The Newsroom S3 Ep3 – Main Justice

Secret off-the-books meeting

As much as I wish there was going to be more of this show, maybe the short season really is what pushed The Newsroom into greatness. Because I’ve always liked the show, but I’ve found this season to be downright great so far.

There are a lot of bluffs in this episode, and many of them get called. First, the News Night team bluffs the FBI (and District Attorney General’s office) into pausing their proceedings for a few days. The funniest part of this was the interaction between Sloan, Don, Jim, and Maggie as they try to set up the fake broadcast to force the FBI’s hands. I tell you, Sloan’s deadpan “I’m not pretending” when Don wonders if she really heard him compliment Maggie’s appearance was fantastic. Olivia Munn is really good at deadpan.

Sloan is my favorite, seriously.

Sloan is my favorite, seriously.

The Hallie/Jim relationship is going down the tubes because Jim has managed to fail at being supportive of Hallie in the aftermath of losing her job. In fact, he broadly hints that she’d sell out her friends at ACN to anyone who’d pay her enough. I really don’t want him to get together with Maggie after his inevitable break-up with Hallie, now.

Another bluff: Don to the new HR guy about his relationship with Sloan – which he claims is just professional. Though HR guy is antagonistic right now, he is leading to some genuinely amusing hijinx. And I bet he won’t be a bad guy for long, as is Sorkin’s way.

Maggie’s exclusive interview with the EPA guy is hilariously depressing. I assume the facts, and probably the ‘we’re all screwed no matter what’ conclusion he draws, are accurate to real life. So it’s funny to imagine such things being said on the news, while at the same time it’s sad that it’s funny.

Reese and Leona realize that their bluff to the twins isn’t going to work unless they spin off ACN to a separate owner. And once we meet him, we can immediately see he’s no Calvin Traeger (who bought the fictional Sports Night). He wants to do all kinds of things with the show that are exactly the opposite of Doing The News Well.

I'm guessing Will can't do the news from jail.

I’m guessing Will can’t do the news from jail.

The biggest bluff, of course, is that Will thinks he’s too important to go to jail for contempt of court (much less espionage). Hubris, much? Even if I hadn’t been spoiled about Will’s serious legal troubles, I would have expected a downfall after that. It’s actually a good thing that being a big TV star can’t protect you from this kind of thing, although I’m less sure about my feelings on journalists being required to give up their sources.

Right, and there’s also the source, aka Clea DuVall, making contact with Mack. She wants ACN to run the story pronto, or she’ll dump it online somewhere. She doesn’t seem to care that it’s dangerous for them to move that fast on something so big. Time will tell if that’s a bluff on her part or not.

How are you handling all this continued rising tension? Let us know in the comments.