Tuesday, December 2, 2014

The Newsroom #304 11/30/14 “Contempt”

by Catherine Giordano

Will and Mckenzee get married
Will and MacKenzee Wedding Photo

The Best Laid Plans…

Nothing is working out according to plan for our friends in The Newsroom in episode 304, Contempt, which aired on November 30, 2014. I’ll examine the unraveling in this recap and review.

The biggest unraveling of well-laid plans was Will McAvoy’s joust with the FBI and the courts. Will is refusing to reveal the source of stolen classified documents.  He thought he would escape being jailed for contempt of court because he was a big star.  Apparently, he is not a big enough star. The episode ends with him in hand-cuffs being marched off to jail.

MacKenzee had to abandon her well-laid plans for the-wedding-of-the-year in response to the jailing of her fiancé, Will. She had just hours to prepare for a wedding in City Hall before Will was taken to jail. The rushed wedding was done partly for love and partly because a wife cannot be forced to testify against her husband. 

The wedding part of the show was great fun as everyone in the newsroom rushed around getting flowers, music, and a cake. It might not have been the wedding of MacKenzee’s dreams, but gosh darn it, it was going to be stylish. MacKenzee looked every bit the beautiful bride in an ivory knee- length sheath. It was all so romantic, including the last passionate kiss MacKenzee bestowed upon Will as he stood in handcuffs.  Evidently, the rest of the honeymoon will have to wait.

There was a scurry of plans to find a “White Knight” buyer for the company so ACN could avoid a hostile takeover. Sloan found a billionaire who was interested in buying a media company and she and Don had a lunch meeting with her. They thought she was about to save them. It turns out, she took that lunch because she was using ACN as a ploy to negotiate a better deal with another media company. It worked out for her, but it left ACN in a awkward position. Charlie, the president of the news division spoke some angry imprudent words to Pruitt, the new buyer, thinking they had escaped his clutches. Everyone at ACN is a hot-head. 

At least. ACN will have a big scoop when they report on the stolen documents. No, that plan goes awry as well. It turns out that Pruit does not want the financial liability that the story will bring so they must quash the story. But they ship the files to someone at the AP so she can run the story. Will the story get out? Will ACN survive new ownership? Stay tuned.
 
The relationship between Jim and Hallie is not working out very well. It’s a case of strange bed-fellows because Hallie is now working for a rival news outlet. Haillie took advantage of information that she learned from Will for her own story, and then to top it off, she wrote a personal tell-all about their relationship. Their relationship ends in a hail of accusations and recriminations.  And also a bit of sorrow, because their commitment to their relationship was strong, but their commitment to their work was stronger. 

Sloan and Don’s attempt to keep their relationship secret from the HR manager failed also. It failed because Sloan had submitted the form reporting their relationship to HR weeks earlier, and the HR director finally got around to checking his inbox. Don is flabbergasted to learn that he has been working so hard to keep their relationship secret, and all the while, Sloan knew she had already reported it. But this is the very basis of Jim and Sloan’s relationship—head-games. (In the last episode, they played “gotcha” with each other as a way of testing the other’s commitment to their relationship.) Fortunately, the HR director likes games also. He was only pretending to be opposed to their relationship.   

Even Maggie’s new relationship with her ethics professor has collapsed. It seems her new suitor has realized that Maggie is still carrying the torch for Jim, and he doesn’t want to be second fiddle. I think this break-up is Maggie’s good fortune. Mr.Ethics was constantly blurting out things about Maggie to her co-workers that could hurt her career. For instance, Maggie turned down an exclusive story with a government source because it might have been borderline unethical to take it. She was trying to impress Mr.Ethics at the time.  

Another reason Maggie’s new relationship had to end--there are only two episodes left until the series finale, and plot arcs must be resolved. Jim has broken up with Hallie, and Maggie and Jim are now both free to be each other’s one-true-love again. 

What plans does the series have for viewers? Will is in jail and ACN may be “sold off for parts.”  But, at least, everyone’s love life seems to be going well.
 
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