The Newsroom, Ep 1.10: “The Greater Fool” stumbles in closing out the season
The Newsroom, Season 1, Episode 10: “The Greater Fool″
Written by Aaron Sorkin
Directed by Greg Mottola
Airs Sundays at 10:00 PM ET on HBO
Season finales are difficult to pull off for any show. The final episode is meant to resolve season-long arcs while still progressing along, or starting, enough story threads to intrigue viewers into tuning in the following season, as well as give each character their due. This is no easy feat for well-established shows, but for shows in their rookie season, it can be doubly difficult to pull off, because the first season finale can often decide the fate of a show. The Newsroom, while not suffering from an uncertain fate, as a second season has been confirmed, still faced these issues going into its first season finale, and unfortunately stumbled a bit in its delivery as a result.
The primary storyline, which involved the fallout from Bryan’s report on News Night 2.0 and the effect it had on Will, was a strong one, and highlighted much of what was good about the show. One interesting avenue Sorkin has explored throughout the season has been the impact that honest reporting can have on individuals, which has added another dimension to what could easily have become a cliché crusade in search of the truth, and Will’s second-guessing of his capabilities is a perfect culmination of the show’s season-long exploration of News Night 2.0′s impact, as well as an interesting way to revisit his shaky self-image. The issues that had previously arisen with the characterization of Mackenzie were also completely absent this episode, as Will’s hospital stay would likely have turned early-season Mackenzie into a sobbing mess, instead of the slightly angry and worried yet assured character that was present this episode. It will be interesting to see how long Will’s negative view of himself will linger, and how Sorkin chooses to look at it in coming seasons. If nothing else, it promises further visits by Will to David Krumholtz’s Dr. Habib, which has yet to be a bad thing.
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