8:53pm PT by Lesley Goldberg
6 Big Reveals From the 'Newsroom' Season Finale
[Warning: This story contains spoilers from Sunday's season finale of The Newsroom.]
The freshman run of HBO's The Newsroom came to a close Sunday, with an episode that put the spotlight on the "greater fool," which ultimately proved to be a good thing for Will (Jeff Daniels) and almost everyone on the News Night team.
After the staff failed to win the Republican debate in last week's penultimate episode, Will finds himself in the hospital after over-medicating himself following the fallout from a blistering magazine profile.
Here are the six biggest reveals from the episode, which set the stage for more of the "will they or won't they" romantic story line between Will and Mackenzie (Emily Mortimer).
1. Will finally realizes what being called the "greater fool" means. After Sloan explains that it can be a good thing, Will turns around and implements it when in the final moments of the hour, he confronts the Northwestern student who asked him why America was the greatest country, which marked the beginning of the anchor's unraveling. In the newsroom to interview with Mac for an internship, Jennifer Johnson (Riley Voelkel) reveals that she not only watches News Night but wants to be a "greater fool" like he is -- someone who is idealistic enough to think they can change the status quo, no matter how risky it may be. Naturally, she's hired on after Will responds to her with the answer he should have in the pilot: "You do."
2. Will still loves Mac. Turns out Mac never received the voicemail that a high Will left for her. Ultimately, Charlie, Will and Mac put the pieces together and realize that Leona's (Jane Fonda) son Reese (Chris Messina) deleted Will's message in a phone-hacking ploy designed to boost the fortunes for the network's tabloid effort, TMI. While Will never did confess what he did say during the message -- other than being high -- Nina (Hope Davis) plays nearly all of it before permanently deleting it. "After tonight, I've never stopped …" and then it ends. Expect more on that in Season 2.
3. Jim (John Gallagher Jr.) and Maggie (Alison Pill) finally kiss. It may have taken a ridiculous Sex and the City tour to spark Maggie into a screaming fit of rage aimed at a tour guide, but Jim heard her confession that she's fallen for a guy who's dating her best friend and chases after her. It's a good, although far too brief, payoff to a story line that's been building all season.
4. That (budding?) romance is short-lived, however, when Maggie -- armed with a hastily written speech -- shows up at Don's (Thomas Sadoski) apartment to end. Ultimately, she's wooed by his candlelit living room and his request that she move in with him and they're suddenly back on again. After rejecting Jim's phone call, he winds up lying to Lisa (Kelen Coleman) that he was looking to profess his feelings for her -- not Maggie -- on the Maggie questioned. Back at work the following day, Maggie is all smiles with Don, while Jim is still clearly pining for her. Sigh.
5. Speaking of Don … thinking that she's not long for News Night as Will was threatening to quit the biz after Mac's ex-boyfriend penned a "hatchet job" in New York Magazine, Sloan (Olivia Munn) confesses that she's single because Don never asked her out. The sparks between the two are very clear, as she insists that he's not the bad guy that he thinks he is -- and that she knows he's trying to do the right thing by Maggie even though his heart isn't completely in it. Once Will returns and Sloan turns down a rich job offer to go elsewhere, she insists Don never speak to her again, setting up a potential new love triangle for next season.
6. New death threats? With the OK from Charlie to smoke out the source of Will's death threats, Neal (Dev Patel) goes back online and doesn't exactly come out the wiser for it, with 100 new death threats aimed at the News Night host. Looks like Lonny (Terry Crews) will be on duty as Will's bodyguard a bit longer than expected.
What did you think of the Newsroom finale? Did all the relationship story lines turn you off? What would you like to see more and less of in Season 2? Hit the comments with your thoughts.