Election night, and The Newsroom‘s Second Season, comes to a close with a proposal, a kiss, a confession, and everyone keeping their jobs. “Election Night, Part II” wraps up most of the season’s ongoing stories by a pair of couples finally admitting their feelings for one another as Sloan (Olivia Munn) discovers Don (Thomas Sadoski) is the one who anonymously paid $1,000 to charity for her book no one wanted and Will (Jeff Daniels) surprises everyone, including himself, by proposing to MacKenzie (Emily Mortimer) with the ring he couldn’t bring himself to return.
Although we get quite a bit of news coverage on various state races and the national election, the finale’s main goal is to tie-up as many ongoing stories as possible. First, it cements everyone keeping their jobs, which was a foregone conclusion that even Reese (Chris Messina) would eventually come around before the clock struck midnight, and second it forces Jim (John Gallagher Jr.) to pay attention to the damage he’s caused between Maggie (Alison Pill) and Lisa (Kelen Coleman), and see just how much Maggie is still hurting from her trip Africa, and try to make amends.
Although I was wrong in suspecting the show would find a way to throw Jim and Taylor (Constance Zimmer) together before the end of the season, I enjoyed her on-air tussle with Will about what a real Republican stands for and I’d be surprised if the Third Season doesn’t find a way to bring her back. Sloane growing increasingly frustrated as Will kept breaking away just as she was beginning to make an on-air point was a fun running gag for the episode as well.
On the negative side, the lifeless Wikipedia story continued to go nowhere even with Hallie’s (Grace Gummer) intervention, I never for a second bought into the fake tension that Reese was going to fire anyone, and Leona Lansing (Jane Fonda) being high again felt was a cheap joke that was less effective the second time around (and that’s saying something as it wasn’t effective at all the first time). Even with these issues the character-driven finale does what it needed to do to bookend the season while still spending time to lay the groundwork to the show’s return next year (which will no doubt include no end of wedding craziness).