The Newsroom kicked off with a bang this week as the 'Red Team' was brought in and delivered all the fireworks I was expecting it to do. The stupendous looks on the faces of Sloan (played by Olivia Munn), Jim (played by John Gallagher Jr.) and Don (played by Thomas Sadoski) said it all. The conversation that followed, about Santa's reindeers, was simply hilarious. That made as much sense to the trio as the US using Sarin gas on civilians.
I was glad to see the skepticism about Genoa, most of their evidence is indirect. With the exception being Hamni8, the witness or at least suspected witness based on his tweets. But since they can't find him, at that leaves is their indirect evidence. Then along came general Stanislaus Stomtonovich (played wonderfully by Stephen Root) who confirmed the Genoa story to Charlie (played by Sam Waterston) and MacKenzie (played by Emily Mortimer) and agreed to anonymously testify on camera.
When reviewing the testimony later in the Newsroom, I liked that both Charlie and Mac question Stomtonovich's character after he forgot their appointment. To be honest I got the weirdest vibe from Stomtonovich myself, the devil is in the details. Sending Maggie out of the room for one, not being willing to confirm Genoa on camera and insisting the basketball game on tv being kept, partially, in the frame during the interview. Charlie's revelation at the end of the episode of Genoa not being real, fuels my suspicion that someone is trying to take ACN down. It also explains all the conveniences of the leads on the Genoa story. Is there a pattern I am seeing here or am I just being reading too much into things?
As for Jerry (played by Hamish Linklater), I can understand, being so close to confirmation of a story he has been pursuing for months, that it creates impatience. I don't think Jerry expected there to be consequences for his editing, for at the time he made the edit he subtly pushed the story along a path that would lead to truth. The Genoa story would come out and no one, but Stomtonovich, would be the wiser. That I can understand a character doing such a horrible thing speaks for the excellent writing on The Newsroom and how it captured that moment, but that doesn't mean it wasn't a terribly wrong action.
The thing that stood out the most to me, about the Genoa story, was the debate about the subject 'when do you run a story'? The second 'Red Team' at the end highlighted this debate and still has me thinking about it.
Other than the Genoa story there was little news coverage, except for a fast forward through several Republican campaign stumbles which lead to Romney being the Republican nominee. This left a lot of room to show us the lives of the crew beyond the newsroom.
After Jim and Hallies discretionary time got cut short, Jim found Maggie in the hotel bar on his way out. This scene really showed how far the Jim/Maggie relationship has come, or rather has fallen. Jim didn't give of any hint of being romantically interested in her anymore and showed more concern as a friend. Maggie on the other hand, clearly, has her mind occupied with other things and it is easy to see how she will accused during the aftermath of the Genoa story. Especially after she already botched the cutting of the 911-tape a while ago.
There was a poignant scene with Mac and Don in the karaoke bar that deserves a mention. It felt like a real conversation two friends have and covered a variety of subjects. But the conversation was mostly about Sloan, he really should ask her out before that ship has sailed.
Overall it was a good episode, which set up the culmination of the Genoa story for next week, while also delving deeper into the lives of our favorite news crew. And half a bonus point for the excellent metaphors used!