TV Recap: The Newsroom, ‘News Night With Will McAvoy’

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The Cold Open (Plot)
Sloan’s ex posts nude pictures of her on the internet. Will’s father dies while he’s on air. Mac knocks some sense into a kid who tries to come out on air through the Tyler Clementi story. The newsroom handles a prank regarding Syria. Charlie receives a paper from an ONI confirming Operation Genoa. Jim’s theory about Maggie’s mental state post Africa is confirmed after she screws up editing the George Zimmerman 911 call.

The Lead Anchor (Top Performance)
Though Sloan’s storyline this episode was pretty miniscule in hindsight, I absolutely love the way she overcame her humiliation so I give her the top performance nod for the week. I’m also pretty happy that she’s one step closer to a romance with Don. I’ve been waiting for this since Season 1.

Today’s Top Story (Favorite Part of the Episode)
Sloan kicking her ex in the crotch and punching him in the face for posting nude pictures of her online was my favorite scene of this episode. I love after she did it, she said, “I’m at the rage phase.” Plus this entire situation brought Sloan and Don closer together, which like I said, is what I’’ve been waiting for since the end of Season 1!

The Human Interest Piece (Little Thing We Loved)
The way the ACN newsroom handles the Syria prank is absolutely hilarious. It was definitely the comic relief we needed after watching Maggie’s downward spiral this and last week!

They Could’ve Buried This Lead (Worst Part of the Episode)
I thought maybe I’d like Maggie’s character now that she’s “unpredictable, moody, unpleasant, and begging for a fight,” (Jim’s words… not mine) but after seeing her in this episode, I kinda miss the old, annoying, begging for attention (my words) Maggie from Season 1. The scenes where her and Jim were waiting for the Zimmerman 911 call were agonizing, especially all her banter regarding Hallie and the Sandra Fluke issue. I also wanted to slap Jim more than I ever have in the past because of the way he handled confronting Maggie on her issues. Even after admitting what she has been doing on her downtime, Jim almost acted like he didn’t even care. Regardless of the fact that Maggie and him are no longer somewhat romantically involved, you would still think after all of this time, he would generally be concerned about her well being. Maybe it’s just me but it seemed like he is handling her situation too lightly.

Episode Thoughts
This is the first time this season that the episode takes place in real-time, but that doesn’t mean that it is less chaotic than what we’ve seen over the past few weeks. A lot happens in this episode, but the good thing is, it was mostly just fluff we’ll probably forget about going into next week.

This episode focused a lot about stories that happened back in the beginning of 2012, covering more of Trayvon Martin/George Zimmerman and Dharun Ravi/Tyler Clementi than Operation Genoa. In fact, aside from the ONI/Charlie scenes, the operation (which we know is fake) is barely covered here. Nor, do we see JD at all. I’m glad this happened. It felt like Season 1 again.

An even better plus? we get some comic relief (with the occasional scenes regarding Will’s vulnerable side and Maggie’s erratic behavior, of course). The prank and the Sloan scandal was a nice change of pace from some of the realer, hard-hitting storylines. I give Sorkin props for that, because I think I can speak for all of the Newsroom fans when I say that we needed a break from all the drama after last week. Plus, there’s been a lack in hilarious one-liners since the premiere happened, and I’ve been dying for some more laughs.

Prepare yourself for next week friends, we’re going right back into Operation Genoa!