Anyway. Now it’s time for the big meeting: Leona and Reese vs. Charlie, Will, and Mack. Leona confronts Will about having reported on Bin Laden while high. Will doesn’t deny it. Leona, surprised, compliments him on the broadcast, and replies to his thanks with, “You’re welcome, and you’re fired.” That’s when Charlie brings out the big guns. Mack and he say that if Will’s fired, Reese is going to jail for hacking Mack’s phone. Of course Reese acts like that’s crazy, but then Charlie pulls out the envelope Solomon Hancock sent him before he committed suicide. He says it’s a record of several specific times and people for whom Reese ordered their phones hacked. Then he asks Leona how she thought TMI was getting all their dirt. Leona confronts her son, who finally caves and admits his crime. He’s not sorry for getting great stories and revenue, but Leona is horrified. And that’s when Charlie pulls out his pocket recorder and throws that on the table, too. For people involved in journalism, both Lansings seem rather taken off guard by that as well.
While Reese blusters about refusing to be blackmailed, Charlie asks Leona to stand for what’s right. He says he knows she’s one of the good guys, not allied with the liars and blowhards who claim to know what America stands for. He asks her to help show them what Americans won’t stand for. All he wants from Reese is for him to kill the pot story and shut down TMI. Leona doesn’t like to be dictated to, but she ends by telling Will, “Don’t shoot and miss.” Also, once the others are gone, Leona opens the folder Hancock sent and laughs wryly to see that it’s a recipe for beef stew.
After another broadcast, Sloan tells Will that ‘the greater fool’ (title of Brian’s article, don’t you know?) is actually an economic term for a patsy who buys long and sells short–the person everyone tries to avoid becoming. He’s “someone with the perfect blend of self-delusion and ego to think that he can succeed where others have failed. This whole country was made by greater fools.” Will is touched, and that is about as Sorkin-y of a viewpoint as you can get. Also, Sloan’s not quitting–yay! The only problem with that is that she tells Don they can never meet each other’s eyes or speak to each other again. Heh.
News Night‘s broadcast finishes for the evening after Will compares the Tea Party to the Taliban. Wooeeee. I find his arguments relatively compelling, but I doubt this show would convince anyone who wasn’t already thinking along those lines. Mack tries to get Will to tell her what the rest of that fateful phone message said, but he evades the issue. He brings up his season premier rant and the hallucination of Mack that he saw-only to have Mack show him her “IT’S NOT” and “BUT IT CAN BE” signs (that she’s been carrying around forever, I guess). He starts to scream at her for not telling him, but she says it wasn’t really her who made it happen; it was him, and she was just producing.
Just then, Neal and Lonny come in to inform Will that Neal’s attempts to smoke out “Charizma” have
backfired. Not only has it not made it easier to find the guy, but now there’s a hundred more death threats aimed at Will. So, Lonny’s going to be around for a while longer (yay). Will sighs and then suddenly recognizes the girl who’s been sitting in the newsroom waiting to interview for an internship there.
He bursts in on the interview to take her on, because it’s the girl from the audience who sparked his season premier rant. He accuses her of ruining his life, and she doesn’t deny it. When he demands to know why she would want a job here, she says she’s been watching, and she read the article. She knows what a greater fool is, and she wants to be one. Clearly moved, Will tells her, “Ask me again. Ask me your idiot question again!” A bit confused, Jennifer (that’s her name) dutifully asks, “What makes America the greatest country in the world?” Will replies, “You do.” Then he tells Mack to hire her, and leaves. Maybe it’s because I’m a sap, but: awesome.
Fade to Nina Howard staring at the sound file from Mack’s hacked phone. She listens one more time, and of course the rest of the message seems to be Will telling Mack that he still has feelings for her and he wants to know if she does, too. Nina deletes the file and empties her trash. She looks at peace.
So there you have it. See you next season, folks. Maybe the new consultants Sorkin is hiring will include a few awesome professional women producers so his characterization will be less problematic. What are your wishes for next year? Feel free to sound off in the comments.