Monday, August 12, 2013

The Newsroom: So Many Balls in the Air...

This episode is a shining example of how Aaron Sorkin is capable of keeping a multitude of storylines going at one time without letting the individual plots and characters suffer. However, it is still a shame that The Newsroom promoted the episode via Facebook with questions that don't really apply to the episode.
Maggie's return from Africa was rather highly anticipated, as her punky red haircut has been making waves since the season opener. However, posing the question about how her "ordeal" will "affect her performance at work" went largely unanswered, even if viewers and Jim did learn that she has been sleeping around to avoid being alone and is drinking heavily. That said, it is quite clear that her work performance remains unchanged. Similarly, wondering how Jim will "be received back in the office after getting taken off the campaign trail" is nearly a moot point, as few people interact with him and only Maggie seems peeved at his experiences on the Romney tour. Furthermore, Jerry does not even appear in this episode and is barely even mentioned, so how his "pursuit of the Genoa story" has changed is not even addressed. Perhaps these issues will all rise in the future, but promoting them before "The News Night with Will McAvoy" may have been ill-timed.

The Newsroom "The News Night with Will McAvoy" (S02E05): Will ignores a call from his father's number, but listens to the voicemail. It explains that his father was brought to the ER after collapsing. [Will commenting about his "150 year-old" father still rounding up cattle was funny.] At Mack's advice, he calls to check on the man, but learns he passed away after the cardiac event. Will experiences a few moments of distress but otherwise carries on the news program as usual. [there will undoubtedly be some backlash about this, but I support Will continuing his work.] And, by "as usual," he is still distracted about his ratings and how they having been affecting his confidence level as of late. Every little thing bothers him, so when Neal informs him that a random woman, Pepper Burke, tweeted about Will allegedly snubbing her at lunch, he lets it bother him more than it should. [why IS Twitter coming up constantly on this show??]

Mack confronts Jesse, the head of Rutgers gay-straight alliance, who was to be a guest to talk about Tyler, a student whose roommate publicly "outed" him. [terrible situation!] He had intended to use News Night to come out on his own terms, particularly to his parents, but Mack puts the kibosh on that. Though she didn't want the twentysomething exploiting the show, the main reason Mack has to pull Jesse is because of a mistake that Maggie made. [what was with that random IQ test she was taking?] See, the Trevon Martin 911 call was released during the show, and because of a slow download, Maggie hardly had any time to edit it from 4:07 to :25. [that was a frighteningly short time frame, actually!] In doing so, she cut a question that gave context to Zimmerman's comment that Martin was black. [I don't think Neal explained the oversight well.] With this error, Will is forced to air the entire clip, eliminating the time for Jesse's story.

Initially, more news may have been compressed to fit in Don's proposed take on the Syrian bombing, but because Mack insisted on getting to the bottom of it, she determined that the woman claiming her husband was on the phone while trapped in the rubble without rescue was false. [it bothered me that Don completely left that alone to commiserate with Sloan and try to get a website to remove a quote of him joking about the daughters of Jihad.] Sloan is also cut from the evening's telecast in light of the fact that nude photos of her were posted online. She originally tries to deny it was her body, but she comes clean and admits that a boyfriend took the pictures over Christmas and decided to post them after she dumped him. [that sucks.] However, she is less upset about her career and more upset about what her parents will think, as her father googles her every morning for his scrapbook. [that is so cute. If my mom would Google me more, she would understand what I do.]
While all of this is taking place, a military press liaison comes to see Charlie under the guise of discussing the Navy building a server farm in Utah. In reality, he wants to know what Charlie knows about Genoa, advising Charlie that chasing a story about War Crimes is a terrible idea because of the consequences. [and, as he described them, they are pretty rough.] He also suggests that maybe events escalated into an "any means necessary" situation in order to extract a soldier who was about to be sold for a public beheading. [that's all well and good, but trying to appeal to the fact that Charlie has a son was uncalled for.]
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