Willie Pete is the third episode of the second season of the Newsroom. This episode has more of a comedic tone to it compared to other episodes of this season and actually I think probably the most comedic episode of the series so far. Quite a lot of the character situations are made light of in here such as Will McAvoy finding the leak, Charlie Skinner’s blackmail disaster and even Maggie’s pill symptoms.
In contrast to the comedic parts of this episode there are the serious ones especially in relation to the Genoa story which is made out as the most serious point in this episode. Willie Pete it turns out is sort of a code for white phosphorous (a weapon used for the Genoa story). Mackenzie and Jerry interview what seems to be a reliable witness of the warfare crime committed at Genoa for our favourite team at ACN to report on. Charlie isn’t really convinced though and neither is Mackenzie until they receive this code word Willie Pete out of the printer, then it all seems serious. I actually expect that in next week’s episode for this Genoa story to escalate quite a lot from here, I wonder also why it turns out so bad in the end as we saw in episode 1.
Apart from the Genoa story Will McAvoy starts a new relationship with Nina who most should recognise from the first season. It’s an interesting sort of relationship but I don’t really think it’s going to last very long. Mainly due to it’s already messed up because Nina knows about the recording on the answering machine, Will knows she knows, Mackenzie now know’s about it but I don’t think Will know’s that Mackenzie know’s about it. I think this recording will pretty much wreck it in the end just like Maggie’s YouTube recording ended her relationship with Don in episode 1.
Jim in this episode continues on his bus trip and has an interesting character development in which he stands up for himself and his beliefs about reporting on the campaign. Maybe he really is earning his “Captain America” nickname given to him by Hallie in episode 2. Due to episode’s tone though it ended up being slightly funny when only Hallie and one other reporter joined Jim in his crusade for questions/answer’s. Now they are all off the bus with nothing but a few turkey sandwiches.
Charlie Skinner and the blackmail story ended up coming to an end in this episode in what I thought was the most ludicrous of ways. Charlie goes with Will to Reese Lancing (Chris Messina) who they find out leaked the story of Will not being sick for the 9/11 coverage. They go to play the tape and behold, there’s no recording. The scene I think sort of made Charlie look like a fool who previously never really had been presented as so and Will was no better. It was a funny scene and played well into what the episode I think was trying to be but I’m just not sure if it was he best overall, I mean the recording was a big part of season 1 and it ended in this way, without really going anywhere at all.
Maggie in this episode as well has her situation of preparing for Africa presented in a funny way as well as she freaks out about becoming paranoid while Sloan has some great moments with Don in this episode as well. Neal stands up to Mackenzie by insulting her shoes to get on air about the occupy wall street story he truly wants to cover and is given a chance. I suppose next week we’ll see the OWS story become more of a central story for the episode along with Genoa’s continuation.
Overall this episode was an entertaining one to watch, I liked the more comedic tone in this one compared to other’s but I don’t think it’s something I want to see every week for the Newsroom. There wasn’t anything really big or massive coming out of this episode other than continuing character plot’s or I guess Will making a move on Nina but that’s really all there was. Overall it was fun to watch but I’m hoping for more next week.