The Newsroom, S1 Ep9 – The Blackout Part 2: Mock Debate

Mock Debate
Debate fail

RNC Jerkface, no one at News Night wants your debate of fail.

Tate rails about how this kind of debate format would be ridiculous and insulting to the candidates.  Adam doesn’t agree, but Tate shouts too loudly for Adam’s disagreement to make much difference.  Of course, in the end, Tate refuses to let ACN host the debate unless they do it by the RNC’s rules—and unless Mackenzie doesn’t EP.  I am pleased Will doesn’t lose his temper then and attack Tate.  He does, however, order him to leave.  Adam objects, saying Will needs the debate and the RNC needs the independents that ACN can bring. Tate tries to see if anyone else at ACN will anchor his debate.  Don refuses with a concise, “Eat me.”  Sloan refuses with an equally concise, “Me? Fuck you.”  Sadly, Maggie’s not at the door ready to smack Tate with it as he stomps off.  Adam apologizes to Will, saying as much as he likes the debate idea, he can’t afford to lose his job right now.  Will understands.  Aaand that’s it.  They don’t get the debate they all worked so hard for and compromised so much for.  Will’s sincere apology to his team doesn’t really make them feel better.

Brian tells Mack that he thinks Will is going to cave and do the debate on the RNC’s terms.  Mack refuses to believe it.  Brian continues to be annoying and smug, and he insinuates that Mack is naive and Will is a horrible person.  Mack insists that Will may struggle, and he may not always get it right, but he tries.  At that point, of course, Will comes hopping back on screen with both legs in one pant leg, and he falls over.  Cheap laugh?  Maybe, but I did laugh.

Will vs. Pants

I’m sure that aggravated your old sports injury, so you’ll be needing some weed soon.

Mack storms over to yell at Will. She calls him an idiot, to which he replies, “Hey! These are really hard pants.”  Heee.  Oddly that’s not what Mack meant.  They argue more (mostly about Brian and the way the show is going), and Mack starts losing it.  I’m tired of watching Mack freak out.  I used to think I was really going to like her character.  Thankfully, she calms down relatively quickly.  Will reminds her of how he threw out the rundown on the first ep first day she was his EP.  “Did you think that was… cool?” he asks, kind of adorably.  Mack did.  So he does it again, to cheers from the rest of the staff.  He doesn’t care that it puts him at risk from Leona again. Brian’s like, “Awww, man, now I don’t look better in comparison anymore.”  Sloan is thrilled when Will asks her to prepare some segments on the debt ceiling.

Meanwhile, Neal is sad because the other trolls view him as a “small-time troll.”  In Sloan’s words, “That’s got to hurt.”  She offhandedly suggests he’d be taken more seriously if he were the one who’d left the death threat for Will.  This gives Neal an Idea.  But more on that later.

Agh, the rest of the episode.  Sigh.  So, Mack calls Jim over to advise him to “gather ye rosebuds,” like freaking Donna with freaking Josh and freaking Joey Lucas on TWW, but it was freaking better the first time around.  Jim says he will gather them.  So, he goes to talk to Maggie, who has meanwhile convinced Lisa that Lisa should go out with Jim. Because Maggie is a freaking self-defeating idiot when it comes to her personal life. So of course when Jim comes to Maggie’s apartment, Lisa’s there and Jim is still too nice/cowardly to press the point that he actually wanted to talk to Maggie.  Also, Don is there, which makes it harder for Jim to press the point.  But then when Jim and Lisa go off for a walk (as Maggie looks crushed), Don confesses to Maggie about the other women.  She looks even more destroyed.

Maggie has a sad

I’d feel sorrier for you if you didn’t keep sabotaging yourself. Seriously.

As a nice cover of “Will You Love Me Tomorrow?” starts playing, we get a silent montage.  The only important thing that happens is Neal’s interactions in a troll chat room.  Someone is angry at him for claiming the ACN hack—because it was them who did it, not Neal. “W McAvoy = Dead,” ‘Charizma’ insists.  Uh oh.  But we fade to black before we see more than Neal calling Lonny and Will alone at home. What, no gunshot?  You’re going to actually have Will get shot in the finale, though, right, Sorkin?  Otherwise your build-up to it will be pretty sad.

Well, I don’t know.  That was disappointing in quite a few ways, especially for a Sorkin-penned two-parter.  Hope the season finale is better.

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