This week Aaron Sorkin’s brilliant drama takes us to the evening of May 1, 2011.
Will (Jeff Daniels) is hosting a party at his apartment (something he’s not completely comfortable doing, and tells people that he won’t feel bad if people leave early) and even plays guitar and sings with Jim (John Gallagher Jr)
Charlie (Sam Waterston) is on the phone chatting with someone referring to themselves as “Late For Dinner” and to establish his credibility tells Charlie that he will be receiving an email from the White House in 90 minutes telling him to get to work.
While he impatiently waits, the party goes on, and Will, reveals that he’s used medical marijuana due to an old sport’s injury. Despite this Neal (Dev Patel) and his girlfriend Kaylee (Natalie Morales) warn Will only to have a small piece of some special cookies.
He’s had two.
And a vicodin.
Let the wackiness ensue.
They all race to the station, in Will’s case literally, he runs there, leaving Lonny (Terry Crews), his bodyguard, with the car and to deal with two NYPD officers.
Maggie (Alison Pill) confronts Jim about his feelings for Lisa (Kelen Coleman) and in a tender and funny moment, Lisa breaks up with him, feeling she pressured him too quickly into emotionally committing to the relationship. In an equally tender and funny moment, he asks her out again, cause he wants to see where their relationship goes, and he knows that as long as Maggie is with Don (Thomas Sadoski) he doesn’t stand a chance with her anyway.
And speaking of Don, he, Elliot (David Harbour) and Sloan (Olivia Munn) are stuck on a tarmac at La Guardia, as they wait for a tow to the gate. Don doesn’t handle it very well, butting heads with the cabin flight attendant, he wants to get out there, get the facts and report the news.
There’s tons of rumours about what the address is about, learning what room it’s in (the East Wing is good news, the Oval Office is bad), and possible subjects, the death of Kadafi, war with Libya, Neal pitches a way outside the box idea of first contact.
Charlie, however, warns that they will not go before the White House says its reportable, revealing a tragic secret from his past that happened by going early.
Even when they get two confirmations that the President is going to announce the death of Osama Bin Laden, Charlie tells them to wait. Mac (Emily Mortimer) goes so far to cut a news feed to stop a reporter from going early.
Don tries to calm the passengers when they start getting emails and texts speculating about what’s going on, but causes enough of a distrubance that the Captain leaves the flight deck to see what’s going on. He reports the news to the crew and passangers, and sees the relief and joy on their faces up close and personal. It’s a really great character moment for him.
A stoned Will goes through his emails at Mac’s urging and finds a message from Vice President Joe Biden telling him to go with it, and Charlie yells for them to go, after advising everyone to remember what they are doing and where they are, because they won’t forget this night.
Will reports it, just minutes before President Obama addresses the nation.
This episode walked a fine line, establishing the need not only for confirmation, and second confirmation on stories, but also the belief that there are some stories that do need to be waited on. Those pauses and patience can save lives, it can’t always be about getting the story out first, there is an obligation, spoken or not, to keep people safe and not endanger people, civilian or military, simply for ratings.
I love this show, and I love that it entertains, informs, and also gives you things to think about.
There are only 10 episodes left in the season, plenty of time to catch up, but then it’s a long wait until the new season next year.
This show has quickly become one of my favorites, the cast and writing is top-notch, and it treats its viewers with respect instead of pandering to them.
Keep it coming Mr. Sorkin, PLEASE!
The Newsroom airs Sundays on HBO.