- Title: The Newsroom – Bullies
- tv.com: link
“What could possibly go wrong?”
After a couple of on-air snafus Will (Jeff Daniels), who has been battling insomnia for several nights, shows up to a therapy season with a shrink he’s been paying for regular weekly seasons for years (he just hasn’t bothered to show up for the last four). When he finally shows up to his appointment he discovers Abe’s son Jacob (David Krumholtz) has taken over the practice after his father passed away two years ago.
One of the things brought up in the session is the fact that Will has received what ACN believes to be a credible death threat after doing a story comparing the evils done in the name of Christianity to that of Islam and employing a third-party verification service to verify commenters name, age, occupation, and level of education on the News Night webpage.
Given her contacts at TEPCO and ability to speak Japanese Sloan (Olivia Munn) takes point on a story focused on the possible nuclear shut-downs and meltdowns caused by the 2011 Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami. When Elliot (David Harbour) is unable to go on at 10pm Don (Thomas Sadoski) asks Sloan to fill-in that night but gets into serious trouble when she takes Will’s advice to go after the truth on-air.
With the tabloid fervor of Will not letting up Charlie (Sam Waterston) orders opposition research which leads to Will making an unusual purchase to prove a point to Mackenzie (Emily Mortimer). Will is also feeling guilty for bullying a gay-black Rick Santorum campaign supporter (Damon Gupton) on the air for his willingness to support a man who thinks he’s immoral and deviant because of his “chosen lifestyle.”
There’s quite a bit going on in this episode that comes from the fallout of Mackenzie and Charlie pushing Will into full attack mode which leads to some much-needed personal reflection for the network’s number-one anchor. The Sloan story was well-handled, as was the last-minute make-good Charlie came up with to save not only Sloan but the career of her friend in Japan. I doubt we’ll ever get a full session in the therapist’s office again, but the format worked very well for the story and I’d be lying if I said it wasn’t good to see Krumholtz back on television.