The Newsroom S2 Ep3 – Willie Pete

The plot thickens this week in so many ways, and I think it does so compellingly.

She can feel free to come back, but don't be mean to Mackenzie.

She can feel free to come back, but don’t be mean to Mackenzie.

I wasn’t sure about Nina Howard coming back – I didn’t think she had much to offer anymore – but I was mistaken. I think I now like her more than some of the regulars (cough Maggie cough), although she’s by no means perfect. Of course, I found Will’s congratulations to her when she decided not to run the story only slightly less condescending than his “mission to civilize” was last season. Thus, I was disappointed for several reasons when it was revealed that she did end up sleeping over at Will’s after all: I feel like she ought to have stuck to her earlier throwing-her-drink-in-his-face feelings and/or stuck to her certainty that he and Mackenzie are still in love, so she shouldn’t try to move in. Sigh. Oh, well. At least Will’s points amid his condescension were more relatable this time, and perhaps this was just a one night stand for them. Still, that was a low blow from Nina to Mack about the phone message, no matter how much she didn’t want to reveal Will’s secret.

As for Jim on the Romney bus? Well, at least I like Hallie a bit now, and the other dude who stood up with Jim is amusing. Other than that, I almost was more sympathetic to the campaign lady than to Jim. She was funny. A broken record is rarely funny – especially a pompous one.

See? Cute. More of this, please.

See? Cute. More of this, please.

Sloan and Don, though. How great are they? I’m enjoying this build-up a lot. I mean, the broken office chair gag was already done (excellently) in The West Wing with Josh and Donna, but it still works here. And I can’t deny their chemistry, nor how much I appreciate Don acknowledging her strengths and supporting her when she needs it. Also, Olivia Munn is just gorgeous, which always helps. And Thomas Sadoski does great physical comedy. I hope those two get together sooner rather than later, because they’re much more interesting than, say, Jim and Maggie.

I’ll just barely touch on Maggie’s storyline, because as much as I want to like her, the way she’s written makes it hard. But I do have to say that her freakout about the side-effects for mefloquine led to one of the funniest lines of the show so far: Gary’s deadpan, “If at all possible, have the suicidal thoughts before the homicidal thoughts.” BWAH!

And at least Charlie and Will had some nice friendship moments before they realized how badly they messed up their latest blackmail attempt with Reese. Although I do have to say that Charlie’s no Jed Bartlet or Isaac Jaffe, and I wish he were a little more awesome. But we’ll see.

I’m glad it really does seem like it made sense for the team to pursue the Genoa story. I’d hate it if their impending doom was because they cut corners. It still makes me wince, though, because I get embarrassed for fictional characters. (That’s perfectly normal, right?)