Monday, December 1, 2014

The Newsroom - Contempt

One wedding and a jail sentence. It's an eventful week for ACN. Neal Sampat (Dev Patel) has disappeared to a non-extradition country. The team gets blasted for showing up at the White House Correspondents Dinner after previously rebuking the entire affair live on television. Will (Jeff Daniels) has been called in front of a Grand Jury to disclose the name of the source which supplied Neal with thousands of classified documents. The network is about to be sold to a man (B.J. Novak) whose idea of network news makes Charlie (Sam Waterston) want to throttle the bastard. Jim's (John Gallagher Jr.) relationship goes up in flames. And Sloan (Olivia Munn) and Don (Thomas Sadoski) are still attempting to hide their relationship from the Human Resources.

Sloan's attempt to find an alternative buyer of the network and her continued skulking around with Don behind HR's back keep Munn involved in the episode providing some of the best laughs, although the later works better while offering a far-too-late realization by the couple. Jim's relationship on the other hand is kaput as by this point in the show's Third Season he's completely traded places with Don as the asshole of the group. Maggie's (Alison Pill) reaction to their break-up also endangers her new relationship which I'm hoping succeeds if only to stop Aaron Sorkin from trying to force the pair of Maggie and Jim on us for the remainder of the season.

Will's story comes to the obvious head as he's held in contempt and sentenced to jail until he reveals the source of the leaked classified documents. What is unexpected is what happens before he's taken into custody. Making the most of the limited time before he turns himself over to the U.S. Marshals, Will and MacKenzie (Emily Mortimer) seize the opportunity to get married. Beaten in court, the news team also suffers defeat in the board room where the new owner refuses to allow the story to hit the airwaves meaning Neal leaving the country and Will being jailed are all for not as the story won't see the light of day... at least not on ACN.

The Newsroom has reclaimed a bit of its old swagger this season covering the Boston Marathon bombings and pushing forward with some healthier (and less melodramatic) relationships (well... except for Jim). That said, by allowing the leak story to drag on the show is getting into the same trouble of diminishing returns the plagued the uneven Season Two when Operation Genoa began to consume everything. The sale of the network, and possible changes on the air, continue to make an interesting B-story (even if it is mostly window dressing) but I'd prefer the show to cover a few more real events in the final few episodes rather than get lost down another Genoa-sized rabbit hole.

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