The Newsroom, Ep 1.06: “Bullies”
The Newsroom, Season 1, Episode 5: “Bullies″
Written by Aaron Sorkin
Directed by Jeremy Podeswa
Airs Sundays at 10:00 PM ET on HBO
One often overlooked peril with a no-holds-barred approach to journalism is that it takes no prisoners, and often leaves those with the unfortunate task of answering the questions between the unyielding forces of their superiors and the investigators. Human sacrifices become the norm when establishing a larger point, but it’s easy to lose sight of the fact that, while some people deserve the thorough dressing down and associated loss of reputation that comes from intense journalistic questioning, a lot of these people are simply middlemen, and real human beings who often face the consequences of being publicly humiliated while those in power simply find someone else to hide behind. This episode focused on those who end up on the other side of the uncomfortable interviews Will and his coworkers often put people through, and emerged with what may possibly be the best episode of the first season to date.
Just as Dev Patel got his moment in the spotlight last week, this episode put Olivia Munn’s Sloan Sabbith front and centre, giving her a chance to shine, and Munn rose to the challenge. This is a unique role for Munn, her previous acting work having consisted primarily of comedic parts on The Daily Show and Perfect Couples, but in her limited exposure on the show to date, she has managed to effectively carry her own weight, and proven her place among the strong cast of the show. Given one of the main storylines of the week, she did not falter, conveying Sloan’s conflicting emotions in a properly subtle manner, and holding her own against Sam Waterston in a crucial scene. This trend that The Newsroom has established over the past two episodes of fleshing out the supporting players is a welcome step in the show’s ascension, and hopefully it is continued, as it’s bound to lead to further exploration of some of the members of News Night 2.0 who are, at this point, known simply by name.