I’ve been watching a lot of Hitchcock films recently; the local FOX theater is running a festival, screening his films from the 1940s-1950s. Other than hey most of these films are pretty good, I’ve been concerned with how Hitchcock doles out information both to the audience and to his characters to raise or slacken the tension. Seeing Jerry Dantana flagrantly break a variety of ethical codes as he edits the raw footage of the interview with General Steponovich to make it seem like he admitted to dropping sarin gas, killed all the tension and drama surrounding the Genoa storyline and possible court case. As an audience we now know that Jerry is clearly in the wrong while the rest of the crew was duped by a large amount of evidence and trust. “I have no reason not to trust Jerry” is Don’s reply as Mac comes back around to not feeling right about this whole thing.
The overarching question this season hasn’t been “What is Genoa?” but “What went wrong when reporting on Genoa?” With the depositions and Marcia Gay Harden framing everything up. It also means this season has been ostensibly told through flashbacks. There was plenty of room to play with the idea of an unreliable narrator or that simply people remembered events just slightly wrong to create doubt. Doubt isn’t how Sorkin does things however, and Jerry has now clearly been made the villain. It was like a bad heel turn, you expect it but it hasn’t been set up right so that it has maximum impact. Reinforcing doubt on Maggies mental state with a late reveal of Jerry’s deeds would have had more impact. Still there is that whole bit about her “hearing” the General say that sarin was never used, as it turns out she wasn’t in the room.
Last weeks episode kept everyone in the literal newsroom in “One Step To Many” the majority of it seems to be spent outside of the room. Watching Will struggle with self doubt after getting the tweet about losing a viewer was a natural progression. Having him commission a focus test makes perfect sense. Even Sloan, the smartest female on the show, pointing out the psychological reasoning behind his actions in a little sister moment made sense and was kinda heartwarming. Only problem with all of this is that Will did essentially the same thing back in episode 2 “The Genoa Tip”. He got back in the game and didn’t give a hoot about what others thought about him and his news show. Dagnabbit he was going to read the news and read it well. AS it turns out Will’s resolve isn’t all that strong. It’s there until he isn’t and is taking advice from his gossip monger fuck buddy. And then it’s back putting him in the game once he realizes how ridiculous he looks. Thank goodness for Jeff Daniels ability to rise above this and deadpan.
I should be happier. Grace Gummer and Constance Zimmer came up to New York and everyone went on a big o’ll date. There was even shots fired at how ridiculous Ron Paul is. As they, along with Jim, Neil and Hallie’s friend walked the streets of New York. Taylor constantly giving Jim shit about running 6 minutes of aniti-Romney coverage was hilarious. Only for her to come out and admit the campaign had fired her was excellent. Dev Patel even got to flex some comedic muscle just a little bit.
It feels like Don is becoming the friend zoned male for all the women on the show. Not that I'm complaining him sitting and chatting with Mac and Sloan have been some of the more natural moments of the series.
With Jerry being outed to the audience as the manufacture of the entire story it’ll be interesting to see how he covers it up and manages to have ground to sue for wrongful termination.
The Bits At The End
Not even going to touch the whole Mac hitting trash cans part. More importantly DON”T DRIVE WITH THOSE HANGY DOWN THINGS ON YOUR MIRROR! It blocks your view and then you hit a kid.
Shout outs to Stephen Root for popping up.
Also that montage of all the campaign news was well done.