Reflect and Enjoy
by: Lady Sharon
by: Lady Sharon
This episode opens at the one year and one week anniversary party for News Night 2.0. It takes place on 5/1, the day Osama bin Laden was killed. Anniversaries are days to reflect on the past and look forward toward the future. Bin Laden’s killing prompted the News Night crew and all of America to reflect back on 9/11. And here, us viewers got some hints about what might transpire as the first season of The Newsroom starts to wrap up.
This ep was very focused on how the newsroom works during one particular event, a major world event that happens with little notice. Thank you! This is the “formulaic” episode, the one that we should expect most episodes to be like. Finally! It only took seven episodes and it was really enjoyable.
Please sir, I’d like some more! And I know you do too, so read on after the jump.
|HBO, you need to pull a Glee and make this song available on iTunes, stat!|
Finally, we get to see Jeff Daniels – and more importantly John Gallagher Jr. – play guitar and sing!
Neal’s girlfriend, Kaylee, can play Guitar Hero blindfolded. Now I know what I’ll be doing
for most of Saturday night.
Staffers play some new drinking game about chickens...? Looks sorta like Zuma-Zuma, but it’s not. I must be past my prime ‘cause I don’t know this one. Can anyone enlighten me on it, the rules, when you drink, and if it’s any fun? …One never knows when one might be back in a frat.
Will gets high off some space cakes. Yes, this is absolutely preposterous for a real news anchor, and for Will McAvoy would lead to a TMI story in a heartbeat. But this is fiction people, it wasn’t a main plot point and Jeff Daniels was pretty funny stoned, so let’s not lose sleep over it. Let’s just laugh and move on.
Charlie calls the source’s “Late for Dinner” because he won’t let him use “Deep Throat.” (All the President’s Men reference #1) Charlie says “That’s a sacred pseudonym.”
“Late for Dinner” also tells Charlie he works for the NSA and that he’s been monitoring illegal electronic surveillance being done by AWM (the parent company of ACN and TMI).
Charlie (to Mac, later): “What if I told you that bin Laden wasn’t the only story we got tonight?”
And that’s where they left it?! Well, obvs there’s a phone-hacking scandal like News of the World coming for next week or the season finale.
The Ol’ Quadrangle: Lisa, Jim, Maggie, Don
While Lisa is on her way to meet Jim at the party, they video chat. Maggie is next to Jim and hears Lisa tell him “I love you.” Then Jim replies, “I do, too.”
If her and Don don’t break up soon, I might have to dislike her too. But nevertheless, I think we’re getting a set up here for a future ep.
Lisa accompanies Jim and the News Night crew back to the studio while they prep for the President’s announcement.
Before Jim can break up with Lisa, Lisa breaks up with him. She magnanimously lets him off the hook easy.
Lisa is clearly written by a man who wishes this is how all his break ups went.
Lisa then confronts Jim and Maggie that there is obviously something going on with them, and they deny it. Lisa calls "shenanigans" on them right to their faces.Shazam!
Jim: “Yes, this was a fix up that I didn’t want. And Maggie forced Valentine’s Day on me. And there was a certain amount of cowardly behavior disguised as politeness. But now I’d like to ask you out on a first date. Complete do-over. I like you and I’m asking you out on a date.”
Jim is clearly written by a woman who wishes this is how all her break ups ended… and re-started again.
Everyone speculates about what happened and tries to get confirmation to announce it
Charlie overhears a staffer at the party mention a Tweet about the Rock’s cousin, a Navy SEAL, who has “big news that will shock the world [about the] land of the free, the home of the brave.” Between that and his call from “Late for Dinner,” Charlie tells Will and Mac that he thinks we got bin Laden.
The whole News Night team is working their sources on this but no gets confirmation. And they need two sources on this.
Will: “Give me a little guidance… I’m gonna do the Woodward thing from All the Presidents Men. I’m gonna say it’s bin Laden and then count to 10. If you don’t say anything then that’s what I’ll pursue…1…2… Wait a minute, that’s where they fucked up in the movie.”
(All the President’s Men reference #2)
Sloan gets one confirmation from CENTCOM (Central Command) and Jim gets sort of another one from a reporter at The New York Times. Mac is ready to go with those two, but Charlie doesn’t know the Times’ source. He reminds them that lives and a presidency are on the line and that its incredibly important to be right.
That was a nice scene and a nuanced performance by Sam Waterston.
Charlie: “If we’re two minutes late, let that be a small penance for all the ones we got wrong.”
This crap happens in real life and it makes me bat-shit crazy! Why in the hell do I give a damn what random fools say about the “big changes in the weather forecast” or what pro athletes get paid!? This is basically reporters getting paid to have other people do their reporting for them! …Focus, grasshopper…
Jane gets a little big for her britches and wants to announce before they have double confirmation. She starts to make the announcement on the air, and Mac cuts off the feed from Washington.
WTG! This is another example of how Mac is totally on point in the control room, but not so good out of it.
Elliot, Don and Sloan are stuck on the tarmac at La Guardia coming back from Washington, DC. Don is pissed that he can’t get off the plane to work the story.
Don tries to use his phone and switch seats to talk to Sloan about this breaking news while they taxi to the gate, but the Soup Nazi Flight Attendant won’t let him.
Of course, this reminds me of The West Wing pilot, where Toby wants to make a call in the air and is rebuffed. “You’re telling me I can still flummox this thing with something I bought at Radio Shack?” So I wonder, is Don Sorkin’s new Toby? If so, he’s more obnoxious and less funny. Please fix him for season two.
Points, More Points and Mad Points for “We Got bin Laden”
Points for Charlie. When he announces the confirmation to the staff, he reminds them to be aware of where they are and what they are doing, because their broadcast will be a night they all remember. He provides the foresight that most of us don’t have when something monumental and unexpected happens.
More points for Aaron. Scripting the episode so some of the staff is on a plane was awesome. Thank god the Correspondence Dinner that year actually did take place in DC on 4/30, so they really could have been returning on 5/1. It sets up the best moment in the show…
Mad points for Don. In the middle of his last ape-shit fit over not disembarking, you start to wonder how scared the passengers are who are watching him, and when the US Marshall is going to subdue him. Then the attendant gets the pilot.
He realizes the importance of this news to the people inside the plane, not just outside it. And he tells the pilot, first officer and flight attendant the news with incredible emotion
Little chills. Salty tear. Don's growing on me...
In 5/1, we’re encouraged to remember important beginnings and to learn from them as we set the stage for the next phase.
5/1 was a day to remember when something ended. Though it didn’t really. Terrorism isn’t abolished. The fear isn’t completely gone. But we reached a milestone that’s important in healing. And Will's opening on that broadcast help put the entire thing in perspective.
Will: “While nothing can bring back the souls lost on that day, let tonight serve as a welcome reminder that America’s darkest days have been followed by its finest hours.”
Its purpose was motivated only by a desire to reach our hearts. John Gallagher Jr. said it best in an interview with Filler magazine:
"Aaron Sorkin is brilliant at capturing the bigger picture of politics and worldwide news events, and placing them as the backdrop to the smaller picture of personal events in the lives of his characters. Every episode deals with a real news story … and … the audience is invited into those stories through whatever is happening to the newsroom staff at that moment."
That’s all he’s doing: giving us an hour of drama to reflect upon and enjoy.
Top 5 lines of the episode
|Terry Crews needs to be in more scenes!|
5. Charlie: “Let’s not let the wish be the father of the thought.”
4. Don: “Waiting. Patience. Words like that [are] always my last option.”
3. Flight Attendant: “I think later tonight you’ll be saying ‘these handcuffs hurt my wrists.’”
2. Maggie: “Was that a dig wrapped in metaphor?” If only she added “wrapped in a vest” a la Lisa Simpson.
1. Lonny the bodyguard: “Nothing I can do about being big and black at the same time.”