While Mac grills her about her motives for the trip, Maggie recites the traditions, demographic makeup and vaccine requirements – along with whatever else she memorized from Googling "Africa" – of her desired destination. Quite the transformation for ACN's new Africa correspondent, who clearly is trying to move as far as possible from the mess she has made for herself, Don, Lisa and Jim.
This wasn't the most pathetic part of Maggie's storyline the episode had to offer. At one point, we departed the ACN newsroom (and all relevant subject matter) so Maggie and Sloan can hunt down the YouTube user who posted the video of Maggie professing her love for Jim to a "Sex and the City" tour bus. They find her, via Foursquare, at a laundry mat ("My underwear is on gentle cycle while my love life is being scraped against a wall," is quite the check in comment), where Sloan uses her social media capital – her nearly half a million twitter followers – as a bargaining chip: The video gets taken down in exchange for an endorsement of the woman's "Sex and the City" fan fiction blog. The bartering is for naught, as Lisa sees the video anyway.
Maggie's mess aside, the rest of the episode nicely comes together for a climatic Sorkin soliloquy. Don's devotion to Troy Davis, Sloan's interest in drones and Neal's involvement in Occupy Wall Street converge when Will goes to spring Neal from jail, where his moral righteousness is predictably sparked:
"A U.S. citizen was targeted, another is on death row for the crime of not being able to afford a good lawyer, and a bunch more have been locked up for wearing Halloween masks," Will tells an understandably confused police officer. "So, obviously what I'm doing is dealing with the easiest one."
His resistance to covering the pricklier issues is personal – not political – stemming from the wound incurred when he was pulled off the 9/11 tribute. It's an emotional matter for Will, made clear when assistant producers uncover some tear-jerking footage of Will and Charlie during the network's coverage of the original attack.
While Mac joins the boys while they grapple with their government's transgressions and their duties as journalists, Maggie ends the episode deciphering the deeper meaning behind unanswered phone calls for Sloan. Like ACN's business correspondent, we were all better off when she didn't know or care about voicemail etiquette. It's a shame to see one of stronger characters of "The Newsroom" is being dragged down by Maggie's silly personal drama. Send that girl to Africa already!
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