The Newsroom S2 Ep5 – News Night With Will McAvoy

I didn’t know what to expect when the “previouslies” for this week included Dr. Habib from last season getting Will to admit that his dad was abusive (among other things). But that storyline was believable and well done. And we got more Sloan and Don goodness, and an interesting guest star, to boot.

Also, when in the timeline does she chop and color her hair, again?

Also, when in the timeline does she chop and color her hair, again?

Let’s get the Maggie/Jim stuff out of the way first, shall we? I do feel for her. But did the writers really want to wade into the “Maggie is stupid” debate so blatantly by having her taking an IQ test? What exactly were they trying to show, other than that she was taking a silly online test on her work computer during work hours? Anyway, I can’t tell if we’re supposed to actually believe that her misleading editing of the Zimmerman 911 call was a genuine accident or not, but at least she took immediate responsibility for it when Jim pointed it out. And Jim was back to being more sweet than condescending, so that’s good.

On to Sloan. She and Don are still awesome together. Their friendship is awesome, and the way they support each other is awesome. Sloan got another of my favorite lines tonight, too, when she replied to Don’s insistence than she not laugh when he called the editor by snapping, “How am I gonna stop myself when all I’ve been doing is laughing for hours?” My appreciation of Olivia Munn’s deadpan delivery skills just keeps going up.

I like that Don was the one to have a screaming fit about his problems, not Sloan. I also like that Don went with her when she went to get revenge on her ex, but left it up to her to do the actual vengeance. Although, while I can’t argue with her choice of actions, I hope her taking a picture of her ex’s bloody face and presumably tweeting it to her followers doesn’t get her, you know, arrested for assault.

Charlie’s Navy intelligence friend was cool. I guess I don’t know much about conspiracies, cover-ups, or false news stories, but I hope we eventually get some explanation as to where all this supposed proof for Genoa is coming from, and why.

"Well, I guess it's just us now." A reference to suddenly knowing your parents are gone?

“Well, I guess it’s just us now.” A reference to suddenly knowing your parents are gone?

Will was actually pretty awesome this entire episode. He acted like a human being with an extremely legitimate grievance against his father, and stayed pretty darn professional while doing so. However, I didn’t mind that Mackenzie nagged him about calling, either. She made good points and I think she didn’t cross the line into preaching to Will about his own emotions, considering how well she knows him. She didn’t need to tear into Neal quite that much, but I guess he can take it. Anyway, Jeff Daniels really sold Will’s complicated emotions at the end of the episode. And I cannot even tell you how happy I was that they didn’t play the cheery ending credits music and instead chose a dignified silence. I only wish Sorkin and company had learned that back in The West Wing days, where so many solemn and/or very suspenseful episodes then ended with the unbearably twinkly closing credits music – as if they bizarrely didn’t want us to continue feeling that way.