The Newsroom Recap: The Way Things Should Be

Aaron Sorkin, we knew you had it in you. With this week’s episode, The Newsroom hit its sweet spot. We got to see a truly important moment in history from the inside. We watched as relationships changed in believable ways. And we got through an entire hour without someone making a hard-to-believe gaffe that then became the focal point of the narrative.

This ep’s breaking news aided the interpersonal drama instead of standing apart from it, and everything gelled as a result. So cue up the Teleprompter, and let’s review what took place in “5/1.”

PARTY’S OVER | The series’ tightest episode so far opens in Will’s posh bachelor pad, in the middle of a party to celebrate the first year (and a week) of the rebooted News Night. While Will makes a small speech and kiddingnotreally tells everyone they can leave early, Charlie’s on the balcony, fielding a call from an unnamed source who tells him the White House press secretary will contact him later that evening. Charlie’s not sure he buys it, and keeps the call to himself. In the meantime, highlights of the party: Jim and Will’s acoustic duet of “Sunshine (Go Away Today),” Neal’s girlfriend Kaylee kicking Jim’s butt – blindfolded! – at Guitar Hero, Will’s overindulgence in some marijuana-laced baked goods after taking a Vicodin and Maggie catching Jim kind of telling Lisa that he loves her. He admits that Maggie’s sexy roommate had declared her love for him the night before, and even though he doesn’t feel the same way, he said he loved her, too. “Anything else seemed rude,” he mumbles. Maggie demands that he break up with Lisa; if two people are in different places, she reasons, it’s not going to work. Jim asks where Don is, and she replies he’s on a plane headed back to New York. “Was that a dig wrapped in a metaphor?” she asks pointedly. The scene is really strong, both because of its funny back-and-forth and because when Maggie is running on anger rather than nerves or poorly hidden attraction, Allison Pill shines. Fortunately for Jim, everyone’s Blackberry starts to blow up with the news that President Obama is going to give an address regarding national security later that evening. As the date of the episode appears on the screen, we realize it’s May 1, 2011, and the gang is going to cover the death of Osama bin Laden. Faster than Bruce Wayne down the Batpole, everyone – including Kaylee, Lisa and Will’s bodyguard Lonny – are on their way to ACN… and Will is as baked as my nana’s apricot crumb squares the night before a church picnic.

PLANE ANNOYING | On a flight about to land at La Guardia, Elliot and Sloan are sitting in coach and ribbing Don for his sustained kvetching about Maggie and Jim. (Side note: I doubt most national news networks’ primetime talent would put up with anything less than business class, but because most of this episode was awesome, I’ll concede the point.) The plane touches down, they pull out their phones to check their email – great line reading on “A fan,” Olivia Munn – and quickly realize that something big is going down. Of course, the plane’s early arrival means they don’t have a gate, so the ACN delegation (and everyone else) are stuck on the taxiway with a by-the-book flight attendant who refuses to let Olivia and Don’s horndog seatmate switch places. Don eventually stands just as the plane moves a few inches, and his flailing tumble into the aisle is nearly as satisfying as his failed door smash a few weeks ago. Just as quickly, though, the plane stops again: They now have a gate, but it’s a tow-in dealie, meaning more waiting. At least Sloan has somehow secured a confirmation from U.S. Central Command that the president is going to announce Bin Laden’s demise. (Side note: Sloan is still a financial reporter, right? How likely is it that she’d have this source on speed-dial? You know what? I don’t even care. Between the Olympics and this episode, I’m primed to accept any evidence of American exceptionalism. U-S-A! U-S-A!)

NEVER FORGET | Everyone’s in the newsroom, working leads in their party attire. Though some people think the news may have to do with Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi, and Neal (predictably) suggests aliens may be involved, everyone’s pretty sure that POTUS is going to announce the death of the Sept. 11 mastermind. But Charlie won’t let anyone break the news before the White House announces it. “This isn’t Watergate. They’re not the enemy,” he says firmly. That’s convenient, because the hold-off gives Will a little time to inch down from his high – dude can’t even tie his own tie, but he’s a whole lot more fun than usual – and allows Maggie, Jim and Lisa an opportunity to work out their love triangle. Mags, whose party hair updo still looks quite lovely, demands that Jim end things with her roomie. But Lisa, who’s a lot smarter than Maggie gives her credit for, beats him to it. Oddly enough, this wakes Jim up; after admitting that he wasn’t so into their pairing the first time around, he asks her out on a proper first date. Um, kids? Breaking news situation? Save the googly eyes for the Sunday morning political shows. Thank goodness Charlie and his eyebrows are there to remind everyone of what a momentous occasion they’re witnessing. After Will realizes he’s been sitting on an email confirmation from his old softball pal Joe Biden for 20 minutes, Charlie gives the green light for Will to report bin Laden’s death. “You’re going to remember this night for the rest of your lives,” he tells the staffers, and everyone looks happy except Kaylee. We later learn her dad was a partner at Cantor Fitzgerald who died in the World Trade Center attacks. But that quiet moment is quickly subsumed by Will taking the anchor chair, pulling his stuff together and prepping the nation for the president’s remarks.

SHAKY LANDING | Don and Co.’s final moments on the plane are, I think, the episode’s only major misstep. Frustrated by missing out on being a part of history, Don throws a fit that causes the plane’s pilot and co-pilot to come out of the cockpit. But when he realizes that he’s flying United – airline of the ill-fated Flight 93 – he immediately becomes Grateful Citizen Don and says he wants to be the first to tell the crew that bin Laden is no longer alive. The airline employees hug and Don (unnecessarily) intones, “We reported the news.” It’s a little too much in an episode that was otherwise incredibly well balanced.

RISE ABOVE | Another episode with only one musical theater reference: Maggie tells Jim he has to rehearse breaking up with Lisa, because otherwise, his speech will be as problem-plagued as the Broadway production of Spiderman: Turn Off the Dark. As always, if I’ve missed any mentions, sing them out in the comments.

Now it’s your turn. What were your impressions of the episode? Did it change your mind about the series? Do you remember what you were doing on the night the episode takes place – and do you remember what news you were watching? And are you intrigued by what Charlie’s source had to say about AWM’s illegal electronic surveillance practices? Tell us what you think in the comments!

Comments are monitored, so don’t go off topic, don’t frakkin’ curse and don’t bore us with how much your coworker’s sister-in-law makes per hour. Talk smart about TV!

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79 Comments
  1. Sg.Grant says:

    This was an absolutely outstanding episode.

    • Mermaid7 says:

      Every week The Newsroom gets better. Yes, I am tired of the Jim/Maggie/Don story but if you weren’t touched by this one, you aren’t a true Sorkin fan. The scene on the plane with the pilots was very good, and when the guy in the booth put on his NYFD hat and everyone stood as Will began his report, I thought it was perfect! One of the best shows on television….hands down!

      • TV Gord says:

        Sorkin fans seem to have the highest per capita level of arrogant people who purport to define what a Sorkin fan is.

        • Pearl says:

          Nah. We just like good television. ^^ New ideas. Less hipocrisy. And we like a show that doesn’t need to rely on nudity and violence just for the sake of ratings. =D But they say it’s a free country. So we like what you like, and you go like what you like, and everyone gets what they want.

    • Limor says:

      I thought this episode was awesome. I didn’t love the plane part where they ‘break the news’ about Bin Laden, b/c Will hadn’t even gone on the air yet, and in this day and age, people would just go on their phones and tweet/FB the news out, but nonetheless, I’ll let it go b/c it was great.

      I LOVE Jim/Maggie, and really dislike her roomate. Jim asked her out on a date, but the roomate broke up with him, I’m not even sure why she went out with him in the first place if she knew that Maggie liked him. Don needs to be kicked to the curb.

      Mackenzie was very quiet this episode, maybe to let the other characters shine?

      I LOVED the Sloane ‘fan’ email and found myself laughing at many points in this episode. Really well done.

    • Ken says:

      I really enjoyed this episode. When Charlie gave his speech it brought me back, I remember exactly where I was when it was reported. I guess I was the only one to tear up when the plane crew was informed. I agree it was a reach but I still got a tear in my eye.

    • B says:

      Amazing episode. As someone who doesn’t live in the USA the whole ‘remember where you were’ aspect didn’t really affect me as much as I’m sure it would to many Americans however this was just so brilliantly done. I was getting tears in my eyes when Don had the ‘realization’ with the pilot and ending with Obama’s speech was pure genius. So much for crappy summer tv!

  2. allison says:

    i <3 this show. seriously every week. so good.. but this was SO SO good.

  3. Kevin says:

    Tonight’s episode was fantastic. Quickly becoming one of my favorite shows on tv. And I was at a bar when I got the news of Bin Laden. Watching NBC. I will never forget that moment when a whole country cheered as one.

  4. An incredible episode. I’m really loving the set-up of the show, how they are covering real events from the not so distant past.

  5. Late For Dinner says:

    In your “sharky landing” section, Don says “We reported the news” not “We broke the news.”

    I thought that part was wonderful. It really warms my heart to see the nicer side of Don by doing whats right and telling the captain the news. It felt balanced out by the asshole Don that wouldn’t stay in his seat.

    Either way, this episode was BY FAR my favorite. loved every minute of it:)

  6. Margaret says:

    john gallagher jr & jeff daniels playing guitar needs to be featured again soon, that was awesome!!

  7. Nathan says:

    Interesting. I just read a review on TVfanatic where they absolutely LOATHED this episode, so I’m pleased to see a complete 180 perspective. Haven’t seen the episode yet, but looking forward to watching it, as I do with all the episodes!

  8. Tami says:

    Excellent episode, and I loved the Ted Baxter reference!

  9. Tim says:

    Outstanding. Honestly this show has been good in its’ previous episodes but this weeks’ was simply marvelous.

  10. Jordan says:

    I’m sorry but I can’t disagree more lol. I thought this episode was bad. After finally having a good episode last week, this show went back to being bad again. I’ve read a few recaps already and this was the first site to love this episode. I’m shocked at most of the comments here. But, we all have different opinions. So that’s cool. I just don’t see how you thought this episode was balanced???

  11. wordsmith says:

    I’m also sort of on the fence with this particular episode. It was well structured and balanced, but I was expected to be wowed even more, considering the momentous subject matter. Sure, we all remember how awesome that day was, but the show’s depiction of it doesn’t really heighten or add to it. I’d say the show has been able to strike far more moving and emotional chords in past weeks using much less monumental news stories. Maybe it’s a case of unfairly high expectations.

    • wordsmith says:

      For the record, I don’t mean to belittle the Arizona Shooting or the Gulf Spill or the Japanese Meltdown – these were all horrific tragedies that should long be remembered. However, I wouldn’t say that any of them had quite that same “Where were you the moment they announced…” aspect that the Bin Laden news did.

  12. iva says:

    lame and pathetic. I’m just about done with this show.

  13. I have to seriously doubt any news person on this planet would withhold the story of the decade when they have double confirmation.

    • Martha Berry says:

      Thinking back to that night, tho, nobody jumped, other than via Twitter. It was more than a “double confirmation” situation – it was an “OK to report” thing, and everyone to my recall waited on the press conference.

      • Bad recollection then. The news had already said what he was going to announce well before he made the actual announcement. It was all over Facebook, twitter, and every major news site long before he confirmed it.

        • kate says:

          yeah, Facebook and Twitter are VERY OFFICIAL sources. when in doubt, I always turn to facebook and twitter for official confirmation of important events. please. there was a ton of speculation but it wasn’t all over major news sites. maybe it was up a few minutes before the POTUS went on TV, but everyone was nervous because nobody really knew what was going on.

          • Abby says:

            It was all over tv news for at least an hour, if not longer. The news conference was delayed quite a long time.

          • kate says:

            websites maybe. it wasn’t confirmed on tv until much closer to the president’s speech. speculation =/= confirmation.

        • popmartyb says:

          It wasn’t “all over TV” for an hour. CNN did exactly what the show did last night – show a building. No one mentioned bin Laden except on Twitter – and possibly other social media, but Twitter was what I was glued to. And up to the announcement there was still debate among reporters doing just what Mac was – going over and over whatever else it could be. Ghadafi and bin Laden were the most widely believed to be the news, but I can’t recall anyone saying anything definitive, even on Twitter.

        • popmartyb says:

          Sorry, but you’re wrong. Google it.

        • Britta Unfiltered says:

          Hmm, now I’m trying to remember where I first heard it, because it was definitely long before the President announced it. I thought I recalled whatever channel I was watching (I think it was ABC), making speculations that the White House would say bin Laden was killed. Though honestly, it could have just been Facebook I saw it on. It’s been too long, I don’t trust my memory on the event. I do think with The Newsroom though, we are definitely watching a Sorkin view of what he thinks newscasters should be like, not what they are really like, so it wouldn’t surprise me that he’s trying to say, “This is what the newscasters SHOULD have done that night, even though that’s not what they really did.” I think this show is much more idealistic than realistic, but there is a part of me that really likes that, because I wish I lived in an idealistic Sorkin world where people actually talked about ethics and thought things through before forming opinions, and two people could have a civilized discussion with an open mind as to what others thought about stuff.

  14. pat says:

    This show is the first in years that has grabbed and held my interest. Although I tivo
    it I always end up staying up to watch it. Yes, it’s how news ‘ought to be’, but it’s really
    about the constant attacks and threats of danger that come with daring to do it right.
    That’s real, not manufactured.

  15. Danny J says:

    This show is amazing and it’s amazing to me that people don’t like the show. Maybe just a little bit too honest huh? Can’t take the heat huh? Too hot for some people? We all know how normally we don’t live in a world where reality is pointed out with common sense, so for this show to come along, I’m NOT surprised so many are against the show. The show is brilliant and anybody complaining about nothing good on TV can’t even begin to logially complain about a show that has a brilliant acting cast, outstanding writing and great direction. Maybe the show is striking a nerve…ever thought of that. GO NEWSROOM!

    • Jordan says:

      Get over yourself. The show just isn’t good. If you love it, then you love it. But other people don’t. The comments that people aren’t smart if they don’t like this show is pathetic. Maybe the show is just ridiculous and over the top. He’s high as hell and they let him go on the air when it’s one of the biggest news night’s in history? And then of course he’s completely okay. Is it only brilliant because it’s on HBO and it’s Aaron Sorkin? Therefore it has to be brilliant. You can’t have your own opinion. Half the characters are ridiculous and I’m not seeing outstanding writing here.

      • Ruby says:

        It’s sweet that you think that they don’t let people go on TV when they’re high. If that were true, Hollywood would cease to exist. Also, I’m so glad I never have to watch TV with you. You sound like a misery.

    • ThatBob says:

      Too honest? Ha! Too damn smugly self-important. That line on the plane, “We reported the news,” pretty well sums it up… they reported, so freakin’ what? Those who report (or sit back and comment a year later like Sorkin) are nowhere near as important as those who are actually out making the news, yet they like to try and make the stories all about themselves. Too many huge egos — almost as big as the inflated egos of the show’s fans who try and make liking a TV show be somehow a measure of intelligence. Laughable, predictable, and nauseating.

      • tired of idiots says:

        exactly WTF do you think a show called “The Newsroom” is going to be about besides people who care about reporting news? “they’re not as important as the people making the news.” uh, yes they are, albeit in a completely different way. otherwise, who the hell would know about your beloved newsmakers?

  16. Martha Berry says:

    I too thought it was a good episode, but totally disagree about the romantic stuff, which is one thing that drives me crazy about this show. I was in a newsroom the night that news broke, and believe me, no one was thinking romance. On the other hand, the plane scene didn’t bother me as much as it gave me chills when Don’s “paranoia” rant made him realize just who he was talking to – although yes, pretty much a reach all in all. And the “you’ll never forget this night” speech was just more Sorkin stuff. Not realistic. I think Sorkin deserved the space to give a shoutout to the pilots and police of the world. That touched me, because for me that night it was just about news, getting it, and getting it right. A little surprised Twitter didn’t get a mention, because that was such a major Twitter event. But they got the gist of it, and I think they got it right about waiting. – that I love. The Will high thing was silly, tho, IMHO – if he really did ingest the substances mentioned, no way would any responsible producer let him on air. Not that I’d know anything about that.

    • Simon Jester says:

      “I was in a newsroom the night that news broke, and believe me, no one was thinking romance.” – Errrr… it’s not a real newsroom, it’s a fictional TV newsroom. We’re not watching a documentary, you know.

      • Ruby says:

        Seriously. Unless a show is titled “Reality Show” people sound ridiculous complaining about how “unrealistic” things are. And even “reality shows” are manufactured in a lot of ways. TV is about escapism. If I want everything to be perfectly real, I watch the news.

      • popmartyb says:

        No, it’s definitely not a documentary. Nor a “reality show.” But shows create their own worlds, and when they’re not true to those worlds, it feels false. Sorkin is using real-life events, and trying to create a realistic, if somewhat over-idealistic, newsroom. People who have worked in TV newsrooms tell me it’s accurate in terms of all the technology and how everything works. That’s cool, to me. But that also makes it jarring when he hits a false note, which I felt he did with the Jim/Maggie/roommate stuff in the middle of the biggest story of the year. Esp. in terms of Jim – I just don’t think his character would take his eyes off Twitter and his phone. So it bugged me. I thought West Wing handled that stuff much better. Also, I had hoped to like the Maggie character, but to me she gets more annoying with each episode. Hey, it’s just my 2 cents. You don’t have to agree with me. No need to be condescending.

    • Justgina says:

      Twitter did get a mention. They were the first to mention it other than Charlie’s phone source. Kaylee got the tweet from The Rock. That’s what started it all at the party.

      As for the plane, I’m willing to give Sorkin dramatic license in order to show respect to the pilots and crews in this way. I’d be lying if I said I didn’t tear up a couple of times during this one.

    • Pearl says:

      No, they mentioned Twitter. The neal’s girlfriend was the first one, th an the first confirmaion came from a twitter. But for new, the twitters weren’t so much trustworth in that moment. The biggest new to give, you have to be ddamn sure it’s correct, because if it’s not, you wont work again.

  17. Polly says:

    if next year’s emmy category “best writing – drama” is not filled with episodes of this show, people should riot.

    • Oh are they giving Emmys for sub par writing now? I wasn’t aware. I like the part on this last episode where two pilots came out of the cockpit while the plane was not at the gate after 9/11. Just another thing on this show that absolutely is not going to happen.

      • kate says:

        you know, if you hate the show so much, why don’t you just stop watching it? the writing on this show is extremely good. either you just hate the “political agenda” to the point where you’re irrational, or you don’t watch any other TV.

      • Polly says:

        Seriously? You pick THAT, out of the amazingly structured episodes (personally I’m rewatching the pilot at least once a week, I think it’s brilliant) and all the great dialogues of this show, like Will’s freakout on episode 1 or Mackenzies rants or Charlie’s exchange with Jane Fonda, to say this show’s writing sucks?! Wow. Just…wow.

      • Simon Jester says:

        @Chuck Finley (AJ) – “Oh are they giving Emmys for sub par writing now? I wasn’t aware.” – Yes, they are. And not only Emmys, but also Oscars, Golden Globes, and Writers Guild (WGA) awards, to name just a few Sorkin has received for his “sub-par” writing.

      • Ruby says:

        Geeeez you’re a complainer. Do you ever have anything nice to say? Like, ever? About ANY show?

  18. jmac19 says:

    I liked the episode, liked the moment especially with the pilots — a group that really has gotten no attention post 9/11. But I wish there had been someone who a little more clearly was uncomfortable with the whole “Yes! We got him!” thing. Thought the episode layered the killing with a patriotism that is not us at our best at all.

    • Britta Unfiltered says:

      Yeah, I think so too, there were a lot of people that night who were uncomfortable with all the celebrating. I was one of them. To me the whole night felt somber because of the sad and terrifying memories of 9/11 it brought back. Plus I just can’t celebrate the death of a human being no matter who it is. It’s just not my style. But then again, I wasn’t in any of the cities hit on 9/11, I didn’t lose anyone I know in the attacks, so I probably don’t get to have a say in the matter on how other people celebrated the killing. Probably not my business.
      .
      And I liked the focus on the pilots as well. My stepfather is a pilot for a commercial airline, and his life changed in major ways after that day.

  19. Charlotte Hendry says:

    I don’t get this Sorkin hate. Subpar writing he? Granted this show has some start up issues to iron out, but it is by far more interesting than the majority of the dredge that clogs up our television screens (on both sides of the Atlantic BTW).
    Is it a documentary? No, nor is it intended as one. Are the ppl in the newsroom a little too saintlike and perfect at times. Yes and thank heaven’s for that, ten minutes of biased shouting on FOX (or msnbc for that matter) that is passed of as journalism makes me flee to this utopia of the fourth estate every Sunday.
    Just like the Bartlet administration was a nice (if utopic) escape for most Europeans after Bush jr. (still inexplicably to us) got re-elected.

  20. Amy says:

    I am going to read this blog/review from now on. I read another one who had a completely different take on the episode and I was beginning to wonder if we had watched the same show. That reviewer has never liked the show and I don’t know why I kept reading his reviews…I guess I thought he would eventually let go of his ‘criticisms’ and enjoy the show for what it is. But if he couldn’t see this episode for the wonderful piece of television that is was then there is no hope for him. On a more shallow note…I can’t deal with Maggie anymore. She is just over the top and too silly to be believable. I love Jim and can’t imagine what it is he sees in her. Or Don, for that matter. And after last night, I am rooting for the slutty roommate to win the Jim prize!

  21. kate says:

    I liked this episode. It was a bit slow at first but the last half hour our so was terrific. The whole plane thing was hilarious, I really laughed over how complete strangers were up to date on Don’s love life to the point where they’re making astute observations and hypotheses. I really liked how Will told Lonny the news, and then had Lonny tell the two cops. That was touching.

    I was at home with my family that night when the announcement came down. It was a really good day.

  22. allaroundthetown says:

    Great recap,and really loved this episode, especially Don telling the pilots and Lonny telling the police – news comes in all kinds of different forms, and this made it special.

  23. digitalred93 says:

    “Between the Olympics and this episode, I’m primed to accept any evidence of American exceptionalism. U-S-A! U-S-A!)”

    Mars Curiosity’s landing makes us 3-0. Yes, we still have it in us to be exceptional.

  24. Personally I liked last week’s episode a whole lot better, but different preferences, I guess. I did like all ths scenes with Sloan, Don and Elliot. Even the pilot scene was good, ableit a bit cheesy. The weak spot was anything to do with Maggie. No offense, but demanding Jim to break up with Lisa is one thing, but demanding to break up with her at that moment, during all the chaos, while being stuck in the newsroom where Lisa couldn’t escape Jim afterwards is a whole other story.

    I just find the romance aspect weak at times. So Maggie, although getting better, is still my least favourite character. But the episode, if I forget about Maggie and Jim’s plotline, was good. Just not my favourite episode.

  25. Elena says:

    The reason they weren’t in business class is the shuttle from DC to NYC is on a small plane that doesn’t have a business class. The flight is only 45 minutes in duration, the plane is too small for multiple cabins.

  26. I’m commenting as a non US citizen here, so of course I do not fully understand what this event must have meant to you guys. Still, the episode’s portrayal left me ashamed that a nation (continuing in the series and in the comments here) apparently would stand together and cheer in this manner over the death of another human being. An unbelievably despicable one for sure. But I really expected “The Newsroom” which has quickly become one of my favourites for its views on the world and on journalism (I _am_ a journalist) to reflect this more, to at least talk about the way in which the operation went down or anything. It didn’t. All it did was show how seemingly an entire nation – apart from one single woman questioning her feelings – felt there was no greater accomplishment than to kill Osama bin Laden.

    It was really disappointing to me.

    Now, go with your bashing of my comment. Good night.

    • Pearl says:

      Hi. I’m not a US citizen too. And i can see your point, a lot. And I grew up into the news, I edit and write a little newspaper, so, yes, i can see your point. But, i understand a lot the idea. It’s not cheer up for his death, is cheer up for justice. If he had beem capturate, the american would had cheer up equal. In a lot of states murderer is punished with death penalty, so, the murder of hundreds of life, sure would be the life penalty for osama bin laden. So, the us people didnt cheer the death, they cheer that the man who brokeup familys and dreams wasn’t anymore enjoying the freedom and the impunity. And i cant see why you wouldn’t want justice for the man who was responsable for the death of your loved ones. I certainly would cheer with them.

      • I absolutely see your point. Maybe it is that I do not believe in the death penalty. Not only not believe, but can’t even grasp the idea of it, because it’s just never been a topic in Europe for as long as I can remember.

        Still, the show picked up so many topics this season and rewrote how the media could have done them better. And yes, they waited for confirmation and almost didn’t report it early at all at “News Night”, but they hardly did anything to set themselves apart this time. And that’s what I thought was so brilliant until now: that they had this crazy scenario in which they just told us how it maybe should have gone. And also: what they (the writers that is…) how the world had it wrong, wasn’t quite moral or whatever.

        This time around though, they basically said: It was alright. No reason to insert even a single line like “Should we be cheering this?” or whatever.

        Justice is one thing. And I believe that the reactions would have been similar had they “just” captured Bin Laden. It feels differently to me, though.

    • Ruby says:

      I understand where you’re coming from, but as an American, let me see if I can explain this. What you saw there wasn’t necessarily people cheering for the death of a human being as much as relief at never having to worry about that human being again. It’s not possible to explain all the ways his monsterous act affected our country, but for starters, he killed over 3k of our citizens and terrified our entire country so much that we’ve had to change the way we live for good. His actions made it possible for our idiot of a president (Bush) to find an excuse to send more of our people to die in wars we have no business being in. He created hate and fearmongering amongst the lower-educated amongst us…I mean, the shootings yesterday in Wisconsin were a direct result of that. He’s created so much hatred and fear and it has wrecked us. So those people cheering? That was actually a country-wide sigh of relief, and one that was well-earned.

      • Angela says:

        I think this is a spot on post. Well said.
        I didn’t do any celebrating that night, either. I was actually just mainly surprised that after 10 years of hearing promise after promise that “we’re going to find and kill him” that we actually did it. My sister called and told me the news (it happened on her birthday. Of all days), and I told my mom. And that was about it. I’m not shedding any tears for his demise, certainly not-he can burn in hell for all I care. But I feel weird getting all celebratory over death, too (and I too am against the death penalty).
        That being said, I certainly understand the release those who did have strong reactions felt. Especially those who lost somebody that day, or who were in New York City and actually experienced the terror firsthand. I fully get them going, “Oh, my god, it’s done, YES!”.

    • Britta Unfiltered says:

      Hi Carolin. I appreciated your comments. They were really good. I am an American. And I can tell you, I don’t believe the episode was entirely fair to the emotions of the American people on the real night that event occurred. Emotions were much more extreme than what was being showed on both ends of the spectrum. I saw some scenes on TV that looked like people could have been celebrating a college football bowl game. They were drunk, a little disorderly, cheering in the streets, holding up tacky signs…and then there were also some Americans who found all the celebrating to be a bit more than was necessary. Some people cried. Some people smiled and thanked God. Personally I would rather people have used that night to somberly reflect on the events of 9/11 and breathe a sigh of relief that our war in Afghanistan might finally come to an end, and I believe a lot of people felt that way. They just weren’t the ones that ended up on TV. I didn’t think the announcement was cause for some of the frat-type parties that jumped up and ended up on television. But, whatever, I guess. As I mentioned somewhere else, I didn’t lose anyone I loved in the attacks, and I wasn’t in any of the cities that were attacked, so my emotions are going to be different from other people in the country about this, that’s for sure. I’m not sure I have a point here. I just wanted to tell you that I thought your comments were fine, and say thank you for them, and let you know that were some Americans out there who would appreciate what you had to say.

      • Thank you, Britta. That’s really good to know. It seems so long ago already, but I remember that there were lots of discussions about how a) the American media reported on this and b) how we (I’m from Germany) should. In the end, to be fair, I think not all over he did it justice either.

        That’s really all I would have wanted from the episode. To show the other side! In the previous episodes, I never felt like they hid any side to a story. Maybe Sorkin with all his morality and I told you so’s just didn’t have the guts to touch this pivotal moment any differently.

        @Ausiello & Co., that would be a really interesting thing to find out should you talk to the writers or whoever about this particular episode. I would appreciate it.

    • Blink says:

      Bin Laden was more than a mere man. His place in this world was not that of a person, but of an entity, an embodiment of evil, fear, and terror. Americans were not celebrating the death of a man, but the end of history of destruction, murders, terror, and horror that the man caused and represented.

      Would you have the same feelings if Hitler were killed by the Allied Forces? (one of the rare instances that a hitler reference on the Internet actually works) Think of what the killing of Hitler would mean to the world — it would not represent the mere death of a man, but the “death” of a regime. Much of the same can be said about bin Laden’s death.

  27. Pearl says:

    I just saw the promo for the last three episodes, IS AWESOME!!! Can’t wait to see it *_*

  28. Terry says:

    I thought the part on the plane when Don announced to the pilots what happened, was one of the better moments. I didn’t like Don’s character in the beginning, but he is coming around and I foresee a romance with Olivia Munn’s character at some point. Overall a good episode, though not my favorite. The previous week’s episode is still the best so far as I am concerned.

  29. Britta Unfiltered says:

    Don is actually starting to become one of my favorite characters on this show. I loved the scenes on the plane. He’s just this complete d-bag with these odd unexpected moments of humanity, and that’s pretty much my favorite kind of character to watch on TV is imperfect characters like that. The last thing I want to see on TV is people who have their lives put together in a way that I will never be able to accomplish. That just makes me feel bad about myself. haha. It’s true though. I also have really fallen in love with that silver fox, Sam Waterston. Even the bow tie is adorable now. He’s so good on The Newsroom.
    .
    I should stress I love the show before making this next comment. While I love how they have portrayed some of the biggest moments in recent history, like the Gulf Oil Spill and the Fukushima disaster, I think Sorkin taking the route of only using actual historical events for the show’s plots is going to get old. It already is starting to get on my nerves just a tad. I do wish the writers would start making up fake historical events for the news team to broadcast because A) By using fake news events, you wouldn’t detract from the characters and their personal stories (and right now, the real news events they are using is becoming a distraction); and B) If you used fake news events your audience wouldn’t have any idea what’s coming. Using real events from the news makes some things a little predictable. I think the show could take a cue from Mad Men in how they have all these big famous events of the 60s that are always subtly in the background providing a backdrop for the characters instead of being the focal point of their lives. Even when Mad Men had the Kennedy assassination episode, it didn’t distract from the stories of Betty trying to decide what to do about Don’s Dick Whitman confession and feeling drawn towards Henry, Roger trying to put out the fires at his daughter’s wedding and bring the family together, Pete and Trudy forming a more emotionally intimate relationship, etc., etc. And maybe it would be impossible to make big news events subtle since it is a show about the news. So I think the best solution and the best way to focus on the characters (which should be the most important part of any show) and their personal stories is to just start writing made-up news events with maybe the occasional real life news event peppered in. But I know that’s not happening. I’ve heard Sorkin always intends to keep the show at least a year behind real time just so that he can keep using real life news for all the episodes. I’ll still watch, I still like the show. I’m just sayin’. I’m in a talkey mood tonight, sorry if my long posts are bugging people. I do apologize for that. My passion for well-done shows gets the best of me whenever I start thinking about what they do well, and what they could do better.

  30. A says:

    Don is better with Sloan.

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