Newsroom finale time, everybody! And we all know what happens in HBO finales! Death (see last season's Boardwalk Empire shocker) and weddings (see the end of Girls' first season), so we're amped for at least one shocker tonight. Since last week's episode ended with Will McAvoy's life being threatened again, it's only right that this one starts with Will's bodyguard and Mac frantically running around his apartment, searching for him. Gasp! Is he... dead?
No. But he is eventually found collapsed on his bathroom floor after apparently puking blood. A hospital doctor tells Charlie, Mac, and that bodyguard fellow we like so much that Will's incident of grossness occurred because he's been taking too many anti-depressants and combining them with alcohol. Mac's brow gets all furrowed like a hamster who's run out of water.
The show skips forward eight days to August 8, 2011 and we see Will covering a story about new voter ID laws that will effectively exclude working class folk from being able to vote. Of course, this means he's going to live after the Pukey McPukerson incident. We are a teeny bit disappointed.
Cut back to seven days earlier and Jim is asking his colleagues if they know anything about Sex and the City because he is attempting to show an interest in Lisa's interests (they got back together last week, in case you missed it). Neal suggests Jim take a Sex and the City tour. Is it just us, or is HBO way too proud of Sex and the City? It's like they have to bring it up in every new show they air. References in Girls (as well as a huge-ass poster) were abundant, and now this? Little bit shameless if you ask us ...
Will wakes up in the hospital to a beating from Mac who's angry with him for being depressed. The two discuss the less than favorable article that was just written by Mac's ex (who she cheated on Will with years ago). Will quotes it word-for-word and announces that he doesn't think he wants to go back to presenting News Night
. "You're coming back if I have to chop you up, put you in a duffle bag and reassemble you at the anchor desk," Mac says.
Mac meets with annoying TMI
tabloid reporter Nina Howard, who asks Mac if Will was high on the air the night bin Laden was killed. The answer to that is "yes," but Mac denies it. Nina says if she can find a second source to confirm it, she'll have to go to press with it. She also says she's giving Mac a heads up because she feels bad about the sleazy nature of her job (which makes absolutely zero sense, given how gung ho she's been about it every other time we've seen her). "Make sure I don't find a second source," Nina says.
Charlie and Mac consult, then Charlie goes to meet his NSA whistleblower, Solomon Hancock, who denies all of the credibility-smashing claims that were revealed about him last week. He claims it's merely retaliation for revealing a widespread bugging scandal at the NSA. (He also claimed last week that TMI
magazine uses wiretapping and bugging to source stories).
Back to five days earlier ... Okay, we're getting confused now. Where the hell are we? And Sloan Sabbith is getting off air and quizzed by Don, who suspects she's been offered a job elsewhere. She expresses concern that Will might not come back. "Friday will be my last day," she says. So Don tells her he's going to ask Maggie to move in with him. Makes perfect sense! Then this ridiculous conversation gets worse. Sloan suggests Don is only committing to Maggie because he wants to be "a nice guy." He asks Sloan why she's still single. Sloan says it's because Don never asked her out! Where the hell is this coming from? "Caught you off guard, didn't I?" Sloan says. Um, yes. All of us.
Back in the hospital, Jim and Mac are visiting Will. Mac steals one of Will's pillows and beats Jim with it when he shares the news that he and Lisa are back together and Don is asking Maggie to move in with him. "Please go back to work," Will tells Mac. Back in the office, Jim breaks the news to Charlie that Solomon Hancock has killed himself. Charlie's super bummed. Then Will's on air ranting about the tea party again which means we've had a time jump again.
Neal believes he's found the person sending Will death threats, in a chatroom. Charlie gives him permission to investigate further, before hitting the hospital to call Will a "pussified pussy" and to introduce him to an angry nurse who's aggravated that her great aunt can no longer vote because of the new Republican-favoring voter ID laws.
Then, kind of out of the blue, Will asks Mac if she told anyone else about the message he left her after the bin Laden broadcast, in which he admitted to being high. "I never got the message!" yells Mac. "Because your phone was hacked and they deleted the message," says Charlie wisely, while, The Who's "Baba O'Riley" begins playing in the background to soundtrack the fact that Will is about to leap out of bed triumphantly and go back to work. Cue news montage!
Maggie tells Lisa that the night she and Jim got back together, Jim may not have gone to the house for that reason. Lisa leaves. Maggie chases her and gets splashed by a Sex and the City
tour bus. Ordinarily, we'd complain about self-promotion from HBO again, but Maggie chases the bus and yells at all those silly women on board with a rant that is, well, awesome.
"I'm a typical single woman in New York City!" she screams. "I don't wear heels to work because the typical woman's job doesn't exclusively involve gallery openings. And I know Carrie must have made boat loads from writing her 800 word column for a newspaper no one's ever heard of! But I just spent my last $7 having a fight with my best friend, who, by the way, is not available at 3 p.m. on a work day to console me about some guy because she too has a job. And mostly when you fall for a guy and he's going out with your best friend, it doesn't work out! Things get really bad!"
And then it happens -- Jim stands up. He's on the bus. He heard the whole thing. Like we said: awesome. Jim's jaw drops, Maggie runs, Jim gives chase and then they kiss. We're so relieved, we actually shout "Finally!" at the T.V. Then Jim does the dumbest thing ever and says "I'm with Lisa and you're with Don" and puts Maggie down. If we knew these people in real life, we would punch them both in the face.
Back to Will complaining about the lack of separation of church and state in government on News Night
Maggie arrives at Don's all worked up, with a prepared speech about not being his "midnight girl," to find him waiting with roses and candles and a key in a box, asking her to move in. She goes doe-eyed for a second and sends a call from Jim to her voicemail. Man, this woman is fickle.
Charlie, Mac, and Will meet with Leona and her phone-tapping son, Reese, so she can accuse Will of being high on the air. Will admits it ("Could not feel my face"). Leona fires him. Charlie points out that if she does that, her son is "going to jail for a little while" and pulls out an envelope that he claims is full of evidence sent to him by Solomon before his suicide. It apparently proves that Mac was one of many people being hacked by TMI
. Reese admits he ordered hacking, his mother is aghast. Charlie reveals that he is recording the conversation. "Leona, you're one of us," Charlie says. "Stand for something. Let's do the news. You and me."
"Will, don't shoot and miss," Leona states firmly as Mac, Will, and Charlie leave smugly. Leona realizes immediately afterwards that there is no evidence in the envelope, only a recipe for beef stew.
Sloan reveals to Will that she is staying at the show (surprise, surprise), before telling Don she is "mortified" about revealing her feelings for him earlier. Don and Maggie kiss in the news room, Jim looks like a wounded puppy (enough with this, already!). Mac tells Will that "Maggie's with the wrong man" but Will rebuffs with "It's not gonna last."
Neal reveals that his online experiments to find the person threatening Will's life has resulted in a hundred more death threats. The bodyguard is reinstated. Yay!
Two minutes later, Mac is interviewing a new potential intern who just happens to be the girl who asked the stupid "What makes America the greatest country in the world?" question that caused Will's public meltdown in episode one. The girl convinces Will she wants to be a part of the show and he is immediately swayed. "Hire her," he demands.
The episode ends with Nina Howard destroying the voicemail in which Will reveals that he's high, and Will looking wistfully out of a car window for a while. So, no death. No wedding. But still, a solid enough conclusion to this season that we'll definitely tune in for the next one. Also, we predict Leona Lansing will become a far more favorable character next season. That is all.