Then he goes off on a treacly, nostalgic path that only an affluent white guy would go down, talking about how we were humble in our awesomeness because we “acted like men” and we “didn’t scare so easy.” Clearly missed the chapters on robber barons, P.T. Barnum, Joe McCarthy and the “Red Scare.” But the sensitive piano is telling me I’m supposed to find this speech inspired. He continues down this path telling us in the past we were “informed” by great men, men who were revered (As always, my apologies to Doris Kearns Goodwin.) but the first step to fixing what’s wrong is to identify the problem.
Will takes a moment to ask Moderator if that’s what he was looking for then smash cut to all hell breaking loose as Will and the caricatures make their way out of the auditorium. Lady Liberal wants to know what the fuck just happened and Will, like so many great men before him, blames it on his vertigo medication. Heh. Male Conservative will not stand for such impudence and throws down the gauntlet because no one talks to him like that while Lady Liberal smirkily asks if Will needs a doctor. Will just wants to know what the hell he said.
Who’s the great and revered man now?
Okay, so the less said about the pompous opening credits the better because, great googly moogly, they made The West Wing’s credits subtle by comparison. Let’s, instead, discuss how Thomas Newman cribbed one of the greatest movie themes of all time for the opening scene? Really? Does he think we don’t remember Risky Business? Whatever. It’s three weeks later and Will’s back in the office. The newsroom is mostly empty, not that he bothers to notice because he’s just too important to care.
Three whippersnappers, Don, Maggie and Neal, watch briefly then get back to their conversation. Maggie scheduled dinner with her parents while Don thinks four months is too soon and wants Neal’s advice. Neal just wants them to take their personal conversation somewhere else so he can get to work being a Central Asian stereotype.
But that was just set-up; Don really wants to know why Maggie would make the dumb decision to stay with Will. She says out of loyalty while Don’s making the smart one out of ambition. Don points out that Will doesn’t even know her name and yet she’s treating him like the asshole. Oh, Don. The world doesn’t have a finite amount of asshole…you know that. Then he proves it by pointing out that Will never promoted Maggie to his assistant, he just mistook her FOR his assistant and the role stuck. Dick. Then Maggie squanders some of my good will by telling Don to do her a favor and not discuss their relationship in the newsroom…but he wasn’t talking to a cardboard cut-out of her. Sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander.
Ah, but Don won’t give up the asshole mantle that easily and sneers that everyone already knows about them and no one cares. Maggie thinks the others will when they’re fighting in the newsroom and one of them has to be let go which won’t be the EP. Exactly…wait, she still thinks it’s all his responsibility. Stop making it difficult to defend you, Maggie.
Everyone knows I’m an arrogant jerk. I’m already reflecting poorly on you.
He circles it back one more time to Maggie making a mistake by staying with Will and points out the obvious that Will just walked through the entire newsroom and never noticed it was empty. Then he puts the douchaschino cherry on his jerk sundae by asking Maggie to text him when she’s finished with her parents.
FINALLY, Will notices that the newsroom is empty and wonders where everyone is. Don is all “welcome back man,” but won’t answer Will’s question, telling him he has to go talk to “Charlie” and leaves. Will asks Maggie what’s the what but she just repeats that “Charlie Skinner” needs to see Will immediately. Will, unfortunately, proves Don’s point right when he asks if Maggie is Ellen and wants to talk to his assistant Karen. Maggie says she’s “Margaret” and there’s no one named Karen but Will looks at her like she’s a squashed love bug so she dismisses herself to call up to Charlie’s office.
Who are you and why are you here, again?
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