After weeks of blending realism with drama on political issues and world topics a bit dated (somewhere circa 2010), The Newsroom brings forward a topic that was as big an issue then as it is now: bullying.
The episode finds Will suffering from insomnia and going to his therapist for the first time in four years because of it. When he gets there however, he's in for a surprise when he learns that his therapist died two years prior and his son has taken over the practice. With a new bodyguard (guest star Terry Crews) in tow, Will opens up for the first time in a long time to this stranger.
He explores the past few days that have been stressing him out due to Sloan jeopardizing her career (probably because of him) and a death threat.
The death threat comes in the form of an anonymous online post but regardless, it's serious enough to get him a bodyguard. The threat came after he bullied a gay professor who supported a politician who was anti-gay rights. Will bullied the man into answering his questions on the air almost making him cry.
Later, he bullies Sloan into bullying a guest she has on air while taking over Elliot's time slot. He tells her not to tolerate her guests lying on air. "You knowingly and passively allow someone to lie on your air... And maybe you're not a drug dealer but you're sure as hell the guy who drives the dealer around in your car."
Sloan had already spoken to her source earlier in the day who told her one story and then later changes it on air. She bullied him into answering truthfully despite the trouble he and his career could get into. The interview not only jeopardized his career but his honor as well in his home country of Japan.
Devastated, Sloan asks Will for help in savaging her source's career and his tarnished honor. What Charlie proposes is that she lie on air and say that her Japanese was actually not that good and that she misunderstood. Otherwise she would be suspended.
Sloan turns to Will and asks for his advice one last time and he tells her to lie.
When speaking to his new therapist he realizes that he is a bully. That he bullies his employees into doing what he wants them to do and that he bullies his guests into saying he wants to hear.
It was a wonderful epiphany for a character like Will to finally realize. It will be interesting to see where he goes from here.
Next week looks like it was be very dramatic and since his bodyguard was still in the picture I don't expect the death threat storyline to completely go away anytime soon.
What did you think? Do you think Will has learned his lesson? What about Sloan? Do you think she crossed a line and compromised her journalistic integrity? Let us know either in the comments below, or tweet us @FilmThrasher or @Lilah86 on Twitter!