By Huntress Thompson
The episode begins with a party at Will’s place, with Charlie on the balcony speaking to a cryptic man on the phone. The crew are celebrating a year of News Night. Will and Jim play Sunshine (Go Away Today) on acoustic guitars (my heart). Neel’s girlfriend Kaley delivers medical marijuana to Will for an old injury, which wouldn’t be noteworthy, except he’s accidentally taken far too much of it and mixed it with Vicodin. Cool. Cool cool cool.
There’s plenty of delightful Jim/Maggie banter, but Sorkin is driving one point home, and he’s using the emergency lane: Maggie is bright but neurotic, and needs a bit of tenderness, and Jim is talented but scruffy, and needs a bit of guidance. They both need fixing, and they both know how to fix the other. But Jim’s with Lisa, and she’s told him she loves him, and he replied with the same, because “anything else would be rude”.
The Rock tweets something curious, puzzling texts are received, and suddenly the whole crew are tearing over to the station as the US president is about to announce something regarding national security.
Almost the whole crew, that is – Don, Sloan and Elliot (who is my favourite peripheral character) are stuck on a plane at an airport.
It’s some time before it’s confirmed that The News is that Osama Bin Laden has been killed by US forces.
It’s the biggest story, perhaps, of the team’s careers. Will is shit faced. His necktie has outsmarted him. Key players aren’t where they should be. While the last episode was all about the characters, this one is led by the nose by the action. Times are dark, and people must be trusted to pull through. This is quite neatly summarised in Will’s patriotic news anchor speech that, quite possibly, Sorkin has been writing since 9/11 and waiting to deliver to us, and the episode closes with real footage of Barack Obama’s address on the day.