With the summer TV pickings so terribly slim this year, Hollywood Prospectus editor Emily Yoshida has had to get creative in the search for some scripted romantic intrigue until her CW shows come back. Here's your week in ’ships on HBO's The Newsroom.
Will & Mac
Willkenzie ’shippers, your patience has been rewarded! With congressional creepster Wade out of the picture, Will and Mac might finally have a chance to sort out their feelings for each other. Baby steps, though — it wouldn't be The Newsroom without a little ACN floor show interlude with some light public displays of personal history thrown in for good measure (tap-dancing lessons! Blatant lack of understanding of the basic premise of This Old House! Get a room, you guys!), and Mac, with the help of the entire ACN staff, hit a home run this week with her elaborate Rudy role-play scenario. Some guys want you to dress up in a Princess Leia slave outfit and play Call of Duty with them, and some want you to massage their egos by reenacting their favorite Sean Astin film in their honor. Mac knows which kind of guy she's dealing with.
Hottest speechifying: "It took six months to build the city of Dubai, you really think they were renovating the same mid-century colonial for 15 years?" What is a mid-century colonial? And This Old House has been on since 1979 and is still airing episodes. Just trying to keep you honest, Will.
Jim & Maggie
Temporarily forced to bridle their passions, Jim and Maggie have opted to communicate through the universal language of pratfalls. This episode was so toploaded with hot glass-door-ifying action that I knew, even before that first time stamp, that Valentine's Day surely must be looming. To add literal insult to actual injury, Maggie's "MY HOMEWORK" moment in the conference room has officially replaced "PUT A RING ON IT" as the most disturbing Maggie Jordan Disproportionate Display of Aggression in the series thus far. Wouldn't be surprised if she's secretly seeing Charlie's Rage Bourbon on the side. And unfortunately, all romantic tension aside, Jim's still not going to ever trust her with anything, whether it's her own panic attack, or just some hydrogen peroxide and a cotton ball.
Mac & New Wade
Still getting sad thinking about their cute, B-grade banter just hours before everything went to shit, but at least Wade had the courtesy to get inexplicably evil before Mac gave him her (yeah, pretty great) kiss-off. ("In this order: Get out, lose the election, go to hell.")
Wade: "Is Egypt still a country?"
Mac: [sweetly, softly] "Yeah. It's just a new one."
Wade: [with a smoldering gaze] "I happen to be an Egyptologist, if you want me on the show."
Mac: [bringing her lips toward his] "Since when you are an Egyptologist?"
Wade: [his hot breath on her cheek] "I can be one by tomorrow."
Jim & Lisa
Jim should be relatively used to interfacing with irrational, uterus-ruled female wackjobs after his time in the field with Mac, but this is the first time he's had to deal with the office-crashing, Notebook-loving, Valentine's Day–obsessed force of nature that is FASHION PEOPLE. Just sayin', it's Lisa's turn to conveniently announce her bid for a congressional seat, making her non-relationship with Jim a conflict of interest.
Hottest speechifying: "I'm still wearing edible underwear." See the horrors that await when you date below your station, Jim?
Mac & Sloane
Poor Sloane. She keeps trying to get some good, quality lady time with her mutual lone girlfriend Mac (I'm assuming she cut ties with Kathryn Hahn because McAvoy loyalty — McAvoyalty? — is of utmost importance in these uncertain times), and Mac is literally incapable of talking to her about anything other than Perfect Man/Truth Teller/Integrity-Made-Flesh Will McAvoy. What's more, Mac expects Sloane to be at her beck and call as personal speechwriter/confidante, making her hang around and wait while she takes a meeting instead of her letting her go home to the comfort of her Alan Greenspan standee, the only person-shaped thing in New York City that lets her complete a thought without changing the subject back to it. You'd better start treating your hot economist better, Mac. You're at serious risk of losing her, and you haven't even had one makeover montage with her yet.
Sloane: "It helped lead to the longest sustained period of economic growth in U.S. history. A 60-year expansion of the middle class, the largest increase in productivity, and the largest increase in median income. We also won WWII, put a man on the moon, and a computer in everyone's lap. And you know what happened next?"
Mac: "We cheated on the perfect guy with a guy who dumped us?"
Maggie & Don
Don, madly jealous of the love-wound Jim sustained during his rigorous bout of physical comedy with Maggie, sadly must resort to going solo, self-abusing against the AWN Corporate Legal office door. Everything works out in the end, though: The couple get to hang out in their gross, high-tech bathtub in the Four Seasons, where Maggie spends the evening reading briefings from Tess on how to negotiate underwater intercourse, and Don tries to tie a plastic bag around his arm with just one hand.
Neal & Khalid
As predicted, Neal was on to another shiny new Internet thing this week. Last week, it was Bigfoot, this week, the Arab Spring. (BTW, major props to Sorkin for not one "Tahrir Square!? That's never gonna amount to anything!" line from Don this week.) At the center of all this is his Skype buddy Khalid, the sacrificial lamb who is thrown into a bloody street riot for the sake of ACN's integrity. Obvs, Neal feels SUPER bad about this, but like Don, he manages to assuage his guilt by sustaining an injury with AWN office property. Now everyone's suffering equally!
Neal: "A car filled with smoke, people screaming, crying, praying. Finally, an underground worker in an orange coat was assigned to lead us out of the tunnel into King's Cross, and I pulled my cell phone out to call my dad — "
Will: "But there was no service."
Neal: " right."
Will: "So you started filming it."
Neal: "And I got out, and I uploaded it and I sent it to the news stations."
Will: "And until then you were going to be a mechanic."
Will: "He's Rudy!"
Interrupting someone's terrorism story and comparing it to a football movie? Sorry, everyone, this 'ship just got MCAVOYED!!
Jane Fonda & This Show
Taking a break, apparently.
ACN Morning anchor & Justin Bieber, Maggie & Multiple Belts, Aaron Sorkin & The Internet ("There are 800,000 websites?"), Neal's fist & Rush Limbaugh's face.