Tuesday, July 24, 2012

The Newsroom - Amen

On a chaotic week the News Night crew tries to follow and report on not one but two public protests simultaneously. The first involves the forced, and violent, ejection of Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak and the second is a spontaneous protest of teachers angry at Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker's "Budget Repair Bill" and plan to break the unions and strip their collective bargaining rights of teachers and other union members.

In the episode's main story Elliot (David Harbour), in Egypt covering the events, gets beaten up on the street after leaving the safety of his hotel room to get the story. Afterwards Neal (Dev Patel, who runs with his chance for his own subplot by delivering his best performance on the show so far) fights to use a local stringer named Khalid Salim (Amin El Gamal) whose history is quite similar to his own. But after Salim goes silent the news team discovers he was taken and scrambles through back channels to find a way to arrange his release.

With the heat over Will's dating fading TMI sets their sites on Mackenzie (Emily Mortimer) who must deal with the blowback of using Wade (Jon Tenney) five times on-camera in six weeks. This wouldn't be an issue but Wade is using those appearances to help pave the way for his plan to run for Congress (which he didn't tell Mackenzie about) and it might appear to some, like ACN Morning co-host Tony Hart (Patrick Fabian), that Mackenzie is using her authority at News Night to help get him get there.

Mackenzie also admits to Sloan (Olivia Munn, who once again shines as the straight man to Mortimer's craziness) that she knows absolutely nothing about economics and has been approving Sloan's segments without understanding them while at the same time asking for help looking intelligent on the subject on an upcoming panel about television news covering the economy. Sloan agrees but Mackenzie spends most of their time planning to break it off with Wade and worrying that Will (Jeff Daniels) will try pay the blackmail to keep Nina Howard (Hope Davis) off their backs.

We still get some relationship craziness as Maggie (Alison Pill) forces Jim (John Gallagher Jr.) into an elaborate Valentine's Day date with Lisa (Kelen Coleman) against his will, but it's the coverage of the new stories that carry the episode. Well, that and the plot of Rudy, which is central to the episode as each member of the newsroom goes above and beyond and shows their support to Will in the episode's closing scene.

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