It’s the beginning of the end for ‘The Newsroom’ in ‘Election Night, Part 1’, this season’s penultimate episode. The fallout of the Genoa story has hurt the reputation of the ‘News Night’ team, and Charlie is determined to make sure that their election coverage goes off without a hitch. In fact, he has an application for the New York Sanitation Department waiting for the first person who screws up.
Early on in this week’s episode, Don and Maggie learn about a Congressman who has made some questionable comments about women who have been raped. Don contacts the Congressman’s representative and is promised that if Don doesn’t run the story, he’ll get tipped off to something even bigger. Don gives the representative until 8:30 PM to get back to him with the story.
Meanwhile, Rebecca talks to Charlie and Will. Charlie still insists that he needs to be fired. Will, in the meantime, has named himself the “leader of office morale.” Although Rebecca insists that everyone will keep their jobs, she takes time to tell Don that he’s being personally sued by Jerry. Why? It seems that Jerry used Don as a work reference, and when Don got called by a potential employer, he called Jerry a “sociopath.”
Sloan was supposed to sign a book for a charity auction, but someone else signed it for her. She learns from Neal that the winner paid $1,000 for it, so now she feels responsible to track down the buyer. It turns out that Gary Cooper signed the book – in German, even though he doesn’t know the language. His mistranslation actually encourages the owner to burn the book.
The election coverage goes perfectly until Jim realizes that he’s made a mistake and called the state of Missouri when he meant to call Mississippi. Fearing Charlie’s wrath (and not wanting to have to apply for a job as a garbage man), Jim manages to get the result pulled from the airwaves.
Mac gets in a big fight with Will about not being fired over Genoa, which leads to an argument over their past relationship and why Will took so long to forgive her for cheating on him. At the conclusion of the fight, Will relents and agrees to fire Mac as soon as their election coverage has ended.
Don finally hears back from his Congressional contact. He tells Charlie and Mac that the big story is that former General and current CIA Chief David Petraeus will resign due to an extra-marital affair. Charlie reacts by screaming towards the heavens. I’m not sure exactly what he yells, but I know the F-bomb is in there.
After agreeing to fire Mac, Will returns to the air and tells former Mitt Romney aide, Taylor (who has been a special guest for the coverage), not to pull any punches when talking about Will’s politics to the home viewers. In fact, he asks her to “take me apart.”
Most of this week’s show is just set-up for what we’ll see in the season finale. Will Mac really be fired? Will Jim’s error be discovered by Charlie? Will we ever find out what the hell Maggie did to ruin her hair? I’m going to take a guess that the Petraeus story is the one that helps the ‘News Night’ team regain the trust that they lost with the Genoa story. This week’s episode is another solid entry, but ‘The Newsroom’ still needs to finish strong to make up for what has been a rather lackluster Season 2.