Madam Secretary Finale: Tim Daly Talks Dmitri's Return and the 'Spooky' Way 'Headlines Are Ripped From Our Show!'

Madam Secretary Season 3 Finale Spoilers Dmitri

When Russia once more threatens to mess with international affairs in Madam Secretary‘s Season 3 finale on Sunday (CBS, 9/8c), Henry’s new governmental role puts him in a position to help Elizabeth with her latest geopolitical headache. And hey, doesn’t Dr. McCord have a special in with someone who might be able to help?

“Yes, little Dmitri comes back,” series star Tim Daly tells TVLine.

Dedicated viewers of the political drama will remember Dmitri as the Russian Army officer Henry recruited as an American spy. After the younger man’s capture by the Russians — and subsequent trade to the Americans — he’s been hanging out in witness protection, only having appeared once this season. So of course, Dmitri was the first thing we asked Daly about in advance of Sunday’s finale.

TVLINE How’s Dmitri doing?
He’s doing a lot better. I’m not sure how much I’m allowed to say, but f–k it, I’ll just say it: He’s coming back into the fold. It’s this weird thing where the intelligence community now has a need for him, and Henry finds a way to bring him back in. Of course, he’s been working at a TV repair store or as a cable guy, so he’s more than happy to return to at least part of what his whole life was, because he has some expertise on the Russians.

madam secretary season 3 finale spoilersTVLINE I know these things get mapped out months in advance, and your show often mirrors real life, but Russia?! Was that planned all along? 
Listen, I think that our writers have a crystal ball and reality mirrors what the show does. It’s really weird. It’s honestly spooky. Sometimes people will say to me we’re ripped from the headlines, which is actually not true. The headlines are ripped from our show. Which means either the writers know something we don’t know, or they’re just really good at gaming out the problems that exist around the globe and making situations that then come true.

…When we started the show, it seemed like this adrenaline rush of these wild geopolitical problems that were being depicted on the show. Then after November, or maybe before, leading up to the election, the real politics has been so much weirder than anything on our show. Our show now is a nice, relaxing place to go where people can be comforted that things aren’t going to s–t. [Laughs] It’s very odd. We thought at one point, “That’s it. The show’s over. We’re not as interesting as real life.” But we’ve found people need to escape to the show for reassurance that the world’s not coming to an end.

TVLINE Last week gave us some closure to this season’s terrorism arc. Does the finale set up next season? Is there a cliffhanger? What can you tell us?
This episode really wraps up with Henry embarking on this new job, which is the Special Activities Division or whatever it’s called. SAD. So he’s officially ensconced in his own little pod over in the intelligence community. It really wraps up with a moment where the family reconnects amidst all this chaos. So it doesn’t really launch much into the future. It is not a cliffhanger.

TVLINE Have you had conversations about next season yet? Anything you can tease?
Not so much, not yet. There have been a few little things that I can’t tell you, because I would have to kill you and then myself. [Laughs] Not so much a bigger arc. Whenever I talk to the writers, I always push them to lean on the fact that Henry struggles so hard with the ethics of what he does and to make that complicated. Because he’s a patriotic guy, he’s a guy of faith, he wants to help his country, and yet he’s cool and he’s also someone who doesn’t see things in black and white, and he pays an emotional price whenever he has to do something that’s dubious. That’s what I always push towards, and they’re very good at it.

TVLINE This should have been my first question — apologies, I’m a terrible human being — but how are you feeling?
I can walk like a big boy, so I’m good. I’m really getting good. It’s interesting, because I can walk and I’m not in pain anymore. But it’s funny how when you spend so much time healing, your body wears out. All your little soldiers are working really hard to get you better, and then you’re better, and then your soldiers are exhausted and need to go back to their tents and sleep. So I’m kind of tired. But I’m good. I have a whole new appreciation of being able to walk. I’ll never take that for granted again.

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