This is it! The Genoa episode! Finally we will discover what happen and how suddenly what appeared to be a true big story crumbled. With this episode the Newsroom not only reveals itself as an ambitious show ready to create incredible story like that but reveals itself as one of the most well-written drama show on air right now.
The first 15 minutes of the episode is a mix between the flash forward with interrogations of the News team by Rebecca and the Red Team final meeting in which Will is present. They review all the evidences they have including the general’s interview. Don wonders why the interview was made in front of the game and Jerry uses some excuse about the frame. The two questions: should they run this story and how will Will react? Surprisingly he doesn’t have any reaction while they’re listening to the videos or explaining the army used sarin gas. It happens that Will heard the same story a couple of months ago so he actually knew since the beginning. Around the table Sloan, Jim and Don still refuse to run the story for various reasons; to protect the army, for the consequences of such a revelation…etc even Neal seems to be doubtful about it. But the final decision has to come from someone else: Will. He is the one who gave the green light.
They made a special news show, everything happens as planned and they’re even successful. Charlie tells Will they had 5.8 million viewers which is what Will calls “I love Lucy” numbers. But soon after the end of the show, Charlie got a call from the general who is furious. “We start at 9:00pm. At 10:05pm we knew we had a problem” Charlie said in last week’s episode. This is what he was talking about.
Later, Mackenzie stops by Will’s office and they have a funny conversation about football games and time on the screen. Yeah it sounds a bit useless, but you remember what was playing on the general’s TV?
The DoD finally comments after a couple of days: “We are considering any and all legal remedies available to us, including under the espionage act. In the interim, we will begin declassifying documents to prove the falsities of ACN’s claims.”
Back to Sloan’s interview, she explains Rebecca Charlie organized a meeting with everyone to know if they still stood by the story. All say yes including Jim who instead of saying “I told you so!” decided to support Mac.
Elliot’s show aired Monday night during which he interviews on live Eric Sweeney. But the interview starts to get ugly when Sweeney says he had a “traumatic brain injury”. A meeting is set up immediately with the whole news team. Jerry is still defending his story and Sweeney, “He didn’t tell us about the TBI because he didn’t think we’d believe his story.”/“Is that another way of saying he wanted to tell the Genoa story so badly that he lied?” Jim asks both for Sweeney and I think also for Jerry. But a important news came out suddenly from Maggie. She revealed she wasn’t in the room during the General’s interview. Sloan, Don and Elliot start to fight about the Sweeney live interview but Charlie stops them. He tells the team he’s leaving for DC to talk to his source. Meanwhile, the whole team has to go through everything they have about the story again and again so Will can say “we stand by it” on the next News Night show.
Back to Jim’s interview, Rebecca is implying that Mackenzie knew there was a problem in the story because it was only once they found Valenzuela that Charlie was all right with run the story. Valenzuela made the difference.
Mackenzie is afraid she might have led Valenzuela. Will says he read the pre-interview transcripts and thinks she didn’t. He is supporting her even if she points out Valenzuela doesn’t raise one original fact in his interview.
At the same time, Charlie discovers his source lied to him as a form a revenge. In a parking garage the two men meet and there Charlie discovered the source’s son worked for ACN as an intern but he was fired after posting political comments on the internet. Because Charlie didn’t prevent the firing – and is still standing by the decision – the source decided to have his vengeance.
September 11, 2012, the news team is working on the Cairo/Libya protest when Mackenzie receives a clock set at 3:50 from a random guy. And suddenly her conversation with Will comes back to her and she rushes to the control room to check Stomtonovich’s interview. The shot clock jumps from 19, to 3, to 2, to 14. Mackenzie confronts Jerry telling they have to retract the story but Jerry continues to say the general said “It happened” before the interview and that Maggie heard it even if she is fucked up right now.
Mackenzie goes into Will’s office holding back tears “We have to retract Genoa tonight. All of it.”
Actually we learned that Sweeney was correct about the mopp suits, but in fact it was in case the enemy had chemical weapons. The white phosphorus was to mark the target. “It was an institutional failure.”
Charlie, Will and Mackenzie meet Leona Lansing ACN CEO coming from a party at the MET where she obviously had some champagne. Charlie announces her that everyone is resigning, but Leona refuses. “You will resign when I fire you out of petty malice and not before.” Rebecca enters telling that they’ll need a good lawyer. Charlie angrily points out they don’t have the trust of the public anymore.
“GET IT BACK,” Leona orders them.
So, this may not be the end for the News Team….