‘The Newsroom’ Recap: Save Neal Sampat!

The Newsroom is back for its third and final season, and, with only six episodes left in the series, Aaron Sorkin is making each one count.

“Boston” found ACN jumping through hoops trying to keep up with the breaking news of the Boston Marathon bombing while Sloan Sabbith (Olivia Munn) and Neal Sampat (Dev Patel) chased their own stories on the side.

First, Mac (Emily Mortimer) and Will (Jeff Daniels) are still happily engaged and arguing about bridesmaids and groomsmen – Mac has nine bridesmaids (looks like someone finally got some female friends), but Will only has four guys he feels comfortable asking to stand up with him. Mac suggests Brian Williams, but Will shoots that down – he’s worried Mac will ditch him for Bri-Wills at the altar. Their pre-marital bickering is interrupted when Mac spots an explosion on one of the monitors – a bomb went off at the finish line of the Boston Marathon.

Elliot (David Harbour) asks to go to Boston, his hometown, to cover the story, but they’re short a producer to accompany him. In a quick meeting with Mac and Will, Jim (John Gallagher Jr.) suggests Maggie (Alison Pill). She’s ready for this, he says, and, even though Will doubts Maggie’s abilities after her breakdown last season, he consents and Maggie is off to Boston with Elliot. Once there, she nails it and is even able to uncover the reason why CNN got bad information on the possible arrest of a Boston Marathon bomber. Then, she doesn’t quite nail it when she feeds Elliot a walnut-laced chicken salad. Elliot, who is allergic to walnuts, is incapable of doing the news with a swollen tongue, and, with little to no time to air, he tells Maggie she’s going to have to go on the air. Maggie goes on live air…and NAILS it like a boss. Charlie (Sam Waterston), Mac and Jim watch in awe from the control room. Jim is, most definitely, more than a little turned on by Maggie’s confidence on air.

Meanwhile, Neal is chasing what could be a groundbreaking story after receiving an email asking him to boost up his encryption (and some other internet/web speak I don’t understand). Long story short, he’s being contacted by an anonymous source who wants to give him a heap of classified documents. Once he does, Neal sees it and reports it to Charlie, Will and Reese (Chris Messina). As he is recounting his discoveries to his bosses, he realizes he made a crucial error: he asked his source to send him more classified documents as a way to make sure he was legit. This means he essentially encouraged his source to commit a crime, and he could be tried for espionage.

(Let us all take a moment to appreciate what great acting Dev Patel has done throughout the two seasons of The Newsroom. His work in this episode was sublime, especially in the climactic scene when Neal realizes the enormity of what he’s just done. Simply amazing, and I cannot wait to see where this story goes.)

Meanwhile, Sloan discovers that Reese’s step-siblings (younger twins about to turn 25) are preparing a hostile takeover once they gain access to their trust funds and their stock shares of ACN. Reese hates his siblings, and he wants to protect his company at all costs. Not only that, but with ACN News dropping down to forth place, it’s getting harder for Reese and his mother to protect Will and Mac from their board and investors, who need add revenue to be satisfied, not the moral high ground.

Finally, in couple’s news, it looks like Jim and Hallie (Grace Gummer), who now works the blog and social media desk with Neal, are still going strong. Although, was I the only one who noticed how she did not kiss him goodbye when he told her to go home and get some sleep? So…fingers crossed they are either broken up or will break up soon! (Maggie and Jim 4ever! Don’t judge me.) Meanwhile, Don (Thomas Sadoski) and Sloan are definitely on, but, while they may be spending more nights together than apart, they aren’t serious enough to have clothes at each other’s apartments – Sloan gets caught wearing a new dress to work after spending the night at Don’s. What that means for our favorite sarcastic couple? I can only guess, but something tells me this duo will be more comic relief and less drama in these remaining episodes.

The Newsroom airs Sundays at 9 p.m. on HBO.

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