The Newsroom S3E6 Script

What Kind of Day Has It Been (2014)

Eternal Father.

Strong to save.

Whose arm doth bind the restless wave.

Who bidd'st the mighty ocean deep.

Its own appointed limits keep.

O, hear us when we cry to Thee.

For those in peril on the sea.

O Savior whose almighty word.

The winds and waves submissive heard...

Yes, I definitely understood you.

I'm at a funeral service. Thank you.

No, I called you. I just meant that that's why... That's why my voice sounds like this.

That's why I'm being quiet.

Yes, sir. Yes, Catherine. I'm sorry.

Okay.

O sacred spirit.

Who did brood...

And gave his light and life and peace.

O hear us when we cry to Thee...

I need to talk to you.

Everything all right?

Remember the night before you went to prison?

The power was out in the apartment.

Oh, yeah. Definitely.

What?

What? You heard me.

No, I didn't. Your mouth was moving, but you didn't make sounds.

That was my doctor on the phone with the results of a blood test.

Ellen!

Ellen!

He means you.

Excuse me, sir. Do you mean me?

Who the hell do I mean when I say your name?

I'm Maggie. Margaret. Maggie's fine.

I need Ellen.

Does anyone know someone named...

I don't think there's anyone here named Ellen.

I can't keep track. Karen I think her name is.

I don't think there's anyone named Karen here either.

My assistant. She sits right over there.

I'm your assistant now. You promoted me last week.

I have no memory of that.

You fired Ellen and then forgot that you did and thought I was Ellen.

Is this tie all right? It's very sharp, sir.

I'm not your platoon leader. Please don't call me sir.

Do you have good taste? In what?

Clothes. Do people generally say you have good taste?

Pretty good. Okay, don't take this the wrong way, but what you're wearing right now, is that because you like it or is it because that's all you can afford?

A little of both, I guess. There was a sale at...

Get me some more ties and someone who knows what they're talking about.

Sure.

Don, the storm is now causing record flooding in New England.

We'll drop that into the copy. And clear out the block.

The whole block? Yeah.

That means throwing out Moscow. Remind me.

A pair of suicide bombers attacked two subway stations.

Thirty-eight dead. Officials think it was Chechen rebels fighting...

Record flooding, FEMA's saying 200,000 people in Rhode Island could be affected.

Yeah, it's raining in Providence. Everyone's gonna be okay.

You really want the whole block? Yes.

Sixty seconds.

They just called 60. You need to clear the studio.

You asked to see me.

Sorry, tell me your name again. Neal Sampat.

Neal, I need the guy who edits our website.

That's me. All right.

It's been several days since I asked Don Keefer to have the website do a poll on Obamacare so I could do a segment on the poll.

Yeah, Don spoke to me about that and I wasn't sure what kind of poll question you were looking for.

Really? Yeah.

Do you favor Obamacare?

Are you sure that's a good idea? What's the problem?

For one thing, it hasn't been implemented yet.

I know that.

It's just that polling is a science and this wouldn't be a proper...

What are you talking about?

If you want to spend the money on polling...

Just ask the question, give the answer to graphics.

They'll put it up on the screen, I'll talk about it with a guest.

I'm just trying to protect the integrity of the website.

It's a website. It doesn't have integrity. You need to clear the studio.

70 seconds. Yeah.

In three, two, one. Roll in.

Good evening. I'm Will McAvoy. This is News Night for April 2nd, 2010.

We've got a great show tonight. You're gonna be happy you landed here.

Record flooding across New England with Rhode Island hit the hardest.

We're gonna put you right in the eye of the storm.

Three men have been arrested in conjunction with the New York subway stabbings last weekend.

And we'll be talking to Kiefer Sutherland about the last season of 24.

You won't want to miss it. All that coming up after this.

You're watching News Night on ACN. So stick around.

Clear.


Name that tune. Play a little more.

Tom T. Hall. That's How I Got to Memphis.

You do play a little guitar on the side.

I do a little news anchoring on the side.

Since when do you listen to country?

My grandson Bo, Katie's oldest, has a garage band.

Ask me what instrument he plays.

Guitar. All of them.

Seriously, he's a savant.

You put an instrument in his hands, give him a day, and he can play it.

So I was at their house last weekend and I wander out to the garage and see Bo teaching That's How I Got to Memphis to his friends.

And I ask him, "What's a kid from New Rochelle doing

"singing about Memphis?"

He said, "Memphis is a stand-in for wherever you are right now.

"That it really means that's how I got here."

Will. Yeah?

You did a five-minute-and-20-second block on the weather tonight.

Weather rates.

I saw you're speaking at Northwestern. Yeah.

To journalism students. Yeah.

Are you going to tell the kids that weather rates?

What do you want from me? The news.

I've got the second highest rated newscast on cable.

I don't give a shit.

I know that, Charlie. That's why I have to.

Have you ever thought about having kids?

You mean adopting?

Adopting, abducting.

Meeting somebody, getting married. Whatever it takes.

I haven't considered abducting anyone, but I've thought about the others. And?

Well, first of all, I'm now in my 50s and I need to consider that I'm gonna die and will my kid be old enough to handle it when I do.

There's no age at which you're okay with your father dying.

But there's a difference between being an adult and dropping a piano on a kid.

You don't look to me like you're gonna die anytime soon.

And if you got hit by an ice-cream truck, they'd still have you as a father for a while.

Yeah, I'm not sure that's a prize.

Why?

I've read plenty of experts who say that whatever undiagnosed shit my father has can be hereditary.

Your father's an alcoholic, you're not.

I'm talking about...

He's obviously lived his life with some kind of severe depression.

Your depression isn't chemical.

Who says I'm depressed? I do.

Will, you're so much better than the show you're doing.

I'm tired of this. It's the second highest...

Highest rated hour of congratulations.

Palm Sunday mass in St. Peter's Square, Benedict tells tens of thousands of people as well as the rest of the world about the recent petty gossip...

His words... That he's been subjected to.

That he's been subjected to. Petty gossip.

He's talking about proven allegations that priests have been raping children and that bishops, archbishops, cardinals, and maybe even this pope have been protecting the children?

No, the priests.

Benedict fails to mention that in his sermon, which is bad enough, but you failed to mention that in your report Monday.

And that's inexplicable to me.

Bill Donohue...

Yeah, you don't want the Catholic League mad at you.

Nobody does.

The President in his first visit to Afghanistan as the president meets with Hamid Karzai.

And then I couldn't believe the words that came out of your mouth next.

"We'll have two top campaign strategists here in the studio

"to debate the war right after this."

They were good guests.

What in the hell are we doing having two campaign hacks from the DCCC and the RNC on our air debating America's longest war when you know as well as I know that they know exactly as much as what's printed in their talking points?

Who would you have preferred?

Anybody from AEI, Brookings, Heritage, Cato.

Anybody from State or Defense.

Anybody from House or Senate Foreign Relations.

At the very least you could get the guy who wrote the talking points.

There's a midterm election coming up. In six months.

So why do you book a red guy and a blue guy?

For the fight.

I'm starting to enjoy our post-show drinks less and less.

I'll back off. Thank you.

For tonight. I'll take what I can get.

And remember what I said.

You said a lot of things.

Being a father. It lives up to the hype.

Amen.

Hey!

Yeah. Sorry.

Amazing service.

Thank you. Thank you.

Okay, please help me. I need to fully understand what's happening right now.

I'm seven weeks pregnant and there's like a five in nine chance that it's yours.

I don't care if there's no chance it's mine. It's mine now.

Couple of questions. Give them to me.

Are you feeling all right? Should you be standing up?

Is it all right for you to be outdoors?

I feel great and I'm allowed to be outdoors for the first eight weeks.

Feels like that was a joke, but I can't tell. It was.

Moratorium on jokes for the next week and seven months. Have you had an amnio?

In between getting off the phone and talking to you?

No, I was going to use the amnio room in the chapel, but they were out of really long needles.

What rule did I just make about jokes?

I don't think you're gonna be making rules for a while.

Amnio's at 16 weeks. We do a blood test for Down's at 10 weeks.

Down's? Yeah, there are some scary parts.

But, Billy, my hCG levels were 220,000, which is good. It's a strong pregnancy.

220,000 is good? It's very good.

Is there such a thing as 221,000? This is gonna be a long seven months.

No, it's gonna be great. You know why? Don't say it.

I'm gonna be in charge of morale.

Do we know if it's a boy or a girl? Yep.

There's a good chance it's gonna be one of those two.

I know.

I can't believe he's not here for this.

It was a nice service. It was.

Yeah. I thought you were gonna do the eulogy.

Yeah. Yeah, I was. I asked his brother to do it.

Okay.

Mac, take a ride with me to the cemetery, will you?

Sure.

Mac, Mac, Mac. Yes?

I think maybe we should just put you in a hospital bed right now and hook you up to an epidural.

Would that be premature? Yes.

Okay.

We're gonna ride with you. We?

Hi.

Sure.


That was a nice service.

Episcopalians know what they're doing.

I thought Will was gonna give the eulogy, but...

Pipe down a second. Okay.

Terry Smith wants me to come down and interview for a field producer job in DC.

A field producer job in DC.

I know.

How do you know?

I'm the one who recommended you.

When? Yesterday.

She called and said, "Who's ready for a promotion?

"Who's the best you've got?"

I said Gary. Then Tess. Kendra, Tamara, then Martin.

And then I said, "But Maggie Jordan is the sixth best we've got.

"You couldn't do any better than Maggie unless you went with one of the other five."

I'm kidding.

I said, "You've got to take Maggie."

Well, I have to go down to DC tomorrow to interview.

You're gonna get it.

You've got a problem, my friend. I know.

"Lucas Pruit thinks women are worth less than men."

That's a bullshit headline.

You own a company called Kwench.

Yeah. K-W-E-N-C-H.

You know that's not how you spell that word, right?

Kwench makes personalized soft drinks. It's a personalized word.

I hardly understood that sentence at all. Did you?

Me? Yeah.

I don't know what I'm doing here.

Valleywag is reporting pay inequity at Kwench.

How do you know we're underpaying the women?

How do you know we're not overpaying the men?

That is definitely the argument I'd use.

Seventy-seven cents on the dollar isn't a job-to-job figure.

It's a specious statistic. Women leave the workforce at different times.

They also don't negotiate as hard.

I'm supposed to volunteer extra money because I'm playing baseball and they're playing T-ball?

When you control for literally everything, single versus married, whether or not they have kids, the pay gap doesn't go away.

And most people don't have jobs where they negotiate their salary.

I still don't know what I'm doing here or what a personalized soft drink is. It's a millennial...

You know, the pay gap problem would probably go away if it weren't for punch two of the one-two punch.

Such bullshit, Leona.

Two days ago the story from Valleywag comes out saying you pay women at Kwench less than men.

And then yesterday a story in The New York Observer says you hired hookers for your 35th birthday party.

It didn't say that. It said I hired models for my party.

Hmm. Any of the models men? No.

So you hired young women to be guests at your party.

It's not uncommon. It's not?

Were these women given dress codes?

The whole party had a dress code.

The invitation said suggested dress.

You got hold of an invitation?

So was the dress code for these young women suggested or was it mandatory? The women weren't hired for sex.

I don't expect you to understand this.

They were hired to be living art.

First of all, you shouldn't expect anyone to understand that.

Second, you need to know that every time you try to explain it, you just make it worse.

So I'm gonna help you today.

You are? Yeah.

Is it like a can of cola with your initials on it? No.

Um...

We think you need to know exactly what happened.

Mmm-hmm.

Things were bad while you were in jail.

Pruit was implementing his vision for the network and Charlie had kind of thrown in the towel.

Thrown in the towel isn't right. That's not fair.

He'd, you know, given up.

That's what throwing in the towel means. It doesn't matter.

We... Don, Mac, and myself, but mostly Don, had been fighting with Charlie a lot.

On Monday night I did an interview with this guy Bree, who had been hired by Pruit to run ACN Digital while Neal's gone.

Bree is a dick.

Yeah, the website is an abomination. It is, yes, an abomination.

One part of it in particular, in fact.

An app that assists violent criminals.

And Monday night I interviewed Bree about the app.

Pruit was happy about this interview because it would draw attention to the website and Charlie was happy about it because Pruit was happy about it.

But in the interview itself, I ripped the app apart and Bree and the network along with it and in a manner that made Charlie angrier than I'd ever seen him in...

Ever, really.

And it was a few minutes later that he had a heart attack.

But there's another part of the story that Don's going to tell you about that strongly suggests it was him and not me that precipitated the death of our very close friend and leader.

Do you want to hear Don tell you that part of the story?

Yes, I do.

Okay.

Excuse me, are you MacKenzie McHale?

You are. I recognize you.

I'm Charlie Skinner. Sure, I know.

I called your office, but you don't work there anymore.

I was able to get in touch with your friend Jim Harper and he told me that at 11:00 a.m. on a Monday I could find you at the Lucky Strike bowling lanes.

Then he said, "Yeah, you heard me right." And that was pretty much it.

You're serious about bowling?

I just took it up recently.

I bowled a strike once when I was a little girl and it seems to me if you can do it once, then you should be able to do it 12 times in a row, which would be a perfect game.

So that's what I'm trying to do.

I don't want to stop you. Go ahead.

I hooked it. A little bit.

You like to drink in the middle of the day?

I'm still on Afghanistan time, I'm unemployed, and I'm in sweatpants at a bowling alley.

I heard you had some trouble in Fallujah.

That was a long time ago.

Five months.

I got stabbed in the abdomen.

They sewed me up. The budget cuts hurt worse.

You're expensive.

You may have priced yourself out of your own career.

I offered to cut my salary 35%.

I'm not what's expensive about foreign coverage.

Have you thought about a studio job again?

I've dreamt about that, being an EP again.

There was nothing in Atlanta or New York.

So CNN gave me permission to explore other options, and it turns out I don't have any.

Nothing here in DC, London.

I may be down, but I'm not out.

I'm gonna qualify for the ladies' professional bowling tour.

I don't think you are.

Based on one frame? Yes.

Well, haters gonna hate.

That's not your first beer today, is it?

I'm not sure, but I think the reason I've been drinking lately is to numb the feeling of despair.

If you were thinking clearly, you probably would have asked me by now why I came down to Washington to talk to you.

Hang on.

Yeah, that's for sure what I would have done.

I want you to take over News Night.

Hmm?

Excuse me, can you tell me where Don Keefer's office is?

It's right over there. You see the name on the door.

Thank you.

Come in.

Good morning. I'm Sloan Sabbith. I work on dayside.

Yeah, I know you. Market Rip-off with Sloan Sabbith.

"Wrap-up."

I'm kidding. It's just what we call... Yeah.

It's not a joke about you or the show.

It's more about how the banks play it... I understand.

A little fast and loose with subprime mortgages.

It's fine. On dayside, we call you the executive producer of Train Wreck with Will McAvoy.

It's not as clever as "Market Rip-off"

'cause it doesn't have the same alliterative relationship to the...

You know what? How can I help you?

Friday night you had Rothstein on.

It was right after the totally newsworthy segment on the season finale of 24.

It was the series finale. And do you have a problem with Jack Bauer?

I've got a problem with Jake Rothstein and now I've got a problem with Will McAvoy.

Sounds like your problem with Will started before last night.

It did, but that's neither here nor there.

Rothstein said it's perfectly legitimate for their firm, referring to Goldman, to have sold off those toxic assets that were exposing them to risk.

"The people who bought them from us should have known better."

You did that without notes. Yeah.

And you know what McAvoy's follow-up was? "We'll be right back after this."

You'd have liked to have seen a tougher follow-up.

Tougher?

You'd have liked to have seen a tough follow-up.

Or any. How about this...

Wasn't the twisted brilliance of the big banks that they managed to conceal a bunch of subprime mortgages inside a collection of other more legitimate mortgage-backed securities?

That wasn't a loaded question? I'll deload it.

How would these customers know that these assets were toxic since the established companies gave them a triple-A rating?

You have your own show and you're free to ask your guests any questions you'd like.

And I would have, but my guest, Jacob Rothstein, was poached by your booker so your boss could ask him if he watches 24.

This is one of the people who caused the crash and is freely roaming the countryside.

Sloan, you came down here and insulted my anchor and demanded to know why we didn't prepare a better interview.

Let me add this to the conversation.

For two years I've been listening to people like you say they can't believe no one's been prosecuted for these Wall Street crimes, and after two years, I'm still fuzzy on what crime was committed and who should be prosecuted for it.

You're a financial news reporter who gets to spend an hour on one subject and I'm at least an average consumer of news and you have failed to get me to understand what you've called the most important story of the last 10 years.

So after you get done telling me how badly we did our job last night, you may want to do an internal investigation of your own work.

Visit us any time you want.

I have to disclose to you that I have a previous relationship with Will McAvoy.

A social relationship.

Romantic. Do you understand what I'm saying?

I do, and it's excruciating.

I know about that and I couldn't care less.

I've watched the tape and during the short time you two worked together at CNN, you were onto something. You had the beginning of something good.

Part of the reason was we had a news director who was willing to say, "One segment for you and one segment for me."

I'm a news director who's willing to say one hour for you and nothing for me.

Why?

'Cause what you want and what I want are the same thing.

I want to do an hour of news that's a genuine public service.

That's what I want. Something worthy of a great nation.

There was a time when journalism wasn't a career.

Yes. No. It was a calling.

That's right. And you agree?

We've been agreeing with each other for a little while now.

I'm taking on a job on a new afternoon talk show called Lunch.

I'm sorry?

I'm executive producing a new daytime talk show where five people discuss the issues of the day as well as lunch, which will be prepared before our eyes.

That's your calling? No, it's not my calling.

I'm wearing sweatpants. I need a job.

I'm offering you a better one.

I'm not sure it's a better one.

I've been watching Will's descent into complete surrender for years.

You can change that.

Like it's every little girl's dream to make a man better at his job.

You know, you're not exactly slaying 'em in the aisles here at Lucky Strike.

Michael Schumacher was the Formula 1 champion for five years in a row.

And I think even the biggest Michael Schumacher fan would have to admit that it's because he was driving the fastest car.

Will may have been at his best when you were his EP.

But I'd remind you that you were at your best when he was your anchor.

I'm offering you a fast car.

It's a bit of a fixer-upper.

All of us are.

What happens to Don Keefer?

He moves to 10:00 where Elliot Hirsch is taking over.

Don's a smart guy and from what I hear, a good EP.

What makes you think I'll have better luck than Don making your car go fast?

Because Will doesn't care about impressing Don.

You're not offering me the job in spite of my history with Will, you're offering it to me because of it.

I'm offering it to you because you're my best hope of turning our flagship news hour into something we're proud of.

He hasn't returned any of my calls or emails or letters in

years.

I don't think he's that interested in what I think of him.

That may be the only thing he's interested in.

An offer's on the table.

Midterms are in six months and another presidential campaign in two years.

Take the offer and you'll have a chance to frame the debate.

Or pass.

But then you never get to complain about the news again.

Keep your wrist straight.

Thank you.

There you go, one ticket. Next.

McHale. McHale.

M-C-H.

There you go. All set.

Thank you. You're welcome.

Next.

Two tickets. They're under Jennifer Johnson.

Are you going to ask a question?

If I can.

You mind if I ask what you're going to ask?

We were told the questions weren't going to be screened.

Oh, I don't work here. I was just... I'm curious.

Oh.

It's a stupid question.

I'm sure it's not. No, it is.

It's just with everything...

We're coming out of school and I'm looking for a reason to be optimistic.

So I wanted to ask all three of them what they think makes America the greatest country in the world.

You're going to ask that to all three of them? Yeah.

If you follow me when we get inside, I'll show you the trick to being the first in line at a microphone.

All right.

I have a plan, Leona. I'm not improvising.

I've been up all night with the most expensive PR people in New York.

I'm gonna speak to the 10,000 Women initiative at the Clinton Foundation.

I'm sponsoring the Matrix Awards for Women Leadership in Communication.

And Business Insider is gonna do a profile on me in which I will be likable.

There's something I don't think you're understanding.

What's that?

You have a PR problem because you have an actual problem.

Still don't know why I'm here.

It was a story Charlie wanted because it was a story Pruit wanted, and I pretended we couldn't find the Princeton student so we wouldn't have to do the segment.

Charlie knew I was lying, he knew why I was lying.

And I knew he knew why I was lying. It was a showdown and he lost.

Yes, he did. Yeah.

MacKenzie was not ineffectual. No?

No, she was very much in the fight.

How so? She, too, was beating up Charlie.

Okay, should we go bury him or do you guys feel like you did that already?

We should go. We should bury him now.

I was expecting more along the lines of, "Don't beat yourself up. Of course it's not your fault."

He can get pretty creative with revenge.

Maggie. Hey.

I know it's the wrong place, but congratulations.

I heard they're bringing you down to DC to interview for a field producer job.

Yeah, tomorrow.

Good luck. You're gonna get it. Thanks.

You want it, right?

Definitely.

Should I care that Jim was the one who recommended me for it?

You mean because it takes you out of town?

After three years, we started dating three days ago.

No. The answer is no. You shouldn't care.

Right.

What are you smiling about?

This is the stuff that drove Charlie out of his mind.

He'd appreciate that we're still doing it at his funeral.

No, he wouldn't.

I know, but, you know.

Yeah.

All right, yeah, you, um, sorority girl.

In case you accidentally wander into a voting booth one day, there's some things you should know and one of them is there is absolutely no evidence to support the statement that we're the greatest country in the world.

And with a straight face you're gonna tell students that America is so star-spangled awesome that we're the only ones in the world who have freedom?

If liberals are so fucking smart, how come they lose so goddamn always?

So when you ask what makes us the greatest country in the world, I don't know what the fuck you're talking about.

Yosemite?

My name is Jenna. I'm a sophomore.

And this is for all three of you.

I thought I saw someone I knew in the audience and she was prompting me.

I was asked a question from the audience and she wrote an answer down on a pad and pointed to it the way a producer would.

But it was a hallucination.

Which I didn't think those really happened, but they do.

Never doubt them again.

Hmm.

You're not as helpful as your movie counterparts.

Oui?

You Mr. McAvoy?

Yeah.

Phone call for you.

Hello? I made Charlie give me the number.

Leona?

Are you all right?

Is this Leona? Yeah.

I'm sorry. What happened?

I don't know.

You cursed at a college student.

Yeah, I know this is embarrassing for you...

I'm not worried about me, I'm... You've made a career out of being likable.

I'd like to make a career out of doing the news.

Leona?

Who's stopping ya?

We were able to be all these things and do all these things because we were informed.

By great men. Men who were revered.

The first step to solving a problem is...

Hello?

Charlie?

Speaking. Who's this?

It's MacKenzie.

MacKenzie. Yeah.

Look... Yes.

What was that? I'm in.

Yeah?

Markets rely on Standard & Poor's to objectively rate debt.

But the companies that want a favorable debt rating are the same companies that pay Standard & Poor's.

You follow so far? Yeah.

Banks wrote a ton of bad mortgages to people they knew were going to default.

It's called predatory lending.

Then hid those bad mortgages inside good mortgages to shine up the books for S&P, which gave them triple-A ratings.

Then they'd bundle the whole thing and sell the debt to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, which is owned by...

You and me. Yes.

And then the banks bet on those loans defaulting.

Not that much different from fixing a college basketball game except a ton of people wind up broke and homeless.

Those people can't buy things anymore, so businesses start going out of business and more people are broke.

When you start eliminating consumers, you start eliminating jobs, which eliminates consumers, which eliminates jobs, which eliminates consumers, and you see where this is going?

I'm no longer the EP of News Night.

What happened?

Charlie's bringing in a new EP and I'm moving to 10:00 where Elliot Hirsch is taking over.

I'm sorry.

Will blew the Rothstein interview.

He doesn't like to appear rude except when he's not on TV.

We'd have done everyone a favor if we had let you keep him as a guest.

Have a good night.

Yeah, you, too.

Service elevator is broken. That's no problem.

Would it be forward if I asked a man if he wanted to get a cup of coffee?

I was kind of in his face and then it turned out he got a demotion, so...

And if he says no, then I've got to come to work with him every day.

You want coffee?

No. That's very nice of you.


Listen and watch.

Hello? It's MacKenzie. Let me up.

Hey. Hey. What happened here?

Most of the furniture was Audrey's.

Some of it was mine, but she liked it.

And so you gave away your furniture?

Seemed like the least I could do. She didn't take it well.

She called me a Lost Boy. That's Peter Pan, right?

Yeah. Like I'm fighting Indians and pirates?

Is that what she meant? No.

Long-distance relationships don't ever work, ever.

Do you know one that's worked?

John and Abigail Adams. We don't know that that worked.

They wrote nice letters for a while, but they could have grown distant.

Audrey took a job in Baltimore.

I know. That's a 45-minute drive.

The mileage wasn't the important thing.

You wanted to break up with Audrey. That was the important thing.

Charlie Skinner wants me to take over News Night at ACN.

I'm doing it and I want you to come with me and be our senior producer.

Say that again.

I'm taking over News Night and I want you to be my second.

What, are you doing cleanup after what happened at Northwestern?

Actually, I don't think Northwestern needs to be cleaned up.

No, we're just going to start over.

What would be your idea of a good newscast?

One that wasn't required to care that much about revenues.

Me, too, but that would take a news director who felt the same way.

Right.

Jim, Charlie Skinner is on some kind of mission.

He's dead serious. He messengered a book to me...

It would take more than a news director.

Will McAvoy... Comes with an audience.

And, trust me, you have no idea what he can do.

He has a gear you've never seen.

So what was the book? The book?

You said Charlie Skinner was on a mission and that he messengered you some book.

Listen up. In the past, if you came to me with tips for healthy living, you might have found something in the tone of my response that discouraged you from ever saying that again.

But now I'm issuing a whole new decree.

I want your health advice.

It's suddenly very important to me that I live for a long time.

Jesus!

What happened?

I'm not sure. I have no idea.

Smack me in the face as hard as you can.

I'm not kidding. Why?

You won't hurt me, I promise you. No, I can't.

I can. Do it.

I was wrong. That hurt.

But do that if you ever see me put a cigarette in my mouth again.

Neal's plane landed. All right, Neal's plane landed!

Why suddenly? What?

You said it was suddenly very important that you live a long time.

Did 1? Yeah.

Okay. Oh, my God.

Hang on. Oh, my God.

What? Will!

I think there's a rule about this and I may have stumbled...

Are you serious? Into an area where I'm not sure of the law and I'm gonna get approval before commenting any further.

This conversation never happened except for the slap and the cigarettes.

Tess, Tamara, Kendra, just record right over it in your brain.

Martin doesn't have a clue, so we're not going to worry about that.

Respect the boss. You know, employee fear of being punished at work.

Can I talk to you? Sure. Excuse me.

I've just had a conversation with someone I'm only allowed to identify as a senior member of ACN.

This person told me... Sloan?

A senior member of ACN.

You're standing in front of a mirror and 10 feet behind you is Sloan, who's monitoring the conversation.

You want me to join you?

You told him what I told you?

It had to be done. It so didn't.

You think that because I recommended you for the job in DC that I don't care that you might move to DC?

I never said that. It's easy to interpret as a soft breakup.

I don't even know what that is. He does.

It's a promotion, Maggie. I know.

It's field producing. It's what you want to do.

She knows. What are you still doing here?

I'm brokering this thing because we're all a little tired of you two missing such easy shots.

Things aren't as complicated as you make them.

You're dating my ex-boyfriend, right?

Yeah. Okay.

I wasn't doing you a favor. I was doing them a favor.

But you didn't even mention anything like, "It'll mean we're not living in the same city. Bummer."

Really? "Bummer" was what you were looking for?

Not "bummer." Not... You know what I'm saying.

You know what she's saying. Sloan.

Something better than that. Can we have a minute?

Yeah.

I don't want this to get out of hand.

I recommended you... Wait. I...

I don't want this to get out of hand.

We kissed on the plane three nights ago.

It's only been three nights.

And, yes, we've slept together every night since.

We talked about having a night of celibacy in honor of Charlie, but then we both made pretty strong arguments why he wouldn't have wanted it that way.

I... I'm not delusional.

I don't think this is more than it is. Don't panic.

And I really appreciate the recommendation.

So things got rough Monday night?

Sloan Sabbith conducted an interview that embarrassed the network.

She tore apart our website. She tore apart our app.

She tore apart the guy who's running the website who designed the app.

And she did it with MacKenzie's approval.

How am I supposed to not fire them both?

Do you still want me here?

You know, there were times when I thought if I was at Charlie Skinner's funeral, it'd be because I'd killed him.

If you're not fighting with your news director, you're not doing your job.

And if they're not fighting with you, they're not doing their job.

Because the truth is, you don't want the ACN you think you do.

If you got it, you'd be like the dog that caught the car.

You want the ACN that makes as much money as these naive, financially illiterate journalists will let you make.

But if I were you, I would find the one person I know who will argue with you until you fire them.

And keep on arguing with you until security escorts them from the building.

But what does this have to do with your current problem?

Yeah.

Do you even know what the fuck we're talking about?

Not as such, no.

The Hurt Locker.

Come on. The Hurt Locker.

It won Best Picture. It beat Avatar.

Avatar should be second.

The Hurt Locker and Avatar are both overrated?

Gravity. Take this down.

Listening to everyone rave about it beyond the score and visual effects was like overhearing an inside joke that only well-respected movie critics were really in on.

Put it up. If you say so.

The Descendants. The problem with The Descendants is that it sucked.

What just happened?

What the hell? We get hacked?

No, this wasn't a hacker. Somebody just walked right in.

I shut it down from my phone.

Are you Neal? Yeah.

Welcome back, man.

"The Nine Most Overrated Movies of All Time."

We thought it would be fun. For who?

For movie fans. Look, I know this...

And I saw you went all the way back to The Matrix.

Yeah. 1999.

Yeah.

All time and 14 years are two different units of measurement.

But my question is why is overrated more fun than, say, underrated?

You embarrass me.

I what?

It took me a long time to build ACN Digital.

I was laughed at by the people in this newsroom.

People I respect didn't respect what I did around here, but I built this into a tool that gathered, expanded on, and disseminated information that's useful.

I kept telling my colleagues and my bosses that the Internet is user-sensitive just like most things.

And I've watched from 1,000 miles away while you proved that.

You embarrass me.

Build a page that says the site's down for repair.

For an hour? For a week.

We're gonna rebuild the whole thing.

I'm sorry about Charlie Skinner.

Thank you.

What are you doing?

I'm just looking at the bedroom of a small boy.

We've got to finish the renovation on the apartment and then sell it.

We need a house with a pile of leaves in front on a flat street where he can ride a bike.

You didn't speak at the burial.

Yeanh. You were going to say a few words.

I know. What's going on?

I just don't know what to say.

Every time I think of something, it's reductive.

Well, I think everyone would like to hear from you before they leave.

I've put something aside to give you.

Mrs. Skinner. Nancy.

Nancy.

I have to tell you I may have contributed to Charlie's heart attack.

I may have caused it.

There was a story Charlie wanted me to do and I didn't want to do it.

And he got angry and...

Are you talking about the Princeton student?

Am I... Yeah.

He didn't want to do that story either.

He was praying you were gonna fight him on it.

The last seven weeks were hell for him since Leona sold the network to Pruit.

He wasn't angry that you guys were fighting him.

He was counting on it.

He loved you, Don. And he was so proud of you.

I doubt you killed him.

That had to be hard to say to me and I appreciate it, but I don't care.

I care what you did for him while he was alive.

Anyway, this is silly, but I want you to have it.

Thank you.

Excuse me. Sure.

How you doing? My grandfather died.

Well, you know, kid, I'm sorry, but I've got my own problems.

My best friend died.

Wait a second.

You think there's a chance we're talking about the same person?

You know we are.

Where's your brother Bo?

He's probably in the garage.

He's always there. He's got a band.

Would you take me to him? Sure.

Bo. Hey. Hello.

The place looks great.

Thanks. We're, uh... We're pretty good.

Not great, but maybe one day.

Yeah? You mind? No.

That's right, you play guitar on the side.

I'm a news anchor on the side.

Listen, can I ask you something? Sure.

Was he...

Between the time he had the heart attack and the time he died, do you think he would have been in a lot of pain?

You know, that's exactly the kind of question he'd have asked.

They'd have sedated him.

You think he was scared?

I wasn't there. When it happened, I wasn't there.

I know a song you like.

If you love somebody enough.

You follow wherever they go.

That's how I got to Memphis.

That's how I got to Memphis.

If you love somebody enough.

You'll go where your heart wants to go.

That's how I got to Memphis.

That's how I got to Memphis...

Can you play that thing? Yeah.

Go to the five.

I know if you'd seen her, you'd tell me.

'Cause you are my friend.

I've got to find her.

Find out the trouble she's in...

Jim Harper's here.

If you tell me she's not here I'll follow the trail of her tears.

That's how I got to Memphis.

That's how I got to Memphis.

She would get mad and she used to say.

She'd go back to Memphis someday.

That's how I got to Memphis.

That's how I got to Memphis.

I haven't eaten a bite I haven't slept three days or nights.

That's how I got to Memphis.

That's how I got to Memphis.

Here comes a fancy solo.

Hit it! Go!

Oh, yeah. Oh, damn.

Oh, that's sweet.

Thank you.

I've got to find her.

And tell her that I love her so.

I'll never rest.

Till I find out why she had to go.

Thank you for your precious time.

Please forgive me if I start to cry.

That's how I got to Memphis.

That's how I got to Memphis.

Will, MacKenzie says it's time to head back to the studio.

Thank you.

I know your parents' divorce has been tough.

I know you talked to your grandfather about it a lot.

I'd be good at that, too.

Or if you just want to play music.

Thanks.

Come on, Ned.

Wonderful service. It was, wasn't it?

I'm so glad you came. Oh, God...

There he is. Will.

By any chance, did you tell anyone about the pregnancy?

No, absolutely not. You're not supposed to do that till after the first semester.

Trimester.

Tess, Kendra, Tamara and Martin tricked me into telling them.

Congratulations, you guys. That's gonna be one good-looking kid.

And then they might have told some people.

Will, could I have a word? Yeah.

You know what I always thought would be fun if I was a parent?

You teach your kid something wrong like wood comes from birds and you see how long you can keep it going.

They're all grown up and at a dinner party and people are admiring the table and your kid says, "It took a lot of sparrows to make that table."

But people have different parenting styles. There's no right way or wrong way.

Maybe there's a wrong way.

What was that? We should go to the car.

You're not going to be reductive.

Are you sure you don't want to say anything? Yeah, I'm good.

Okay.

Excuse me!

Excuse me. Uh, excuse me, everybody.

I just want to say, people...

I've been trying to piece together what happened last Monday night.

People have been giving me their accounts.

Seems everyone feels responsible for Charlie dying and, of course, that's ridiculous. It was Sloan.

Charlie Skinner was crazy.

He identified with Don Quixote, an old man with dementia who thought he could save the world from an epidemic of incivility simply by acting like a knight.

His religion was decency.

And he spent a lifetime fighting its enemies.

I wish he could be here to learn the name of his successor like I just did.

Our new boss, the new president of ACN, is MacKenzie McHale.

So this fight is just getting started.

'Cause he taught the rest of us to be crazy, too.

You were a man, Charlie.

You were a great, big man.

Let's go through the rundown in five minutes.

Come in. You wanted to see me?

I'm promoting you.

You're taking over as executive producer of News Night starting Monday.

Mac, I think you should offer it to Don.

It was his job and I think he's earned it back.

I offered it to him. He wants to stay at 10:00.

He said he's onto something, he and Elliot, and he wants to keep going.

And he said he likes having the last word.

No, it's yours, Jim. ACN's flagship show.

I won't let you down.

You never have.

Cancel the interview in DC. Why?

I'm the new EP of News Night and my first move is making you senior producer.

Seriously? Yeah.

Congratulations!

Thank you. Thank you. That's sensational.

I'm incredibly flattered, but I'm going to interview for the other job.

Why?

I want to be a field producer. It's DC. I'll be in line for the White House.

Is this because I recommended you for the job and then wasn't upset enough that you... No.

Then why wouldn't you want to be senior producer?

I want to be a field producer. It's DC. I'll be in line for the White House.

Did you not hear me the first time? Fine.

Fine? It was a big deal.

I don't care how many days it's been and I'm not delusional either.

It is more than it is.

It is to me, too.

Really? Yeah.

I just said those things.

You'll stay in New York?

No. I'm going to interview for the job in DC. You know why?

I'll take the last plane every Friday night after the show and then the first plane back on Mondays.

Or sometimes I could come to New York.

Or meet in the middle of New Jersey.

That's right. Yeah.

Have you had a lot of long-distance relationships?

Yes. Have any of them worked?

No.

Then why is this going to be different? I wasn't in love with them.

Wait, what?

You turned down News Night? Yeah.

I figured why do a broadcast with 1.1 million viewers when I can do one for 287,000 and make less money at the same time?

Yeah, why do you do that? It's getting better. It's getting good.

It's been good for a long time.

Next quarter it'll be 288,000. You'll see.

So we're all landing on our feet.

Mmm-hmm.

Except for you killing Charlie.

Don't even... That's not funny.

Doesn't it bother anyone that after the life he led, he literally died fighting for something he didn't believe in?

When Pruit tried to fire you and Mac, we saw what Charlie believed in in a hurry.

I just miss him.

Hey.

Nancy gave me something she wanted you to have.

What is it? I don't know.

Okay, I need a list of all the routes to the closest hospitals.

Why?

Safety counts. Someone could hit their head.

I want a list of the 10 best OB/GYNs in the world.

Why is that?

'Cause if a woman hits her head, I think she'd feel more comfortable...

That's not the way it works. We'll do more later.

I'm gonna need some answers to questions like why does water come out of a faucet, but I'll make a list.

Congratulations. You told her I was pregnant?

You're pregnant?

She was congratulating you on the job.

Damn it. Please don't mention it to anyone.

Oh, everyone knows. Okay.

It was the Kwench story and the models at the party.

Leona convinced him to give a woman a high-level promotion.

Yeah, that's probably right, but who cares?

What does it matter how you got the job? You have the job.

You're gonna get to do the job. That's a really big deal.

It's gonna be harder than it was for Charlie with Reese and Leona.

It's gonna be a fight with Pruit every day and over big things.

I have faith.

Why?

There's a hole in the side of the boat.

That hole is never going to be fixed and it's never going away and you can't get a new boat.

This is your boat.

What you have to do is bail water out faster than it's coming in.

Also, I have to not die. That's crucial.

It's always gonna be something with you, isn't it?

You know what, kiddo?

In the old days of about 10 minutes ago, we did the news well.

You know how? We just decided to.

60 seconds.

Stand by, camera one.

We've got Julie online. The shot's clean.

Tape, cue the VO on A-2 before sound.

No, I'm saying it wasn't. It wasn't verifiable.

I appreciate that.

Don.

Mandela's been put on life support.

Can you put together your notes for me? Yeah.

Military court of appeals ruled that he was improperly denied a lawyer when he was initially questioned.

That's what I was looking for.

You know what? Can we check this number in G4-A?

I think it's supposed to be 14 million.

14,000 would be ridiculous.

Hey, it's Jim in New York. Can you hear me?

All right, he wants to ask you about the mood of the leadership, but...

Mac, they're already walking it back...

Low interest rates. It's a big part of the story.

What are you gonna ask me about? Low interest rates.

What? Low interest rates.

Do you want a card? It can be in a special color.

"The court said that the...

"That the supporters of Prop 8 had no standing

"to challenge the lower court."

"Has no standing" is how it reads in the ruling.

That's a legal distinction.

Yeah, I'm gonna look at it again in the break.

10 seconds.

Just those three... New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania.

Good show, everybody. Yeah, hang on a second.

In three, two, roll in.

Good evening.