‘Shipping Newsroom Season 1, Episode 3: ‘The 112th Congress’


Maggie & Don

This week The Newsroom turned up the heat with an OMG-worthy makeout sesh between Maggie and Don — the first display of physical intimacy on this series, which was also very, very gross. I’ve watched enough vampire shows to know that original pairings are made to be broken (this rule applies to pretty much every contemporary drama except Friday Night Lights), so why are we even pretending this is a thing? Also, Don is wearing some sort of horrible tribal necklace while shirtless in bed; no wonder she was pretending to be so engrossed with her BlackBerry.

Hottest speechifying:

Don That’s what you were reading on your BlackBerry, right?
Maggie: It said eyes only, baby.

Maybe don’t say the word “baby,” Alison Pill. Nobody believes you.

Maggie & Jim

Despite the cheerleading from his trusty minority sidekick, Jim’s not getting anywhere with Maggie if his smoothest move is harassing her with Fallujah stories while she’s having a panic attack.

Hottest speechifying: “You’re in the second stage of the A-Anxiety table of Army Field Manual FM-2251, New Infantry Adaptation to a Threatening Situation.” The fact that Maggie was in any stage of any kind of anxiety table whatsoever and managed to not tear Jim’s head from his body and toss it from the Upper Terrace of the AWN building down onto the herds of tourists pouring out of TGI Friday’s after his little “I was embedded once” performance means these two still have a chance.

Maggie & Xanax

Wait. I feel like there was such a huge volume of truth and integrity to wade through in this episode that we might be ignoring the real question: WHO IS TAKING MAGGIE’S XANAX? Can we just forget about Newsroom and skip to the spinoff in which Alison Pill slings prescription meds to thrill-seeking Columbia students? (Yes, duh, it is called What a Pill!)

Charlie & Booze Bourbon

After a bit of a dry spell (ugh, I’m sorry, I’ll never do that again), we’re back! I gotta say, when a purple-faced Charlie started sputtering and quoting Rocky and the lens flares started going all J.J. Abrams Star Trek, I got a bit worried that we were seeing the first phases of some kind of cirrhosis-induced hallucinatory episode, and then I realized: Being in love and suffering from a bourbon-induced stroke are not so different. My OTP for sure.

Hottest speechifying: “Does anyone mind if I start drinking a lot of bourbon right now, and then a little while later put my fist through his head?” It’s nice to know that when the Charlie & Bourbon pairing starts to get a little stale, there’s always the Charlie & Bourbon & Violence threesome to spice it up.

Mac & Wade

Will and Mac took a break this week to cycle through a series of suitors/suitettes in order to make each other jealous and unable to do their jobs, because that is what professional people do in their places of employment. Near the end of the episode we meet Wade, a sweet-seeming gentleman who claims he is “more than friends” with Mac, and whom Mac lets into the studio so long as he stays “out of Will’s eye-line.” And it isn’t long before we find out why!

Hottest speechifying: “She’s so British.”

Will & Wade

Hottest speechifying: “I know who this is. I am not worthy. You keep kicking the tea party to hell and back. They won the battle, you win the war. And I’ll tell you what else, it’s good business, too. Where would Murrow have been without McCarthy?”

I guarantee you that is the most action Will has gotten since June 2, 2010.

Will & Cheerleader

Really shocked this one didn’t work out, given Will’s facetious devotion to the New York Jets as both political party and Thing That Makes America the Greatest Country in the World. I’d also like to give props to the actress, and to director Greg Mottola, for the valiant-if-futile effort to make lines like “I was sitting watching you right there, while you were right there” sound not ridiculous.

Will & So-and-So

See, it IS possible for a lady to be Will McAvoy’s intellectual equal and not a complete basket case (although let’s not jump to conclusions — her meltdown and subsequent Ben & Jerry’s binge while deciding what shoes to wear and freaking out over whether or not the face of ACN’s News Night would have any interest in a lowly neurosurgeon like herself will likely be featured in the Season 1 Blu-ray extras).

Will & What’s Her Face

Poor dear never stood a chance when, five seconds into her date with Will, she came face to face with the fiercest competition she will ever have in her fight for Will McAvoy’s heart:

Will/Will

Speaking of ….

Will & Will

Let’s not forget that we started the hour off with a super-hot Four-and-a-Half Minutes in Heaven with Will and his love of monologue. Do you watch The Newsroom in HD? I’d highly recommend it; if your screen is big enough you can actually see out the ACN windows and into neighboring buildings as the nation sighs with boredom and changes the channel every time Will decides to read his Tumblr on national television. Great work, digital effects crew! See you at the Technical Emmys, Newsroom! (Oh, let’s be honest, this show will be nominated for everything, because Crash. It has an 8.8 user rating on IMDb, same as Mad Men, and there’s probably something interesting to be said about the popular embrace of Aaron Sorkin’s love letter to the media elite, despite the widespread critical backlash, but I’m just here to talk ‘ships.)

Hottest speechifying: “I was an accomplice to a slow and repeated and unacknowledged and unamended train wreck of failures that have brought us to now.” I understand it was the heat of the moment, and I know it doesn’t feel as good with commas. But this show doesn’t have a hard MA rating, and there could be millions of little future truth-tellers watching, so set a good example and practice safe speech. Also, “a train wreck of failures”!? Is that like one train full of failures crashing into another normal-type train or stationary object, or multiple failure trains crashing into each other?

Also ‘Shipping:

Neal & Julian Assange, Neal & Random Hottie, Aaron Sorkin & Broadway, Aaron Sorkin & the Word ‘Elite’ (FINALLY), Leona & Biblical Jokes, Philip Baker Hall & Not Giving a Fuck

Filed Under: Aaron Sorkin, Good Night and Good F***, The Newsroom, TV

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Emily Yoshida is an editor at Grantland.

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