‘The Newsroom’ season 2, episode 2 review: Thomas Sadoski’s finest work yet

The NewsroomFollowing this paragraph, we’re really not going to say anything else negative about “The Newsroom.” So if you are looking to read one of those classic snarky reviews from a TV critic bashing the show and using that deplorable term “hate-watching,” go somewhere else.

What we had with “The Genoa Tip” was an episode that did occasionally deal with problems that were small-scale in the grand scheme of things, but important to these characters; and then, you add to that the large scope of the news that these same people covered this week, and the mixture created an excellent hour of television that has to be a top-five episode of the series thus far.

The biggest victory for the entire hour goes to Thomas Sadoski’s Don, a man who is often misinterpreted to be a jerk, a heel, and a guy without a heart. His feelings towards the Troy Davis case proved those titles wrong this week, as he was clinging towards the hope of justice almost as a way to wash away his own heartbreak. Yes, having a girlfriend cheat on you and a man dying are separate things, but he was searching for emotional replacement. Instead, he felt more loss, and the pain on his face was palpable. This episode marks Sadoski’s finest performance to date, and proof that we all need a little more Don in our lives.

It was also a particularly strong episode for Olivia Munn as Sloan tried to help Maggie solve her YouTube crisis, only for it to completely blow up in her face when it led to Maggie being humiliated further, to the point where Lisa finally saw the video. While we’re glad that there were no flash-forwards this week, we are glad now that we know that Maggie’s entire life is slowly unraveling. It prepares us for what is coming next for her in a trip to Africa that will go terribly awry, in part thanks to a combination of ambition and shortsightedness.

Finally, this episode brought us a great Will McAvoy story, and one of Jeff Daniels’ better post-“America is not the greatest country in the world anymore” speeches. He freed Neil using his own past experience as a prosecutor, the same power he did not use to cover Troy Davis. Was there any guilt there? Maybe, but there was certainly pain over missing out on the 9/11 coverage based on his comments about the Tea Party.

We know that Aaron Sorkin went back and re-did these first two episodes after they first filmed, knowing that they could be better. After watching this installment play out, we are thrilled to say that this was the right decision without a doubt. An excellent hour of television as a whole, and one that has us eager for next week.

As always, we welcome your take with a comment below, and you can read some more news pertaining to “The Newsroom” over at the link here.

Photo: HBO

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