The Genoa Tip is the second episode of the second season of The Newsroom which continues on the story and plot we were set up with in episode 1. I thought that this episode was much better than the first one and had some interesting character developments contained for Will McAvoy (Jeff Daniels). We also see the episode build on this seasons themed mistake story which is The Genoa Tip.
First off there is another new character introduced to this season of the Newsroom and she is called Hallie Shea played by Grace Gummer. She is introduced in this episode as the girl on the bus with Jim. Hallie does have some good moments like the camera scene where she moves it out of focus because “we’re competitors” she says to Jim. I guess she will be the main character Jim will be interacting with all season, she seems interesting, I suppose we have to see what happens between the two on the Romney campaign tour bus. But as for my first impression of Hallie Shea I actually thought she fit into the show quite well and I liked her placement in this episode better than Jerry Dantana was in last week.
I don’t know about most people but I find the whole Jim and Maggie relationship or lack of relationship quite annoying and I think it’s mainly because they never really had one. Yet Jim has gone on this tour bus (Jim on a bus yet again, like how he was on a bus during Maggie’s YouTube video) and Maggie seems to just go on and on about it. The YouTube video makes its return in this episode again and we see Maggie travel with Sloan to try get it taken down. It’s slightly amusing the way they confront the blogger about it but I feel like it’s just to much. Also I don’t know really but does Jim brush his hair at all when he goes on camera to report a story?
Anyway moving away from Maggie and Jim’s relationship story line which takes up so much of this episode we do get some really great character insights into Will McAvoy’s character. I like that they are building him up to be a leader not really just for his Newsroom inside ACN but also as a leader for the public, the type of journalist someone can look up to and trust to champion their cause (he just isn’t there yet). I like quite a lot the scene they showed in this episode between Will and Sam during the early days of Will’s career during the 9/11 broadcast in which Will stayed with the audience and really put himself out there. I think it’s this character that is Will at his best and when he can best express himself, this is what we saw with the University question back in episode 1 season 1. But it’s this same character and expression that gets him into trouble as we see in this season with the constant reference to his Taliban comment.
I think what this season is trying to show with Will McAvoy is that he is trying to find the right balance. We get glimpses of him at his best but it lands him in trouble with the people above him or with the public. However because of what we saw in episode 1 with the lawyer scene and the questioning of Will. Plus this episode focuses on the Genoa tip, I wonder how or why Will McAvoy decides to support this cause as we do see him rejecting others he could support. Just like how Will McAvoy rejected Don’s death sentence case/story. I think Will’s character will be an interesting one to watch as the season progresses.
As for the Genoa tip itself, it is further referenced in the final scenes with a conversation over a speaker phone that includes Mackenzie McHale, Jerry Dantana and a soldier who was there at the scene. I think it is interesting enough to investigate since the characters we watch are journalists so of course they would follow this story. Who wouldn’t? They have a witness who was there during the gassing. The only problem I have with this story line is the same problem I had with the times shifting in episode 1. I know it doesn’t work out well for the characters, I know this guy isn’t credible and something must go wrong and that makes me less interested in this story line. If say you contrast this storyline to the occupy one followed by Neal Sampat (Dev Patel) it’s much more interesting to watch I think because you can watch that character get enthusiastic and follow his cause and I don’t know where that story will go for him. But compared to Dantana and his new lead I just don’t have the same optimism for it.
Overall I did really like this episode, I particularly thought the Will McAvoy scenes were very interesting and I liked that his character was built upon much more. I liked the new character Hallie Shea and I’m interested in watching her interact with Jim all this season. I’m not so interested in the Maggie going to Africa or the Maggie/Jim relationship and I really don’t like the idea of the Genoa tip. I do like how the episode is written I just don’t find parts of it particularly compelling.