I think it’s safe to say that over the past month we’ve all come to endure and adore Will McAvoy on levels that eventually equal out. He manages to polarize and at the very same time make his tip our hat to him as he makes the points we all want to make about how the news should be said, factually and unbiased – except for the Tea Party or gun laws… and stuff.
One thread that’s been left exposed like a nerve that you’re pining to die while you’re in your dentist’s chair, is that of Will and Mackenzie. We’ve filled in all the history of why they’re no longer together, but somehow it’s painfully obvious that they (or maybe just Sorkin is a soft hearted romantic at his core) just want to be together again. Mackenzie has punished herself day after day after their break-up and now she seeks redemption of some kind, but Will is still angry to the point of not only parading the revolving door of magazine covers that come through every night to go out with him but also (apparently) to put a non competition clause in his contract that would keep him off the air for three years if his contract is not fulfilled just so that he would have the ability to fire his ex-girlfriend each week just for the sake of it.
Some may see that as something deeper than hate, maybe may go so far as to call It down right disgusted. However, I see a much more interesting idea being developed. The truth of the matter is that as much as hate is not love, it is evidence of it. The truth of the matter, I believe at least, is that deep down once we care about someone we can either choose to love or hate them, the fact that we have either feeling towards an individual proves this, and just because you hate someone doesn’t mean you love them anyless, which is how I see Will’s feelings of Mackenzie. He hates what she did to him and even more hates the way he feels about her, now I’m not basing this on facts or even longing looks at the prompter as he decides to monologue these feelings to her instead of telling us that Pakistan just blew up five billion homes (yes I made that up, I will now go in the corner Mr. Sorkin)… But I feel it is there and it’s only a matter of time before it becomes more evident.
Keeping Sorkin’s romantic notions alive we get even more evidence of the love/hate thesis of mine with the relationship of Don and Maggie, and how the creation of this introduction of Maggie’s roommate (forgive me for forgetting her name) and Jim proved to be the catalyst of a lot of issues in that interesting – now love-rhombus – idea that’s been throwing around the room for a month. We don’t like Don because he makes Maggie almost subservient to him (not necessarily intentionally), we love Jim because he makes Maggie into a better person (not necessarily intentionally), and therefore we love the idea of Jim and Maggie together but Don is always looming. It’s obvious that Don has finally caught onto Jim’s interest (and possibly Maggie’s curiosities) and therefore created a situation in which Jim would be distracted by the voluptuous (I’ll pretend Sorkin himself wrote that word) roommate culminating in a scene only the biggest asshole in the world could pull off thanks to a horribly distinctive ringtone.
The question that’s immediately asked of anyone who just made it through the previous six-hundred words of plot summary, was the episode good? I’m not sure. While I still try to avoid the direct question of whether the narrative actually engages and spend a lot more time focusing on the character comedy of this crew (including a Yeti fanboy) melded with Sorkin’s generally on point dialogue writing , I’m not sure if I’m doing the right thing. I’ve previously written about Sorkin’s condescending tone (which I’m happy for) and I still believe it’s a good thing for the show, but somehow I feel we’re finally getting too far deep into the mind of Will McAvoy, and definitely focusing too much on the news itself – while I do like the character moment that it leads to this week with Don and Will at the end of the episode – because truth and in fact approximately 75% of what news we were made to sit through wasn’t relevant to the story of the episode and only detracted from the rest of the character interactions which helps keep at bay all of this pedantic notion of critiquing The Newsroom.