figure out what’s going on with the secret meetings.
Discussion Under the Cut!
This episode was phenomenally intense. I really like that Jane stood up for herself to Templeton and declined his offer to come back – because let’s face it, he wasn’t very humble about it or forgiving of why Jane did what she did. Templeton has good intentions and is a patriot, but it’s to a fault how competitive and vindictive he can be.
A theme that stuck out to me in this episode was political office as a partnership between the whole family. The family all sits down together to discuss how to move forward, and Templeton discusses his day at work with his wife and takes her advice on what he should do. Side note: Does the First Family eat in a different room for breakfast every morning? Because that is seriously what I would do if I lived in the White House.
I loved Jim standing up for Mac to the Joint Chiefs, and the episode’s underlying theme of differentiating Mac from President Bridges. It seems like an issue that any female president would have – differentiating herself from her history and blazing a new path without being disrespectful.
What are your thoughts?