WORST. HONEYMOON. EVER.
Note: The following review goes into detail about the episode. SPOILER ALERT!
With The Newsroom’s final season now more than halfway over, it is still hard to say how all of the chips are going to land as we approach the end. “Contempt” brought a lot of emotional relationship drama, though thankfully not at the expense of the larger conflicts.
Starting with the entertaining relationship drama, I absolutely loved the Don/Sloan conflicts with the HR guy this week. The revelation that he had been messing with them the whole time was a great twist that painlessly concluded what I was worried was going to be a season-long problem, ending in the breakup of my favorite couple. If only the rest of the relationship drama had been as painless.
Jim continued being completely unbearable this week, giving Hallie even more grief on her new job. Her response, writing an op-ed on his unwillingness to adapt to the new Internet culture, was a bit extreme, but it was nice to see him finally get what was coming to him. The couple then had a painful breakup(?) and parted ways, though the possibility of them getting back together still remains.
Note: Jim is the most well-spoken drunk I have ever seen.
Maggie and her new ethics professor boyfriend also had some drama, as he correctly guessed that she had feelings for Jim, which was understandably worrying for him. How he could pick up on that and not the obvious clues Maggie gave him about not mentioning the Jim/Hallie drama in front of the two is a mystery. The sooner all of this settles the better, as it really distracts from the much more interesting points episode.
ACN is now officially sold to Pruitt, despite the efforts of Sloan and Charlie. The show did a great job at giving both them and us a false hope that they could somehow avoid the sellout, but to no avail. With only two episodes left, I have grave expectations for what Pruitt will do to ACN. In related news, the team had to give up on the story that Neal’s source gave them in order to make sure that they didn’t jeopardize the selling of the network. It was a depressing end to that storyline, especially since Neal went into hiding to make sure they could run it. It will be disappointing if he never comes back before the end, or his whole storyline of the entire season will have consisted of two episodes. It was a small consolation that someone got to run the story, but it doesn’t feel the same.
Following from the Will’s subpoena, he went to court and refused to give the name of Neal’s source. As expected, they held him in contempt of court (see title of episode), and he predictably was jailed. While nothing happened in this storyline that was obvious, it did move along nicely and led to one of the best scenes of the show yet. We were presented with a lengthy montage of the team working together to set up Will and Mac’s wedding before he was sent off to jail. (When I first saw Don buying that ring, I thought something very different was about to happen.) It was a quaint and pleasant moment in an episode filled with drama, and really helped make it feel worth it in the end.
Despite some great scenes, “Contempt” focused too much on the relationship drama, something I thought was concluded in the first season. With only six episodes this season, it seemed a waste to devout almost an entire episode to such trivial problems as whom Jim will end up dating in the end.
Will Neal ever come back? What do you think of Pruitt’s ideas for the network? Isn’t Jim irritating? Tell us what you think in the comments below.
65/100 – ‘Decent’
*We do not comment on anything relating to previews for the next episode and beyond.
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