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THE NEWSROOM, “The Greater Fool” Episode Recap

There was a point early on in the season where I had come to the decision to treat this show as a one hour comedy as opposed to any form of critical drama. However, as time went on I feel the criticisms that I’ve been reading which made me nod and say, “they might have a point there,” has made me forget that wise decision I made earlier this season, and I’m happy to see Greg Matolla return to remind me that this show can be funny if nothing else.

With so many things attempting to wrap up by storytelling extraordinaire, Aaron Sorkin (yes I say that in jest), we attempt to take a crack at all of the relationships that are left wide open at the moment, News Night 2.0’s rough relationship with the AWN owners as well as the result of Will’s experiment of having a great (honest) journalist into his sacred office space and tell the world what he really thought of what he saw it seems almost impossible for this episode to grab me in such a way that it holds me for more thought than an average episode of Entourage, but honestly that’s what I want at this point.

This week’s episode, other than being messy at times, is chocked full of references to things such: Sex in the City and Don Quixote. I wonder how much of an idea the Sex in the City reference was Sorkin’s idea – as he doesn’t strike me as a Carrie Fischer fan, as it shows in the scene in question – and his constant reminder of the man on the impossible mission of noblest intentions continues to be rung in ways that I believe even Sorkin is having trouble enjoying.

Let me not get away with myself. I did enjoy this episode. Seeing Allison Pill getting splashed by that bus on the corner by the Sex in the City tour bus, have a tantrum about how her life isn’t that glamourously depiction of a magazine columnist who earns boat loads of money for her stitched together learnings of her past week out with the girls, and then to see Jim’s head pop out from the bus (after previously discussing how best to get acquainted with the show to please Lisa) was kind of great. It managed to create a scenario where, like many comedies, I found myself enjoying this characters misery and at the same time turn it into something more than just an afflicted moment for Maggie.

The biggest question I feel is did the Sloan and Don scene/reveal has more to do with retroactive writing or planned character development. While Sloan has been made to be the most socially inept that doesn’t limit her ability to have feelings for other people and while I’m sure there’s a part of the Newsroom fans out there shouting at their televisions saying that they would be perfect for one another I don’t get how she feels it’s okay for her – the one who can’t figure out who likes whom and how to say hello right – drop this into his lap like that. I know she had no intention of it pushing him closer to her, but it still marks me as befuddled a bit.

The final plot line that was discussed was that of Reese Lansing and TMI’s phone hacking. With the introduction of Nina knowing of Will’s drugged state during the Osama Bin-Laden announcement questions all come up as to how they found out. Eventually the smart minds of News Night deduce that Mackenzie’s phone was hacked and the message in question deleted, as she never received it, which gave them enough proof to bluff their way into getting a confession out of Reese and allowing them enough room to continue doing their show undisturbed from the heads above.

One side-note/call-back that is woven into the show has to do with the final scene of the season. With Will noticing a young woman in the office while doing the evening’s broadcast he’s feeling a sense of recognition when he sees her, only to realize at the very last moment that she is the very same girl who he blew up at during the debate at the beginning of the school. She is apparently interviewing for an internship position with News Night. Upon this discovery Will has but one request of her, to ask him her stupid question again and when she does his response is simple “you are why”. It shows that while Will can be cynical and critical of the world around him he knows when to realize that it also can show promise and the fact that this same girl is here in front of him (about to get hired) after what he did to her proves that his mission to civilize might not be far off from working but as Will says, “progress is slow, but I’m in it for the long haul.”

Season 1 is over, are you in for the long haul with The Newsroom?

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Andrew Robinson

Andrew Robinson

I love movies, I love TV so obviously I blog. You can read all my other ramblings on this and that over at