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Moment of Goodness

Moment of Goodness: Maggie Comes of Age on HBO’s The Newsroom, “Unintended Consequences” 

Coming of age is a term used for the transition period between childhood and adulthood. 

Our once quirky, sometimes annoying, Maggie was stripped of her rose-colored glasses during her trip to a Ugandan orphanage. Remember, it was a trip that SHE wanted to take in order to bury her feelings for Don and Jim, while trying to make a name for herself.

Now we know that this once starry-eyed associate producer got more than she bargained for and is dealing with the “Unintended Consequences,” which happens to be the title of this past Sunday’s episode.

Fans were clued in a few weeks ago when Maggie walked quietly into a conference room, while AWM attorney, Rebecca Halliday, was deposing Will over the fallout from the “Genoa” story. That’s when we first noticed Maggie’s long blonde locks had been replaced with a short, choppy red haircut; followed by Will’s comment to the legal eagles, “things got real and she came back a little messed up.” That was an understatement.

It wasn’t until this week that we found out just how messed up Margaret Claire Jordan really is now. She’s gone from being the girl who suffered from severe panic attacks to being eerily tranquil. Leading up to her change is Maggie’s moment of goodness.

It came when she reached out to a frightened young orphan named Daniel. Fascinated by her blonde hair, something he had never seen before, she managed to gain his trust by reading his favorite book to him, over and over again.

As the trip got more dangerous and the bad guys came gunning in the middle of the night, Maggie and the rest of the crew tried to escape unharmed, but in an effort to save the young boy’s life she placed him on her back. A shot was fired and that’s when “things got real” and Daniel died.

Alison Pill played out every detailed moment of her character’s trip in a poignant performance from her “just the facts” account of what happened in Africa, to the scene where she picked up the scissors and slowly chopped off her hair piece by piece; while trying to find her own inner peace.

My guess is that there is much more to this story and that we’ll see Maggie’s Post-traumatic Stress Disorder spillover into her personal and professional life, making many of us wonder if we will ever see or hear from the “old” Maggie again.

HBO has posted an interview with Pill where she discusses the research she did for her character’s trip to Africa.

There’s only five episodes left this season and you won’t want to miss any of them.

The Newsroom airs on HBO Sunday’s at 10/9 C.

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