{TB Talks TV} The Newsroom Review: “Main Justice”


Tweetable Takeaway: Is the end nigh for ACN or are all the predictions of gloom and doom premature?

Airtime:Sunday at 9pm on HBO

By: Jeff Iblings, Contributor

Things are taking a turn for the worse on this episode of THE NEWSROOM. It was all doom and gloom last episode, and there’s more where that came from here. We live in a complicated world with moral ambiguity at all levels, Will and the crew are about to find out how dire things can get in there little corner of the world.

There were two scenes that really encapsulated the message or theme of this episode tonight, and the first involved Will interviewing Paul Lieberstein playing the EPA deputy assistant administrator. His message was about the state of the environment, but really it can be seen as a message about the state of ACN and all of the people in the newsroom, and it was this: Everything is hopeless. It’s almost like a prophecy about the future of ACN. No matter what Will or Charlie or anyone else tries to do to turn things around, it’s too late.

The other scene features Will going toe to toe with the Attorney General for National Security over revealing who the source of the leaks the news received is. The two men butt heads right off the bat. The A.G. is a tough guy windbag trying to push Will and his team around, but Will is just as big of a windbag and refuses to be pushed. The part that really sums things up is when the A.G. talks about how he knows Will went to Nebraska and played football there, while he went to Texas A and M and lost to Nebraska every time his team played against them. After trading tirades, and as Will is leaving after ceasing all cooperation the A.G. tells Will, “I fucking hated losing to Nebraska.” To which Will retorts, “I’d thought you’d have gotten used to it.”

These are two superbly written moments that are key to the understanding of the episode, if not the season. Aaron Sorkin may be just as big of a windbag as either of the two aforementioned men, but he certainly can craft some outrageously exquisite scenes. Subtext is everything here, and it’s lovely to see it play out, and then turn back on itself in the end.

The EPA guy has it right, everyone is screwed. Shit is unraveling for Will and the newsroom faster than they can get ahead of things. Last week’s shit storm with Reese’s siblings is still putting the squeeze on the networks parent company. Four billion dollars is a ridiculous amount of money, and as I stated last week, I didn’t think Leona could get her hands on it. Turns out she can’t. The only way she can round up enough money to save her company is to spin off ACN and sell it, then use the money to protect what she’s built with her own two hands.

It’s either a hostile takeover that puts ACN under or it’s a possibly autistic, Napoleon complexed little piece of shit played by B.J. Novak, who also has some of the shittiest ideas I’ve ever heard spouting out of his mouth. He’s the big investor with plans to buy the news group. Like the EPA guy said, things are pretty bleak.

Remember how the A.G. hated losing to Nebraska? It seems he’s figured out a way to finally beat Nebraska (Will). The answer arrives by way of a subpoena from the U.S. Department of Justice to appear before an investigative grand jury. If Will does not reveal his sources, he will likely be jailed.

Screen Grab

If I had to make a decision about what the future holds for ACN, I see Will in jail for contempt of court after refusing to reveal his sources; I see ACN running the story anyway and showing the government in a bad light much like the journalists that ran the Snowden leaks did; and I see ACN folding under the weight of what they’ve done, perhaps no longer attractive to potential buyers. What becomes of Leona’s parent company? I have no idea. Maybe she sells her shares and steps away from it all, or maybe the move by ACN actually grabs so much market share that its value skyrockets and thwarts the takeover. We have three more episodes to find out.

More after the break:

–  Neal is scared shitless, and on the run. He’s fled to Venezuela. Will we ever see him again? I sure as hell hope so; his character is one of my favorites.

–  Speaking of favorites, Don has become the second funniest (the first being Charlie) on the show. His quips are wonderful and dry.

–  It seems a bug is up the government’s ass, and they’re planning on making an example of Neal and ACN so this sort of thing doesn’t happen again.

–  For God sake, enough Grace Gummer!

–  “Do you think it’s possible I’m not as big of star as I thought?”


For six months out of the year Jeff is holed up in his home with nothing to do but shovel snow, watch television, write, and dream of warmer climates.
Twitter: @OfSoundnVision

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