A power outage is definitely a believable crisis, Stuart said, recalling a New York City blackout a few years ago that sent news teams racing down to their Washington bureaus. Furthermore, the awkward position Maggie finds herself in when she must enlist an unwilling friend to come on the show is a common dilemma.
"As a booker we've all been there," said Stuart. "Any booker can tell you a story where they felt compromised or that they had to comprise a relationship, or had to put trust—outside of work—on the line to get that booking for sure."
As disheartening as it was to see the News Night team lose the debate it dreamed of, it was refreshing to see ACN's other anchors decline (rather colorfully—it's not T.V., it's HBO) the RNC's offer to host the debate, showing the team is unified and will sink with Will and Mac's vision for broadcast news. Sorkin does a nice job acknowledging how difficult, if not impossible, the "newsroom utopia" is to create despite his characters desperate devotion.
Amy Winehouse's bittersweet "Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow?" haunts the final sequence of "Blackout Part II," with Don confessing to Maggie about his extracurricular romances, Charlie vetting the source that could bulwark Will from corporate meddling, Neal putting together the pieces of Will's death threat puzzle, and Will pining over his inability to get over Mac.
Can Will, Mackenzie, and the gang be able to rise from the ashes and see their vision finally come to life? On a larger note, will Aaron Sorkin accept to the criticism launched at this series, and write a second season that consistently delivers the glimpses of brilliance flashed in its first?
The ambivalence with which "Blackout II" closes is a welcome note to tie up, or rather, purposely leave open the larger questions the show is grappling with. Previews for next week foreshadow a health scare, a resignation, and a fiery Jane Fonda, suggesting that the season finale won't continue to meditate with such ambivalence, but go out with a bang.
- Read last week's The Newsroom recap.
- Read the U.S. News interview with Wesley Clark about his show Stars Earn Stripes.
- Check out U.S. News Weekly: an insider's guide to politics and policy.