The Newsroom S2 Ep4 – Unintended Consequences

It’s Maggie’s turn to be interviewed by Rebecca Halliday this week, regarding the wrongful termination suit brought against ACN by one Jerry Dantana in the wake of the Genoa mess.

This little "The Body"-esque fakeout with Daniel still alive was not cool, show.

This whole “The Body”-esque fakeout with Daniel still alive was not cool, show.

With her newly-shorn and dyed hair, Maggie stands up fairly well to Rebecca’s attempts to crack her facade of having recovered from her experience in Uganda. The story is that she and Gary headed to the orphanage, where they met a bunch of adorable kids who were terrified when Gary walked into the room holding a news camera. The kids thought it was a gun. I know I’m a sap, but it’s pretty heartbreaking to watch a roomful of schoolchildren scream and dive under their desks at what they think is an AK-47. Geez.

But of course that’s not all. No, Maggie further relates that a kid with whom she bonded, a sweet little boy named Daniel who was fascinated by her blonde hair, ended up being shot and killed by cattle raiders that night. And all this because the raiders wanted the news camera she and Gary brought. Unintended consequences, indeed. Maggie insists she’s fine, but Rebecca is less than pleased to learn that Maggie is not taking the drugs a psychiatrist prescribed for her after she got home. She’s not going to be a useful witness in the Genoa case.

On a lighter note (thanks for killing a kid, Sorkin), Jim’s finally headed back to NYC after he gets in trouble for bargaining with Taylor Warren, the Romney press manager, to get Hallie an interview with the candidate. Jim, you’re kind of dumb. Hallie, you’re also kind of dumb for apparently deciding you’re okay with being Jim’s rebound. But I like Hallie OK, and Taylor – portrayed by Constance Zimmer – is a competent, likable, smart Republican female character, the likes of which hasn’t been since Ainsley Hayes. I wouldn’t mind seeing Taylor again.

On the Genoa front, the Twitter trail has gone cold. Jerry and Neal are depressed, and they talk about how they need a miracle to just drop into their laps. So, when Neal’s friend Shelley from OWS arrives to go on News Night, she casually tells Neal that she heard a story about some civilians that were killed by US soldiers using gas, from some guy who used to do NGO work in Pakistan. Of course. But Shelley is so infuriated by the way Will cuts her and OWS to shreds on national TV that she refuses to tell Neal any more details. Mackenzie tries and fails to persuade Will to apologize to Shelley, so they can get this info for the story she can’t tell him about. In one of the episode’s best lines, Will tells Mackenzie, re: Shelley: “Her movement is disorganized and she was unprepared, so as a courtesy, I was dismissive.” HA!

Charlie pressed against the glass also made me laugh.

This also made me laugh. Oh, Charlie.

But all that leads to one of my actual favorite moments on the show: Will comes to talk to Shelley in person. He apologizes quietly and sincerely. Sorkin can write a darn good apology scene, and (although this isn’t as brilliant as that one), it’s moments like this where I really, genuinely, completely like Will as a character. He admits that he destroyed Shelley the way he did because he’s going through a crisis of self-doubt. Shelley wonders at the source of Will’s self-doubt. I’m sure we’ll get more into that next week, Shelley.

So, were you impressed by Alison Pill’s acting? Had you correctly guessed any of what happened to Maggie? Let us know in the comments.