The Newsroom: What Kind of Day Has it Been
December 15, 2014 8:51 PM - Season 3, Episode 6 - Subscribe

In the series finale, the newsroom staff attends Charlie Skinner's funeral.

Don and Sloan tell Will about the events leading up to Charlie's heart attack. Jim gets Maggie an interview for a field producer job in DC, which causes her to question the state of their new romantic relationship. A series of flashbacks relate how Charlie maneuvered Mac into the executive producer job. Mac is revealed to be 7 weeks pregnant, and gets promoted to network president by Pruit on advice from Leona. Neal returns.
posted by axiom (21 comments total)
What a surprisingly hopeful ending this was for the series! I have to admit I was expecting it would end with them dismantling everything rather than letting Pruit take it over, but it was very sweet to see everyone getting back to work. (I'm bracketing out the stupidly saccharine singalong moment, which as far as I'm concerned got accidentally included from another show.) A sweet, weird ending to a sweet and weird little trip to Aaron Sorkin's liberal fantasy-land (thankyoucomeagain)!

PS: Allison Pill and Olivia Munn are my favorite reaction-faces of this whole series.
posted by Zephyrial at 9:01 PM on December 15, 2014 [1 favorite]

It was such a surprisingly hopeful ending that I don't really know what to make of it. Don Quixote gave up and went home, later acknowledging that his whole quest was pretty stupid. But what do we have here? They still have all the problems they've started with, their industry is still dying around them as they stubbornly resist all change, and yet they are elated and filled with hope for the future. Why? What part of this journey, which I remind you recently involved Will spending close to two months in jail and his release solely due to his source's death than any underlying change, could possibly give anybody hope?
posted by zachlipton at 11:50 PM on December 15, 2014 [1 favorite]

This episode was mediocre, at best. I was hoping for a truly quixotic ending, but instead we get the typical Sorkin happy ending. The writing wasn't even good for a non-Sorkin script. Callbacks to the (in my opinion) great pilot speech by McAvoy, and a lot of fluff and filler around it. Pruit too easily tied up. Disappointing.
posted by axiom at 1:44 AM on December 16, 2014 [1 favorite]

I was disappointed too. All the flashbacks were basically things we already knew..... Didn't make much sense why they were rehashing all that. I gave it a 4.
posted by pearlybob at 5:14 AM on December 16, 2014 [1 favorite]

What an interesting episode, not what I expected at all! Structure wise, it was telling an origin story in the very last episode, one that gave us a different take things from the past, including the first episode.

It was also oddly right, what with the last episode ratcheting up the tension until Sam's heart attack, and this episode being the tension release and recovery. Everyone landed on their feet, after their leader passed and they're charging off into the future. It's a tainted future for sure, but they're still going to try and do what whey think is right, when they can. That's about the best you can hope for in newsroom these days.

Loved Neil's return to the ACN digital though.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 6:25 AM on December 16, 2014 [1 favorite]

As soon as they went to the flashback, my BF said, "Oh they want to show us what an asshole Will used to be."

Sorkin has no idea about women, does he? Characters who are shown to be very, very smart, but who throw up their hands and say things like "I still have no idea why I'm in this car" or "Should I ask him to get coffee?" The one woman who doesn't do that is Marcia Gay Harden's take-none-of-Will's-shit lawyer, Rebecca.

Line to remember: "Trainwreck with Will McAvoy."
posted by computech_apolloniajames at 7:20 AM on December 16, 2014 [1 favorite]

Neil's return was epic, but why did it even happen? I mean letting Will out of the slammer made sense; the source outed herself when she committed suicide so they didn't need Will to accuse her. But Neal was quite likely facing espionage charges for his own actions. Do we really believe that the US Government would just gave up on the whole case?
posted by zachlipton at 10:15 AM on December 16, 2014 [2 favorites]

I'll be posting my full review to SoundCloud later in the form of a series of fart noises.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 10:28 AM on December 16, 2014 [2 favorites]

Did anyone else feel like Sorkin was trying to shoehorn in some service to the complaints about his writing of women?

Specifically, Mackenzie practically repeated the famous line from Amy Schumer's The Foodroom, "What good is a woman's life if she's not using it to make a great man greater?" as a sarcastic bon mot to Charlie.

The Pruitt/Leona/Mackenzie thing was at least half about this, too. Though it did give us Leona's fantastic line about how it does not seem to have occurred to Pruit that the reason people think he has a "women problem" could be because actually has that problem.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 10:32 AM on December 16, 2014

That singalong was saccharine, but at least they picked a good song. The great Tom T. Hall wrote that, but the best version is by Bobby Bare.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 10:33 AM on December 16, 2014

Did Aaron Sorkin seriously name another season finale "What Kind of Day Has It Been?"
posted by chaiminda at 11:00 AM on December 16, 2014 [2 favorites]

So Mac is uber-smart, sharp as a tack, clever as can be... but somehow missed *entirely* that they were referring to promoting her to president? REALLY? If they said "The person's initials are M.M." they couldn't have been more transparent.

Ever since I read some months (years?) ago about how Sorkin has this weird trope of having smart characters somehow having a blind spot for the mundane and otherwise easy-to-comprehend (Sloan Sabbith doesn't know that "throwing in the towel" means "giving up"? PLEASE.) all of a sudden — and almost always female characters — I can't NOT see it.

I think he thinks he's being clever. "They're so smart, wouldn't it be funny if they don't know how to tie a shoe or know that there was ever a TV show called 'Happy Days'?"
posted by grubi at 11:17 AM on December 16, 2014

Sorkin is so much easier to digest once I realized he writes fairy tales
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 12:10 PM on December 16, 2014 [1 favorite]

Neal's return was handled very strangely.
posted by unliteral at 3:45 PM on December 16, 2014 [1 favorite]

I loved this show. I loved it from beginning to end. I loved the fact that I could watch a show for adults on HBO with my teenagers, one that they actually wanted to watch due to it not being the usual parade of T&A and murder that you get on HBO* drama series. I loved that it was an unrealistic liberal fairy tale. I'd have happily have watched it for another 3 seasons.

I really do not understand the severe trashing it has received. Is it perfect? Not by a long shot. It's still better than 90% of the crap on TV.

*I watch GoT, loved Oz, The Sopranos, The Wire, and True Detective. I'm not against HBO levels of sex & violence.
posted by Requiax at 4:03 PM on December 16, 2014 [3 favorites]

Neal's return was handled very strangely

It was the end of his metamorphosis from caterpillar ingenue to self-righteous newsroom butterfly.
posted by cardboard at 4:21 PM on December 16, 2014 [1 favorite]

Sloan Sabbith doesn't know that "throwing in the towel" means "giving up"? PLEASE.)

No, that's not what happened there. She thought "throwing in the towel" was too harsh, and then phrased it a different way, but it was exactly as harsh. That's a standard bit.
posted by spaltavian at 5:36 PM on December 16, 2014

Admit it, when Charlie's widow gave Don that envelope, part of you thought it was going be a napkin saying "Bartlet 4 America".
posted by dry white toast at 10:52 PM on December 16, 2014 [1 favorite]

I yield to Mr. Bell…
“Can‘t believe I just saw the very last episode of #Newsroom. And damn you all for snarking it out of existence. #Newsroomfinale”— W. Kamau Bell (@wkamaubell) December 15, 2014
posted by ob1quixote at 6:03 AM on December 17, 2014 [1 favorite]

I'm just so happy they made it to the end without anyone saying "dating plan".
posted by still_wears_a_hat at 2:20 PM on December 23, 2014

Waaaay late to the party and I just binge watched the series over the last month. Here's some random thoughts:

-this series was really good in the beginning but did see a drop in quality towards the end of the 2nd season

-Maggie and Jim were insufferable

-it's good to be Jims love interest though: special interviews, job recommendations, promotions

-if Dan was the 10pm producer, why was he consistently working for Mackenzie and News Night? None of the other staff of Don's show was ever really so involved in News Night

-I think my favorite character was Sloan. I can really relate to a smart person who's got some blind spots and I liked hers the best.
posted by LizBoBiz at 6:29 AM on August 6, 2016

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