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What We Learned, The Series Finale of HBO’s The Newsroom 

What We Learned, The Series Finale of  HBO’s The Newsroom
Photo Credit: HBO/Melissa Moseley

Charlie may be gone, but not forgotten. This entire time, it was Charlie who was on a Mission to Civilize. He represented Don Quixote, not Will.

Photo Credit: HBO/Melissa Moseley
Photo Credit: HBO/Melissa Moseley

In a very entertaining and clever manor, Aaron Sorkin managed to tie every character and prominent storyline together, even leaving the door open for a possible return. Although, Sorkin claims that he is finished with this series, we can only hope that one day he will change his mind.

Photo Credit: HBO/Melissa Moseley
Photo Credit: HBO/Melissa Moseley

“What Kind of Day Has It Been” opens with everyone in attendance at Charlie’s funeral. Outside the church, Mac is on the phone. She quietly walks back inside, surprising Will with the news that she is pregnant.

This is when Sorkin begins his magic. We meet Maggie, Don and Neal for the first time. Don is the EP, Will is a jackass and Neal is fighting to put up a website that everyone can be proud of.

Photo Credit: HBO/Melissa Moseley
Photo Credit: HBO/Melissa Moseley

Charlie is in his office listening to “That’s How I got to Memphis” by Tom T. Hall. Will walks in and sits down across from Charlie. The two discuss music, family and the news. Next we see them having drinks and talking about fatherhood. At this point, Will isn’t really sure if he wants to be a dad. Charlie tells Will that he’s depressed, but assures him that his illness isn’t chemical, it’s only related to the show that he’s anchoring. Charlie points out how dull and boring the newscast is and wants to know how to fix it. By the end of their heart-to-heart, Charlie reminds Will that being a father lives up to the hype.

Boy, have times changed! Will is inside the church smiling, in fact he’s so happy that Mac has to sit him down. Outside the church, Will wants the details of his wife’s pregnancy. There’s just the right amount of humor in this scene. Then Leona walks up to them and asks Mac to ride along with her and Pruit in one of the cars. The funeral procession then leaves the church.

Photo Credit: HBO/Karen Ballard
Photo Credit: HBO/Karen Ballard

Jim and Maggie are riding inside one of the limos. Maggie gets a text asking her to go to Washington D.C. for a job interview. Here we find out that Jim recommended her for a field producer position.

In another car, Leona and Pruit are hashing it out over his sexist ways. It seems that he has managed to get himself in trouble with one of his key demographics. With her mind elsewhere, Mac still doesn’t have a clue as to why she is along for the ride.

While Will is contemplating fatherhood and the loss of his best friend, Don and Sloan are trying to ease their guilty conscience. They tell Will what happened right before Charlie suffered a heart attack.

Flashback to when Charlie first tracks down MacKenzie at a bowling alley. She’s drowning her sorrows in booze. Not to worry, Charlie makes her an offer she really can’t refuse.

Sloan makes her presence known to Don, by marching in his office. These two had chemistry from the very beginning.

At Northwestern, we meet Jenna before she goes inside and gets yelled at by Will. She’s standing in line with Mac. Mac wants to know what she’s going to ask the panel. Jenna tells her, “She wants to know what makes America the greatest country in the world” and the two bond quickly.

In real time, we are faced with seeing Pruit’s nasty mug again. Leona promptly puts him in his place, telling him, “You have a PR problem because you have an actual problem.”

At the cemetery, Sloan and Maggie reminisce about Charlie.

Flashback again, Charlie is reviewing the tape of Will at Northwestern. Leona calls Will while he’s on vacation.

Will: “I’d like to make a career out of doing the news.”

Leona: “Who’s stopping you?”

Sloan confronts Don again, only to find out that he is no longer the producer of News Night. She decides to ask Don out for coffee, but sees him kissing Maggie and changes her mind.

Mac shows up at Jim’s empty apartment. He tells her about a long-distance relationship that didn’t work out. Mac isn’t interested, instead she offers him the Senior News Producer job at News Night. He wants to know more about the book that Charlie gave to her and she pulls out a copy of Don Quixote.

At Charlie’s funeral Will is coming to terms with impending fatherhood. He decides to stop smoking. Kendra and a few others figure out that Mac and Will are expecting a baby.

Jim, Maggie and Sloan discuss Maggie’s upcoming interview. Sloan believes the fact that Jim recommended Maggie for the job, may indicate that Jim want to break up with her. Maggie assures Jim that she understands where their relationship stands and thanks him for the recommendation.

Leona gives Pruit that sage advice we read about in the synopsis. She tells him to find a News Director who will argue with him and continue to argue with him over and over again.

As the geek guys sit around and debate overrated movies, Neal returns and shuts down the entire site. Neal proceeds to tell them how embarrassed he is over what has gone on in his absence. He explains to them what it took for him to build ACN digital. Neal informs them that he is planning on rebuilding the entire website.

Photo Credit: HBO/Melissa Mosley
Photo Credit: HBO/Melissa Mosley

Don apologizes to Charlie’s widow, but much to his surprise, he learns that Charlie was never in favor of any of the changes. In a tearful moment, Charlie’s widow hands Don her late husband’s tie and tells him that he loved him.

Will begins testing out this fatherhood thing; he bonds with Charlie’s grandchildren. They gather in the garage and sing “That’s How I got to Memphis,” the song that was playing earlier in the episode.

Gary Cooper congratulates Will and Mac on becoming parents, but Will is pulled away by Pruit. Will finally finds the words that he’s been searching for during the entire funeral service. First, he assures everyone that no one is responsible for Charlie’s death. Then he announces that his wife, MacKenzie McHale is the new President of ACN.

Back at ACN, Jim is promoted to EP. Jim asks Maggie to cancel her interview in D.C. – instead he wants to promote her to senior producer, but she declines. She wants to be a field producer in D.C. – she has her sights set on The White House. They talk about doing long distance. Maggie wants to know how it will be different for him this time around and he tells her that he was never in love with any of the others, but he is in love with her.

Don explains to Sloan why he turned down News Night. Sloan misses Charlie. In a tender moment, he gives Sloan the tie that was meant for him, telling her Charlie’s widow wanted her to have it.

Photo Credit: HBO/Karen Ballard
Photo Credit: HBO/Karen Ballard

In his office, Will and Mac discuss her new position at the network. Will reassures her that she’s perfect for the position.

Viewers are treated to a flashback of “We Just Decided To,” the very first episode of The Newsroom.

The series ends on a shot of Will at the ANC anchor desk. The final credits roll with no music.

Here’s a look Inside the Episode with series creator, Aaron Sorkin.

If you’ve missed any of the episodes, just head on over to and check them out. They are worth watching again

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