|Believe it or not, this is a pretty inventive cold open (via ovguide.com)|
Here's to hoping that Sorkin's next television show about a television show manages to link everything into one cohesive Sorkin-verse.
Anyway, today's episode is "Breaking News."
Host & Musical Guest: Jenna Fischer & Gran Bel Fisher
# of references “Crazy Christians”: None
Sketches Referenced: Zero
Sketches Shown: White House Press Conference, Cooking Healthy with Nicholas Cage
This episode has everything! There’s a couple fighting, a couple flirting and a couple fidgeting. It also sees the beginning of a storyline that will carry the show through it’s final episodes.
Good news; Harriet has wrapped Luke’s movie, so she’s back at Studio 60 full time now. Bad news; Harriet and Simon are worried because Tom’s parents haven’t heard from Tom’s brother, y’know, the guy who is in Afghanistan, in awhile. Even worse news; Simon snooping in Tom’s computer reveals that Tom didn’t get his customary pre-show email from his brother.
Simon and Harriet debate during the episode about whether to alert Tom to his parent’s worry or to let him do the episode free of thoughts about his brother’s wellbeing. Harriet feels he should know, while Simon doesn’t think he needs the burden of his brother weighing him, especially since Danny told the cast not to worry about anything, especially ratings.
Danny said that to shelter the cast. Y’see Studio 60 is on a ratings skid. Jack and Jordan talk about it. Mary and Matt talk about it. Jordan and Danny talk about it. But Danny doesn’t want the cast to talk about it.
Jack tells Jordan that Studio 60 is hemorrhaging viewers, things need to change and she needs to turn things around, and pull rank on her boyfriend, Danny. Jack mentions that if she’s not comfortable doing that, he can have Hallie do it. She tries to defend Matt and Danny, but Jack demolishes her argument.
So when Jordan confronts Danny, suddenly the roles are reversed, she’s Jack and Danny’s her. Danny tries to use her arguments and she uses Jack’s to crush him. Then she points out that she told him not to start the show with The War and says that he only did it because she asked him to. It’s a tense working relationship.
Speaking of the working environment at Studio 60 Mary, the lawyer from Gage Whitney is back. She’s back for a few reasons. She wants to tell Matt he’s now a defendant in the lawsuit, because he told someone checking the fired writer’s references that she was “bad news.” She’s also back to talk to Harriet, who said that “the writer’s room is a tough place for a woman.” And of course she’s back to flirt with Matt.
Matt has a confrontation with Suzanne. She asks him if he’s high. She can tell because her mom abused pills. He trots out the same line about not being able to write the show when he’s in the dumps because of Harriet. She backs off, but tells Danny.
Danny is enraged, because he’s an addict and he doesn’t want Matt to have to deal with that life. He’s also disgusted that Matt didn’t come to him. He goes on an entire tirade about the best way to abuse pills (crushing them up) and how to freebase. Matt tells him that he’s done with drugs, because the drugs were making him a sucky writer.
Despite Danny’s objections, the cast is indeed talking about ratings. Dylan feels they should be doing more frat humor. Tom is kicking himself for messing up a line. But when Tom sees Lucy, everything is right in the world. Simon is on the verge of telling Tom about his brother possibly being missing, but after seeing how happy Lucy made him, Simon decides to hold off.
Mary does find Harriet and they talk about things. Harriet says that the writer’s room was different under Ricky and Ron than it is with Matt. She says that Matt has an affect on people. Harriet then notices that Matt has an effect on Mary.
After the show, the wrap party is held at Studio 60. Remember a few weeks ago, when Danny and Jordan got locked on the roof? Well, now the roof is where part of the after party is held. There are tables up there and a bar is set up, completely with bartender. (Personally, I’m worried because I don’t think the roof can support all those people, but whatever.)
Jordan and Danny decide that they need to have some ground rules because while they’re dating, she is still his boss. They hash things out and then Jordan mentions that she hasn’t felt the baby kick all day. Danny rushes her to props and they try to find a stethoscope, but Danny can’t differentiate between heartbeats.
Meanwhile, Mary and Matt flirt some more. He asks her to be his date to the party, she says he’s not over Harriet. He asks her to dinner instead and she agrees, she just needs to wrap up a report first.
Danny is about to rush Jordan to the hospital, but suddenly Jack rushes in with breaking news; Al Jazeera is reporting that Tom’s brother and two other soldiers have been captured. Simon breaks the news to Tom. Then they all head to the control room to watch the story break.
Danny sends Jordan to the hospital and then he and Matt compare notes on the day and agree that Studio 60’s ratings aren’t important, Tom’s brother is important.