Mackenzie tries to strike up a conversation with Maggie, who steps in it by calling her “Ma’am” then explains it’s because she was embedded with the troops. Maggie valiantly tells her she doesn’t look like she was in a war zone so Mackenzie can engage in what Sorkin thinks is “girl talk.” She says she maxed out three credit cards buying women’s clothing because, squee, girls never think about things like finances. Tee hee. Then she makes a joke about the economy that earnest but dim Maggie doesn’t get immediately. Luckily she gets a phone call from her father so she can get out of that awkward conversation and into another one when she explains why Don won’t be at dinner. Then she starts quietly crying at her desk in case she isn’t enough of a girlie stereotype, yet.
I’d weep for the future but I had my tear ducts removed.
Mackenzie starts off sympathetically, asking if everything’s all right and saying she hates lying to her father, too, but as Maggie becomes evasive she starts interrogating the poor girl, questioning why Don won’t go to dinner with her parents and wondering if he’s a pervert. Maggie is awestruck that she put it together so quickly, but gurr…so far you’ve had a personal fight with him in front of two co-workers and proudly display a photo of him on your desk. I wonder how she manages to cross streets without forgetting to breathe.
Mackenzie gets in one last dig about how Maggie’s a cliché so the two women can bond over how to handle an asshole boyfriend – Mackenzie suggests manipulation by being sexually unavailable. Nice. Then they rehash how Maggie’s staying on with Will out of loyalty and now, Maggie, kindly but in over her head Maggie, gets yet another unearned promotion to Associate Producer because she’s loyal. No wonder the news sucks. One more unearned promotion and I’ll start calling her Luke Russert. She’ll be reporting to….
He’s even named “Jim.”
Meeting cute? Really, Sorkin? Anyway, Jim is Jim Harper, Mackenzie’s Senior Producer, but he’s not interested in meeting Maggie, he wants to know if Mackenzie was aware Will’s at his agent’s office trying to rework his contract so he can fire her, and therefore, everyone who came with her? She tries to cute her way out of it and pretends that everything’s aces but he’s sharper than Maggie and wants to call their old employer begging for a job.
Because this is the pilot and they’re all series regulars, Mackenzie and Jim have a completely disjointed conversation that starts with Jim wondering why he never knew she had a bad history with Will and Mackenzie tells him because it’s none of his business and she never asks him personal questions then asks him when was the last time he was in love. What? Why? Oh, she’s trying to whore Jim out because she needs Don’s help keeping this job, and therefore keeping Jim’s job, and Don’s dating Maggie but he’s not right for her, but if Jim flirts with Maggie Don will want to impress her…and I’m lost again.
This conversation makes no sense.
She tries one last ploy, pretending to be a decent and considerate person who wants to help Jim find a stable job elsewhere, but can’t keep it up for more than 30 seconds. He still wants to know why she has a bug up her ass about Will but she won’t budge and since he’s the “Jim” of the show, he buckles and agrees to stay on with her. Flush with power, she sits him down, still planning on employing a charm offensive, but he’s hopeless at flirting. He just wants to know where the rest of the staff is while she blithely walks off with his balls.
Victory is short-lived, though, as Will comes into the newsroom and the chemistry between them is…non-existent, no matter what the melancholy piano is telling me. She awkwardly introduces Jim but Will snaps some orders to talk to Mackenzie in his office and busting up the pizza meeting because they need someone on the assignment desk.
History or acid reflux?
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