Warning: Spoilers ahead. This article is a recap of the events that take place during The Newsroom‘s Season 2, Episode 4, “Unintended Consequences.”
This week on The Newsroom, we watched a few big plans start to crumble just as the Genoa tip’s sources began to build. While each character had his or her moments of brilliance this week, it was Maggie Jordan (Alison Pill) and her story that shined the brightest.
When we first saw Maggie during the premiere, we saw a “new” Maggie with hair a few shades shy of “natural” and a rather violent cut. When ACN’s attorney questioned the transformation, Will was quick to jump to her defense. He told the prying, mocking attorney (played by Marcia Gay Harden) that if she went through what Maggie had experienced, she’d kill herself every day. We didn’t learn exactly what that experience was until this week, but we knew it had to do with her trip to Africa.
This week, Maggie and Gary were finally off to Africa and, despite working on a story involving Kony, they were first asked to do a human interest piece on some soldiers as they work to rehab an orphanage. Sounds simple enough, right? Maggie was certainly looking forward to it. And, indeed, they made the most out of their time there. Maggie even bonded with a little boy named Daniel, who insisted she read him the same story over and over again.
They waited too long to leave, and when night fell they were told it was too dangerous on the road at night and they’d have to stay at the orphanage. Late into the night, they heard commotion outside. Rebels tended to raid farms and families for their cattle, killing anyone in their way. So, the orphanage director went outside to tell the raiders they had no cattle and to ask them to be on their way. The men continued to advance, so the director evacuated the orphans onto the buses parked behind the school.
When they all reached the bus, one kid was missing: Daniel. They went back into the orphanage and found Daniel under Maggie’s bed. Scooping him onto her back, Maggie ran back to the bus, but before they got there, the men shot at her, taking out Daniel instead. The little boy died in her arms.
As for the crazy hair? Daniel was obsessed with her hair, playing with and twirling it, mesmerized by the color he’d never seen before. Maggie’s response: “That color is called blond, Daniel, and it’s nothing but trouble.”
How is all this relevant? The attorney is trying to figure out if Maggie is stable enough to be placed on the stand during the investigation and hearing over the story the News Night gang will eventually produce based on the Genoa tip. While Maggie swears it’s no big deal, it clearly is.
As for everyone else…
Neal (Dev Patel) finally convinced Will to spend on-air time chatting with one of the girls from the Occupy Wall Street movement. Once Will (Jeff Daniels) got a hold of her, though, he flayed her as nicely as possible by simply questioning their methods. He drills into them about needing a clearer message, more defined goals and, whether they like it or not, a leader.
The major problem with her skewering though was that by sheer luck the girl also said she knew something involving the Genoa tip/story. Once Will killed it, she wasn’t about to tell. In the course of several hours, the NN team tried to work its magic on her to woo the information out of her. She was headstrong, though, and before long each of them only proceeded to chastise her more.
They got their information, though.
Meanwhile, Jim had a moment of shining idiocy, too. After abandoning the Romney bus with only two other people who believed in his message, MacKenzie (Emily Mortimer) continued to lay into him about the lack of information they were now getting. He finally caught gold while asking the Romney spokesperson his usual bout of questions, including about the recently uncovered racist name of Rick Perry’s ranch. The spokeswoman loses her temper with his badgering and tell him to “f*** off.” Jim got it on tape.
That should be good, right? Right. Except the idiot agreed not to run it if she’d score a 30 minute interview with Romney… for his “rival”/follower, Hallie (Grace Gummer). Not only does the news make it back to a furious Mac, but Hallie finds out the truth behind how she scored the interview, too. Jim is pulled back to New York, but not before being berated (and then kissed) by Hallie.
And that, dear friends, is “all the news that is news.”