Phone-hacking, hospital beds and epic confessions, oh my!
Aaron Sorkin's polarizing HBO drama The Newsroom wrapped up its first season tonight, with a pretty stellar finale, "The Greater Fool," which is a pretty apt description for the way some of our beloved (and not-so-beloved) characters were acting tonight, especially Will (Jeff Daniels).
So after a season of back-and-forth bantering, did Will and Mackenzie finally get together? And what about the never-ending love triangle between Jim (John Gallagher Jr.), Maggie (Allison Pill) and Don (Thomas Sadowski)? And where does Carrie Bradshaw fit into all of this?!
WHAT WE LEARNED
Each Time He Falls, He Will Rise Again: Will finds himself in the hospital after beating himself up over the bad press he received from Mackenzie's writer ex, Brian, and can't seem to get over all the negative things said about him. Woe is Will, basically.
"I don't think I'm coming back," a bed-ridden Will tells Mackenzie, who scarily replies, "You are coming back, even if I have to chop you up, put you in a duffle bag and reassemble you at the anchor desk." True love, y'all!
If that weren't enough to contend with, a source has spilled the beans to Nina that Will was high the night the Osama Bin Laden news broke, which of course, is true. (And was one of our favorite moments of the season.) If she gets a second source, she tells Mackenzie, she's writing the story, and Leona (Jane Fonda) finally has a real reason to fire Will.
Before committing suicide, Charlie's (Sam Waterson) source, Solomon Hancock, sent him the evidence he needed to prove that Reese (Chris Messina) was ordering phone hacking for ACN's tabloid TMI. Oh, and Nina's source? Will himself, as Reese hacked into Mac's phone and deleted a voicemail in which Will admitted to being high...and possibly still being in love with Mac (though we, and Mac, can't be sure, since we never hear the full message). This reveal is all motivation Will needed to get out of the hospital bed and back on the hard-hitting-news-anchorin' saddle.
During a meeting where his drug use is brought into question, Leona fires Will, but Mackenzie, Will and Charlie call Reese out for hacking into Mac's phone. Reese admits to ordering hacking and Charlie, ever the professional, secretly records the confession. Smart, smart man.
After getting the go-ahead from Leona, Will and the team do an entire show on the bleak state of the Republican Party and full-on blast the Tea Party. Consider the gauntlet thrown. We're curious to see how this will affect ACN and Will next season.
A New Pairing Emerges: Sloan (Olivia Munn) has received a job offer and she's already made up her mind: She's leaving. While trying to convince her to stay, she and Don share a bit of a moment, before he tells her he's asking Maggie to move in. (Anyone else smell that, the worst idea ever?)
Sloan tells him, "I don't know who told you you're a bad guy, but somebody did…you're not. Because you're a bad guy, you try and do rings you think a good guy would do, like committing to someone you like, but maybe don't love…I could be wrong. I almost always am." (Man, Munn knows how to nail Sorkinese, huh?)
When asked why she's single by Don, she says, "Because you never asked me out." They have more chemistry in that moment than Don and Maggie had all season. Their moment is interrupted by Jim, who can't stop awkwardly mumbling when he finds out about Don and Maggie possibly moving in together.
Realistic in the City: After getting into a fight with Lisa over Jim, Maggie decides to take her anger out on a Sex and the City bus tour, chastising them for buying into Carrie's glamorized New York City life before admitting she's into her best friend's boyfriend. And who should be on the bus, but said best friends' boyfriend, Jim. Mortified, Maggie runs off, leaving Jim to chase after her.
And they finally, finally kiss. And oh, what a kiss. It's the kind of kiss Carrie Bradshaw, the anti-Maggie, got to experience on the sidewalks of New York often. But we get the feeling Maggie's never been kissed quite like that. Still, they each are with someone else, so Maggie tells Jim she has to speak to Don.
Right when she's about to break up with him, Don surprises Maggie by asking her to move in with him, red roses and key in a box and all. And who should call her right at that moment? Yep, Jim. Maggie ignores the call. Le sigh.
Full Circle: Will learns that Mackenzie was there during his infamous speech in the pilot, inspiring him to finally say something. After showing him the signs she held up that night, Mac adorably says, "You're melting, aren't you?" (We totally were!) Alas, the duo doesn't get together. Classic Sorkin.
And who should be interviewing for an internship with the show but the "sorority girl" who asked Will the question that set off his infamous speech. After ranting a bit, Will tells her to ask the question ("What makes America the greatest country in the world?") again. "You do, hire her." Boom, full circle.
So was The Newsroom's first season perfect? No, of course not. There were mistakes. There were cringe-worthy moments. (Hello, Coldplay montage!) But was it entertaining? Yes, yes it was.