The Newsroom S2 Ep7 – Red Team III

Well, now we know how the Genoa story plays out, and I believe it was worth the occasional timeline confusion. I worried that it would be anticlimactic, and to some extent it was; clearly the actual news story breaking and then being retracted was always going to happen a certain way. But the payoff in terms of the characters makes me feel that it worked, anyway. Also, the way the Benghazi attacks were blended in to the outcome of the story was well-executed, and I hadn’t seen that coming at all.

I was waiting and waiting for the basketball game on TV to prove that Jerry had edited the “raw” footage of his interview. It’s a bit annoying that Mack had to have Will explain shot clocks to her before she figured that out (seriously, I’m not much of a sports person but that’s a really easy facet), but I’m still glad it was her who actually did it. Apart from the “girls don’t know sports” silliness, though, Mackenzie looked competent and not any more flawed than any of the other characters in terms of her handling of the story.

It was also nice to see Will smile genuinely, even if he's no Daniel Craig.

It was also nice to see Will smile genuinely, even if he’s no Daniel Craig.

This was another episode where I liked Will completely. He’s still Will, but he didn’t make anything all about himself. Every Sorkin character has his or her share of arrogance, and that’s fine. Still, when it’s kept to a minimum it works better. His conversations with Charlie were a highlight.

I liked that we got a little interaction between Kendra and Neal. Kendra should get more screen time. Neal also had one of the laugh-out-loud moments of the night, although I’m not sure how intentional it was. His shouting of “Avatar is a movie!” to express just how much The Innocence Of Muslims should in contrast not qualify to receive that epithet couldn’t do anything but make me think of a certain thing with a similar title wherein the same actor played Prince Zuko. That thing also didn’t deserve to be called a movie.

At first I was alarmed by the idea that Sorkin might say that the Genoa story was the cause of the Benghazi attack. Though that would be bold, I think it would have been bold in the wrong way, considering that people died and it’s an ongoing issue in the present. But causing the News Night team to be too cautious with reporting the reason is a good choice – especially since people have criticized the show for using recent past events to make the team appear as the only ones to respond perfectly.

“No, no, please, call me – Continue to call me Mrs. Lansing.” You rule, lady.

“No, no, please, call me – Continue to call me Mrs. Lansing.” You rule, lady.

I absolutely can’t finish this review without talking about Jane Fonda’s Leona Lansing. She’s always great on this show, but tonight she absolutely killed it. Her dress was awesome, she was hilarious – especially her last interaction with Mackenzie – and her last line was amazing. And I couldn’t be happier that she’s the current choice to embody Sorkin’s love of bosses/leaders who act as parents protecting their families. The team has indeed lost credibility, so I’m excited to see how they will “Get it back!”, as Leona so aptly commands, in the next episodes.