The Newsroom S2 Ep8 – Election Night, Part I

It’s the first part of a signature Sorkin season-ending two-parter, and boy, does it deliver.

November 6, 2012: Election Night, and since Leona still won’t accept Charlie’s, Will’s, and Mack’s resignations, that means it’s even more important for everyone to make no mistakes during the election coverage.

To inspire the team, Charlie starts with a short speech about how “Our elections are the envy of the world.” It’s a very Sorkin moment, and it’s simultaneously moving and sad, considering the problems our election process still has.

I was thrilled to see that Taylor, formerly of the Romney campaign, got to be on News Night‘s election panel. I’m not expecting her to hang around next season, but I wouldn’t mind if she did. She continues to fill the Ainsley role admirably, while being less socially awkward.

"Look at my face. Does it look like I'm in the mood to be sassed?"

“Look at my face. Does it look like I’m in the mood to be sassed?”

Speaking of socially awkward, Sloan was in fine form this episode. She’s still my favorite character on the show. I loved her interactions with Neal especially. As usual, she got many of the best lines. My favorite exchange of the episode – and maybe of the season so far – comes when Neal reassures her the problem with her forged signed book is going to get fixed, to which she replies, “What if it never is? What if I just keep going on like this? What if I keep talking in rhetorical questions until you just can’t take it anymore?” Love. Her.

And speaking of Neal, the other relatively unimportant problem that he’s supposed to fix is Mack’s Wikipedia page, which says she was president of the Oxford [Something I Can’t Remember] Society, when she actually went to Cambridge. When he promises that he’ll get to the bottom of it, she thanks him and admits that it was wrong of England to rule India, to which Neal shoots back, “It’s a little late!” Hee.

Honorable mentions for awesomeness this week have to go to both Reese Lansing, and Rebecca Halliday. Both hilarious in their scenes.

The Jim/Maggie/Hallie storyline still isn’t grabbing me. Jim and Hallie’s conversation about Maggie’s hair (which, we finally learn, she cut a week ago in the show’s timeline) may have been cute, but he and Maggie are still a source of unprofessionalism most of the time. At least Jim did try to fix his mistake with the election results. We’ll see how much that blows up next week.

Don & Maggie were actually much less annoying than Jim & Maggie.

Don & Maggie were actually much less annoying than Jim & Maggie.

Now, for Will and Mack. I, like Mack, am a bit confused that Will hasn’t exploded (yet). But I just figured the massive failure of Genoa had depressed him to the extent that the wind was taken out of his sails. Mack thinks Will should fire her. He finally does near the end, before he tells Sloan and Taylor to rip his personal life to shreds during the rest of the Election Night panel. Maybe I’m slow, but I don’t really see why he told them to do that. Maybe it has something to do with the story Don’s source gave him: Petraeus.

Anyway, a very solid first half to the finale. Tune in next week to see who wins the election if Will unfires Mack, and if Don ends up getting sued for making a false claim about Jerry’s mental health.