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The-newsroom

The Newsroom Review: Better Than Having You Killed

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We all knew Genoa was going to be a train wreck. That despite the interviews and tweets, manifests and eye witness accounts, that ACN's biggest story was going to fall apart in spectacular fashion. What we didn't know was why?

Even the "Red Team III" couldn't have seen this coming.

Depositions

I had little doubt that Jerry's undoing would be that silly basketball game in the background of the General's interview. That belief was solidified when Mac started asking Will stupid questions about game clocks and penalties in a conversation I only half listened to because I knew the only purpose was to lead her back to that video. 

By the time the control room guy was parading the LED clock around the news room, I felt like I was watching a comedy sketch instead of a drama.

I'm still completely floored that Jerry thought he could get away with it. Talk about ego. When he told Mac he wouldn't have done it unless he was sure, all I could think was that if the story was actually true you wouldn't have had to tamper with the evidence. 

I was surprised that when Will said he'd already heard the story that no one asked him from where. That he and Charlie never even suspected that they might have the same source. 

And then brick by brick, Operation Genoa turned into rubble at their feet. 

Maggie had to admit that she wasn't in the room when Jerry conducted the interview with the General... Sweeney let it slip that he'd lied about suffering a traumatic brain injury... and the Department of Defense was quoting the Espionage Act. 

Mac was the most impressive as she slowly realized that she unintentionally led the interview with Valenzuela. She was only looking for him to confirm the story. All he had to do was repeat what she fed him.

All along I'd wondered if this was just one giant series of circumstances that led to what ACN attorneys referred to as "Institutional Failure" or was the news network being set up to take a massive fall. It was most definitely the latter, and for reasons I could have never seen coming.

One of the best exchanges, in a night filled with many, was between Charlie and Will as Charlie gave a rousing speech about why he still backed their story in this The Newsroom quote

Will: How much of what you're saying do you actually believe right now?
Charlie: 60%.
Will: I thought it was in the mid-80s. You pulled it off.
Charlie: Experience. | permalink

When Charlie met with Shep, his confidential source in a parking garage of all places, I couldn't wait to hear his story. When Shep started talking about his son David, I got nervous. When he mentioned rehab, my stomach started to turn and by the time he talked about his funeral I was just waiting for the final blow. 

So David was an ACN intern fresh off a stint at rehab. He posted something stupid, was warned and continued to do it anyway. When Charlie said he deserved to be fired, I agreed with him. But considering the kid's father was a respected source at the Pentagon, perhaps a phone call to dear old dad should have been in order. 

Shep: I thought about having you killed. Then I thought what does Charlie Skinner fear more than death. | permalink

Enter Operation Genoa. A diabolical work of revenge from a grieving father willing to bide his time to do it right. 

But my favorite scene of the night was watching MacKenzie walk into that room with tears in her eyes and tell Will, "We have to retract Genoa tonight. All of it." She said it as though there was no one else there but the two of them. 

Will didn't have to say a word. His face spoke volumes as he watched the tears well in Mac's eyes and her words sunk in. Gone were the accolades of a controversial but career-making story along with its I Love Lucy ratings.  Genoa came crashing down around them all.

Enter Leona Lansing. Jane Fonda stole the show with one scene as she swept in with her evening gown lamenting her missed opportunity with Daniel Craig. Like Don, she was pissed. Jerry Dantana, that little weasel, deserved to get fired and he wasn't going to get a dime of payoff money just to make this go away. 

And as Charlie, Will and Mac all offered their resignations she was having none of it. 

Leona: You will resign when I fire you out of petty malice and not before. | permalink

As Charlie decreed that ACN had lost the public's trust, Leona had but one thing to say. "Get it back!," Making me happy that The Newsroom season 2 isn't over yet. 

Review

Editor Rating: 4.5 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.7 / 5.0 (100 Votes)

C. Orlando is a TV Fanatic Staff Writer. Follow her on Twitter.

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Stole the show? She stole the whole season, and maybe the series. About the time she said "You'll resign when I fire you..." I was standing and cheering. When she said "Get it back!" I wished I had a time machine to jump ahead two weeks.

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Loved the ep. Unmentioned that I loved in addition were Don's exchanges with the lawyer Rebecca. I also wondered why, if Will had heard the story as well, why had he not brought it up as something to look into/investigate at the time he heard it? Why did he let it go when it came to his attention originally? God I love seeing Sam Waterston regularly on my tv again.

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Totally agree with your analysis that Jane Fonda stole the show. She commands the room no matter how big or small her part. This storyline sounds like fiction but I remember CBS and Dan Rather being brought down when Dan said what he presented was "fake but accurate."

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I was disappointed in the episode. I feel like we've watched the same episode for 3 weeks now. Depositions, Red Team meeting flashbacks and recaps of the sources...over and over. I guess I expected something different from this episode since the story actually broke. I agree that the whole 'spots clock set-up' was almost laughable. Definitely a glitch in the usually smart writing. I also thought the scene with Leona felt out of place, considering she spent the entire first season looking for any little reason to get Will out and now she refuses to let him go. It didn't 'fit' for me. On a positive note, I loved the dynamics of the team as the Benghazi story started unfolding. That's what I miss from season 1, as they did newscasts on the big real life events. And of course, Sorkin always knows how to close the show!

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Terrific episode!! Jane Fonda definitely stole the show. She was just brilliant in that final scene. It was especially great because I had thought she was behind the whole setup. So to see her come clean about actually loving the news network and being proud of them even if they caused her business headaches and then be so fierce in leading the battle charge. Chills. Especially that final "Get it back!" order. But I did really like that crushing moment when MacKenzie broke the news too.

The Newsroom Season 2 Episode 7 Quotes

If he doused the studio in kerosene and lit a tikki torch it wouldn't have done as much damage as Genoa so where is the complexity? Where is the nuance?

Don

You can't be stupid and afford haircuts this good. I need you to tell me this is exactly as insane as it is.

Don
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