The Newsroom finale review: Will McAvoy and co. sign off
To quote Jeff Daniels, "I'm Will McAvoy. That was [The] Newsroom. Goodnight." And we don't care what anybody says — you done good, Aaron Sorkin; you done good.
If you are one of those people who has hate-watched The Newsroom for the past three years, then this piece of prose (it just sounds so much nicer than "episode recap") is not for you. Ordinarily, I can take people's criticism of the show. OK, that's a lie; allow me to rephrase. Ordinarily — with the exception of a few gripes that I do actually see some merit in — I tolerate people's criticism of The Newsroom through gritted teeth and clenched fists that I struggle not to use on the most vocal critics.
But today, I'm in a somber mood, and I don't have the energy to explain to the haters why they should pipe down. I don't deal well with season finales; I typically enter a period of mourning and have to take time off from work to deal with my loss. So, consider yourselves privileged that I have selflessly put my own pain and suffering on hold to write this review.
So, I (the Mother Teresa of episode reviews) will cut to the chase and get on with the very important business of giving you the lowdown on the episode's highlights one last time.
Charlie Skinner is gone and I'm still not over it
It appears every limousine and town car in the Tri-State area was deployed to Charlie's funeral. It wouldn't surprise me if no one were in them, and the cars themselves just wanted to pay their respects to the bow-tied newsman — such was the impact of Charlie Skinner.
Mackenzie is baking something, and it's not bread
I don't know about you guys, but I only take calls from ob-gyns at funerals. It's just a personal policy I have. It seems Mac has a similar policy because Charlie's funeral is where she finds out, and then relays to Will, that she's going to be executive producing something other than the news.
Mac and Will (it really was a missed opportunity that throughout the show's run no one came up with a reason to nickname Will "Cheese") finding out they're going to be parents at Charlie's funeral provides a nice juxtaposition of life and death, and I would like to point out that "Charlie" is a name that would be super cute on a baby boy or a baby girl.
The fact that Will's understanding of how pregnancies work seemed to fall out of his head the minute he learned he was going to be a father was hilarious and also gave me the impression that, when the time comes for the baby's arrival, Will is going to be one of those husbands who has to pull over and let his laboring wife drive.
Will McAvoy: Bandleader in more ways than one
Nothing makes me happier than when Broadway alums sing on television, except when I'm watching Broadway alums sing on television, and I'm eating my weight in sugary goodness at the same time. I won't disclose which version of my ultimate happiness took place last night, but I will say that I enjoyed the News Night staff featuring Charlie's grandsons' rendition of "That's How I Got to Memphis" so much that I'm contemplating purchasing a double bass and some wooden stools so I can sit and jam at the same time. This impromptu sing-along also featured Tess with her hand on Gary's back, so obviously they are in a relationship, right?
Also of interest here is that Will's clearly taking this fatherhood thing seriously because he seems extremely keen to practice on Charlie's grandsons. He's kneeling down to child's height and holding hands and everything.
A couple of couples
In case anyone was wondering, Maggie wants to be a field producer and a job in D.C. will put her in line for the White House gig (to be clear, being president is not the White House gig I'm referring to). It was very difficult to ascertain this information on her ambitions from the seemingly endless number of times she disclosed it to Jim. It looks like she'll be in C.J. Cregg's briefing room before we know it, and it's totally cool because Jimbo loves Maggie and is going to make this whole long-distance caper work. Platinum frequent flyer status for everybody!
The best part about Jim and Maggie getting on the same page at long last? Series MVP, Sloan Sabbith, stared into a mirror, and it was wonderful. If a better relationship mediator exists, I'm not aware of it.
Speaking of Sloan and relationships, we were clued into the fact that she has had the hots for Don from the very beginning. We were also briefly reminded why we were so keen to kick Don where it hurts when we first met him. Who'd have thought way back when Don was taking his role as a douche canoe really seriously that this would be the couple we'd be most invested in?
Neal + the internet = 2getha 4eva
As much as I love Sloan and Don together, the truest love affair on this show is the one Neal has with the internet. Upon returning from his sojourn in Venezuela, Neal's first order of business is to restore the good name of his one true love. Honestly, I've never been so happy to see a sad face on a computer. Perhaps Neal's suggestion that an article's focus would be best placed on what is underrated in place of what's overrated was Sorkin sending all the haters a subtle message, as opposed to the very non-subtle ones I have a tendency to send?
Going from gutter bowler to president of a news network is a thing
All hail Mackenzie McHale (that is a very fun thing to say, by the way). Jane Fonda's Leona Lansing got in a real workout this episode — the kind that doesn't involve Lycra or feeling the burn. Unless you're Lucas Pruitt, in which case you got burned. The result of Leona's non-aerobic workout? Mac's going to be literally large and in charge, and her first act is to promote Jim, who apparently has never let her down. Perhaps baby brain is a real thing because Mac seems to have forgotten about that time Jim gave away an interview with Mitt Romney, but we honestly don't care because Mac's words to Jim are the kind of encouraging ones Charlie would have wonderfully bandied around.
And so ends The Newsroom, with everyone going about the business of putting together a newscast they can be proud of. And, as much as I am sad to see it go, a more fitting way to fade to black I couldn't have imagined.