Monday, September 16, 2013

HBO “The Newsroom,’ #19, “Election Night-Part II”

HBO “The Newsroom" #19, “Election Night-Part II”

Will and MacKenzie face off
By Catherine Giordano

I’m not going to bury the lead, Will proposes to MacKenzie and she accepts. Episode #19 of HBO’s “The Newsroom,” “Election Night Part II,” felt like a series finale, not just a season finale.

Spoiler Alert: Here’s another news flash—Obama wins. I think that is a nice note to end on. 

Not just the Will vs. MacKenzie story arc concluded, so many other loose ends are wrapped up too. Most importantly, no one is resigning or getting fired.   After all the hand-wringing about resignations and firings, everyone does an about face and decides that they want to stay on after all. Leona says that she will leave the decision about the resignations to her son Reese. Something about not wanting to be like Queen Elizabeth who simply will not let her son become king. She feels it is time to start passing power on to her son, and besides she would like to be alive to be proud of her son’s decisions with respect to her media empire. Reese tells Charlie that he has decided not to accept their resignations. Charlie gets in his face, loudly saying you can’t refuse to accept our resignations because we have withdrawn them. They go back and forth like this for quite a while, but Charlie apparently does not know how to win with grace and won’t give Reese the satisfaction of knowing he made the right call when he decided not to accept the resignations. Charlie got slapped in the face a couple of episodes ago.  Too bad no one was there to slap him in this episode.

Sloan tracks down who bought her book. It turns out it was Don. No one was bidding on her book, so Don made it look like a bidding war was going on as he bid using a series of fictitious names. She walks up to Don in the middle of the newsroom and gives him a passionate kiss.  So the Don and Sloan story arc is wrapped up.

Jim has a conversation with Margaret, on the newsroom floor, and gets her to finally forgive herself for the death of the boy in Africa.  So Margaret is healed of her PSTD and drops and lets go of her grief and anger.
The Jim and Lisa story arc is also wrapped up.  Lisa has a second job working for a caterer and she just happens to be working at the ACN viewing party. Jim rushes upstairs and apologizes to Lisa telling her that he did her wrong, she deserved better, and he is sorry. He almost gets her fired as he interferes with her work as a waiter, but in the end all is forgiven.

Jim and Halley have a few lovely tete-a-tetes via Skype and profess love for each other.  So Jim has gotten over his crush on Margaret and found true love. All is good with Jim now.

The problem with Jim and Margaret calling a Congressional race before the race was actually settled gets wrapped up nicely. The numbers seesaw all night, but in the end the guy they called it for wins in a squeaker, so no retraction necessary. 

And even the issue concerning the error on Wikipedia about the name of the school Mackenzie’s attended is made right. Whew. That was a biggie.

Back to Will and Mackenzie. Mackenzie didn’t hit Will in this episode.  She explicitly asked Will to stand across the room from her while they were having one of their tedious rehashing of their former relationships so that she would not hit him. I guess that is progress.

After all this time, Will has an epiphany about his relationship with Mackenzie. It occurs because Will and Charlie discussed Genoa, and Will said, “We did everything right until we didn’t.” they then decide not to resign. Suddenly Will has his epiphany--The same is true for MacKenzie with respect to her lying and cheating. I don’t get it, but evidently will thinks that she did everything right, too.

He runs through the newsroom screaming for Mackenzie. This is the “Stanley-yelling-Stella-in-A-Streetcar-Named-Desire” moment of the week. Will finally finds Mackenzie, tells her he loves her, and gives her the engagement ring he bought long ago and has been keeping in his desk drawer. A few minutes later, he announces to the entire newsroom that Mackenzie is the future “MacKenzie Morgan McHale McAvoy,” and suddenly realizes a name with so many Macs, just won’t work.  This particular issue is left unresolved.

Also unresolved for me is why Will seems to have it in for Sloan.  She is on the panel and every time she tries to speak, Will cuts her off to announce breaking news. She calls him on it saying he is purposely interrupting her. He says, “No, it is just working out incredibly well.”  I don’t know what that was about—maybe just an excuse for S loan to put and show us her angry face.

The best moment of the show is when Republican spokesperson, Taylor Warren, accuses the media of bias towards Republicans because ACN ran 14 stories negative about Republicans for everyone that was negative toward Democrats. McAvoy tells her off saying something that I have said for years.  It was wonderful to have it said on television. He said, “If Republicans do 14 negative things in a month does that mean the unbiased thing to do is to concoct 13 additional stories about crazy Democrats. A 14 to 1 ratio of negative stories and your takeaway is that there is a problem with the storyteller?” Yes!  If Republicans don’t want negative stories in the press, why don’t they just stop doing negative things?

Later Taylor accuses Will, on air again, of claiming to be a Republican in order to have a claim to credibility when he attacks the GOP.  Will tells her off good. “I’m a Republican,” he says, “because I believe in market solutions, I believe in common sense realities, and the necessity to defend ourselves in a dangerous world.”  (Will, I’m a Democrat, and I believe in those things too. It’s the second part of your answer that describes the why I’m a Democrat and not a Republican.) Will continues, “The problem is, now I have to be homophobic, I have to count the number of times people go to church, I have to deny facts and think scientific research is a long con.  I have to think that poor people are getting a sweet ride. and I have to have such a stunning inferiority complex that I fear education and intellect.”

 In another exchange between Will and Taylor, Taylor tries to claim that the tea part and OWS (Occupy Wall Street) are equivalent.  Will asks her, “Who is the OWS candidate?  The left’s crazy people hardly ever run for office and when they do they don’t win.  Who is the left’s Allen West, Joe Walsh, and Michelle Bachman?” 

A brilliant riposte for accusations of media bias and the ridiculous claim that there is a moral equivalency between the right and the left in this country was perfect as a finale for a show about the news media. 

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