The Newsroom S02E07: Red Team III
[Cue Coffee, Clocks, and Paperwork.] At long last, it has arrived. After all of the endless speculation, all of the ceaseless debate with your friends, all of the heated discussion with your family, all of the paralyzing suspense in your heart, all of the incalculable excitement in your belly, all of the articles in your newspaper, all of the water cooler conversations at your work, all of the meticulous analysis on your blog, all of the Facebook statuses on your newsfeed, all of the tweets in your backlog, all of in the pictures on your Instagram, all of the Vines on your Vine, all of the Snapchats on your Snapschat, all of everything in your life, it is upon us. At long last, Genoa.
Marcia Gay Harden is grilling the newspersons on The Newsroom about “The Third ‘Red Team (?)’ Meeting.” “What in the name of god fuck does that even mean?” She asks, having obviously read my recap from last week. “Oh,” Don or Maggie or Dev or Jim says, “it refers to how red blood cells coagulate the white midi-chlorians and–I’m done.” This riveting interrogation is intercut with “The Third Red Team (?)”’s exposition dump to Will McAvoy about Genoa, where every character is required to turn to Will McAvoy after every mini-dump of exposition because his perfect judgment of Genoa is Aaron Sorkin’s perfect judgment of drama is the world’s perfect judgment of judgment. Look.
Though utterly insufferable, this fifteen minute garbage buffet does offer up some of the show’s tastiest self-aware garbage to date. “Do you understand the stupidity of this?” says Don. “We don’t have to make this excruciating,” says Jim. “I was qualified to chase the tweets,” says Dev Patel. “No, yes, and WHAAAAATTTT????” says me, for all of the fifteen minutes that elapse before Will McAvoy speaks.
Time Elapsed: ~15 minutes. Hate Index: 9 out of Hate.
When the characters are done rehashing every single aspect of Genoa in excruciating, endless detail, Will McAvoy reveals a twist of Shyamalanian proportions. “I already knew about this,” says Will McAvoy. “My source told me about this months ago.” Forget Boo-ruce Willis. Forget water-allergic aliens, and forget suicide-inducing begonias. THIS is the twist to end all twists. Could McAvoy have revealed this twist before the fifteen minute exposition barrage? Yes. Wasn’t it at least 100 times better that he didn’t? No. No, it was not. It was idiotic and bad. This show is idiotic and bad.
Despite Jim’s protestations, Genoa is greenlit. Cue the dramatic orchestral swell. Cue the stupefied faces of all of the characters watching the broadcast in insensate awe. Cue “Produced by Jerome Fantana (New Jim)” 100 times, in case you forgot who spearheaded Genoa. (Fun fact: Sorkin’s go-to number for hyperbolic guesstimation on this show is “100 times.” In the past, we’ve had Hope Davis listening to the From McAvoy, To Mortimer voicemail “100 times.” This week, two characters cite their doing an activity “100 times.” If this trend continues, the phrase “100 times” will be said 100 times on The Newsroom by approximately yesterday. Fun fact!) The Genoa broadcast airs, and it’s not the end of humanity or civilization or the world…YET.
Time Elapsed: ~25 minutes. Hate Index: 29783 out of Hate.
Then the Pentagon writes News Night an email that includes some seriously forceful language. This inspires everyone on The Newsroom to read this email’s forceful language aloud and analyze the forceful language with whomever will listen. Going into this week, you may have thought Sorkin wouldn’t find a way to top the dramatic impact of last week’s Power Point presentation. But you would have thought completely and totally and dead wrong. Dead. Wrong.
To reiterate how well-researched and not brimming with stupid lies the Genoa report was, ACN decides to interview one of the witnesses on Whatever The Show After Will McAvoy’s Show Is Called. Everything is proceeding as planned, until the marine reveals that
he caught a UTI suffered a TBI in Afghanistan, discrediting his entire story, since his brain is broken. Per The Newsroom, all of the characters react accordingly. Don’s head implodes. Olivia Munn’s jaw drops to the floor with a force that sends her jaw through every floor of the ACN building, then the street, then the crust of the earth, then mantle, and then outer core, before it settles somewhere around the inner core. And Will McAvoy is so dejected he can’t even bring himself to turn on one of the TVs on his TV wall.
Time Elapsed: ~35 minutes. Hate Index: Zero Samsungs out of Hate.
Some bro shows up with a large LED timer for no reason and gives it to Emily Mortimer for no reason, which triggers her memory of the NCAA basketball game in the background of New Jim’s interview with Lieutenant Milton From Office Space. Hashtag: deduction. She reexamines the footage and, as you may have guessed, given the 100 times it’s been reinforced, New Jim essentially made up Genoa and doctored the footage, and the Doomsday Clock stands at Nope O’Clock, and the apocalypse may now commence.
Emily Mortimer informs the News Night team that they have to retract Genoa. Per The Newsroom, all the characters react accordingly, which means they react as if they all just received a diagnosis of Whole Body Cancer. In quantifiable terms, if you were to imagine an event that’s 100 times worse than the worst event that ever happened to you, it’s about 100 times worse than that times 100.
Time Elapsed: ~45 minutes. Hate Index: Deus Ex Clockina out of Hate.
Thankfully, all hope is not lost, as Charlie Bowtie still has his informant in Washington, an individual whom Will McAvoy describes as more trustworthy than The President of the United States. So you KNOW he won’t betray Charlie Bowtie for the most asinine reason imaginable. Now, I will type out the motivation behind this informant’s betrayal of Charlie Bowtie, but I cannot in good conscience advise that you read it. It is a character motivation of such blinding, paralyzing stupidity that you may very well end up blind and paralyzed. In the event you end up blind and paralyzed, please accept my apologies now, as you won’t be able to then. Going to write it. Last chance.
The motivation: Charlie Bowtie’s informant’s son was an intern on News Night who couldn’t control his tweeting. After being fired for his tweeting, he became addicted to heroin, and eventually overdosed. As anyone who understands causal relationships could tell you, Charlie Bowtie is completely to blame for the informant’s son’s death, 100 times over. Falsifying facts on Genoa was the informant’s revenge for Charlie’s murder of his son, which you can tell by how he wrote “FUCK YOU, CHARLIE” in invisible ink on his testimony. I’m sorry.
Time Elapsed: ~50 minutes. Hate Index: Fuck Me, Sorkin out of Hate.
Will, Charlie Bowtie, and Emily Mortimer are in the ACN lizard lounge, ready to tender their resignations. CEO Jane Fonda enters and is like, “Oh I don’t care about Genoa at all this was all for nothing you don’t have to resign we’re all still millionaires who cares.” To repeat: “They’re not at risk of losing their jobs at all, they never were, it was all for nothing, they are all still millionaires, who cares.” “BUT WE’VE LOST THE TRUST OF THE PUBLIC,” screams Charlie Bowtie. “THEN GET IT BACK!” screams CEO Jane Fonda. “CUT TO BLACK IN THE AWKWARDEST WAY EVER,” SCREAMS MY TV.
Time Elapsed: Eternity. Hate Index: Hate out of Hate.
We are all Will McAvoy. Good night.