The Newsroom “Red Team III” Review (2×07)

27 Aug


The Newsroom is a show that, in the first season, I simultaneously loved and hated. It was just so absurdly bad that I couldn’t help but feel entertained. However, I must admit, Red Team III is the first episode of the show I unequivocally love. Season 2 has rescued a sinking ship, and this episode is the best of the series.

Why is that? Well, first of all, there are actual stakes. There is actual tension. There is actual character development, and it doesn’t feel contrived. There are certainly plot contrivances, but I’ll get to that later. What this episode does so well is bring every character together as a team, which is something the show should’ve done right off the bat. Each character shares the guilt, the blame, and the repercussions from the Genoa mess, which, by the way, is the best storyline this show has produced. It’s a more unifying, serial storyline that allows for more investment in the show. Anyway, the actors do great work in this episode portraying a group of people steadily spiraling down as things keep piling up and piling up. The shouting match in the conference room is a thing of beauty.

The episode is structured around several deposition scenes, something Sorkin likes to incorporate into his writing. He’s always great at doing that, and this episode is no exception. These scenes are just as riveting as the main plot, and it’s a nice back and forth that he has going, both in terms of the dialogue in these scenes and the cuts between deposition-main plot.

Now, as for the plot contrivances, I was annoyed at the whole shot clock fiasco at first, but I’ve come to realize that it doesn’t take too much away from the plot. It just barely works, and it paves the way for a great scene in the elevator between Mac and Jerry. One scene I really don’t like, though, is that whole parking garage meeting. It feels shoehorned in in a way that scenes in previous, worse episodes have been guilty of. Finally, I also have a few problems with the final scene. The whole resignation non-acceptance stuff is a bit too easy, and while I did love the smash cut to black, it didn’t work for me as a whole.

Ultimately, though, this is a fantastic episode of The Newsroom, and I’m looking forward to the final two.

Grade: A-

Other thoughts:

-Jane Fonda is a delight. The whole Daniel Craig discussion was hilarious.

-Man, I hate Jerry Dantana. I know it’s kind of the point, but man, is he unlikeable or what?

-I get that the crew feels a bit shell shocked after the whole screw up, but the implication that they would have done Benghazi “right” if they weren’t focused on Genoa? Yeah, no.

-Once again, we have Sorkin and his “women in need of some (insert topic) advice” with Mac (insert “sports”). However, I felt that he handled her character better as the episode went on, and in this season in general. It wasn’t too much of a problem here.

Credit to HBO and The Newsroom for all pictures. I own nothing.

2 Responses to “The Newsroom “Red Team III” Review (2×07)”

  1. JustMeMike September 5, 2013 at 4:11 pm #

    Hey Polar Bear – please fix this page, your pictures are not showing up. Thanks.

    • polarbears16 September 5, 2013 at 6:12 pm #

      They’re all showing up for me. Could you check again? Let me know if there are more problems.

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