Egypt is being overthrown this week, but that's not nearly as important as the fact that it's Valentine's Day <3 <3 <3!!!! Maggie has big plans with Don and wants to make sure Roommate Lisa doesn't bug her. Instead of turning her cell phone off, she forces Jim to go on a date with Lisa, even though last week she was vehemently opposed to them being together. Then Jim is too busy being awesome at the news to go on the date and Lisa is left hanging. She deals with this by marching into ACN and yelling at him in front of everyone. For the second episode in a row, Jim is stuck apologizing to an irrational woman.
MacKenzie, too, is unlucky in love. TMI, the source for true investigative journalism (unlike NewsNight), finds out that her boyfriend Wade planning to run for Congress, and he's using his appearances on NewsNight to further that goal. It makes MacKenzie look like she's using her show to promote her boyfriend, even though she's so clueless that she had no idea he was considering a Senate run. MacKenzie is also clueless about math and the economy, because she's the best EP in the business but doesn't know what the Glass-Steagall Act is or how to do sums without using her fingers. She enlists Dr. Dr. Sloan to tutor her, only to spend most of the sessions crying about boys. It's the kind of fine moment for female newswomen everywhere that we've come to expect from this show.
Even though he's a man, Neal almost cries when the Egyptian reporter NewsNight hires – on his recommendation – to get in-depth coverage of the protests is captured by a fringe group. Neal feels very bad about this, so he punches a monitor and breaks his hand. Jim helps him get medical attention, even though Jim is also the walking wounded – he has a cut on his head from running into the glass door of the control room. Twice. Elliot gets it even worse when, at Don's urging, he leaves his Egyptian hotel room to report what's going on in the streets and is promptly beaten up. Don feels so bad about this that he runs into Reese's door and hurts his shoulder. Basically, we have three people getting hurt because they're idiots and one getting hurt because he wanted to get a story no matter the risk. And yet Elliot's the one who's not doing the kind of awesome news Will's team is.
Speaking of Will, he learns that Nina can be paid off to stop reporting on him and MacKenzie. He's just about to write her a check for $50,000 when she says that they are both journalists. Instead of $50,000, she gets another Willecture about what a terrible person she is. Will ends up spending $250,000 on ransom to free Neal's Egyptian friend from his captors. When the rest of the newsroom find out about this, they give him checks to help cover the cost in a tedious allusion to Rudy, which was painfully telegraphed near the beginning of the show, and then they all pat themselves on the back for being good people.
It's February 10, 2011, and Elliot is taking some time off from whatever his crappy 10 o'clock show is called to report from Egypt for NewsNight as the Tahrir Square protests go on. Unfortunately, Elliot is useless, as his crew has been threatened away from filming and he is sitting in an "undisclosed location" because it's not safe to go outside. Instead, they have to watch feed from Al Jazeera from six hours ago.
The control room is in its usual chaos, since MacKenzie is there. Don is there, too, totally disgusted with Elliot for reporting from his hotel room. Elliot runs off to see what's going on outside when he hears gunshots, leaving Will talking to an empty room. Don is furious. Elliot runs back in and says there was gunfire, but he can't see what's going on. He tries to describe the scene for Will just as Maggie runs into the control room, whipping open the glass door and nailing Jim in the face. Jim holds his head and wonders why Maggie didn't see him standing there, what with the door being transparent and all. "Be quiet, there's a news story!" Maggie says bitchily. I hate her so much, you guys. She is just an awful, unredeemable character. Anyway, she thinks a bunch of teachers protesting in Wisconsin is more important than the Egyptian government being overthrown. Jim, Maggie, and Don all talk at MacKenzie at the same time. She just nods and looks like she's about to cry (as usual) before sending Jim and Maggie off with a, "Yep. Go." Some might say that this proves how good MacKenzie is under pressure and when juggling several things at once. I just think it proves that if you say, "Yep. Go," at people, things will get done and no one will ever know you weren't paying attention.
Jim and Maggie run into the edit bay. There is one editor and two packages that have to be cut together. So Jim just asks the editor if he can break union rules and edit his package while she works on Maggie's. The editor asks if he will hire another, clearly-needed editor in exchange. Jim says he can't promise anything. The editor grants his request. I'm sorry, but she is never going to get another editor if she keeps letting non-editors edit! Why would ACN spend money on another editor when the only time it seems to need him, the senior producer can just sit down and do his job instead?
The editor puts together all of two clips and hits "render." But it's taking too long or something, so Maggie has to dump the clip on a thumbdrive and run it to the control room.