Off in New Hampshire, Jim continues to have a grand old time in his self-contained subplot that has nothing to do with the rest of this show. Predictably, he’s become the campaign trail’s very own mini-Will, hurling tough questions at a press aide in a ritual that Hallie points out makes him feel good but doesn’t actually accomplish anything. Unfortunately, Hallie’s role as Jim’s whip-smart reality check is torpedoed by her back story: she started her own blog to ask tough questions about “women’s issues,” but then The Man got her down, leaving it to another Man to show her what’s what. The only thing more condescending than the term “women’s issues” here is the fact that Jim needs to rescue her from softball questions and cynicism like some journalistic damsel in distress. Jim’s drunken last stand against House of Cards’s Janine then gets both of them and their comic relief third wheel kicked off the bus.
A few quick D-plots pop up before the team gets to deal with Genoa. Maggie uses some medication as an excuse to act even more unprofessional than usual, but MacKenzie redeems the mini-arc with a cute mentorship moment in which she gives Maggie a $100 bill and tells her to either bring it back from Africa or tell her the story of where it went. Doesn’t make me any more excited for the inevitably cringe-worthy Africa scenes coming up, but it’s a cute moment that I just realized passes the Bechdel test. Yay! Then MacKenzie finally agrees to give OWS some air time, admitting she’s been refusing to cover it because she thinks it’s a failure, which is exactly the kind of biased editorializing journalists are not supposed to do. But it looks like Shelley the NYU Student is all set to butt heads with Will the Republican. This’ll be fun!
Finally, Jerry and Mac interview the soldier and get the go-ahead from Charlie to follow up, albeit with extreme skepticism. They can’t get any other sources, but they do get a translated tweet at the 11th hour that mentions white phosphorus. Twitter leading the News Night team astray seems like an opportunity for Sorkin to lecture us about the dangers of the Internet if I’ve ever seen one, but I’ll keep my hopes up. Just kidding — this is The Newsroom, home of the pajama people! See you next week for our next lesson in why social media is evil.