The Newsroom: 3.02 Run
Last week's season three opener was a very fast paced affair, covering the traumatic events of the Boston bombings as audiences were thrown back into the world of ACN. Building on the events of last year, Boston was one of the best episodes yet. This week, Run was a much slower affair, though no less powerful, as it focused on every character over the events of one afternoon and it was arguably one of the best episodes The Newsroom has ever done.
Let's start with Neal, who's wiki-leaks style story line exploded in dramatic style. We began with Neal and Will meeting the always wonderful Rebecca Halliday to discuss the inadvertent espionage committed last week. Marcia Gay Harden's lawyer was one of the highlights of season two's Genoa plot and she was just as great here, her banter with Will was a delight.
Mac met with her FBI friend Molly Levy (another Sorkin alumni Mary McCormack) to tease out the just how dire Neal's situation was and naturally is was far worse than anyone could have imagined.
But before we got to that dramatic cliffhanger, there was so much to enjoy. We were finally introduced to the wild childs siblings Randy and Blair Lansing, who were seeking to sell their 45% inheritance in the company to ACN's rival, and act that would lead to the hostile takeover Sloan alluded to last week. It was interesting to see Chris Messina's Reese Lancing not playing the bad guy this time as he sought to bargain with his half siblings to save the company. Kat Dennings played a more subdued character then we have seen in Thor and 2 Broke Girls and was better for it.
But it was Charlie and Leona that provided the best laughs, Charlie admiring them as children and then forgetting their names before he appealed to their conscience. Of course he failed miserably. Jane Fonda's Leona Lansing entrance was as brilliant as ever, shutting down Randy and Blair's retorts, bribing them with a better offer, throwing them out of her boardroom and then drolly asking for $4 billion to cover the pay off. I'm intrigued to see where this is going to go. We were reminded of Leona's rise to power through her son; is season three of The Newsroom about ACN's eventual fall?
Elsewhere, Maggie continued to grow and grow and she secretly recorded the comments of an EPA worker on the train back from Boston and then argued over the ethics of reporting those comments to the media. She continues to grow as a character and if the show is dealing with the fall of other characters, then this is surely the year she emerges as a successful reporter. She ended the episode with a massive scoop for ACN, if of course other events don't threaten to overshadow that story.
Don and Sloan are just wonderful and have quickly risen to become some of my favourite characters on the show. I mentioned last week that they had become the Josh and Donna of the show and that spark is evidently there. Electric banter, great chemistry and the ability to make the audience laugh. Their brunch session was just what we needed to lighten the mood after the moral debate raging in the ACN offices.
Don accidentally committing insider trading was a gem of a story. If not for Neal's situation, it might have become an 'event' in itself. Better still was their ability to 'out-Don' each other, first Sloan refusing to commit to a meal with his parents and then her 'I love you' fake out to Don.
Only poor Jim seemed to get the short stick story wise. His girlfriend Hallie sent a inappropriate tweet about the Boston bombing on behalf of ACN and was fired as a result. I've nearly really bought into their relationship - particularly now we have Don and Sloan - and for a character that was so prominent in the first season, Jim is fading into the background more and more. John Gallagher Jr. does a fine job...I just don't find anything Jim does that interesting.
But that's a minor quibble. Once everyone came together and the moral debate over whether to break the story over Kundu Provence raged on, this was The Newsroom at its finest. But it was the FBI turning up to raid the ACN news room that gave us some of the most dramatic moments in the show to date. What happens to Neal now that he is on the run is anyone's guess but the final four episodes are sure to be intense indeed.
Is this really is Aaron Sorkin's final contributions to television, he certainly looks set to go out on a high.