Before we get into the meat of the recap, there were two interesting coincidences this past Sunday. First, the informative, if ridiculously titled, Up with Chris Hayes devoted its second hour to SB 1070, now that the Supreme Court deemed several major elements of it unconstitutional, with one of the panelists being Kris Kobach, the Kansas Secretary of State who crafted the law. Second, the second season of Episodes premiered where several staffers involved in the fictional show explain American ratings to the British show creators, and let them know that a good first week is just that, one good week. It’s the second effort that makes or breaks new shows. So, yeah. Omens, omens everywhere.
Murrow! Cronkite! Huntley! McAvoy! What?
Since this episode was a mish mash of yelling, preening, arguing, bloviating and general pontificating, I’ll do my best to recap it like something actually happened. I can’t guarantee I’ll succeed.
Anyway, The self-satisfied opening credits finish and the lingering “Written by Aaron Sorkin” fades to a shot of a high-rise apartment building. It’s Will’s spare and modern apartment. How can so few items so perfectly express “I’m a douchebag having a midlife crisis”? I don’t know but that designer deserves an HGTV series because that is some deep tissue personality being channeled.
Will’s reviewing the CVs of his staff, testing himself to see how much he remembers, and we learn that there’s a Gary Cooper? Really, Sorkin? The actor’s real name, Chris Chalk, is already Sorkiny so you needed to up its Sorkin factor? The ceiling in his apartment agrees with me and starts falling in on him. Oh wait, no. His housekeeper informs him that his overpriced downtown high rise is so shoddily built that his new neighbors’ renovations are making his ceiling crumble.
It’s karma for your Iroc-Z level of douchiness.
With that bit of pleasantry out of the way, Will’s off to work. He beelines it to Mackenzie’s office. Since she’s in a good mood about starting the new show, he ruins it by barraging her with unrelated topics such are their woefully young and inexperienced staff and leading with the BP spill. For her part, Mackenzie makes us question her intelligence and judgment when she says inexperience is an asset since they don’t know how to do the news wrong (or at all) and, no, they won’t lead with BP.
That was just set up because Will wants to make sure Mackenzie doesn’t tell the staff why they broke up. Because they give a rat’s ass. But if you’re going to base a character on Keith Olbermann you have to make him think extra, super high of himself. She agrees about 150 times that she will not, in fact, tell anyone, guaranteeing that she will, at some point, tell everyone why they broke up.
During Walk & Talk © Time Mackenzie briefs Will that he has nine minutes with Gov. Jan Brewer and nine with La Raza. He still thinks the oil rig sinking makes “good television.” Mackenzie gets all inadvertently meta saying they “don’t make good television.” Wait. She adds they do the news, and that the only reason anyone cares about the spill is because “they’re” talking about it. Oh, important white people. Where would I be without you?
In the rundown meeting, Mackenzie tries to explain their daily protocol but Will interrupts to announce that he’s a big boy now and is using the potty all by himself. Or that he finally bothered to learn his staff’s names. Then he makes this face:
To which Don makes this face:
Don’t make him the voice of reason if I’m supposed to think he’s the asshole.
It’s April 23, 2010…or three days after the last episode and the chaos of the spill is quieting down? Really? The oil hadn’t made landfall and there wasn’t even a photo of an oil-covered pelican, yet.
Whatever. They’ve moved on to SB 1070 so Will can establish his conservative bona fides. Mackenzie tells the staff he supports the bill because he’s a closet moron. He claims he isn’t a closet anything, then proves he’s quite the overt moron by proudly talking about staffers who’ve left the show. Don’s there to point it out and remind him he’s still a dick. A couple of meta jokes at Sorkin’s name fetish, a shot across the bow of Fox and Mackenzie ends it by encouraging the staff to applaud Will for being an asshole.