The Newsroom Election Night Part One (Review)


The Newsroom (HBO) tonight premiered the first part of its season-finale, titled Election Night Part One. In it, Operation Genoa is still on the minds of the employees of the newsroom. They have withstood being witnesses, and the call for their resignations, though Charlie (Sam Waterston) still believes that his resignation should be accepted for his role in the whole debacle.

The staff of the Newsroom are back, and in a story written by Aaron Sorkin, they are reporting on the 2012 election night in the presidential election between Romney and Obama.

Will McAvoy (Jeff Daniels) plays the unlikely role as the “director of morale,” though he gets accused by his ex-girlfriend of not being forgiving.

“There’s a mob out there with pitchforks!” Charlie says close to the start of the episode. He is referring to people who would like to see the entire network brought down, or at least, for the news team to pay, because of reporting the false story that the United States used sarin gas on civilians.

There are many topics covered in this episode, one of them being the ongoing legal woes that Jerry’s lawsuit against A.C.N. has caused, and Charlie’s trying to remedy some of the problems by resigning, and having Will McAvoy (Jeff Daniels) resign.

Their resignations are not being accepted by the owner of A.C.N., Leona, though.

“We aired a doctored tape of a fake report,” Charlie said. And, the person who doctored the tape, Jerry, is suing them; but, their lawyer is telling Will and Charlie to not resign.

Also, will says: “I’m not firing anybody.”

Much of the episode is spent with the staff deliberating when certain states can be called for either Romney or Obama, or which state districts can be called for congressional candidates. The Newsroom staff are meeting talking about what they will cover that night.

One other topic in this episode is that of a book being auctioned off that Sloan supposedly signed and inscribed. The bidding on the book went up to $1,000, and that was the winning bid. However, Sloan says she didn’t sign it. She said someone else signed and inscribed the book, and she would like to let the buyer know that she didn’t really sign it.

Then, there’s another controversial topic mentioned about a man running for Congress who has some very twisted ideas about what constitutes rape, and how children are conceived.

Maggie Jordan quotes him and says that he said: “‘Children are conceived by love, and not by rape.'”

The staff talks about who they can call as being the winners in certain districts, and when they should announce Congressmen as winning their districts.


“Reese is having a viewing party on the 44th. floor,” Will tells the lawyer.

She is concerned that they all need to be focused on their legal problems, but Will tells her: “My suggestion is since we can’t do anything now, don’t worry about it until we’re off the air.”

“You look like you were grown in an environment that was dark and damp,” he adds.

Mac tells Will that he’s “a bomb that hasn’t detonated.”

“You feel like I’m a what?” he responds.

“A bomb which hasn’t been detonated,” Mac says.

“I’ve never punished you,” Will says to her, after she accuses him of doing just that.

“How long do you think is the right amount of time?” he asks her at one point in their conversation, as to how long it should be before an ex-boyfriend forgives his ex-girlfriend for going out with another guy.

“Twenty-eight months.”

“You seriously came up with an amount?” Will asks.

“I was kidding,” she responds.

Right before the news goes live, Charlie warns the staff: “It’s critically important that we don’t make any mistakes tonight. Here we go — three minutes!”

Will McAvoy introduces the ACN nightly news and starts making the predictions of which state voted for Romney and Obama.

“Tomorrow’s just an exercise in public shaming,” Charlie tells Reese, still trying to get him to accept his resignation. However, Reese turns him down, though he agrees that he should accept Charlie’s resignation.

“If a news outlet doesn’t have credibilty, it doesn’t matter what else it has,” Charlie tells Reese, and, a bit later, adds: “I think it’s commendable that you want to do the right thing, but it’s not the right thing.”

Reese says that his mother, Leona (played by Jane Fonda), won’t allow him to accept Charlie’s resignation.

Then, McAvoy makes some more calls in the presidential race.

Mac (Emily Mortimer) also asks Neal (Dev Patel) in another part of the episode to fix a Wikipedia page that is faulty.

Jim (John Gallagher), worried about accidentally using the wrong abbreviations of a couple of states, and knowing that Charlie had warned the staff to have an error-free night, also calls a state too soon. He worries about if he’s screwed up too badly, and what Charlie might say afterwards.

These are some of the topics that were covered in The Newsroom Election Night Part One. It seemed to be an abbreviated episode, lasting maybe 40 minutes or so, but it was a pretty good one. Next week’s episode will be the final one of the season, but the good news is that Jeff Daniels has said that HBO has picked up The Newsroom for another season!


Written by: Douglas Cobb

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