HBO’s politically-charged drama “Newsroom” may have started as a fictional account of what goes on in a TV news studio based on real news stories, but on the season finale, “Election Night” that aired on September 15, it was less about reporting on the election and more about the working and personal relationships of the ACN staff.
Will Reese accept Charlie and Will’s resignation? Will MacKenzie really be fired by Will? Will Sloane discover who bought her book with a forged signature? Will Maggie -- finally -- deal with what happened in Uganda? There were plenty of storylines and questions that needed to be wrapped up on the HBO drama, and once again, the Aaron Sorkin show wrapped them all up beautifully.
The staff all wanted to resign on “Newsroom” if Reese accepted Will and Charlie’s resignation. “If you leave, there will be no one left,” Leona tells Charlie. While fans know that would never happen -- after all the show will likely be renewed for a third season -- it acted as a wonderful backdrop to the rest of the drama among the staff.
Maggie and Jim
Jim may -- somewhat -- make amends with Lisa, who is catering the exclusive party upstairs, but he’s also mending his relationship with Maggie, especially once he realizes that Lisa and Maggie are no longer “best friends.”
Plus, once he figures out that she cut her own hair, he finally talks to her about the guilt she’s feeling about being alive. “You ran back into the building,” Jim assures her over and over again. Maggie is tough. And that shared moment -- along with Maggie admitting she first noticed him when he clicked on a yellow alert -- is the start of healing.
Don and Sloan
With Sloan constantly interrupted on the “Election Night” coverage, she has plenty of time to focus on why a fictional character -- Sidney Falco of “Sweet Smell of Success” -- bought her “autographed” book. The result is somewhat obvious, but no less entertaining.
After she sees the movie poster in Don’s office, she storms into the control room, signs another book, kisses Don, and hands him the real autographed copy. As she leaves the room, Don pitch perfectly says, “What I have can’t be taught.”
Will and MacKenzie
The past two seasons of “Newsroom” have touched on Will and MacKenzie’s relationship plenty of times, and it’s about time they either drop it or end it, in a manner of speaking. And it takes the upheaval at ACN for Will McAvoy to realize that he’s been the idiot all along.
But first, he tells Mackenzie that the engagement ring purchase a few years ago was a practical joke, so he claims. Why? Because as already established, he’s an idiot.
Then a speech by Charlie knocks some sense into Will. They had red team after red team regarding the Operation Genoa story. They waited 11 months to report on the story, because they were checking fact after fact. But when they were deciding about trading their Todd Akin story for the Petraeus story, it took them all of seven seconds to unanimously decide what to run with.
None of them -- including MacKenzie -- should be taking the blame. That’s where Will’s realization comes in: she accepted the thing she did wrong and she took the blame for it. And that’s when Will realizes he never did.
Just like that, he runs off to find MacKenzie, and in the most romantic moment of “Newsroom” ever, Will proposes in the studio. “I didn’t return it,” Will says of the ring, “because I’m in love with you.”
The future of News Night
With all the relationships headed in the right direction, it’s also time for things to head in the right direction at ACN too. Reese decides not to accept Will and Charlie’s resignation, but that doesn’t matter much because Will and Charlie aren’t planning on resigning anymore.
And then the engagement news comes out, and the drama is done with, at least for now. When “Newsroom” hopefully returns next summer, there’ll still be plenty of news -- and relationships -- to cover.
© Elizabeth SanFilippo 2013
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