The Newsroom Briefing: Page 6 Is Actually Located On Page 10

“I’ll Try To Fix You” was based on events from December 31st, 2010 to January 8th, 2011.

In Will McAvoy’s “Mission to Civilize,” he cost himself a couple quality sexual partners and a couple thousand dollars worth in clothing, but gained the notoriety that comes with leading the gossip headlines for a full week. Mackenzie, who has made her love for her new boyfriend clear, lead Will to attack the dating pool.

Instead of taking out would-be models half his age, Will tried women his own age in “I’ll Try To Fix You.” The result of a weeks worth of dates: one armed and jealous woman now on his trail, two drinks dumped on his expensively tailored suits, and three gossip features on his adventures. Each time, Will was set-up with women who were smitten with him—they’d sleep with him and would love a call back, no problem. Will, however, got a YOLO talk from Charlie, prompting him to dig deeper into these first encounters. He tries to “civilize” all his dates, trying to turn them into female Wills, leaving no room for his date’s interests, however idiotic and horrible they may be. He acts like an old, grumpy man on his high horse instead of a womanizer who wants to get laid. As a 40-something male, he knows time is running out to find companionship. In another 10 years, the sex won’t be worth the dinner bill, and pure female companionship is all he’ll have to go to sleep with at night. Mackenzie has been able to move on, but Will hasn’t, causing him to liken his broken heart to a honey-glazed ham being cooked at 400 degrees and served over a bed of rice. His heart, of course, being the ham. Vivid and yummy.

Elsewhere in the newsroom, which apparently doesn’t have soundproof glass, more burgeoning love unfolded. Neal, despite his crazed Bigfoot obsession, managed to snag a cute girlfriend. By the end of the episode, Jim did as well. At the office New Years Eve party, Don, sensing competition for Maggie from Jim, set him up with Maggie’s single (and busty) roommate. Maggie was uncomfortable with this from the outset. Jim and Maggie had settled in as mutual work crushes, and Maggie took for granted that she could always turn to Jim for a healthier relationship should Don not work out for the billionth time. Now, she’s lost that security and faces the possibility of waking up to a half-naked Jim cooking breakfast in her own apartment for her roommate (guaranteed that’s a future scene). (We’ve now managed to see Jim with his shirt off and Maggie’s roommate in only a bra, but Olivia Munn continues to dress like Katie Couric. Sorkin, you’re breaking my balls here man.) The love game of chicken continues.

Oh, and some actual news ended up being reported somewhere in the episode. Will ripped conservatives for lying about Obama’s stance on gun control and the reported costs of Obama’s trips to India. The big, breaking story at the end of the episode was prefaced by a meeting between Will, Charlie, Dom, and Mackenzie to discuss how to deal with Will’s damaged image thanks to the gossip pages. While hashing out the facts of Will’s nights, Charlie came to the realization that the outlets exaggerating Will’s dates were all owned by Atlantis Media—the news channel’s parent company.

Last week, Atlantis CEO Leona Lansing threatened to fire Will if he didn’t tone down the perceived “liberal rhetoric” of his show, which had come to odds with her political and corporate business affairs. To justify the firing, she planned on “creating context” to make it seem as if Will gave her no choice. Generating a public bashing of Will, involving headlines like “MY NIGHT WITH WILL McAVOY: SEX, DRUGS AND GUNS!!” would give her ample ammunition to fire him.

The end of the episode saw the drama that unfolds in a newsroom when breaking news hits. This time, the 2011 shooting of Senator Gabrielle Giffords was the story. Naturally, the battle of journalistic integrity vs. ratings came to light. While FOX, MSNBC, and CNN were all reporting that Senator Giffords was killed based on an NPR report, Will and his team stood firm, waiting for a hospital source to confirm her death. Lansing’s son, an executive at the network, stormed onto Will’s set demanding that he declare her dead for a ratings boost. In the end, Will was vindicated when a doctor at the hospital told Maggie that Senator Giffords was indeed alive. Will’s rightful defiance of corporate authority got his blood going enough to yell “I’m not fucking around Charlie!” Lansing wants to take down Will McAvoy, but he’ll continue to give her the finger until something momentous causes him to get cold feet. Will may not be fucking his dates anymore, but he’s set on fucking Leona Lansing and her media machine for now.

Notebook dump: Will McAvoy is filling Dr. Gregory House’s vacated role as television’s Sharp Tongued, Witty Asshole Who Makes Us All Smirk When He Speaks. The happenings of a newsroom haven’t been as dramatic as House’s medical offices, but so long as there’s enough Will McAvoy, there will be viewers.

Follow Justin on Twitter @jblock49

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