That cliffhanger we ended on last week is solved in the first three minutes of tonight's episode, as MacKenzie makes a big inspiring speech about how they can put a broadcast on without electricity and then the power comes back. Will interviews Sandy and feels like a bad person but still thinks it's all worth it for the debate. And then, after all that compromising, the RNC representatives show up, watch like five minutes of nonsense, and tell Will there is no way they'll let him host the debate on his show with this new format because it is horrible and also all about Will, not the candidates. It's a crushing blow for everyone, especially because the mock debaters made their own special sweatshirts and everything. But at least now they don't have to cover the Casey Anthony trial or Anthony Weiner and can talk about Dr. Dr. Sloan's precious debt ceiling.
Before that happens, though, they're determined to get a Casey Anthony-related guest no one else has. Guess what? It turns out that Roommate Lisa went to high school with Casey Anthony! This makes her so desirable because apparently the high school they went to only had two students so it's really hard to get other classmates. Lisa doesn't want to do it, but Maggie and Jim are horrible people who go to her work and twist her arm. Then they leave a bunch of factoids about missing children in her dressing room so she'll go on the air and talk about Things That Matter. Except that Lisa decides instead to talk about how abortion is a good thing because then people don't have kids they'd end up murdering down the line anyway. That gets her place of work vandalized, so I'm sure she's really glad she went on NewsNight. At least the crew didn't have the utter and complete disdain for her they did for Sandy.
In the other plots, Neal continues on his quest to find the internet troll, only to wind up in a chat room with the guy who threatened Will. The payoff for this storyline better be that Will is shot at in the season finale. Nothing less will do. Hancock turns out to be a less than reliable source. And Don turns out to be a real man about town, going on dates with other women when he and Maggie were broken up. One of them sends him flowers. I'm not sure why a woman would send flowers to the office of a guy she hasn't seen in six months or so (unless Don and Maggie broken up more recently than we know), but she did, and now everyone knows about it. Including Maggie, who finds out from Don just as Jim is about to tell her how he really feels about her. Instead, Jim winds up with Lisa again.
Last week on Newsroom, the lights went out after MacKenzie asked God to do her a solid. This week, they're still off and the emergency generator hasn't kicked in and MacKenzie doesn't understand how they managed to lose power in the studio when she was told that was impossible. It ends up being the fault of budget cuts. The battery-powered backup lights finally turn on just as Will bursts in to inform the control room that there's no power. Even MacKenzie thinks that's a dumb thing to say.
The lights are out in the newsroom as well, but fortunately most people there have flashlights. I would be so screwed if the power went out at my office. I have no idea where the flashlights are. I don't think we even have any? I'd just have to use my too-bright iPhone screen to light the way. MacKenzie walks in and informs the group that maintenance is on the way upstairs to check the generator. Jim informs her that they'll have to make it up to the 25th floor -- without an elevator. MacKenzie figures it will probably take them a few hours to do that. She puts Neal on laptop battery conversation duty because he's the blog guy and that's all she can think of as being important at this point. Will asks about that thing they do every night at 8. You know, the news show? How can they do it without power? Surely MacKenzie has a contingency plan in place. " ... " Mackenzie says while opening and closing her mouth like a fish. Finally she comes up with: "A miracle happens." But she's serious.
MacKenzie gets her speech on and asks her minions how much they hate having to report the kind of news they think they're better than. Gary Cooper mutters something about hating that there's no air conditioning right now because Gary Cooper is awesome. Rodney Dangerfield is also awesome. Look at him, putting a flash-spotlight on MacKenzie like that. He's so selfless! MacKenzie insists that everyone hates covering Casey Anthony and Anthony Weiner instead of "important stories" just to get ratings. "We're starting to be not very pleasant people to be around," she says. Starting?
MacKenzie tells the kids a story about how she was in the control room prepping "for that idiot who is still in the studio." "Are you talking about me?" asks Sandy, who was apparently just left sitting there in the dark. "No!" MacKenzie says, then "whispers" to the others "Yes!" How is Sandy an idiot? She turned a few Twitter DMs into a gold mine! Her only stupid move was coming on NewsNight. MacKenzie continues that she asked God to show her a sign that she wasn't "doing a big thing badly" -- which I still don't know what that even means, by the way--- and then the power went out. Basically, MacKenzie thinks God is communicating with her... not unlike how Michele Bachmann thinks God speaks to her. Except we're all supposed to hate Bachmann for that and love MacKenzie.