Thankfully, Will asks MacKenzie to cut to the chase, for only he may make the self-important speeches on this show and be the Voice of Sorkin. MacKenzie says she wants to make the kind of show she and Will used to do before he became popular and Jay Leno-esque. Will says he'd rather be employed. "You punk!" MacKenzie says; "I've come here to take your IQ and your talent and put it to some patriotic fucking use!" In case you were wondering, Emily Mortimer was no better pulling that off than she was the "jughead" line, though none of this is her fault because I don't know anyone who could deliver those lines convincingly. MacKenzie is determined to make their show good AND popular, even if Will thinks that's impossible. Will whips out some report that apparently says that Americans are more polarized than they've been since the Civil War. "People choose the facts they want now," Will says. This is true. I don't think a show like this or Aaron Sorkin is the answer, though. Will says most Americans are stupid. MacKenzie insists that they aren't. She says America is the only country that has always said that it can do better. So America has low self-esteem? Like Maggie? "That whole speech did nothing for me," Will says. It didn't do much for me, either. Now Will and I have something in common! Oh, no, wait - as MacKenzie finally leaves his office, Will looks like he might, in fact, have taken her words to heart.
Jim is off the phone and wants to talk to Don. Don wants Jim to sit down and shut up. "I just got a call from a source!" Jim says. An anonymous engineer at BP told him that they don't know how to cap the well. He won't tell Don who his source is, so Don walks away. Jim gets another phone call.
Oh, I guess MacKenzie walked back into Will's office, because she is now quoting Cervantes. Oh, no, wait - as Will points out, she's just quoting Man of La Mancha. MacKenzie says that's irrelevant. "It's time for Don Quixote!" she says. Will assumes MacKenzie means he is Don Quixote. No, MacKenzie says she's Don Q; Will is his horse. "He rode a donkey," Will says. MacKenzie wants to reclaim "the Fourth Estate" and "journalism as an honorable profession." Yeah, actually? It's never been an honorable profession. Which is not to say it isn't, just that the rest of the country (and many journalists) haven't seen as it as such and this has been consistent throughout its history. Nightly news, MacKenzie says, is supposed to inform people to have debates that are "worthy of a great nation" full of "civility," "respect," and a "return to what's important: the death of bitchiness, the death of gossip and voyeurism." Oh my god, I cannot listen to this much longer. But it goes on. "We're coming to a tipping point. I know you know that" blah blah blah conversations about governments and politics and self-sacrifice versus self-interest and MacKenzie and Will could have the privilege and the honor of framing that debate, if not coming up with ways to make it appealing to the audience to engage in. "That's ... " Will starts. "Quixotic?" MacKenzie smirks. Ugh.