Genoa is starting to look like a cakewalk. After episode 2 of the third season of HBO’s “The Newsroom” ended with an FBI raid on ACN and Neal (Dev Patel) going into hiding after he helped steal classified government documents, Will (Jeff Daniels) tries to protect the young reporter in episode 3, “Main Justice.” Plus, there is still the problem of the $4 billion hole Reese (Chris Messina) has to fill to save the company from a buyout. The whole newsroom was in crisis mode on Sunday night.
The episode began with the newsroom on edge -- and perhaps dropping more f-bombs than in the whole rest of the series -- as the FBI continued to confiscate hard drives and ask about Neal. However, after Charlie (Sam Waterston) and Mackenzie (Emily Mortimer) threatened to broadcast the raid, the FBI gave ACN a week to identify the source and let a judge decide if issues involving national security were involved.
Later, Maggie (Alison Pill) goes to Jim (John Gallagher Jr.) for help with an Environmental Protection Agency scoop she got from a source on the train from Boston in episode 2. He told her environment stories do not make waves, but Maggie flogged the importance of the embargoed EPA report, which noted carbon dioxide levels had reached a record.
Reese and Leona (Jane Fonda) paid a visit to Charlie’s office with some bad news. They had found a buyer to dilute the twins’ shares in Atlantic and save the company, but they could only make it work by selling ACN. Will and Mackenzie would have to attend the White House Correspondents Dinner to charm the potential buyer, Lucas Pruit (B.J. Novak) and entertain his ideas for the news network. With the judge’s hearing Friday in the District of Columbia as well, it would be a busy weekend in the capital for the anchor.
Meanwhile, after acting obnoxiously condescending about Maggie’s story earlier, Jim decided to double down on his bad manners and suggested Hallie (Scottie Thompson), who was fired in episode 2 after a snarky tweet about Republicans, was hired for a job at a startup company that paid bonus on page views to dish dirt about Neal and other ACN inside info. Not surprisingly, his lack of trust and shot at her integrity sparked a nasty fight.
The next day Don (Thomas Sadoski) entertained a new vice president of human resources, who made inquiries about him and Sloan (Olivia Munn). Don realized they would have to pretend not to be dating or risk one of them getting moved to another bureau.
Elsewhere, Mackenzie met in secret with her friend in the FBI (Mary McCormack) who revealed they had evidence Neal had helped to transfer the stolen, classified documents. She convinced Mackenzie to try and get Neal to turn himself in at the hearing. Mackenzie reached out to Jim to get a message to Neal.
On the show that night, Maggie's story runs, and during Will’s interview with Richard Westbrook (Paul Lieberstein), her EPA contact was depressingly apocalyptic.
Will, Charlie, Mackenzie and Rebecca Halliday (Marcia Gay-Harden) arrived at the meeting with the FBI, which threatened to bring Will down for the whole mess if he didn’t reveal the source, producing a receipt for the computer Neal bought with Will’s credit card. Neal had fled to Venezuela, and the FBI threatened to paint him as a radical. However, Will called their bluff.
At the White House Correspondents Dinner the next night Charlie met with Pruit as Don and Sloan dodged the HR VP. Pruit turned out to be an eccentric, wild-card businessman with a vision of turning ACN into crowd-sourced news alongside a channel solely dedicated to Danny Glover stalkers. Charlie quickly became less than enthused about the station's only hope.
However, there were bigger fish to fry. Mackenzie was approached at her table by Neal’s source, a woman, who, while remaining anonymous, threatened to release the story herself if ACN did not report it within four days. Later, Will was interrupted by a nervous intern from the Department of Justice who handed him a subpoena. It turned out the FBI was not bluffing after all!
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