The Blackout Part II: Mock Debate

Episode Report Card
Sara M: C | 20 USERS: D
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Hey, remember that Solomon Hancock guy and his big scoop? Well, Jim informs Charlie, Will, and MacKenzie that he's shaky. He didn't do well on his latest psych assessment (he probably would have done better if Will hadn't interrupted his last session... ), his security clearance was lowered, and his ex-wife has a restraining order against him that he violated. Oh, and he was arrested for solicitation in 1979. MacKenzie doesn't think that's such a big deal. They didn't fire Hancock, after all. That's because he's a government employee. Those guys never get fired. None of Hancock's personal or work issues mean he's lying to them about the NSA, MacKenzie says. No, but people will think they do. Also, he might be a crazy person. Duh, MacKenzie.

Will and MacKenzie walk back to the newsroom, where Maggie dances around and speaks to them "in code" so she can tell Will what he should ask Lisa without actually telling him that. Because that would be ethically wrong. It is not ethically wrong, however, to tell Will what to say to his interview subject via code words. That's totally cool. Also, there are no ethical issues whatsoever about using your roommate as a source. MacKenzie asks Maggie to leave a bunch of missing children statistics in Lisa's dressing room and everyone thinks she's very clever. These are admirable journalists we're watching, you guys. Murrow did this kind of thing all the time, I'm sure. I once read that Cronkite's roommate assassinated JFK, so he was able to get the scoop on that.

Jim finds Lisa in the make-up chair. The make-up room has a poster for NewsNight and a poster for Elliot's crappy show, but nothing for that great Terry Smith show we never get to see. Lisa tells Jim that Maggie isn't just her "best friend" -- she's her "only friend." That is so sad for Lisa, considering how little Maggie seems to care about her. And how awful it must be to have any interaction with Maggie, let alone be best friends with her. Also, why doesn't Lisa have any other friends? She seems delightful. I'm extremely undelightful and even I have more than one friend. Lisa refuses to date Jim again because it will hurt Maggie, and she thinks it won't be long until Maggie realizes that Don doesn't love her and then it will be Jim's turn. Jim says he's waited a year for his turn. "I'm nobody's second choice," he says. "Neither am I," Lisa says. Good point.

Maggie walks in to ruin everything, as usual. She hands Lisa a list of factoids to study. Jim says she can even take the paper out with her and keep it on the desk to consult during the show. Such great journalism I am seeing here. What a return to civility. Maggie leaves, and Jim thanks Lisa more sincerely than Maggie ever did.

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