The Newsroom Review: “News Night With Will McAvoy” (Season 2, Episode 5)

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As for Maggie’s ex, Don interchanged comforting Sloan with phone calls to a man named Phil Adams, who Don cheerfully describes as well connected in the acute caucus of the mental patient wing of exotic disorders extreme of the GOP. Don joked to Phil that he thought a man named Simon Weingarten would easily pass a confirmation hearing as Solicitor General so long as he never gave a speech to the Righteous Daughter’s of Jihadi Excellence. This was naturally leaked to a website called World Net Daily, who consider Don’s joke to be a legitimate tip. Don’s absurd journey to the belly of internet journalism inspires Sloan, who visits her ex at the offices of AIG, kicks him the nuts and socks him in the face getting righteous payback, as any intelligent and mature person with a public persona would. You go girl, I’m sure Aaron Sorkin was saying as he wrote this.

But the whole week wasn’t bleak for the News Night gang, as they once again got to let their smug flag fly when they outed two merry pranksters trying to pass themselves off as a Syrian woman in New York concerned for her husband who managed to call her while being trapped in a government building back in Syria. Mackenzie also put a stop to a Rutgers student coming out on News Night on the basis that a news program shouldn’t be used by someone wanting to make their personal life entertainment. The kid says he didn’t want to face his parents when he came out, so I guess national television’s a good fallback.

Not be left, our crusading anchor Will McAvoy was dealing with issues of his own: people on Twitter who hate him and his father issues. The one ties into the other as Will takes criticism, be it legitimate or petty, as an affront to his existence, which stems to his relationship with his father, who apparently never believed Will was any good.

An emergency back home puts his father at the front of Will’s mind. After suffering a heart attack, Will gets a message from the hospital that his father is critical, but the damage might not be that bad. Mackenzie encourages Will to call back and leave a message as a way to start to mend fences with his father. Encouraging eventually becomes nagging, and finally Mac breaks Will down and has him call his father and leave a message. In between raking Newt Gingrich supporters over the coals and covering the news of the day, Will learns that his father has passed away. Coming back from the final break in the show, Will seems frozen, and after some serious prodding from Mackenzie, he looks into the camera and says cryptically, “Well, I guess it’s just us now…” Roll credits.

So where do we go from here? Of all the things I remember from season one of The Newsroom, Will’s conflicted paternal relationship was not one of them, so how is this going to affect him the rest of the season? How does Maggie go from drinking the pain away to taking shears and hair dye to it? And must there be a Don/Sloan ‘ship that we all board now? Only four episodes left to find out…

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