This weeks episode of The Newsroom appropriately titled ''News Night with Will McAvoy'' started six
months after we left off and covered the span of one broadcast of News night. Which gave the episode a feeling as if it played out in 'real time'.
Will (played by Jeff Daniels) started off the episode already on edge when he received an incoming call from ''Dad''. Later on Will finds out that the call didn't actually came from his father, but instead came from the hospital where his father was admitted after suffering a mild heart attack. Will, still struggling with his crumbling reputation, then was informed by Neal (played by Dev Patel) of a tweet from a reporter who felt snubbed by an unknowing Will. Concerned with the fallout such a tweet might have on how others perceive him, Will was adamant about sending a reply.
MacKenzie (played by Emily Mortimer), knowing Will, had tried to prevent him from seeing the tweet but was unsuccessful. I didn't really like how harsh she was to Neal, it felt undeserved 'to root for his failure'. Even if it only was for one night. As the night progressed Mac tried to persuade Will to call his father, which he eventually did, stating he would regret it if he didn't. By the end of the night, along with Mac, we learned his father had died. After hearing the news through his sister, he stayed on the News Night set. The commercial break ended, but Will sat silently on the air for several seconds and said:
''Well, I guess it's just us now.''
I found the moment heartbreaking. Will and his father might have had a bad and abusive relationship, but in the end he's still your father. The silence in combination with the line above was certainly moving.
The other story that grabbed me the most was Sloan Sabbiths (played by Olivia Munn), whose story echoed that of the actress playing her Olivia Munn and colleague Allison Pill (Maggie Jordan on the show). Several private photos were leaked online by her ex boyfriend and she got chewed out by ACN president Reese (played by Chris Messina) with Charlie Skinner (played by Sam Waterston) coming to her defense (somewhat). She spent most of the episode sitting in the dark on the floor of Don's (played by Thomas Sadoski) office. The two shared some terrific bonding moments over the dilemmas both Sloan and Don faced.
After witnessing Don's failed attempt to kill a fake story where Don was the only source of (and came from his imagination no less!), Sloan reached the ''rage-state'''. In a scene that has to be seen by anyone who likes The Newsroom Sloan took back the power from her ex boyfriend. It was really a kick ass, feel good moment and I hope she doesn't end up with an assault charge.
Jim (played by John Gallagher Jr.) being a much better fit for the newsroom than on the road with the Romney campaign was deftly shown in this episode when they exposed a prank caller. Baba booey!
On the other hand there was the coverage of the Travyon Martin case, which Maggie was working on. And it lead to some interesting conversations which showed the ever erroding relation between Maggie and Jim. Maggie who at this time still has her blonde hair, but has taken up some heavy drinking and is too scared to sleep in the apartment she shares with Lisa. Oh, how I wish you had taken that medication they prescribed for you. Something will have to give for Maggie sooner or later.
The Genoa story was still on the back burner in this episode, though we saw the government finally taking an interest in al the digging ACN has done. A press agent from the Office of Naval Intelligence called Shep (played by Frank Wood) payed a visit to his friend Charlie Skinner. Despite Charlie's best efforts to deflect Sheps questions, he seemed to know exactly know what was going on. In the end Shep provided Charlie with
an inventory list of what the soldiers used in operation Genoa. Which basically confirmed, for Charlie, that the story was real and that he will now be fully pursuing it. The question how much of this story is real (with the world of The Newsroom) and if Shep is just egging Charlie on remains to be seen. The mystery around Genoa maybe ever deepening and it is time to bring this story fully into focus.
However there are some remarks to make about the overall quality of this episode. It was a bit of a convoluted mess. The episode felt like two episodes crammed into one. In the end, I myself felt overwhelmed by how stories were playing out at the same time. Then to add to that the editing/directing in this episode felt a bit off, maybe as a result of so many things happening and it had its effect on my enjoyment of the episode.