TV Recap: The Newsroom, Season 2 Finale

Written by Al Mannarino


The Cold Open (Plot)

In part II of the season finale, the ACN Newsroom attempts to make it through election night without any mistakes. ACN has lost all credibility because of the debunking of Operation Genoa. Will & Charlie are awaiting Reese’s decision on the fate of their jobs and the future of ACN. While Don deals with Jerry Dantana suing him, and Sloan learns who won her book.

The Lead Anchor (Top Performance)
In an episode filled with excellent performances it was tough to pick one that stood above the rest. I chose Don Keefer (Thomas Sadoski) not only because of his brilliant performance this episode and the overall season, but because of how he transformed his character from one of the most disliked to my personal favorite. In the first season he was a terrible boyfriend who would cheat on Maggie (Alison Pill), and even when he became faithful to her, he still seemed more obligated then sincere. That character changed in the premiere when he left Maggie for good reasons. His crush on Sloan Sabbith (Olivia Munn) had been growing since last season, and had become way more apparent this season. Don would be Sloan’s friend and shoulder to cry on, but she would always date successful rich men who turned out to be terrible people. It was incredible to see the events unfold the way that they did, with Don being the one who not only won Sloan’s book in the Sandy auction, but also to have had an imaginary bidding war to make her feel better. His meeting with Rebecca (Marcia Gay Harden) where he tells her that he is countersuing Dantana was one of many highlights from the finale and it is a testament to Sadoski’s incredible performance this season.

Today’s Top Story (Favorite Part of the Episode)
Don and Sloan finally! My favorite part of the episode was a no brainer. Although it was very surprising that Will asked Mackenzie to marry him, it was even more surprising that Don was the one who won Sloan’s book. It was great to see that it was Sloan, not Neal, figure out Don had won the book. It took that moment for her to realize how Don truly felt about her. Seeing her barge into the control panel, sign her book and give it to Don while kissing him was the moment fans have been waiting for. It couldn’t have been done in a better way.

Episode Thoughts

It’s a great feeling to write my first review for Pop-Break with such an incredible heartwarming episode of The Newsroom. This episode could have acted as a series finale for the show, as a lot of loose ends were tied up. Leona wouldn’t accept Will (Jeff Daniels) and Charlie’s (Sam Waterston) resignation, and after Charlie tried to persuade Leona (Jane Fonda) otherwise, she left it up to her son Reese to make the decision. After realizing ACN had evolved since Mackenzie took over, he decided that they shouldn’t have to resign because Operation Genoa was not institutional failure; it was Jerry Dantana’s (Hamish Linklater) fault for cutting the tape. The season 2 finale also provided the resolution of the Jim/Maggie/Lisa dynamic, and while Lisa never actually forgives Jim; she does finally forgive Maggie. The episode ended with a very unexpected moment. Instead of Will forgiving Mackenzie, he unexpectedly proposes to her. It was a very sweet moment that was truly needed after the fallout from Genoa. This season’s finale was jam packed with character resolution and sharp dialogue that only Aaron Sorkin could deliver.

all photos credit: hbo

Al Mannarino is the associate editor and photographer for Pop Break. He is also host of the News Over Brews Podcast, Loot Care Unboxed, Backstage Break, and the producer of Behind the Brews. He graduated Rowan University with a degree in Radio/TV/Film & History. When he isn’t writing he is either trying to build his own TARDIS or taking a nap. Follow him on Twitter: @almannarino. His photo website is: