The Newsroom: Meltdown

The Newsroom S01E06: "Bullies"

Will McAvoy's righteousness is the engine that drives The Newsroom. His righteousness in browbeating that ignorant college student in the opening moments of the series' very first episode is what sparked off this whole crazy endeavor. While he may have been initially reluctant to dive headfirst into that righteousness following his outburst, the last few weeks have essentially featured Will in redline mode, slamming the gas pedal on his own need for truth and justice and journalism to the floor and refusing to let up. While that can be entertaining, I'd argue that the Will McAvoy we saw in Episode 2, the more vulnerable, unsure-of-himself Will, who flounders when he finds himself in a situation where he's not in complete control of his faculties, is far more interesting. "Bullies" solidified that feeling for me.

"Bullies" was another haywire episode. Everything that could go wrong pretty much did, and in those moments of near self-destruction, Aaron Sorkin shows us more about his characters than we often get in entire episodes when everything's going pretty much right. I say "pretty much" because there's always something going wrong on the set of News Night, but usually it has something to do with men in suits trying to stifle the forces of journalism because money. This week, there was hardly a suit in sight, save for the particularly bulky one worn by series newcomer Terry Crews.

I'll get to him momentarily, but first, the news. As "Bullies" opened, we found Will trying to finish off a seemingly run-of-the-mill broadcast, yet strangely unable to finish a sentence without stumbling over his words. Understandably concerned, MacKenzie pressed him on the situation, and he revealed that he hadn't been sleeping much lately. Mac remembered that Will used to see a therapist, and suggested he go back to talk out whatever might be bothering him—or, at the very least, get some sleeping pills.

It turned out that Will's longtime therapist—who he hadn't seen in four years, despite continuing to pay him weekly—died two years ago, and was replaced by his son (David Krumholtz). Will, unsurprisingly, was unsure of having a 29-year-old therapist, but reluctantly he agreed to come inside and answer a few questions, if only to get those pills.

Doubly unsurprisingly, Will stuck around much longer than he'd initially intended, delving into several possible causes for his insomnia. One, perhaps, might have to do with a recent death threat via the internet. Much of "Bullies" took place in flashback, and that first flashback started on another newscast, in which a visibly frustrated Will disapprovingly read comments from the show's blog. Will left the set incensed by the anonymity that he believes gives his commenters carte blanche to just say whatever horrible things pop into their mind. Neal suggested a new system that makes people register with real names and other personal information. A short time later, Will aired a show in which he laid particularly hard into an anti-Muslim activist, and suddenly a rather pointed death threat (from a hacked account) appeared on the website. Will chalked it up to typical internet rabble-rousing, but the rest of the staff took it more seriously. Suddenly, Will had a personal bodyguard.

Will hates this, because of course he does. Will McAvoy need not have any sort of protection, lest it make him seek weak or frightened. But he got it anyway, and it just so happens that said bodyguard is President Camacho himself, Terry Crews. When I first read that Crews was joining the cast, I had some mixed feelings. I love the man dearly in just about everything he's done (up to and including those Old Spice ads), but I wasn't sure how he was going to fit into the scope of this show. I am no longer worried. From the moment he showed up, Crews established himself as a welcome, delightfully funny presence. Sorkin gave him plenty of good material to work with, and he made the most of it. I laughed more at his dialogue with Will than I think I did anything else this week.

But the death threat and related consequences were actually just a small part of what troubles Will's righteous mind. More salient was an issue with Sloan, who found herself in the awkward position of having to host Eliot's 10pm show as a fill-in. This fill-in just happened to come around the time of the Fukushima nuclear meltdown in Japan, and Sloan just happens to speak fluent Japanese, so having her talk to the representatives from the power plant seemed like a perfectly sound idea. Except, there's a catch. While talking to the PR rep for Fukushima—who Sloan apparently knows from some years back—she got him to admit off the record that the accident rating for the reactor wasn't necessarily a 5 (3 Mile Island), as was being reported by the company flacks, but more likely a 7. The INES rating scale doesn't go higher than 7, in case you were wondering.

Sloan was torn. She wanted to report the truth, but she was unsure of how to get the information out of her source. She asked Will for advice, and Will being Will, he told her to go for the throat, to dig in and not to let someone lie during her airtime. Sloan did exactly this, and the resulting broadcast was perhaps one of the most uncomfortable pieces of television I've had the pleasure of watching in a while. Between Sloan alternating between English and Japanese, the PR rep and his translator's deeply confused reactions, and Don's near-meltdown in the control room, this five minutes of The Newsroom may have been one of the best five-minute periods of The Newsroom to date.

While I am still feeling a bit awkward about the way Sorkin tends to insert his female characters into these insane, histrionic-laden cock-ups, Olivia Munn did a great job of making this scene work while maintaining at least some degree of dignity for her character. I'd been waiting for Sorkin to give Sloan some significant screen time, and Munn didn't waste it. Her back-and-forth with a deeply enraged Charlie was easily the best acting work I've ever seen her do. She's been endearing herself more and more as the season has progressed, and now, quite frankly, I want to see more Sloan-centric episodes. Definitely did not expect that going into this season.

But as I said at the top of this piece, for me, this episode was about seeing Will fail, too. Will's underlings and subordinates are known for screwing things up, but Will really, truly screwing up isn't something we see a lot of. This week, we got that, as we finally arrived at the root of his unease. That root involved an interview with a gay, African-American adviser to then-prospective presidential candidate Rick Santorum. This man came to the show to discuss Santorum's policies, but Will was more interested in why a gay, African-American man would work for someone who seemingly works continually against his interests. Will ran down the list of quotes regarding Santorum's stance on gay marriage, homosexuality as a sin, etc. etc. The rep, who was clearly uncomfortable with the line of questioning, continued to try to pivot back to his prepared stances, but finally blew up in Will's face. He resented Will for marginalizing him as just being a gay black man, as if to say those are the only qualities that define him as a person. He may disagree with Santorum vehemently regarding Santorum's policies on gay rights, but he also vehemently agrees with him on other stances (the key example being abortion).

While I personally have a hard time believing that someone like this would, in fact, work for someone like Rick Santorum, the point was no less well made. Will's tendency to browbeat those who seemingly don't fall in line with his view of how the world should be finally came back to bit him in a very, very public way. And for once, Will realized it. He saw in that man's face the result of his own narrow viewpoints, his own self-righteousness carried too far. It was another terrific scene in an episode that had several of them.

In the end, Will got his prescription, but he had to give up a great deal of his own anonymity to get it. He had to reveal to his new therapist (and, by proxy, to us, the audience) more about himself before he could finally move on to the next story. He found himself forced to declare a mea culpa regarding both his handling of Santorum's aide and his bad advice to Sloan. No longer does Will McAvoy seem bulletproof, and the show was much better for it.

Additional Thoughts:

– I didn't really talk about this week's romantic subplotting because really, it was all pretty frivolous and unnecessary. Don interrupting his dressing-down of Sloan to ask her if Maggie really likes Jim? Ugh. Will preemptively buying Mac a fake engagement ring just so he could prove a point? Double ugh.

– Maggie mixing up Georgia the state and Georgia the country was only slightly less offensively stupid than Sloan going gaga over her potential new Gucci wardrobe. Please, Mr. Sorkin, can you get someone to help you with the female characters a bit?

– That being said, more Emily Mortimer doing Groucho, please.

– While I have no desire to see this show turn into the first few seasons of The Sopranos, I wouldn't mind seeing one or two visits from David Krumholtz each season. He's a good way to push Will's character forward, and he did some great work this week.

– Speaking of Will, between last week's $250,000 ransom payment, his weekly payments to his non-therapist, and his willingness to go buy a giant diamond engagement ring just to prove a point, I have to believe that Will is either going to be completely broke by the end of this season, or we're going to find out that he's the heir to some kind of massive diamond-mining fortune in Sierra Leone.

– Angry Charlie is my favorite Charlie. Indignant Sam Waterston is my spirit animal.

– I don't care if the death threat subplot gets resolved this season, I never want Terry Crews to leave this show. Then again, I want Terry Crews on every show, always and forever. He's the best.


What did you think of this week's episode?

Comments (46)
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Going back to West Wing references it looks like Sorkin is just rehashing the same CJ/hunky bodyguard plotline from the 2nd (?) season minus the sexual tension. One can only assume the end of the season will see an assassination attempt on Will with Crew taking the bullet for him and dying. By that point Will and Crew would have developed a steadfast friendship making his untimely demise even more devastating. That said I do hope I'm wrong, hate to think Sorkin can be so predictable.
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The structure of this episode instantly reminded me of the West Wing episode that starts with Josh being interviewed at some college, and then the episode flashes back to all the things he's talking about (the one where the Supreme Court nominee gets arrested for being Hispanic, and it might also be the one where CJ gets the woot canaw and Josh has to do the bwiefing). I don't know many of Sorkin's other shows, but I wonder if this is a device we should come to expect frequently.
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As someone that doesn't like this show much, this was at least the best episode yet. I'm still not happy with the fail-to-decent ratio (Lots Of Love? Really?), but I did like the power.



Olivia Munn was great. I don't get why so many people are down on her; she's usually at least aight. Though I know she grew up in Japan for a while, it doesn't sound like she speaks fluent Japanese, not like Hiro, Ando and Hiro's sister from Heroes (she played the translator for the PR guy this week). Olivia Munn's Half-Asian, but that half's Chinese, so they wouldn't be speaking Japanese around the house. Anyway, she speaks it much better than Uma Thurman and Lucy Liu, but I'd credit it more to her being a giant nerd. We know how badly we can butcher other languages, and I'm happy that at least she put in a lot of effort to sound as authentic as possible.



I'm both impressed and disappointed with Sloan. There really is an issue here with how the women are portrayed on this show, though it's an overall problem with one-dimentionality that he also gives to most of the men. Maybe it's still just...early.



Mac can't send an e-mail, and she's not even 80. Maggie's got me convinced she was dropped as a child or grew up Pennsylvania Dutch. Sloan has at least one Masters in Finance Economics, but as soon as an authoritative male gives her some off-balance advice, she throws all her sense out the window. It'd be one thing if she were 21 (apparently, you can be dumber than a post if you're a 21-year old woman working there), but she's something like 30. That's seven years older than I am. Eventually, you have to take responsibility for your own choices, and if something doesn't pass your morality check, you stop it there, or you make the choice to throw your morality out the window for something you value more.



And as far as that story line goes, pretending to confuse 4 with 7 is stupid on a level than only Sloan could say, but beyond that, it only saves the PR rep (IF it did). Sloan should still have the issue of having no future source trust her word. I wouldn't like the idea of lying to save face or save the PR guy, but I wouldn't have lied about keeping information off the record. A money girl should know to think about her future.



(Side note: 4 is pronounced Yon and / or Shi, but Shi is also the word for Death, so you can see why they don't say Shi as much....especially when they're talking about a nuclear meltdown. They wouldn't say it here. It's like us having a level 13.



They can also be the same way about having 4th or 9th floors in their buildings. 9 is pronounced Ku and / or Kyuu, which can also mean Suffering or Decay, respectively. And don't get me started on the color white.)



Anyway, Will's attack on the Black gay guy was too much, but it's not like he shouldn't have asked anything at all on the subject. A person is certainly more than their race / gender / sexuality, but when a seemingly-intelligent person not only works for a man who's against their interests, but wants them to become president, that's news, and being willing to further weaken their own race / gender / sexuality to weaken another's is nothing admirable. Many of Will's questions and statements were too harsh, but nothing was untrue. As it is, I feel a man like that would only be pro-gay at all...if he were gay. What would he say if Santorum was making a conscious effort to take the same rights away from a child of his, or felt that his child shouldn't be allowed to do the job they loved because of how they were born? The method of questioning was out of line (and Will would know better...if the theme of the episode wasn't bullying), but the subject matter was on point.



(2nd side note: There is literally a Black gay guy who worked for Santorum for 10 years until he left under good terms around 2010, and like the character in the episode, he said that Santorum was nothing but respectful to him over the years. Anyway, as ridiculous as it would seem, even this scenario isn't original from Sorkin. I never liked it when Law and Order did the "ripped from the headlines" stuff, and it's sad to see it here, but again, I enjoyed the power, even it things still don't make sense.)



Terry Crews is awesome. That is all.
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Strongest episode so far. Continue to be surprised by Olivia Munn's performances. She knocks it out of the park this week.
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I have to say this, in all fairness. Thank you, Alex Navarro, for remembering to ENJOY the simple act of watching TV. I can read internet critics anywhere, but I like TV.com because people like Price and Tim have fun in their reviews. I think you're getting the hang of it! And yes, Terry Crews makes it more better-y! Meanwhile, you also hit the nail on the head regarding Sloan... I thought she would just be eye candy but its very possible I enjoy her and Maggie more than Mackenzie.
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I liked everything about this episode except for ONE little bit: Don's "Is Maggie into Jim?!" outburst during his, uh, outburst with Sloan. I get that having "misdirected anger" and coming to that conclusion in the middle of an outburst happens in real life (I assume... I actually haven't seen that plainly) and that it's a staple of sorts in TV shows and movies, but it DID NOT work in this instance. The Newsroom has done it a few times already, and while those times it seemed to work okay, it really felt out of place in this one. Characterization works best gradually... not when it's suddenly shoved down my throat.



Again, aside from that, I enjoyed everything else. It's odd that some of my favorite characters in a drama like The Newsroom are played by Olivia Munn and now Terry Crews. Weird.
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Nothing about the Maggie and Jim story line works.
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Yeah, it's just awful, the three of them. They just make each other worse.
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Awesome episode. Still not quite as far right as some of the episodes have been to the left, but the scene between Will and Santorum's former adviser was excellent. Fantastic. I don't know Terry Crews from anything, but he was delightful in his role. I wouldn't mind seeing more of him. As for the death threat, I predict that this season will end with someone getting shot, whether it is Terry Crews or Will is up for grabs, but probably one of those two. Just because I think it is likely. Anyway, the scenes with Sloan were indeed fantastic, and the whole coverage of it all is great. I thought Sloan's thing about the Gucci wardrobe was fine. She had already made it clear and continued to do so that she wasn't super happy about taking the show, but she did like the wardrobe, nothing wrong with that.



-I thought the ring thing was very Will. Especially with his tearing up of the receipt admitting to us, the audience, that he still loves her. And I thought that the Don thing was incredibly natural. Emotions leak out.

-As I mentioned, I didn't mind the Sloan wardrobe thing. As for Maggie mixing up the Georgias, she has always been a bit spastic, and I could see that happening to her in a moment of inattentiveness. I love Maggie, and especially with the Sloan stuff, the female characters have been getting better.

-Emily Mortimer is just awesome. So yeah.

-David Krumholtz is just awesome, too. So no, I wouldn't mind seeing more of him either.

-He gets many millions. Let's not forget that he gets enough that to him taking off $1 million per year wasn't anything huge to him. Also, the rest of the staff gave him money to help with the $250,000 (admittedly, probably like $1,500 all said and done, but hey, they gave money, too).

-Angry Charlie is fantastic. I just love Sam Waterston. So great seeing him very different from Jack McCoy. Awesome.

-See above for my views on this. If I had to predict it, Terry Crews will get shot protecting Will. But that's just my thing.
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Terry Crews is usually in comedies, aside from that Gamer movie (if you haven't...don't). He was hilarious in White Chicks, but while I found it funny once...I don't think I could sit through it again. He also does Old Spice commercials that don't make much sense, but...he's in them.



Basically this is pretty much the only place he's been like this, and I'd say it's a step up. But I could say that about Olivia Munn. One thing about Sorkin is that he sometimes grabs people from comedies and lets them shine in another light. (Lily Tomlin, Matthew Perry...)
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This was a great episode but not a great review. All you really did was recap the show and then say you don't like romantic plot lines. Be less of someone who recaps the show I just watched and more of someone who gives intelligent thought about what is happening on the show. I just watched it. I don't read reviews to hear what just happened. I read them to analyze what's going on between the lines of the scenes. Great episode! Poor review.
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This was my favorite episode so far; it feels like the show finally founds its voice when in terms of character development. Will is not the moral man of steel that we were led to believe, and it shows that sometimes journalistic honor calls for someone to fall on their sword. I had to finish the show yesterday because I didn't make it home in time on Sunday to watch the first airing. I viewed it through the Dish Remote Access App on my iPad on my way to work and was happy to see everyone working together to find a way to keep the Japanese guy's job. My coworkers at Dish agreed this was the best episode so far, and I'm excited to see how the rest of the season will play out for the ACN staff!
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I agree with you... I don't see much of a point of a recap considering I've just watched the episode. But I'd also like to point out that there have been plenty of comments on his previous articles about how he should do more of a recap than a review/critique (mostly because these commenters don't like reading his negative views), which I always find unreasonable.
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Fantastic episode!



I was ready to come on here and petulantly freak out if Alex's review was overtly negative again, because I thought "Bullies" was the best I've seen of The Newsroom since Will MvAvoy's scintillating opening tirade. But I must say these reviews have significantly improved and I'm glad Alex is starting to enjoy this show as much as the rest of us.



What surprised me the most about this episode was that I was enthralled with the characters more than the news stories they covered. That is not what initially drew me to this show. And frankly, the personal relationships and character developments had (key word being had) been the weakest aspect of The Newsroom.



Not Anymore!



I was thoroughly captivated by Will's talk with his (impressive for his age) 29-year-old therapist. I believe we learned more about Will in this talk than any other point we've seen so far. We found out why he is so protective of his staff and the people he cares about. We discovered the full extent of how badly he was hurt when Mac cheated on him. (I especially loved when he was responding to the tired old cliche to just get over it - "fuck you, you're not in my head!" Poignant!) He was willing to go as far as buying an engagement ring to make Mac feel even guiltier about her betrayal (which I thought was deviously brilliant, btw). Will does have a lot of shit going on, so it was great to see him lighten the burden.



And what can I say about Olivia Munn? She has been nothing short of superb and I may have start taking her seriously as an actress.



"Bullies" was The Newsroom at its very finest. Can't wait for next week!
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olivia munn stole this episode, great job by her.
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Loved the Sloan storyline in this episode. But I have to agree that Sorkin needs to work on how he presents his leading ladies - so far they've come of as hysterical and confused most of the time, throwing fits and rants all over the place. I kinda feel insulted on behalf of my gender..
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So many awesome things about this episode:



1) Loved Terry Crews. Definitely agree his convo with Will was hilarious. Loved it.

2) Loved Oliva Munn all episode. Thought she did an amazing job in the scene with Charlie.

3) David Krumholtz, wtb more. I was so happy when he just showed up as the psychiatrist, and I'm really hoping we will see him show up a bit more throughout the season. Hasn't been nearly enough of this man since Numb3rs ended.

4) The scene with Rick Santorum's aide (or whatever he was), was phenomenal. Absolutely loved when he told Will to shut up and let him finish, and just creamed him. Loved it, loved it, loved it.
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Great great episode (best so far). The direction of an in this episode was great. Now, I'm liking every character that is an every episode character. Like after last Sunday, I can't wait for next Sunday.
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Sometimes I feel that these reviews are more an inside look into Aaron Sorkin than the show itself. While I do enjoy these reviews, I think a little pretending that this show isn't Sorkin's own diary and just analyzing the show itself wouldn't hurt.
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i totally agree... though he is the creator of this show, but such kind of shows are not governed by a single mind. Till now, we have seen character building of most of the main cast, but still emily mortimer has not come out of the cocoon of her comfort zone as shown in teasers of the show (as supposed be a strong willful character). what do you think?
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Agree. She seems a bit unreal at the moment. She's the quirky, clumsy, smart ex girlfriend of Will. That's basically the whole description of her. We need to see more.
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I am shocked at how much I like Olivia Munn in this show...that COULD be because my expectations were exactly zero, but she really is knocking every scene out of the park and not doing her normal fake-geek schtick. really showing her chops and I like it.
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To be fair, she is actually a geek in real-life.
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sure she is
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Good review. I agree with most all of it. Munn was indeed terrific.



The thing that gets me now is... I don't know how I feel about the writers being fired. This episode was great. The dialogue was immense, and I was hanging to every word. The show still borders on some silly things like you what you mentioned about the women... I suppose that could be fixed, but other then that, this show is meeting it's high expectations as far as I'm concerned. Plus, amazing acting all around.
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don't worry. When Aaron Sorkin says he fired the "writers", he means he fired the people in the writing room who come up with stories for him. He's the one who actually writes each episode and takes all the credit for himself. Yeah, he's kind of a pompous ass...but he can still write good scripts, so we forgive him.
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Hopefully you're right. And yes, he's a pompous ass, but to be fair, you can't be opinionated without sounding arrogant. It's the price you pay for saying exactly what you think, and that's what Sorkin does. That interchange with the Santorum guy was absolutely devastating for both sides, and that's what makes it amazing. For me anyway.
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had some funny bits but wow this episode got pretty intense



also Olivia Munn... speaking Japanese... while wearing glasses? C'MON!
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This episode is fantastic!!! I literally got chills multiple times this episode and it gave us a lot of Sloan Sabbith whom is one of my favorite characters! Fantastic! One of the best television episodes this whole year. I don't care what anybody says!
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Seing as Olivia Munn is half Asian and grew up in Japan, I don't think it's a coincidence that Sloan is fluent in Japanese.
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Munn won me over in this episode! I like her and want to see more of her!
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Fantastic episode. One of my favourite in the series (the New Years one is still tops for me). I've always loved Olivia Munn but never knew what a capable actress she is. She was incredible in that scene, definitely the highlight of her career so far. I've always LIKED Sloan but now I love her and would really love to see more of her.
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I think I've seen plenty of evidence that she's NOT a capable actress. I found myself wondering if she'd been taking classes recently, but I maybe it was just a fluke.
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"Then again, I want Terry Crews on every show, always and forever. He's the best."



...but he's just so...so...lumpy...



Another wildly uneven episode. Interestingly I ended up liking this one more than hating it, so that's a step in the right direction. Probably my pick for best of the season so far...NOTE: It's no coincidence that this is my pick for best episode and it featured the least amount of "Jaggie" so far this season...that plot-line is plain bob-awful.



Last: The first two seasons of the Sopranos were the only good ones.
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I didn't care for Sopranos at all (just barely better than Dexter, to me), but I'm with you on the rest, even lumpy Terry Crews.
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Another great episode, despite my previous massive hatred towards Olivia Munn (She mixed up Simon Pegg and Nick Frost when asking them questions!) she really won me over in this episode, I had no idea she could kind of act.



Also, still don't agree with you on this shows portrayal of women, I don't see them being written any differently than the non-Will men on the show. And I still don't mind the romance parts.
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I think you could make a case of Maggie being just about the most inept person on television, much less this show. She screws up majorly almost every week...while I don't have a "problem" with the portrayal of women so far on the show I wouldn't say it's been even either...
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I love Sloan the character and the actress, both of which rocked my boat this episode.It shed the light on an issue that most viewers are not aware of, that telling the truth on the air, especially the television air, has to follow very rigid rules. Even an extremely smart and luminescent person as Sloan can be carried away and has finally to resort to a lie to maintain that most illusive notion, face.

there is also here a great lesson of life that goes beyond the series, the very hazy limits between morality and the truth.One would assume (ass of you and me and all that) that telling the truth is always the way to go.Mark Twain said:" When in doubt, say the truth", and that might have worked in the world that immense author lived in, but certainly not in this one. Sometimes, and they are getting more and more numerous by the second, telling a lie is the moral way to go. Ironically, the news is where this is more prevalent and necessary than any other public field, because a truth has to be said on the right time and in the right way.There are many instances and we all will find our own relevance; but what has to be added is that most American networks stop right there.. They equivocate and corporate lawyers will make the right time very difficult to agree upon and most times than not, the truth is somehow lost in a maze that even the best anchor men and newsroom will find a way out of.What makes the best anchors and the best newsroom is precisely that, to find the right time and not allow it to be lost in the maze. Instead it is kept alive, nourished and when all grown-up, made to reveal itself. Sloan is such a person and so is Will. BTW, the name and the adjective are premeditated, you got that?
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I slightly disagree about the truth thing. Though I agree we live in a much more complicated world than there ever has been, I still feel like the truth is always best. Lying rarely leads to good results.
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The truth is best in everyday life and especially with the people who are part of your circle, but what I meant is something else and I was not clear about it. Are Palestinians freedom fighters or terrorists, is creationism or evolution the truth and so on?We are constantly bombarded by facts and pseudo-facts and sometimes, we choose our facts and what is the truth. I hope you know that Creationism is not the truth, but when it comes to Palestinians our "truth" will be relative. Now let us pretend for the sake of argument that you very strongly believe that people have the God given right to bear arms and an accident of life makes you meet in some social event the family of a victim to the current Aurora massacre . Will you tell that person the truth you feel about guns?What I am suggesting is that such situations are more and more happening and that the news which cater to the multitude have a harder time dealing with that issue.A case in point is this episode.
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But your examples don't relate to the show's problem. Your questions are subjective, whereas in the show they knew it was a level 7, but were told to lie about it. They are not the same thing.
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you're right, but the fact of being asked to lie about it is moot. The tsunami vastly destroyed whole region of the Fukushima meltdown and the people were panicking and the majority were being led unto safer havens as fast as was possible. The roof of reactor 3 had already caved in and it was obvious that they were beyond level 5. I admit I have followed the whole story on non-American networks, but I have a nagging doubt that type of conversation had taken place, precisely because as Sloan herself said, the Japanese are culturally subservient and non-committal when it comes to direct orders from superiors and they could not have been expected to say in or out of record that level 7 had been reached.

As for being asked to lie, Will himself acknowledged this as very common if not usual to his shrink at some point, so Sloan was not asked something out of the ordinary. The point I obviously failed to make is that most great journalists find a way to circumvent this but there is a way and method to this and Sloan because she was inexperienced failed.There is certainly no shame in that.
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Now as soon as Charlie mentioned that the numbers for 4 and 7 in Japanese sounded similar, I was confused. Although the kanji for those numbers can be read as shi and shichi, in modern Japanese they are spoken as yon and nana. I was too lazy to go back and actually check the dialogue, but can anyone verify if during the interview they used the alternate reading?

In any case, a very very weak excuse to get her out of trouble. She was obviously quite proficient in Japanese, but somehow misheard the number four for the number seven? Poor Sloan. But yeah Olivia Munn is killing it on this show. She's really funny actually, and also nailing down the dramatic bits.

Sam Waterston angry is easily the best part of this show. So funny. He was literally hopping mad. He bounces when he's furious! So adorable!
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She did mention that but I think the point was they were going to intentionally make a very smart girl look very stupid to protect their interests. That's why she was so against it.
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right, no I know that. But I was wondering for continuity's sake, when they actually spoke Japanese which way they pronounced the numbers.
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I think that aspect was funny because, despite all their haughty posturing, it turns out they're really no better than than basically any other news show on television and are willing to lie to protect their interests.
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