Recap: ‘The Newsroom’ S3E3 “Main Justice”

Sadly, we are already half way through the final season of The Newsroom, and the season is pelting towards its end full steam ahead. Even if Season 3 is moving along at quite a pace, the events couldn’t be more compelling and the performances continue to mark the quality of each episode. This week, we pick up right where we left off as the newsroom of ACN combats the FBI and the might of the US government while Charlie (Sam Waterson) learns the news network’s fate.


Surprisingly for Will (Jeff Daniels), he is the only member of the “Newsnight” team allowing the FBI agents to ransack the whole office. As Mac (Emily Mortimer) and her friend Agent Molly Levy (Mary McCormack) heatedly debate the finer points of governmental jurisdiction as well as Molly’s place at Mac’s wedding, Charlie steps in. He implements a coup, threatening to put the FBI raid on live, forcing Levy and her team to stand down. Before they leave with what they could gather in hand, Rebecca Halliday (Marcia Gay Harden) agrees that the heads of ACN will meet the Assistant Attorney General in D.C. Friday night. The newly compliant Will agrees while Mac and Charlie begin planning how to run the story pending governmental approval.

FBI raid

In the run up to the fateful meeting, Charlie has a rendezvous with the Lansings, Leona (Jane Fonda) still hell-bent on keeping her company away from her stepchildren. However, she can think of only one way to stump up the cash to save AWM, and that is to sell ACN to hotshot web entrepreneur Lucas Pruit (B.J. Novak) who has big plans for the news network. Trouble brews quickly as the sale begins to go through as the new director of ACN’s HR department, Wyatt Geary (Keith Powell) pays a surprise visit to Don (Thomas Sadoski) under the pretense of investigating a prior grievance. However, Geary makes it known to Don that he has suspicions that he is having a relationship with Sloan (Olivia Munn), putting their jobs on the line and the newest lovebirds on alert for the remainder of the episode.

It is the lead story that captures the attentions of the entire ACN audience, and it all stems from Maggie’s (Alison Pill) exclusive story courtesy of Richard Westbrook (Paul Lieberstein) and his embargoed EPA report. With the help of Jim Harper (John Gallagher Jr.), Maggie gets her story bumped to just under top billing on Friday’s show, and what comes of it is almost as bad as a fake news story. Westbrook does everything in his power to let everyone know that the world is coming to an end sooner than we thought with a stunned Will McAvoy attempting to keep the interview from inciting panic. The interview stuns everyone in the newsroom as well as the audience. Meanwhile, Jim’s private life is beginning to derail as Hallie (Grace Gummer) vies for a new job that he disapproves of because of the possible moral implications of what her bosses will be asking of her in the name of public interest and page views. Putting forth his opinions unfortunately puts him in the doghouse.

Charlie Will interview

The meeting in D.C. comes with Will, Mac, Charlie and Rebecca all in attendance without Neal (Dev Patel). The AAG lays everything on the table rather bullishly, clearly gunning for the news team with barely controlled disgust, but while tempers flair, Will remains cooperative. The AAG, however, has other plans, and present Will with the evidence that Neal bought the incriminating computer with his credit card, implicating Will in Neal’s actions. Will sees right through the bulldog act as the AAG pushes him too far, and immediately turns uncooperative, putting the AAG in his place and ending the meeting in eloquent fashion, but not everything is put to rest. At the White House Correspondent’s Dinner, Mac comes face to face with Neal’s source, Lilly Hart (Clea DuVall) who demands that “Newsnight” run the story or else. The episode ends with Will receiving a subpoena to appear before a grand jury, putting to rest his misconception that he is too big to fail.


The overarching theme of “Main Justice” is the bulk of Will McAvoy acting as the protective body for all his people, believing himself to be “too big to jail” but being put into the hottest seat of them all because of his integrity. Will has developed into the protective big brother for his news team, and setting himself up to take the fall for Neal has begun to become very serious indeed, and Jeff Daniels continues to give a fantastic performance.

The brilliance behind this final season so far lies with the perfect balance between speed and quality and never sacrificing one for the other. Though “Main Justice” is arguably the slowest paced episode so far in Season 3, the dialogue, the performances, and the well executed plot are raising the show’s quality above where it fell with Season 2’s weaker run, all the elements creating a fabulous, dramatic way for The Newsroom to end. As the heat intensifies on Will and ACN’s heels, the dramatic action continues to rivet our minds and excite us. It will be sad to see the show go.

4 Stars (4 / 5)

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(Photos copyright: HBO)

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Comments (1)

  1. Bobby Land says:

    I love this show.

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