Well, we’ve reached the end of the first season and I’m still coming to terms with the fact that the episode wasn’t titled “What Kind of Day Has it Been” as every other first season finale of every Sorkin show to date has been. For the record, I don’t hate the title, “The Greater Fool.” In fact, I really like the concept and what it represents. It’s perfectly fitting for the show. What I don’t like, is that it’s not “What Kind of Day Has it Been.” I completely understand why it wouldn’t necessarily work (you know, seeing as the episode didn’t take place over the course of a single day.), but it still rankles me. For your reading pleasure I’ve left my all-caps freak-outs that I wrote out in my notes. There are… quite a few.
We start the episode with Lonnie, Mac and a door guard searching Will’s apartment. Someone saw him go in, but never come out. (There’s a joke in there somewhere.) Lonnie finds a trail of blood, one that starts at the New York Magazine sitting on his desk and leads to his body, shirt bloodied, crumpled in front of the toilet. After being rushed to the hospital, the doctor says that his stomach was bleeding because he self-medicated with antidepressants. Lonnie knows that Will takes antidepressants, but Mac didn’t. She’s upset she missed that development, though she did contribute knowledge of old college injuries.
As you probably guessed from the bloodstain on the magazine, it was the Mark Brandanawicz Story that spurred Will to act out. In the hospital, Mac fusses over him, saying the story was bullshit, but he’s pretty sure she’s blowing smoke up his ass; he thinks all of the critics are right. He doesn’t think he’s coming back. Mac does what she needs to, and beats him over the head with a magazine.
While Will’s bedridden, Mac tries to keep him entertained (no, not like that) so when Jim comes to visit she interrogates him about the office. Mac then makes an analogy I find delightful; she says if Jim doesn’t get his shit together and win over Maggie then he’ll end up like Mac and Will – a vibrant woman and a shell of a man on the cusp of death. She then points to Will, still hooked up to half a dozen machines and tubes.
Whenever Mac finally abandons her vigil at Will’s bedside, the tabloid bitch from ACN approaches Mac saying she has a source that Will was high on the air the night of the bin Laden story. It’s an unimpeachable source and if she finds another one she’ll have to go to press immediately.
That unimpeachable source? Will McAvoy himself. The night of the bin Laden broadcast, Will left a message on Mac’s voicemail that started, “I’m not just saying this because I’m high…” But Mac never got that message. That’s because someone from ACN hacked her phone, heard it, and promptly deleted it before she could hear it.
This spurs Will to get back to work. They do a news show about religion having no place in government, despite what the Republicans are saying. He pulls up proof from the founding fathers and the Constitution, citing the fact that on multiple occasions the founding fathers made it very, very clear that neither Christianity nor any other religion had a place in the government. I’ve been trying, to no avail, to make that same argument since I learned it in 6th grade social studies, but I appreciate Will’s coverage nonetheless.
At the office we find out that Sloan got a job offer. Don uses that as a foot in the door to ask her how he should go about asking Maggie to move in with him. She tells him that somewhere along the way, someone told him he was a bad guy and he thinks he is even though he’s not. So he’s compensating, doing what he thinks a good guy would do, asking a sweet, wholesome girl that he likes to move in with him even though he doesn’t love her. And then THIS happens:
Maggie and Lisa meet up for dinner, and Maggie’s a shit-stirrer, so she stirs shit up, saying that Don doesn’t think Jim was at the door for Lisa at all. And I can’t help but get angry that 1) Maggie is that girl, the one who hides behind “Don says…” and, 2) it took me this long to figure out she’s that girl and get so upset about it. I wanted so very much for you to be better than this, Maggie.
So Lisa leaves and Maggie storms off in a huff and gets splashed by a bus. Whatever, happens to the best of us. But it’s not just any double decker, touristy, hop-on-hop-off tour bus, oh no. It’s a Sex & The City Bus. (Sidenote: What is it about freshman HBO shows and SATC? First Girls, now Newsroom?) And Maggie delivers another one of her perfect rants. For a girl who can’t get anything together, she delivers some pretty spot-on speeches. Because, seriously, there’s no way Carrie Bradshaw is making that much bank off an 800 word column in a paper that no one’s ever heard of. She goes on to rave that, unlike in SATC, “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 I couldn’t help but laugh at the tourists who were taking pictures of Maggie during her melt-down.
OH SHIT, Jim was on the bus. He had wanted to do something nice for Lisa, to show that he was interested in what she cares about. I literally hid in my shirt at this point like a terrified turtle. When Maggie takes off, I yell at her like she’s Forest Gump. But then I realize what could be happening and am happy when she resurfaces because by then Jim has rushed off the bus and they started making out and everything was great. Once they hit this point they should basically never stop, right? I think we can all agree on that. I can put aside my anger with Maggie for being such a mouse, and get over the fact that Jim pined for her for so very long and blindly hope that they go home together. But, for some strange reason that doesn’t happen! I seriously start to wonder if the show’s trying to kill me at this point. Instead, Jim and Maggie agree the other each needs some sleep. It’s obvious Maggie wants that sleeping to be together. And even though they go to their respective homes, I still have all of the FEELINGS.
NOOOO. No, nope. Shut it. I hate so VERY much that Don asked Maggie to move in with him. The timing was for shit and it just continues with the theme of what Jim had just asked, “What would you be doing if Don had committed to you.” And then Maggie, feeble mind that she is, thinks its great and perfect and that all is well in the world. Even though she showed up with a speech clearly ready to give the “this isn’t working out” speech.
Have I mentioned yet that I love Sloan? She turned down $4 million a year to try and report some real news so she implements a new rule: from now on, she and Don will avoid each other as much as possible and not even make eye contact. I like her standards and her gumption. I never would have expected it, but she turned out to be one of my favorite characters.
Back in the world of news, Charlie tells Deep Voice he can’t be a major part of the ACN wiretapping story because his record wasn’t squeaky clean. Charlie’s sorry, but he can’t use the material. Solomon Hancock killed himself the next day, jumping off the Queensboro Bridge.
There’s a girl in the newsroom that looks familiar. She’s been in the room all day, she’s applying for an internship. “She looks exactly like…” Will says before realizing that she’s SORORITY GIRL! She’s the one from the Northwestern and she wants to be a Greater Fool. It’s adorable. Will is also a greater fool, so he tells Mac to hire her.
Lonnie and Neal roll into Will’s office. Lonnie makes Neal confess that he was on the message boards, trying to smoke out the original death-thretener. It doesn’t work, Will racks up another 100 death threats which means… MORE LONNIE!
SHE STILL HAS IT! Mac, she still has the pad of paper saying, “It’s not. But it can be.” FEELINGS.
“You’re melting now, aren’t you? Your heart is full. Just say what you’re feeling.”
“Why the FUCK didn’t you tell me?”
“Thirteen months ago was the right time!”
So then we see the dumb-fuck tabloid reporter who has a copy of the voicemail Will left Mac. He rambles adorably for a minute and says that, “I never stopped -” AND YOU KNOW HE WAS GOING TO SAY ‘LOVING YOU!’ You know it, I know it, the only person who doesn’t know it is the reporter because she is a Grade A bitch (like, Sadie in Awkward., bitch) and deleted the message. I really want to cunt-punch her. I am so angry about this. It honestly lead to me screaming at the TV, citing her as one case of dozens as to why I hate people.
Season-finale Don Quixote count: 3
Notable & Quotable
- Multiple times throughout the episode Mac calls Will “Billy.”
“You’re coming back if I have to chop you up, put you in a duffel bag, and reassemble you at the desk.” Mac, to Will
“Don is asking Maggie to move in with her which is great for Don and the world. They put fresca in the vending machines.” Jim, to Mac and Will
“I accidentally gathered the wrong rosebuds.” Jim, to Mac
“Call your parents once in a while, it’s really not that hard.” Charlie, to Jim
“Coward-assed, pussy-assed pussified pussies.” Charlie, to Will
Did the finale give you as many all-caps FEELINGS as it gave me? Are any of you as upset as I am that we barely got to see Neal? Are you also wondering if the theme of S2 will be “Camelot”? And lets hope that next season we will get a resolution to some of that sexual tension will be resolved next season. I mean, seriously? Jim and Maggie kissed ONCE. The only fucking going on this whole season was of the eye-variety. Just saying. Other than that, I thought it was a pretty decent freshman season. Obviously there’s room for improvement (misogyny! Isn’t it hilarious?) but I have faith. So hit the comments and tell me what you thought, I really am curious. And that about does it for me. I’ll be on hiatus recap-wise until fall shows start up and then you’ll find me here, recapping Parks & Recreation as well as The Mindy Project. If those don’t float your boat, I’ll be on Twitter, @MollytheGhost ranting and raving about the dozen other fall shows I try and keep up with.