The Newsroom, S1 Ep4 – I’ll Try To Fix You

Seriously, Will. Mack’s not the only one you’re making sad in this episode.

It’s New Years Eve 2010 at the ACN offices. Everyone’s partying, except Will and Jim. Will sits in his office looking dapper in his tux, which Mack compliments him on when she finds him there. She looks pretty good, herself. She asks him to let Wade (remember the boyfriend we met last week?) share a few facts with him. It turns out Wade is a prosecutor for some industry that I couldn’t really hear when he said it. Whatever it was, Will thinks he and his ilk haven’t done enough to fight big bank fraud. Wade, on the other hand, wants Will to know that the government has cut funding for these prosecutors. The banks can hire far more lawyers than the DOJ can. Will listens to all this quite politely. Afterward, though, in a conversation with just him and Mack, he reams her out for letting her “boyfriends” lobby him to go easier on things. Mack retorts that it’s just the one, and he’s just informing Will about a story, like any inside source. Then she rags on him for his continued “Netflix queue” of bimbo girlfriends, none of which he felt serious enough about to take with him to this party. Finally, she asks him quietly to just come out to the party, and after she leaves the office, he does.

Sadly, Neal’s plotline this week is not very interesting or important (I still love you, Dev Patel!). He does have a hot date for the party, though. Anyway, I’ll skip right to Jim and Maggie. Maggie finds Jim at his desk, compiling stories for Will to look through so he can list the ones that ACN didn’t cover or didn’t cover well enough from 2010. She goes from encouraging Jim to have some fun, to offering to help, to ditching him when Don gets there. Poor Jim. Don’s actually jovial for once, and his brilliant suggestion for the evening is for Maggie to set Jim up with her roommate Lisa.

Clearly they’re the best of friends.

Maggie is not at all into the idea and actually Lisa doesn’t seem to be, either. Hmm, whyever would that be?! Don apparently can’t figure out why, and he is genuinely funny rebutting Lisa’s excuse that she’s just coming off a relationship: “I bought milk before your relationship started that was still good to drink when your relationship ended.” “I don’t think so…” “No, it’s true. I can show you the milk!” Heh. So he pushes Jim at Lisa, though everyone except Don is at best very unsure about this.

Meanwhile, Sloan thinks it’ll be a good idea to set Will up with a woman who’s alone at the party. Their exchange as he works up the nerve or whatever to go talk to the woman is awesome. I like Sloan. Unfortunately, the woman happens to be the writer of a gossip column. When Mack sees who Will’s talking with, she goes over to intervene, and my Awkward Moment Detector goes off quite insistently. And though it does turn out to be awkward, at least it’s not Mack’s fault this time. Will doesn’t listen to Mack’s warning about the woman (whose name is Nina). Instead, he proceeds to ask her what she writes. Nina explains that she’s going to write a “take-down piece”, spilling the beans about one of the cast members on The Real Housewives of New Jersey. Will is dumbfounded that anyone could care or write about such a person. So am I, to be honest. But then he decides he needs to set Nina right about doing such a pointless, degrading thing — while pushing away her attempt to kiss him at midnight. Oddly enough, she finds it patronizing and contemptuous. Since one of his points is that, “with all respect,” he’d have more respect for her if she were a heroin dealer, I find it patronizing and awful, too. Wade, Mack, and Sloan all watch as he continues to try to argue with Nina — until Nina throws her champagne in his face. And seriously, I think gossip columns are worthless trash, but I also think Will’s a condescending ass for much of this episode.

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