The Newsroom Review: Mission to Civilize

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There are moments when I'm reminded how much I love Aaron Sorkin's dialogue. It's sharper and funnier than any mere mortal could ever speak in real life and so damn quick that I wouldn't get a word of it down if it weren't for my handy dandy TiVo. 

Considering a Confession

Along those lines, "Willie Pete" reminded me how much fun The Newsroom can be... starting with Will's tirade over the reaction a combat soldier got for questioning the Republican presidential candidates over the military's policies for gay soldiers. Well, it was more that Will questioned the candidate's lack of reaction to audience members who booed the man that was currently overseas serving his country.

Will: When he was deployed to Iraq... he was worried that if his sexuality was discovered they might not let him go, as opposed to most of us who if told we were being deployed to Iraq would go Corporal Klinger faster than you could pull on a yellow taffeta picnic dress. | permalink

Huge points for the M*A*S*H reference. (I've been a fan since I was 8.)  But it all quickly segued into Mac begging Will for info on that mysterious voicemail he left her last season. You remember the one. It started with "I'm not just saying this because I'm high…"  

MacKenzie begged and cajoled and even accused him of still being mad at her. But mad didn't quite cover it.

When Will quietly closed that door, I knew Mac was about to get an earful. He reminded her that she slept with another man for four months while she was with him. Yeah, that's a tough one to get past.

In a strange turn of events, the contents of that voicemail were revealed even if Will wasn't telling. 

Nina Howard was back and she was about to break the story about Will being pulled from the 9/11 anniversary coverage. This one had me shaking my head a little. Do gossip sites normally cover this kind of thing in between Justin Bieber exploits and Royal Baby names?  

But I digress... Will's on a mission to civilize so he invited Nina to meet him and wooed her with mimosas and a pianist playing "What the World Needs Now."  Yes, it was so over the top it was cringe-worthy. Yet somehow it worked. 

Nina agreed to drop the story but not before spilling that she knew what Will had left on that voicemail. The rest of it goes like this: "I’ve never stopped loving you. You were spectacular tonight." (I'm editing out the silly Obama/Osama joke because it's really not that funny.)

So Will still loves Mac, not that I ever doubted that, but he doesn't trust her. That's a hard one to get past.

Instead he hit the sheets with Nina, who in turn lied to MacKenzie when asked about the contents of the voicemail. At least she had to decency to look a little guilty after she did it.

Was anyone else having flashbacks to The West Wing as they watched Don and Sloan this week?  

First off, I couldn't believe Sloan let Zane drag her through the newsroom by the elbow just so he could try and chastise her in front of an audience. The ball peen hammer threat should have been her first reaction, not her last.   Although I loved how Don backed Sloan up in this The Newsroom quote

She's got 50 IQ points on both of us. There's nothing I could put in her head. | permalink

It made me wonder why Sloan's always second guessing herself. She's uber-smart and beautiful. Don's an idiot if he doesn't pursue her after he gets Maggie out of his system by dismantling office furniture.

Of course he didn't sound thrilled that she'd gone out for drinks with the book agent guy so perhaps there is hope yet. All I know is that I really don't want to have to sit through seasons of pining and longing looks a la The West Wing's Josh and Donna. Or will that be the scenario for Jim and Maggie?

As Maggie freaked out over the side effects of her pre-African prescription cocktail, Jim was causing havoc on the Romney bus by asking actual questions. Could you imagine what it might be like if we had media that actually strayed from talking points? Nevermind. I'll keep those fantasies to myself. 

But I do wonder how long Jim's road trip story will go on, especially now that he's gotten himself kicked off the bus. 

Back at ACN, Jim's replacement was so gung ho about this Genoa story that he wanted to run with it. I was happy that Mac and Charlie slowed him down. This huge war crimes story just seemed to fall in their lap a little too easily. 

And just as Mac was pulling the plug, the Tweets came though. Are Tweets plausible evidence? And if the feed was cut off because the digital frequencies were jammed, then why wouldn't they jam them before the helicopters got there?

Of course we know this story doesn't end well for ACN but I am curious to find out in which ways it goes horribly wrong.

Do you think there's any hope of a Will and Mac reconciliation? Are any other fans of The West Wing seeing the Josh/Donna similarities or is it just me? And is Genoa working for you as a season long story arc on The Newsroom season 2?

Willie Pete Review

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

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The Newsroom Season 2 Episode 3 Quotes

When he was deployed to Iraq... he was worried that if his sexuality was discovered they might not let him go, as opposed to most of us who if told we were being deployed to Iraq would go Corporal Klinger faster than you could pull on a yellow taffeta picnic dress.


The audience members who were booing were in Orlando. Soon they'll be in Hell, though not soon enough.