The Newsroom Review: “Red Team III” Season 2, Episode 7)


This was a great episode of The Newsroom for anyone who may have missed most or all of this season to jump in on. On the other hand, for those of us who have been following the show’s season long arc about Genoa and the potential war crimes there-in reported, we had to sit through what had to be the longest recap every produced by a modern drama about itself.

The first 20 minutes of the show featured the team once again going over the evidence, this time in the presence of Will. In between the excruciating recital of things we’ve already seen or been told, and intercut with scenes of other News Night staffers being deposed, we cut to Will being completely non-responsive to the information he’s being told. At the end of it all, Jim remains sceptical, there’s something about the story that is bothering him in his gut. Neal and Sloan trust Jim’s gut, but Charlie, Jerry and Mackenzie believe the story is ready to go. “I trust Charlie and Mac,” Will says, and we’re off to the races.

What’s interesting is that Jim says the reason for his scepticism is that it’s because it’s Jerry’s story, and Jerry isn’t part of the team, he’s an outsider. This has been problematic from the get-go because we’ve always known that Genoa was a fiction, and we’ve always known that Jerry was its chief cheerleader. We also saw last week that Jerry was prepared to do anything to make his story happen, including fudging interview footage. So what is Aaron Sorkin trying to say here? Don’t trust outsiders? Only get news from people you know? Those kinds of messages seem to be in stark contrast to what Sorkin has spent much of The Newsroom trying to say, that too many people get the news filtered through their own biases and perspectives.

The Genoa story goes to air, and the whole thing unfolds in the kind of montage you’d expect to see on you local news station with the voice over saying, “We cover the news no one else will, in a way that will get you the information you need.” I almost think that showing the actual broadcast is superfluous since, again, we know the content, and we know the result. All in all, it feels like the first 20 minutes of this episode were completely unnecessary, but fortunately, the next 20 delivered.

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