Welp, it's been two weeks since the last episode (damn you, Labor Day), but The Newsroom is BACK. Hooray. Sunday's episode "Election Night Part I" was the first of two parts about the 2012 Election (next week will be the conclusion of the episode and the season finale).
The last episode ended with the aftermath of the Genoa story and Charlie, Mac, and Will all resigning, except just kidding, no they aren't because boss Jane Fonda refuses to let them. "We don't have the trust of the public anymore," Charlie says. "GET IT BACK!" Jane Fonda screams (she really is the best thing about this show).
Sidenote: You know what is not the best thing about this show? These opening credits. What is with that spilled coffee? Those paper clips?
Anyway, here are all the plot lines from Sunday's episode ranked from a bit annoying to OHMYGODWHY SO annoying:
A bit annoying: The aftermath of Genoa is still rearing its ugly head and on one of our favorites, no less. It seems Don is being sued for $20 million by the devil himself Jerry Dantana. After being fired at the end of the last episode, Jerry applied for a job at Kickstarter (cute start-up shoutout, Sorkin) and put Don down as his reference. Why would he do that? Looks like Jerry knows Don a little too well. Besides telling the prospective employer all about the Genoa fuckup, Don also calls Jerry a sociopath. And since Don has no medical degree and doesn't know if Jerry is, in fact, a real sociopath, it's enough cause for a $20 million suit. Don is strangely chill when he hears the news and I swear he even makes a joke or two. I think this guy is in the running for the only dece character on the show. Who's with me?
Sort of annoying: Are Jim and Maggie back to being BFFs again? Not yet, sorry (honestly do you even want them to be together?). Anyway, when Jim accidentally writes MI instead of MS while abbreviating Mississippi, it causes the race in Michigan (which actually goes by MI) to be called prematurely. Maggie and Jim decide to bury the story since the Michigan race was likely going the way they reported anyway. Props to Sorkin for not taking the easy road and making it another one of those "Maggie went to Africa so she screwed up" stories because we all know he loves those. I can't decide yet if this plot line is a throwaway or if it will come to bite them in the ass next week. Either way, it was kind of nice to see the duo bantering back and forth again.
Definitely annoying. But Jim's not the only former fling Maggie was playing footsie with in this episode. Taylor Warren (Mitt Romney's spokeswoman/Jim's BFF who got fired from the campaign in the last episode) is in town to talk Election Night on News Night. She leaks a story to Maggie about a congressman who condemned Todd Akin's comments about rape (we all remember what those were, right?), but said pretty much the same thing himself some years back. When the two call the campaign for comment, they get their hands on an even bigger story: the Gen. David Petraeus scandal.
Fun! So, yeah, that was definitely a story we weren't expecting (the actual scandal leaked Nov. 9). This would have probably been the least annoying plot line if not for two teensy little problems. 1) Maggie admits she only got the story because both she and Taylor don't like Jim and if Maggie got the story before Jim, it would make him mad. OMG you guys, girl power, amiright?! And 2) Turns out, Don gets in contact with the campaign so quickly because the congressman's chief of staff is a guy Don played tennis with. OF COURSE. Why does everyone have a BFF that will one day come in handy for a story? I hope to God this is a plot device Sorkin plans to retire after this season.
Very annoying. Taylor sees Mac and compliments her on serving as President of the Oxford Union. I WAS NOT, Mac basically screams, since she went to Cambridge and was President of the CAMBRIDGE Union. She learns that Taylor got the info from her Wikipedia page and naturally ropes Neal into finding out change it (because only Neal knows how to use those confusing Internets). When he's unable to make the change (apparently Wiki doesn't allow changes based on information from the source of the article directly), Mac has a full on meltdown. "This is it! We're gonna get this right and I'll tell you why. BECAUSE," she screams. Hey girl, you need to chill the fuck out, okay? I know this is really just a metaphor for how you feel about Genoa, but still, stop taking all your anger our on Neal!
Really, really annoying: Genoa continues to wreak havoc throughout News Night and everyone is still talking about who should resign. Charlie wants to take all the blame, but Jane Fonda still won't accept his resignation. "If a news outlet doesn't have credibility, it doesn't have anything else," he says. He even tried to convince the guy from The Mindy Project (Chris Messina) and he agrees, but mommy Jane Fonda won't listen.
Will and Mac have a long chitchat about who should go down for Genoa and that somehow turns first into Mac liking shoes and then into how she cheated on Will with her ex-boyfriend. Seriously. This show. WHY? Anyway, yeah. Here is a real quote from Will:
"Six hours of live election coverage, for you and me, that's like an orgy at a spa where there are college football games on TV and from the trees hanging Christian Louboutins, all in your size, all different kinds…Heels like lightsabers."
SHOES, betch. Girls be liking shoes.
Before you know it, Mac is asking for her punishment and is upset that it's been six years and Will still hasn't forgiven her for cheating on him so when will he forgive her for Genoa? Long story short, he eventually fires her effective at the end of Election Night. Dun dun dun!
OHMYGODWHY SO annoying: But the worst plot line? That belongs to Sloan Sabbith, who also asks Neal for a little favor since it involves computers. Apparently, a signed book of hers sold for $1,000 at a Hurricane Sandy auction (anyone else bummed they didn't cover Sandy?). So anyway, what's the problem? Sloan got busy, forgot to sign her book, and Gary did it for her accidentally writing something along the lines of "shred this book" in German and forging her signature. Sloan feels absolutely terrible and tells Neal to track down the buyer. Since she's flustered and stressed and overwhelmed by this whole book issue (I know, it's just so terrible right?), she screws up twice on air, first when she's trying to talk about a congressional race she heard about earlier from Elliot and secondly when she mentions Genoa, and calls it the "elephant in the room." Awkward.
First of all, Sloan, it is Election Night and this is your biggest concern? What the what? COME ON. It's not like you accidentally released a call when it was too early. It's not like you're stuck with a $20 million suit. It's not like you just got fired. Even worse, this plot line wasn't even resolved so we have to wait a whole week to find out who the buyer is and if he or she will let Sloan send out a newly signed book?
Oh, the agony of waiting. Why Sorkin, why do you do this to me?!
The worst quotes from last night:
Elliot (to Sloan): "Be less desperate for female friends."
Will (to Mac): "You look like you were grown in an environment where it's dark and damp."
Rebecca Halliday: "I look hot. Liquid sex. I just described myself as liquid sex."
Charlie: "Why don't you just set yourself on fire instead of the cigarette?"
Will: "One is enjoyable to me and the other would cause a lot of pain, it's not even a choice."
Image: HBO / Melissa Moseley