Last night, The Newsroom aired its first season finale and things could’ve gone better. “The Greater Fool” sews up a few major plots in a neat little bow.  It also highlights the things that should disappear from News Night forever. Can the series end on good terms if it tries its damndest to prove how bad it can be?

The Players:

  • Director: Greg Mottola
  • Writer: Aaron Sorkin
  • Cast: Jeff Daniels, Emily Mortimer, John Gallagher Jr., Alison Pill, Thomas Sadoski, Dev Patel, Olivia Munn, Sam Waterston, Terry Crews, Kelen Coleman, Jane Fonda, Chris Messina, Stephen Henderson, Hope Davis

Episode Title: “The Greater Fool”

Nina Howard shocks Mac with a tidbit that could be Will’s undoing. Neal attempts to unravel the mystery of the death threat, while Sloan mulls over a new job offer. Elsewhere, Mac, Charlie and Will finally face off with Reese and Leona.  Tread lightly, major spoilers ahead.

The Good:

  • Chemistry: All season, Sloan and Don’s scenes have been a rewarding sight. And a possible coupling has been hinted at a time or two. The idea of them actually joining forces is almost comforting.
  • Job Security: After playing, and perhaps over-playing the clip of Leona Lansing firing Will, it wasn’t a surprise that he didn’t actually get cut. At least the team will be able to stick around for another year.

The Bad:

  • The Article: Picking Mac’s ex-boyfriend to write the first article about the radical new direction of News Night didn’t work out as planned. Shocker (not really)!
  • The Sorkin Bow: While everyone expects a bit of conflict resolution in a finale, things worked out a bit too well. Mac just happens to carry around the notebook with the notes she wrote Will at Northwestern University (15 months after the fact). Sorority Girl, also from that same speech, has been so moved by the content of News Night, she wants to become a greater fool too! Let’s not forget Hancock’s odd beef stew remark ended up clinching a victory for the team against the 44th floor. It’s almost laughable that the show would end on such a ridiculously romanticized idea. But it’s not nearly as bad as every lead coming from a convenient close relationship between someone on the team and a key source. Score a zero for believability.
  • For the Love of Nothing: After dragging out the triangle with Will and Mac’s potential reconciliation, we got no romantic resolution whatsoever. If that’s not bad enough the Don/Maggie/Jim triangle morphed into a quadrangle when Sloan confessed her feelings for Don. Since the season ends with everyone still blindly ignoring their proper significant other, it’s like nothing’s been gained.
  • The Women: As if interrupting a meeting to gauge the collective knowledge of Sex and The City isn’t ludicrous enough, The Newsroom eviscerates the beloved comedy, in the way it did Real Housewives.  This time they made sure to have a woman [Maggie] do the real work, but the idea was the same. Women’s television is stupid. The rest of the episode was chocked full of the usual misogynistic devices; women walking into walls, unable to carry simple jokes, and general ridiculousness — again.
  • The American Taliban: Taking a final pot shot at the Tea Party will do nothing to alter the thought that this show is an outpost for Sorkin’s left leaning beliefs.  Perhaps, next season they’ll get around to criticizing someone outside of the Republican Party?


The Newsroom managed to end with a soupcon of respect. The season was full of ups and downs, but as a whole, it made a good mark on the viewing public. The show’s future rests firmly on its ability to highlight the good and do away with all the headaches critics have been complaining about. Whether that’s a possibility is an argument for next season.

Rating: 5/10

The Newsroom airs Sunday nights at 10:00 p.m. on HBO.

What did you think of the episode?