The Newsroom Watch: Season 2, Episode 4: Unintended Consequences

Well I was a little more invested in this episode than last week's, even though we sort of knew what was going to happen, right from the get-go. Which is sort of the problem with this season's big narrative device--we know where we end up, in the big picture, so where's the suspense?

This episode opens and closes with Maggie's testimony in what we learn is the wrongful termination suit of Jerry Dantana. And once again, the theme of this episode, as with much of this show as a whole, is that idealism in the world of modern journalism has some really cruddy costs.

Maggie's ambition leads to a heartbreaking mess in Africa; she and Gary are off to cover national security in Uganda lead to a whole bunch of bad decisions, climaxing in an orphanage evacuation in which a child, clasping to Maggie's back, is shot. She opts for the red hair because the kid had been fixated on her blonde tresses. Yikes.

Meanwhile, Neal flounders with Occupy Wall Street when Shelly, his contact there, comes on News Night and is excoriated on-air by Will, which is pretty much what Mac said would happen. In an unlikely turn of events (which happens a lot on this show) Shelly somehow knows a guy with evidence on what happened with Genoa. So, Neal is strapped in with Jerry on this story now. But Will's going for blood almost ruins everything.

In what may be the most hypocritical diatribe on this show to date, Will dismisses OWS as child's play, and extols the virtues of capitalism and market forces as regulating energies. It smacks of "because I said so" bad writing, mostly because OWS is EXACTLY the sort of Don Quixote-style idealism Will should love. In any case, Shelly will probably be back. I like her. She didn't hold her own this episode, but I'm hoping we'll get a dressing-down of Will driven by her in a week or two.

And finally, Jim and Hallie progress with a poolside smooch. He blackmails Romney's press rep into granting him a 30-minute interview, and then just gives it to Hallie...for no discernible reason beyond liking her. Professional journalists, folks. So, that grants him a kiss. Mac finds out, of course, and summons Jimbo back to New York.

And in the bookend at the deposition table, we learn that Jim's return will require him to testify as to Maggie's mental state, for some reason. Because estranged crushes and sorta-direct-superiors are asked to do that thing from time to time, and Jim is TOTALLY a reliable source for this info. There's sarcasm dripping here, folks.

So, a little less overt sexism this week. Here's hoping for further moves on that front in seven days.

Here's a little preview of what we have to look forward to this season, courtesy of the full Season 2 trailer.