The Newsroom Finale Recap: What I Did For Love

The Newsroom Season 2 RecapThe following recap, by definition, contains spoilers for Sunday’s season finale of The Newsroom. If you haven’t seen it yet, scoot! Everyone else, read on.

Here’s a technique that may help you reconcile any unsettled feelings you have about The Newsroom‘s Season 2 finale: Think of the hour as the conclusion to a musical. 

RELATED | Jeff Daniels: The Newsroom Renewed for Season 3

Take a minute to let the idea sink in. In a musical – particularly the old-school ones of which creator Aaron Sorkin is so fond – it’s not weird when two characters who’ve done little but pester each other for hours on end suddenly have an over-the-top kiss.

When they propose (and accept!) marriage, you don’t think, “Wait, shouldn’t you slow things down a little?” When all of the leads come to a feel-good reconciliation just in time for the final number, you don’t shake your head and think, “Well, that seems unlikely.”

When the shy young ingénue finally finds her pluck, you don’t scoff at her mullet-in-the-making and come up with a ballpark total of her future therapy bills. You just sigh in contentment and hum along with the reprise.

So, consider the events of “Election Night, Part 2” as a sweet (if improbable) coda to the HBO drama’s sophomore season. Otherwise, the episode seems like a too-neat tie-up of a season that was, at turns, wonderful and laughable. With that in mind, let’s raise the curtain on the major developments that took place in this week’s episode.

STAND BY YOUR MAN | We pick up at 9 pm on Election Night, with Will, Elliot, Taylor and Sloan on the air. A Genoa-shy MacKenzie, Don, Jim, Maggie and Charlie have decided that the Petraeus story raised in the previous episode is not as newsworthy as the story they were asked to hold in its place, so they’re running with the hypocrite who denounced Missouri Rep. Todd Akin. (At least Charlie has the good sense to feel bad about the cowardly call later on.)

Taylor takes advantage of some downtime to ask Will’s permission to approach Jim. “About what?” Will asks, oblivious. She’s setting up a media consulting firm, and she wants Harper to come aboard. Will’s confused; Jim just signed a new contract, he says, which means he’s going nowhere. Taylor apologetically replies that she heard the senior staff was resigning over the Genoa kerfuffle. “Where did you hear that?” he demands. “From the senior staff,” she says.

If I were Jim’s boss, he wouldn’t have to resign: I’d fire him for egregious newsroom Skyping with his girlfriend – who, by the way, works for a competing media outlet. In fact, he’s making googly cyber-eyes at her (doesn’t he have a race to call prematurely or something?) when Maggie summons him to a quick staff meeting.  After the ladies exchange quick, fake-nice hellos, Hallie makes sure Jim knows that Maggie’s new ‘do is no Supercuts special. “Cutting off your own hair – that’s alarming,” she says, low-voiced and concerned. So is day-drinking and a complete change in personality, but neither of those changes in Ms. Jordan have lit much of a fire under Jim’s tush before now, have they?

In the studio, Will gathers everyone who was involved in the retracted story and forbids them to quit on behalf of Charlie, Mac and himself. “The whole reason we’re trying to resign is to allow the rest of you to continue to do what we started without the burden of Genoa,” he says, then adds that when he leaves, Elliott will take his spot, with Don will take Mac’s, Sloan will anchor the 10 pm broadcast and Jim will be her EP. Absolutely no one in the room is on board with that plan. After all, “There are principles of… principle here,” Don notes, passionately if not eloquently. “Who put all this in your head?” Will asks. “You did,” his former executive producer answers. Will’s totally going to cry but then makes a joke about how he’s not going to cry, then they all go back to work.

As the anchors prepare to go live once more, Sloan murmurs that Will insulted the team a little by assuming they wouldn’t stand by him. Why’s that? he wonders. “Because you insulted me a little,” she says. Aww.

DECISION 2012 | Upstairs at Reese’s schmancy elections-night viewing party, Leona is high again – and loving it. Charlie is neither stoned nor in a good mood as he tries to get his baked boss to agree to accept his resignation – so he’s immune to some of her other (awesome) ideas, like splitting a pizza and reuniting the Allman Brothers. Finally, she offers up some pertinent information: She’s left the decision about how to handle Jerry’s suit – and everything that goes along with it – up to Reese, who’s out for a walk while he decides how to proceed.

Charlie knows that Reese wants to settle out of court; you can see him slump a bit as he realizes that the resignation for which he’s so strenuously advocated is about to become reality. A bit out of sorts, he clumsily bumps into a cater waitress and knocks her entire tray of Champagne flutes to the ground. Oh hey look, it’s Maggie’s roommate/Jim’s ex Lisa! Of course she just happens to be there to drop wisdom on her former boyfriend… I mean, pick up a little extra money. (I’m getting ahead of myself.) Lisa nervously asks Charlie, who recognizes her, not to mention her presence to Jim. But when someone at the party tweets a photo of the sparkling spirits destruction, Harper finds out anyway.

JIM MAKES AMENDS | Jim flies upstairs, where Lisa greets him with an honest assessment of glassware (“The center of gravity on Champagne flutes is too high”) and a repeated plea to leave her alone. He ignores it, tailing her through the party and nearly getting her fired. Jim Harper: the greasy-haired gift that just keeps giving. Lisa breaks my heart a little bit when she says she’s “smart enough to know I’m not smart enough” for him – we are talking about the man who was physically bested by both luggage and a door (twice) last season, right?

Anyway, Jim’s slightly chagrined by Lisa’s estimation of him, but he’s got shaggier fish to fry: “Did Maggie cut her own hair?” he demands. Lisa says she isn’t sure (though the clipped locks she found on the bathroom floor were a tip-off), inadvertently revealing that she also doesn’t know what Maggie experienced in Uganda. Jim respects Maggie’s privacy enough not to spill all, but urges Lisa to talk to her roomie.

On another call to Hallie, Jim asks if he ever makes her feel stupid, if he’s blowing their relationship the way he messed up his with Lisa. “First of all, you’re not smart enough to make me feel like I’m dumb,” Hallie replies (heh), “and I really like you, too. You’re not blowing it.” The exchange is so cute, I’m just going to pretend that Jim doesn’t ask her to tweet a story Neal wrote as if he were Hallie (it’s related to MacKenzie’s Wikipedia freak-out from last episode), and I’m really not going to get into the fact that Hallie eventually rewrites the puff story under her own byline and tweets it as a thank-you for the Romney interview early in the season.

Later, as Jim and Maggie are monitoring the election he accidentally called too early, he mentions her hair and she admits to hacking and dyeing because the cut and color reminded her too much of little Daniel. Jim goes all Good Will Hunting on her with the “It’s not your fault” stuff, but she’s not comforted. “There’s a difference between being tough and wanting to be,” she says, using him, Mac and Don as examples of the former. “I wanna be,” she says. “You are,” he replies, and I know the moment should feel uplifting… but it feels overwrought or set in the wrong place or just somehow off to me. (Tell me I’m wrong in the comments.) They also talk about the moment Maggie first noticed Jim – it was on his first day at ACN, when he investigated a yellow iNEWS alert even though no one else cared. “You couldn’t help yourself,” she says, smiling. Keep that in mind, everyone; it’ll matter in a while.

SLOAN SOLVES THE CASE | An update on the whole Sloan-didn’t-really-sign-her-book thing: Neal has tracked down the buyer, but he doesn’t think Sloan will be happy. “Was it bought by an inmate?” she asks seriously. “I have a small, slightly disturbed following among white-collar criminals.” (Ha!) The silent auction sheet from the Hurricane Sandy benefit shows that someone used names of characters from musicals like The Sweet Smell of Success and The Secret Garden to drive up bids for Ms. Sabbith’s boring economics book – ostensibly to save her from the embarrassment of no one wanting to buy it. Cut to Sloan in Don’s office a while later, when she realizes that he’s got a Sweet Smell poster on his wall…

And then prepare yourself for some Olivia Munn awesomeness as Sloan marches into the control room, signs the book she found in Keefer’s possession, kisses him full on the mouth in front of everyone, slaps the book against his chest and sashays on outta there with a contented smile on her lips. It. Is. Fantastic. When Don recovers, he calls out, “What I have can’t be taught!” but Mac hushes him up and demands that everyone get back to work. Munn decidedly is this season’s MVP, with Marcia Gay Harden sliding in a close second. On a related note, when in the heck did I start rooting for Don?

YOU ONLY HURT THE ONES… | Back at election central, Mac and Will step away from the coverage to give Don, Sloan and Elliot an unwanted chance to shine. Mr. McAvoy and his recently fired EP retire to the hair-and-makeup room, where their conversation moves from a recent wrong (her saying he should fire her because of his vanity) to their long-over romantic relationship (“Are you sure you didn’t tell me” about cheating on him “because you wanted to break up?” he asks, and she answers with the lowest of low-brow retorts, classed up only slightly by her accent: “Are you sure you’re not just a massive bag of douche?”). Is it possible to cringe-laugh? If so, that’s what I just did.

Will hits her hard when he apologizes for the engagement ring being “a practical joke.” (Watch Emily Mortimer as Will continues to talk, especially when he says he returned the ring that day; Mac’s destruction has its way with her finely boned face.) “I brutally hurt you, and that’s a fact. But in my lifetime, I’ve never done it intentionally,” she says, and Will is chastened… but things are not OK as they return to the studio.

CHANGE OF HEART | Much later, Charlie does a complete reversal and tells Will they’re not going to resign after all. “Except for the things we did wrong, we did everything right,” Will says, and then nearly goes into a fugue state as he realizes that the sentiment also applies to MacKenzie re: their relationship. “The rest was me,” he says, digging for the key to his desk drawer and pulling out the ring. (Side note: You have a safe, Will. Use it!)

He runs around the network, bellowing for Mac and finally finding her in the studio. He pulls her aside, away from the cameras, and gives her a long, rambling, touching and very in character admission about the ring: “I didn’t return it, because I’m in love with you, and will you marry me?” MacKenzie gets points for replying with the only logical response: “What the f—k is happening right now?” (Heh) So Will says:

“Let me just say, I think you should. I think you should say yes. But no matter what you say, there’s no chance I am ever gonna hurt you again. And no matter what you say, I am gonna be in love with you for the rest of my life. There’s no way out of that. That’s just a physical law of the universe. You own me. No matter what you say, I will never stop.”

When she agrees, he breathes a very relieved “Thank God,” and nearly knocks her over with his kiss. Edward R. Murrow help me, I loved this scene.

THAT GREAT BIG BROTHERHOOD OF MAN | Out in the newsroom, Reese announces that he’s not going to settle with Jerry and/or accept Charlie, Mac and Will’s resignations. Charlie says they weren’t going to resign anyway. “History should reflect that I acted admirably,” Reese maintains. Will and Mac interrupt the bickering when Will booms out that they’re getting hitched. The declaration is no Ron Burgundy shouting “Veronica and I are gonna get married on top of a mountain!,” but it might as well be from the way the entire room looks at the pair in shock. But soon they’re all clapping and celebrating. Maggie and Lisa are talking. Leona’s got her feet up on one of the desks. Don and Sloan share a significant look, Reese is dating a Rockette and all is well in the word.

Then, an iNEWS alert goes off and no one – except for Maggie — notices. We’re supposed to think this is the start of her being tougher, stronger and more intrepid… but is it too much to hope she’s also about to track down whatever happened to Will’s death-threat storyline from last season? Because that’s a story I’d put in the A block.

Now it’s your turn. What did you think of the episode? Did it feel a bit like a series finale to you? Sound off 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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  1. Tom Charles says:

    Raise your hand if you think this will be the last time we hear about Genoa. *raises hand* Just like the death threats etc. Also, anyone else notice how what Don said about the things that can be sued for was right from Studio 60? If I were playing a Sorkinism drinking game where you drink every time you see something Sorkin did before, I would have drank so quickly at that.

    • David4 says:

      I have only seen the first 3 episodes of this season and if I hear about Genoa ever again it would be a day too soon.

      And Sorkin has a few storylines / quotes fro mall his shows and movies that carry over. You watch because you like that type of thing.

    • Couple things w/the death threat(s):

      I don’t know, they never really developed any type of story line w/Will and the death threats in Season 1 (except bringing in Lonnie, which was more about dialogue than the death threats), so why bring it back in Season 2?

      And, Terry Crews is on Brooklyn Nine-Nine now, so that might have had something to do with him not coming back. Proven by the last few episodes, you don’t need Jerry on the show to continue the Genoa story line.

    • Peggy Long says:

      I agree, Tom. I noticed a lot of “Sorkinisms” repeated. A lot from West Wing, like: “Gather ye rosebuds”: the the colloquialisms “not for nothing” and “six to five and pick em”; the use of the word “Belgium” as the punch line for jokes; references to Gilbert & Sullivan musicals – or musical references in general… I think if we really try, we have the makings of a Sorkin drinking game.

    • nancy says:

      What about Don falling out of a broken chair? and Josh doing the same thing on West Wing?

      • WhizGidget says:

        If I’m not mistaken a chair broke on “Sports Night” as well. You can go even further back than “The West Wing” to find Sorkinisms (his movies too, oh trust me).

  2. Slizabeth says:

    I. Freaking. Enjoyed it. So good. I’m glad the book ended up serving a purpose in these episodes. And that Maggie’s story kind of felt more authentic after this episode. Sorkin wrapped everything up well. He has a year to skip forward a bit to a time when the ACN team is (hopefully) back on its feet. A great season of television.

    Also, I loved the rant about suing people (from Don). Can HBO post that online? I want to share it with my law school classmates.

    • Paul says:

      It won’t be a huge skip forward in time when season three starts. Sorkin mentioned Sandy Hook will be reported on on News Night (in season three) which happened only a month after the 2012 elections which was this season’s finale.

  3. analog says:

    Question now is when will season 3 arrive? Aaron Sorkin’s quite busy and we haven’t got an official announcement from HBO yet.

  4. Viv says:

    I loved this episode! I really, really, really did.
    I loved that we got something on Sloan and Don. I waited since 1×10 for this moment. Since last week i even like Reese. That´s a little bit weird. I had to laugh whenever Sloan was cut off. And, and, and…
    And I´m a little afraid, because i really loved this episodes. It reminded me why i think that The Newsroom is a great television show. But there is no official statement from HBO that says “It´s renewed” and this episode felt A LOT like a series finale. Fingers crossed.
    (sorry for my english. it´s 5.17 am over here and i´m too tired and excited to really think about time, words and structure).

    • Silas says:

      I agree. I LOVED the entire season and tonight’s finale was brilliantly executed. Though WIll and Mac are now engaged, there will be new tensions. Sloan has discovered something which seems to have eluded her. Maggie clicked on the news alert and we have yet to discover what it is. Add Leona and Reece and we’ve got magic. Marcia Gay Harden was a welcome addition to the show this season. All in all, The Newsroom delivered. I, for one, am impatiently anticipating Season 3!

      • Michael says:

        I don’t think Maggie clicking the news alert was something that will play a role. I think it was meant to connect with the previous talk with Jim when she said she noticed him when he clicked that button because he couldn’t help himself and that she wanted to be like that. So, it was more of a way to show us that she’s ready to move on.

      • Maggie may have clicked on the Petreus scandal.

    • katrina says:

      I LOVE Sloan and Don… hoping we have more of them in season 3!

    • Steve says:

      Don’t worry, Jeff Daniels confirmed there will be a Season 3! The only reason HBO hasn’t made an announcement is because they’re working on the scheduling; it’s a matter of when, not if, Season 3 happens!

  5. Mick says:

    This felt a little like a series finale.

    • Kvivik says:

      I think they did that because they are wanting to give the audience payoff in case the show doesn’t get renewed.

    • Bennington says:

      The show was renewed a while ago. Plus, it also states that in the article above!!!. Wow did you guys not read the recap…or do you just like to state your opinions without reading other people’s opinions. How could so many of you missed that link in the article above.

  6. PeaceMaker says:

    What the reviewer said about the finale feeling like a musical…she’s right. I know she’s right. But it made me cry like a baby and I loved it.

    • Niasmith says:

      There are many splendid things to enjoy and appreciate in a well-written musical. Aaron Sorkin not only writes EXTREMELY well but he draws together very talented people to put on a great show.

  7. Sarah says:

    Love the recap! And I could not agree more about Sloan & Rebecca. My favorites all season. I know that not everyone agrees, but I liked the Genoa storyline, both the idea of it and how it was told (flashbacks & the like). Was it perfect? No. But I found this season much more interesting than the first, which dragged a bit for me, and Genoa was a big part of that change.

    KR: Just a quick note — Charlie confirms at the end that they made the RIGHT call by turning down the Petraeus story. The piece that they chose to run was actually relevant to election day. Charlie was proud that even though it mattered to just a small number of voters, they did not go for the “flashier” story that would have made them look better but would not have had any value re the election. The Petraeus story was on-the-record sourced and very credible, just not worth it in the end (ie, the decision had nothing to do with being Genoa-shy).

  8. Thea says:

    Felt a little too much like a series finale. I will be so very upset if they don’t continue, this show is excellent. I’m still processing the episode, and I’ll most likely have to go and watch it again tomorrow to make sure I didn’t miss anything (just like most episodes of this show), but that things that really stood out: every single moment of Olivia Munn, that proposal and Mac “going off” on that DC b****!

  9. kate says:

    I really enjoyed this episode. a lot. homerun. Jeff Daniels better be right about season 03.

  10. Ryan says:

    God help me this show is a mess but I love it anyway. It took two characters I loathed most of last season (Don and Sloane) and made them why I tuned in every week. It had moments of crazy (seriously Jim? Is the budget so tight that we can’t afford shampoo for you?) but moments of greatness. Will’s speech about the reaction to the gay soldier, his speech tonight about why he’s a republican, Sloane’s EVERYTHING this year, Don’s speeches from 2×06 on…….Jeff Daniels says there is a season 3, and by god, he can do no wrong. I need my season 3!

  11. Chance says:

    That sure as hell felt like a Series Finale to me. I don’t expect The Newsroom to be back for a third season. And in spite of being a big fan of the show, I’m okay with that because this all felt right.

    • Steve says:

      This episode was written and filmed months ago. It felt like a series finale because it could have been one; that’s no reason to think it will be. I would be SHOCKED if there’s not a third season.

    • Sam says:

      This was Most certainly envisioned as a series finale. Love the show too but I wouldn’t be sooo sad if it didn’t come back. There was closer for everything important storyline and no one needs to know how the lawsuit goes.

      Plus the season was pretty much inconsistent.
      Anyway we now know that the show is coming back only the when is not clear.

  12. May says:

    THAT is the reason I have cable. The episode was spot-on every single second of its run. The writing was incredible, the directing was great, and the acting was a masterpiece. I really want a season 3, but you gotta love Aaron Sorkin for wrapping it up in case it doesn’t happen.

  13. JB says:

    Brilliant season finale. I called the Don / Sloane book angle last week but the reveal was all I hoped it would be.

  14. Chablis says:

    Love the recaps Kimberly all season long. Thanks.

  15. Bo Berrigan says:

    A “smart” tv series is very hard to find these days. If there is no season 3 of Newsroom I will be utterly bereft. Almost as sad as when they canceled Northern Exposure years ago. Tonight’s finale was wonderful…….and now we wait.

  16. Mickey Texas says:

    Since all the current commenters seem to have totally loved this episode, I felt compelled to comment just to make clear that’s not a 100% audience view. The show has been so smart (albeit quirky) up until this point that it was a bit disappointing for the season (maybe the series?) to end by resolving the relationship storylines in the corny way they did. I *guess* the Don/Sloan matchup is slightly better than the awful Don/Maggie matchup at the end of season 1 (which was gleefully terminated right at the start of season 2). The Will/Mackenzie pairing has always seemed to work best with romantic tension in the air, rather than being consummated. (I’m one of those people who became much less of a “Friends” viewer when Ross & Rachel got together.) Maybe I’m just an outlier. Of course, I’ll be tuned in when/if season 3 happens, counting on the fact that Sorkin and his team will maintain their brilliance for most of the season, while preparing myself for yet another awkward season finale….

    • Amie says:

      I’m with you. This episode felt forced and contrived to me, with so many strings tied up and so many out-of-the-blue developments. I don’t see any chemistry at all between Will and Mackenzie. At. All. So I was sort of hoping he would discover that Nina or Marcia Gay Harden’s lawyer was a better fit for him. It may just be that the character of Mackenzie has been written so horribly, so she’s hard to root for under any circumstances. (Sorry, Emily Mortimer. It’s not you, it’s Sorkin.) I also don’t think Jim and Maggie have good chemistry — he’s much better with Hallie, much less of a goon, even though the Skype romance seems very odd. Maggie is a mess, and she needs to figure herself out and stop being such a swamp of unhappiness and soggy drama. She’s a mess. I am not a big Olivia Munn fan, and I wasn’t very fond of Don last season, so it surprises me that the only romance story I’m buying is Sloan/Don. Go figure. Somehow that one seems fresher and more fun, less idiotic and forced. So, go Sloan and Don. Let’s stick Maggie and Mackenzie on the back burner, or give them some major successes out of the newsroom (or even in it, I don’t care) to make them less forlorn and pathetic, so they can be interesting, fully-drawn characters (with agency! intelligence! insight!) in the story.

      • Mickey Texas says:

        Good comments, Amie. I can accept some “forced and contrived” moments every once in awhile (like Jim’s being on the bus when Maggie ranted), but having two major workplace romances advance so far in the same episode was just too much for me. Indeed, as much as I bought into the ongoing romantic tension between Will and Mackenzie, their actual kiss didn’t feel right. I strongly preferred Will with Nina or even with that Occupy Wall Street professor. On a positive note, I did really enjoy the character developments of Leona, Reese, and Don this season.

  17. didnt feel like series finale…felt like it did a good job of setting up season 3 story lines…Will and Mack as a couple / Sloan and Don (finally) / and we have to see how the whole law suit thing will unfurl. I did think that they focused more on relationships in season 2 when compared with season 1 I’d like to see more focus on the news but I was damned pleased with everything. This show pulled me in from the TRAILER and I can’t wait to see what comes next! In the words of Leona “GET IT BACK!”

  18. RobD381 says:

    I don’t care, I thought this season was Fantastic. I was worried Sorkin was going to tone down the facts amongst the angst, but he didn’t; he just wove them in a broad tapestry of love and pathos. This was almost like American Horror Story – it stood on its own as a mini season without season one. I as they say cannot wait for season three. I can rest knowing it has already been renewed (did you mention that?) and compare all the fodder Fall brings (which I know most all will fail to reach The Newsroom’s intelligent entertainment) while waiting for next summer. This is one of the best shows on TV and in my opinion (of course) it is the best on cable, hands down. I’m pretty sick of dumbo violence and blood everywhere.

  19. Laura says:

    I really loved the episode but just one thing I think this recap got wrong was the idea that Charlie felt bad about the “cowardly call” on not taking the Petraeus story and running the one that pertained to the election in its place. The way I understood it was that Charlie was proud to have a news team that hardly fought at all on this. One that would do the honorable thing and get the story that could change the votes of people, even if they were just a small group, out there before the ballots closed. The fact that his news team was made up of the type of people who would do that made him proud and contributed to his decision to not wanting to resign as he wanted to keep doing the news this way. That was just how I saw it at least.

    • Sarah says:

      You are right! I am surprised that Kimberly has not adjusted the recap as several people have commented on it. Charlie is feeling very proud at the end of the episode, not bad at all.

    • canadian ninja says:

      Yeah ditto to that. Charlie basically brought it up to make the opposite point. The chickencrap move would have been to take the huge ratings grabber story.

    • Amy says:

      Exactly. At the very beginning of the show it was said that the news should be about giving the people the information they needed to cast educated votes.

  20. Fido says:

    Am still confused about Maggies hair cut. Yes, we know she did it because the kid was fascinated by her blonde hair. But whereas at the beginning of the series when they showed us her doing the deed, it felt like she was doing it as an immediate reaction to the events in Africa, we now know she cut it, like, a year later. So why do it now ????

    • Fido says:

      as for when you started loving Dom, methinks it started when you realized the other people in that lurve triangle were not, I want to say unblamable but I don’t think that’s a word. (darnit). Maggie professing her love for Jim but still moving in with Dom cos he asked & Jim going out with the room mate all the while wishing he was with Maggie. Or maybe because Sloan likes him you can’t help but like him a bit too. :)

    • I would have to assume that after trying to change how she felt with all the boozing and sleeping around for a year didn’t work, she would changed how she looked since blonde hair “was trouble”, which she mentioned in her blah conversation with Jim.

  21. Polly says:

    sam waterston’s face during the engagement news is priceless as it was last week when don delivers the petraeus news :D

    • SydB says:

      The other fabulous Sam Waterston look is when Leona tells them that she’s prod of ACN. It almost looked like he got tears in his eyes.

  22. M says:

    If Sloan get’s MVP, Don get’s Most Improved! I similarly have no idea when I started pulling for Don and the awesomeness that he has been this season. The Will and Mac resolution made me so ridiculously happy that I’m still grinning like an idiot.

  23. Lovenr says:

    LOVED it all. Can’t wait for the next season!!!!!

  24. Josh says:

    First off this episode made me proud to be an American and a viewer. A few notes, the genoa storyline was great and actually based on a real event that happened in the 70’s. we all know sorkin pulls from everyday story lines, and adding an older true story for a dramatic story line was fantastic. I love the fact that I detested Jerry at first and now love him. Love the fact Sloan is becoming a major part of the show. Marcia gay harden is a treasure and should stick around. I absolutely love Jane/Reese/Charlie dynamic. More importantly I love how this season brought out the best in everyone in the absolutely worst of times. Newsroom has been renewed just working on scheduling fact one. Fact two season finale seemed to wrap up so neatly because all season long we known the team was going to get repeatedly kicked while down. I thought last night was a reflection of the strength the team has needed. Lastly love Mac and will

  25. Ezzy says:


    I’ve enjoyed you’re recaps. Thank you.

    Do we have to wait for season 3 now until you recap again?

  26. It’s really hard to describe and comment with Twitter. It’s certainly too short to convey how I feel about the Finale. Regarding Don & Sloan, I can see it coming really as Mr. Sorkin has paved the way for this duo for the whole season so I knew instantly Don’s the one who got the book. Even though I cheated by reading your column before I had a chance to watch the episode, my heart beat really fast that I was about to explode starting from Will running around to find Mac up until the end of the kiss. They nailed it especially when she said yes and he said Thank God. I love love this episode and I’m sure I’m going to watch season 1 and 2 over and over again until the 3rd season comes. It’s going to be a very painful and hard year indeed. I would like to give praise to Mr. Aaron Sorkin and all the cast and crew for this magnificent show.

  27. Dave from the trailer says:

    Better than last season that’s for sure. Would have liked more screen time for Lisa. I always liked her with Jim. Hopefully the Jim/Maggie boat has sailed once and for all and we don’t have to put up with another love triangle.

  28. A.J. says:

    I don’t agree with what the recapper says at the end of the first paragraph of the Stand By Your Man section: “(At least Charlie has the good sense to feel bad about the cowardly call later on)”. That is not what happened. Charlie was actually telling Will it was a good thing that they all agreed to air the story about the hyprocrite candidate because that was the story that needed to get to the voters, even if it only affected a very small portion of voters. Breaking the Petraeus story would have, as Don said, distracted from Genoa and brought ACN back a little bit of credibility. But it would have been selfish to air that story for those reasons, over a story that voters needed to hear. So again, Charlie never felt bad, because it was not a cowardly decision, it was the right decision and he was proud of them for making it. Even Don, who “reflexively protested at first, but then came around”.

    And in terms of the episode as a whole: I LOVED IT!

  29. NEWSROOM was the only show I watched twice each week, first time for the plot, second for the dialogue. It was brilliant. I hope this isn’t the end. Sorkin has just now gotten his “News” sea legs and found out what works and what doesn’t. I hate the thought that happy endings= series end. Any storyteller knows that the biggest challenge is keeping happiness dramatic. I’d love to Sorkin rise to the challenge and give it a go.

  30. tnsmoke says:

    I love this show and it really bugs me how much hatred most recappers seem to have for it. Just don’t write anything if you hate Sorkin and this show. As for me, I love the show. Yes, last night felt like a series finale instead of a season one but with the media hating it so much is it any wonder Sorkin had to write a finale that just might be the final episode? If the show were cancelled I would of been happy with this ending. We know it will be back just depends on when Sorkin can find time to write the next season. I have fallen in love with Don this season, a testament to the writing and to the actor. And we need more Jane Fonda, she has been wonderful here, love the “stoned” jokes. I don’t really care for Maggie, the actress always looks so fragile and like she’s ready to blow away she’s so scrawnny. I love Jeff Daniels and Sam Waterson. There is SO much to love about this show that all I can figure is the hatred is some sort of right wing hatred of Sorkin or the real news media hating their territory being written about. Heck, Dan Rather loves the show and reviews each episode for Gawker. Looking forward to next season. Haters exit stage left.

  31. fawne says:

    I think you probably started rooting for Don (during the later part of season one) because Thomas Sadoski is one fine actor. He made Don into a fully fleshed out human being. He is a flawed person, with just as many good attributes as bad. I think my favorite moment (in an episode that had many) might have been when Rebecca said I’m sorry, I know this isn’t want you wanted. Don says (after looking away for brief soul searching moment) “I don’t know what i want.” It totally broke my heart. Well played Mr Sadoski. Don Keefer is someone I hope we get to know even better next season.

  32. Ally_D says:

    Like your musical theater reference in the title of the article too, Kimberly. And all that talk of codas – girlfriend knows her theater in addition to TV!

  33. Ana says:

    Loved this episode. I agree that Olivia Munn and Marcia Gay Harden are this seasons MVP, but I believe that Emily Mortimer is terribly underrated here, she somehow centers all the crazy that is going on around her, even when she is going crazy herself. And that reaction to the proposal was just awesomeness. BTW can they keep Constance Zimmer around she can definitely keep up with the rest of the Newsroom. As far as it seeming like the ending of a musical, I would think maybe it was because they weren’t sure if they were being picked up for another season when they filmed it, and didn’t want to leave anything unanswered, I’m glad.

  34. Deion says:

    Yes. Someone please tell us, when DID we start rooting for Don?

  35. Carrie says:

    I like that the season wrapped up nicely and did not go for what every show does nowadays – the big fabricated cliffhhanger. The way this show is written Sorkin needs to be able to jump time so that he can write plot driven around recent events – so next season we come back and MacKenzie has gone all bridezilla and Nina Howard is in full revenge tabloid mode because Will did not break up with her before proposing….Maggie has had time to grow out her hair and is agressively going after Jim’s job, Don and Sloan are navigating their relationship and the law suit and Genoa were resolved off screen so we don’t have to hear more about it….although with recent events in Syria it could come up again. Let’s not forget there are a slew of other characters who need love lives so I look forward to watching Sloan trying to set Neal up with one of Don’s sisters or maybe he bumps into Lisa and they get their flirt on or Maggie meeting someone who is available and able to get her blonde back, and Constance Zimmer, if she stays on, needs to give Reese giref about his Rockette and then perhaps he falls for her acid wit? There are plenty of reasons for this show to keep on going and I look forward to all of them! And can we please start a petition to get Charlie and Leona together? Sam Waterston and Jane Fonda slayed every second of screen time they had together.

  36. Nancy says:

    I loved this episode so much I have already watched it twice and I will probably watch it again and lock it on my DVR. I used to think Don was an a**hole in the beginning but his character has snuck up on me and now I really like him. I also vote for Sloan as MVP, but Charlie, Mac, and Will are right up there too! The show is full of comic relief (who knew Jane Fonda could be so funny) and I think Marcia Gay Harden’s character is one of the few times I have enjoyed a lawyer so much. Reese came through for me too. I thought the Rockette bits were hilarious. The proposal was good, but I didn’t quite get the shredding paper story he told but I did like his Republican rant. Taylor should be a keeper. I have been a fan since Entourage when she would go head to head with Ari. Jim was great last season but this season he was just ok. He could use a storyline without girfriends. Maggie for me needs a reboot..she was ditzy stupid last season and fragile goth this season. Surely there’s a happy medium. Overall, this is a great show and I really hope it returns. This plus True Blood is why I keep my HBO subscription.

  37. canadian ninja says:

    Roots, I love your write-ups but the Skyping obsession has got to stop. Jim Skypes with his girlfriend. The both do it in fairly public/workplace areas. Maybe they’ll do a story abouzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

  38. ggny says:

    This really did feel like a Series Finale. Are we 100% sure Newsroom is coming back for another year? Everything was so neatly tied up in the finale

  39. ggny says:

    Another thing i really hope Hallie is back next season her and Jim are really good together and i just dont think Jim and Maggie fit together anymore

  40. Carly says:

    I loved this recap and episode. This whole season topped the first season, which didn’t even seem possible. I loved that Sorkin focused on one big story and loved trying to put the puzzle together all on my own. Every week was something new to look forward to. This is one of the best shows on television and I watch a lot of tv shows.

    I also had new character favorites this season. Don wasn’t a favorite of mine during season one, but now he’s definitely one of my favorites. Sorkin really got his comedic side and played with it and it was brilliant. Also Sloan. Olivia Munn is brilliant in this role. And I love how she and Don fit together.

    I can’t wait for more. I’m glad there was no huge cliffhanger and season three can start fresh with some new big storyline. I hope to see more Jim and Maggie, at least as friends. And lots more Neil, because who doesn’t love him. Brilliant show. Wonderful episode.

    • S. says:

      Neal thinks Bigfoot and trolls = newsworthy so I don’t love Neal. That said, with you on most of the other points. It’s not that great a show…yet. As Funny Or Die’s spoof said last week, The Newsroom isn’t one of the best shows on tv, but it could be. I’m definitely gonna root for it.

  41. Caro says:

    I LOVED the episode! Leona was fun to watch, I loved that Don payed $ 1000,- for Sloan’s book and that she found out and kissed him, and I TOTALLY LOVED the proposal!!! It was the best. I’m rooting for these two pairs and looking forward to what’s coming next season.

  42. LGB says:

    Loved your recap. I thought the episode was busy. I liked the way they tied it up, it was cute, and I was not expecting the proposal. In Season 3 I can see the network having a problem with the engagement and there is some hidden clause in their contracts against it. I might be reaching.
    I also agree with one of the other commenters that it’s the tensions that fuels their relationship though, so I wonder what will replace that.
    I have to agree, Sloane, and Rebecca rocked this season. And who knew Rebecca Gay Harden was so darn sexy?!?!?! LOL
    We saw Sloane and Don coming, but I.LOVED.HER.SCENE.

  43. LGB says:

    OH and I also liked the way they told the story using flashbacks…

  44. Jo says:

    This is such a great show. I need a season 3! I am worried because the ratings for the finale were down.

  45. Magically Suspicious says:

    There were SO many moments in this finale that had me laughing. But the episode…and for me, the season….goes to Sloane/Munn. I will confess that I previously looked at Olivia Munn as another pretty Hollywood ‘It Girl’ that would coast for a few years on her looks. Way to prove me wrong.

  46. LoriT says:

    Please don’t delay season 3. Otherwise I will have to watch previous episodes again and again, which is k

  47. Sandy Lynn says:

    I love the dynamics of Mac and Will in the same way I loved the dynamics between Kate Hepburn and Spencer Tracy in a number of their movies. I so hope when (not if, please) the series returns they let Mac and Will progress in their relationship and not worry about the tv mythology that couples can’t unite without tanking the show (ala Moonlighting).

  48. Slick Jefferson says:

    I think Emily Mortimer is a terrific actress and plays the role of Mac brilliantly. Her facial expressions emote her feelings beautifully but did anyone else think the kiss Jeff Daniels landed on her was awkward ??? He sort of lunged forward at her and didn’t seem particularly romantic until Mac says, “It took you long enough” and he says ” Seriously??….” and then she says “Shut up” and they move backward and embrace. I have seen Emily Mortimer in many movies and as far as I am concerned, she is very convincing as an EP. Problems others have with her character is not due to her acting — it is the writing.

  49. David Nathan says:

    “Re-uniting the Allman Brothers” Sorkin should know that the Allman Brothers have been together and playing for the past 30 years and just finished a tour with Steve Winwood. They play annually for 10-15 shows in March at the Beacon Theater in NYC.

    Despite that, great final episode. Hats off to the editors of the show.. Loved the episodes flashing back and forth in time. Really made you play attention to what was going on.

    Looking forward to season 3…

  50. Wendy says:

    After Sloane kisses Don, she walks away with the exact same smug look on her face that she did after kicking and punching her’s a true Mona Lisa smile. I think her character is my favorite, and this was my favorite scene of the episode. My second favorite is Sloane constantly getting interrupted at the anchor desk – priceless.