The Newsroom season 2 episode 5 review
We have another mixed batch of an episode here of The Newsroom. The elements that always work continue their trend, good elements are receiving more attention, yet bad stuff did as well.
This episode takes place in 1 day at the office. These episodes in dramas can be very powerful because they almost run in real time. The Newsroom capitalizes on that aspect. Will, before he starts his night coverage, receives a call that his dad had a heart attack and went into the hospital. That is Will's only thread on this episode (more later.) Mac is dealing with a young teenage boy who is part of a big case, but wants to "come out" on national TV. Mac is also dealing with the Genoa case with Charlie, and trying to help Will with his issues. Maggie and Jim have some conversations about what has gone on in the past couple episodes between them, leading to tension, and Sloan deals with a horrible ex-boyfriend who put inappropriate pictures of her online.
Mac is tough to deal with in this episode. She butted her nose into Will's problem so much, it became frustrating. She was incredibly nosey and pushy, it was odd to see it so highlighted this episode. However, it was unwelcome, but he scenes with the young boy were good. She wasn't taking his crap, and just when you think she is horrible to this boy, she redeems herself and it is quite a strong moment for her. Though her moments with Will were annoying.
Sloan was surprisingly vulnerable this week, facing danger with her career, and dealing with such a large betrayal from a past love. However, Don, the best surprise this season, aides her. He sits with her while she is upset, consoles her, and even helps her gather the courage to deal with the problem head on, literally. Both characters gave strong performance this week, and it was the highlight of the episode. The conclusion to this story arc was great and hysterical.
Now that Maggie is back from Africa, yet we see her cut her hair last week and her hair is fine this week (continuity issues?), she is as annoying as ever. Whenever Jim and her are in a scene together, she is at her worst. I don't know why, but it just always ends up that way. Jim isn't annoying, in fact he was tough on her this week. This episode had the start of the whole Trayvon Martin case, and Maggie had to edit her tape for air. She did it poorly and it sounds like Zimmerman is 10 times more racist than anybody else. It was an accident, but it was huge, and Will had to apologize for it. Jim came down on her about it, but of course, their awkward tension will not end anytime soon.
Will...poor Will this episode. He was at the desk this whole episode, and didn't have much influence this episode, but the last 5 minutes of this episode were all about Will, and boy were they powerful. Except....his last line of dialogue. I won't spoil it here, but it comes out of nowhere, makes no sense, and is supposed to be very dramatic but does nothing for us. It was very bizarre and dampens what would've been a season-defining moment.
Now seriously, can this Genoa storyline go somewhere?! it feels like we are only like 15% through this, and we are 5 episodes in. If it ramps up in intensity, it could be great. As of right now, it is a flop.
Overall, we have a good episode of The Newsroom, but the balancing of character plot was just a bit off. Maggie/Jim and Mac were more annoying this episode, Sloan and Dom were great, and Will was a mixed bag. There wasn't a lot of political commentary this episode either, except the Trayvon case, where were small snippets of Will discussing it with a woman on the air. I wish we saw more of that. Either way, The Newsroom is still good.
I give The Newsroom season 2 episode 5 a 3.5 out of 5.