Integrity was on trial in this episode of NEWSROOM. This week continued to follow the aftermath of Neal’s espionage, gaining secret government documents from a secret source. The rest of the episode examined the shifting of the news landscape – from to traditional to social media.
Will (JEFF DANIELS) sticks to his guns this episode. He promises to protect the source even if he is subpoenaed to court. We learn he can’t give up the source, because he doesn’t know the source. Will is really just standing up for his principles as a journalist.
Actually, by the end, you really do realize how great a guy Will is. He is a real hero. He has every reason to avoid prison. He doesn’t know the source. And even if he did, he feasibly could turn them in. He could rat on them. But Will is also getting married, on the day of his arrest. If a Honeymoon with Emily MORTIMER isn’t enough of a reason to reveal the source, what is? Will is a hero. He gives up everything to stand up for what he believes is right – talk about ETHICS.
Mortimer threatens the source… If the story is released through alternate channels, Mortimer says she’ll quit her job and reveal the source’s real name. By the end, the Associated Press has received boxes upon boxes of hard copy evidence. What will happen next week? Will Mortimer follow through on her threat?
On a lighter note, Mortimer had a really good verbal exchange with Daniels. He thinks she’s about to compliment him since she says, “I find your Irish stoicism…” “—Sexy,” he interrupts. “…Irritating,” she corrects.
Conversely, there is a really nice restrained scene as she informs her crew that the Kundu story has been dropped. We don’t hear the speech, we just see their reactions from the outside of their glass walls. I loved it. We know what she’s saying, we know how they’ll feel, AARON SORKIN simply trusts us to fill in the blanks, despite his confident ability to tell us with an excellent speech.
We get into more relationship stuff with Sloan (OLIVIA MUNN) and Don. They’ve been trying hard to hide their relationship from human resources. Jim witnesses them argue in the office, sarcastically observing, “No one’s ever gonna guess you guys are a couple.”
Sloan has a few good moments too, like when she talks all 1930s film noir, and when she talks about “Eventually” being her “favourite time of day.”
Jim isn’t immune to relationship problems, as he and Halle (MAMIE GUMMER) experience their own turbulence. Their conflict revolves around how the news should be told, and how the news is quickly (d)evolving. They perfectly deconstruct the digital revolution during a drunken rooftop conversation.
I love all the double entendres flying around regarding the term/word “LIKE”. Halle thinks that Jim is just angry that he can’t control what the public “likes”. Unfortunately, the Internet likes celebrity gossip and relationship advice. He stings Halle hard with an insult, “Does your article begin with ‘Dear Penthouse’?”
Charlie also has to deal with the digital revolution. He leaps for joy when Sloan informs him that there is another interested buyer for the network. He is so happy the supposed new CEO won’t get his “crowd-sourcing of the news”. Charlie tells off this young billionaire. This was hilarious, as we are aware of the dramatic irony – Sloan read the stocks wrong, ACN was used as a pawn to facilitate a cheaper buyout of another media conglomerate.
Once Charlie learns of this mistake the young CEO says, “You’re going to love me.” He quickly replies, “No, I’m not.” The new owner assures him, “I’m trying to make it so that the news doesn’t die when you do.” He further urges Charlie to appreciate his idea of the “audience becomes collaborators.” Um, I don’t think he can say anything to avail Charlie’s worries.
I’ll end this analysis on a final note about VOWS. I like the subtext as Will marries Mac on the day of his arrest. For me, I’m thinking his strongest made vow is to the truth, and to the honour among journalists. There was a saying highlighted in the episode: “He who sings, prays twice.” This quote reminds me of the slang term for a criminal who rats on his fellow crooks. So “sing” basically means to tell on someone. I like the relation here to Will. He doesn’t sing. And I hope Mac (Mortimer) doesn’t either.
Each arc steadily reaches for its respective apex going into next week’s episode. The network is in turnover, relationships are tested, and integrity is under attack. What is going to happen? I can’t wait to see where this adventure, that is NEWSROOM, takes us next week.
What did you think? Are you worried about ACN’s change in ownership? Are you worried about Will?
Do you think the charges will be dropped if Mortimer reveals the source?
What will be the fallout of the released documents to the Associated Press?
Who is your favourite character? What is your favourite relationship?