When I cast my mind back to the Sunday School …
With the exposure of News Night’s major story of chemical weapons use by the American army turning out to be a complete fabrication last week, the team as a whole, and Will and Mackenzie in particular, face a long road ahead in rebuilding what they had before the Genoa report, despite the surprising vote of confidence from Leona Lansing. This week’s episode focuses on the aftermath of Leona’s unexpected decision on the news team, examining the toll the story takes on the emotional state and decision-making capabilities of various members of the team, in a well-done setup to the end of the season.
To date, the only female character to receive significant screentime but not get embroiled in a major personal life storyline is financial expert Sloan Sabbith. While this has made the character a breath of fresh air, and allowed actress Olivia Munn to excel in the role, it was only a matter of time until her out-of-work life infringed in some way. This episode sees the infringement occur in an interesting manner that unfortunately sees the show pull itself back from meaningful character development in an area where it is sorely needed.
The second season premiere of The Newsroom last week hinted at a major catastrophe that engulfs the station, but buried amidst the discussions of the events that led to lawyerly intervention was the question of why Will McAvoy and the news crew would take on such a volatile story in the first place. This week’s episode dives deeper into the psyche of the individuals who comprise the news team, and their emotional and psychological state leading up to the Genoa revelation, in an episode that unfortunately brings back large chunks of previously problematic storylines, but nonetheless gives a better idea of what makes certain characters tick.
With shows such as Sports Night and The West Wing under his belt, many people were excited to see Aaron Sorkin return to television, particularly after finding big screen success with The Social Network and Moneyball. Tackling journalism, Sorkin’s The Newsroom premiered in 2012 on HBO, with a cast that included Jeff Daniels, Emily Mortimer, Alison Pill, and Dev Patel, and ended up receiving uneven reviews throughout the season, with most of the audience qualms coming down on his portrayal of Mackenzie and Maggie, the two key female characters on the show, who often acted out of character when engaged in romantic entanglements, which dominated much of their storylines in the first ten episodes.