The Newsroom Season 3 Episode 4 recap

Go big or go home is a cliché because it’s redundant. It’s assumed that if you’re not going big, you are going home. Ergo, just go big. No matter what. No matter what comes before, whether your show is cancelled and doing only six episodes this season, just blow the roof off.

So yeah, if you’re going to have a big crazy ‘this whole courtroom’s out of order’ plus a wedding, why not? Go all the way! Big, romantic montage. I mean of course you’re going to score it to Ave Maria, you’re not an idiot, right? If you’re going to have Charlie Skinner say something inappropriate to B.J. Novak, who really should start to worry if he’s ever asked to play a character non-smug, make it the biggest most embarrassing thing he can say!

Hell, I even had time for a Charlie-Sloan caper because it was a little balm on my soul relative to when he shamed her last year, and I feel some sort of deferred schadenfreude-satisfaction on Sloan’s part that he needs her so much. Plus, as I said last week, there’s no accounting for taste where liking Sloan and Don are concerned, but they kind of amuse me. As a sidebar, did the end of the whole ‘they’re out to get us’ subplot turn out to be “Be nice to people in HR, they’re bored?”

Oh, and Marcia Gay Harden looks fierce in every scene she’s in. And Mackenzie, referred to in my house exclusively as “Weee-eeee-eeelll” because that’s how she says McAvoy’s name, is much, much, much more solid than she’s been in past years, especially when she gives Clea DuVall sh-t for not trusting in ACN absolutely.

But the machinations of all the people that turn out to be wrong for Jim and Maggie so they can each figure out that the other is so incredibly right are just exercises on how people are dicks, and it’s not ideal. 

So Jim can’t deal with the fact that Hallie now works for Carnivore, and of course, it’s not that he wants her not to work. If she were at home working on the Great American Novel he’d be telling her she was losing her passion. If she got a job at a women’s magazine she’d be contributing to the dumbing down of society AND be anti-feminist. Hell, there is no job in the media that Hallie could take, save for the one she just left, that would pass muster with Jim.

But the thing is that on another show, dare I say on a better show, he would hate this about himself. He would know that he was a sh-t and not really be able to do anything about it, but hate it and self-flagellate as a result. But because she’s not sorry? Because she doesn’t, like Sloan, make a mistake and then immediately feel terrible and run off to fix it? Well then we can’t feel sorry for Hallie. Instead the camera stays on Jim. Because he knows he’s about to be a dick but cannot help himself? Not yet.

So even in its final nights the show can’t help but be too clever by half, and all we can do is project forward and know that the Maggie they’re now showing on television will soon be able to tell the Jim they’re showing exactly where to unpack his issues and where to shove them, in short order. So…progress.

And yes, Irish stoicism is both irritating and sexy.