Random Thoughts on The Newsroom Season 2, Episode 9
The Newsroom finale (seasons 2) wrapped up one season’s worth of intrigue and two seasons of romance in a single, neatly wrapped episode. Couples were joined, bold executive decisions were made, bad haircuts were explained, and more. In some ways, The Newsroom finale felt like it could wrap up the show for good. While HBO has publicly stated that it would like to have a third season, it hasn’t confirmed that it’s in the works and writer Aaron Sorkin’s schedule is packed. While I expect and hope the show will return, it’s possible that the season 2 Newsroom finale will be it for the Atlantis Cable News crew. *sniff*
Juggling Jim: The biggest problem I had with The Newsroom finale (and this season) was Jim Harper. The thoughtful and sensitive senior producer sports a bad haircut…and get all the ladies. He patched things up with Maggie (his object of desire in s1), reconciled with Lisa (his s1 consolation prize), managed to get Maggie and Lisa to make up with each other, and solidified his relationship with his current girlfriend (Meryl Streep’s daughter). Jim’s successful social maneuverings in The Newsroom finale send a poor message to impressionable young males. It’s as dangerous as the “Disney Princess” syndrome. PSA: You can’t be successful at work, sensitive, thoughtful, and have a bad haircut AND get the girl. The real world doesn’t work that way kids. Also, why didn’t anyone drop sarin gas on Jim?!? That would have ruled.
Will Scores: ACN star anchor Will McAvoy came to the slow (six-year) realization that he was being a dick to his lifelong love McKenzie Morgan McHale. It seemed totally contrived that he finally figured it out now. It would have been more realistic if he tried to forgive and forget years ago or if he never let go of his anger for the rest of his life. Still, his awkward proposal was very sweet and it was nice to see Mc and Mac finally together in The Newsroom finale. At least it wasn’t as excruciating as Ross and Rachel on Friends. Also, the name McKenzie Morgan McHale MacAvoy is awesome. Quadruple M vs. Triple H at WrestleMania XXX?!?
Don Scores: “What I have can’t be taught,” said Don Keefer, cementing his status as the coolest cat in the ACN newsroom. It seemed likely that Don was behind the Sloan Sabbith mystery bid. The Newsroom finale revealed his scheme. The sly fellow keenly knew that he’d have to be crafty and sweet in order to compete with the financial geniuses and NY Giants that woo Sloan. His gambit paid off, with Sloan (played by the dreadful Olivia Munn) signing her book, grabbing him for a kiss, and slapping the book in his chest. Score.
Don also showed that he has evolved from the skillful-but-shallow ratings-first producer he was in s1 and is fully invested in ACN’s mission to be MSNBC’s sardonic cousin. It was cool seeing ACN president Charlie Skinner smile at Don in the opening scene, like a proud father happy with what his son has become…or Emperor Palpatine looking satisfied with his machinations. Passionate Don made a brief cameo, telling ACN lawyer Rebecca Halliday about his desire to do the news with his ACN family. Dick Don showed up in the same scene, detailing his plan to countersue the vile
Brian Fantana Jerry Dantana.
Leona’s So High, High Above Me: I adore Atlantis World Media CEO Leona Lansing. Jane Fonda plays her with delightful aggression as a powerful and commanding executive. I don’t enjoy high-as-a-kite Leona Lansing as much, but it’s close; high Leona is hilarious and I’d love to hang out with her. While Charlie was talking to her about a serious matter, Leona’s cannabis-fueled aside of, “Do you want to split a pizza?” killed me.
Honorable Reese: Leona’s son, AWM president Reese Lansing, finally got on the same page as the rest of the gang in The Newsroom finale…and his honorable intentions were brushed aside. I felt bad for him. He should have been commended for coming around and doing the “honorable thing” that was bad for business. Instead, Charlie continued to treat him like a bitch. I’m not sure what the writers intended, but The Newsroom finale made the show’s villain sympathetic. Oh well, at least he gets to date a third-generation Rockette.
Maggie Clicks Her Mouse: Maggie finally explained her bad haircut to Jim, something that the audience understood for weeks. She also opened up about what was fueling her snooty behavior. She has a tender moment with Jim about how he got her attention by clicking his mouse (not a euphemism for masturbation). While I loved most of how The Newsroom finale ended, having it close with Maggie clicking her mouse (still not a euphemism for masturbation) was too cheesy for me. While I normally love saccharine and cheesy moments on television, my disdain for this character slightly tarnished the show’s ending.
Sabbith Seeds: I’m hoping that The Newsroom finale will lead to Sloan Sabbith’s heel turn. When Will gave his chair to Elliot for a segment, Sloan looked perturbed. Perhaps she felt snubbed that Will picked Elliot over her (never mind that Elliot is a far more experienced host). Throughout the newscast, Sloan was cut off by election calls. I’m hoping that this will lead to Sloan feeling like she deserves a bigger role at ACN and getting upset that she’s not a bigger star. Olivia Munn would be awesome in this role — talent that thinks she’s way more important than she actually is. If this comes to pass, Munn will surely win several Golden Globe and CableACE Awards for her accurate portrayal of a self-absorbed television host.