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Willie Pete is the 3rd episode of Season 2 on HBO series The Newsroom.


Will continues his mission to civilize by telling Nina Howard (Hope Davis) the truth. A new witness to the Genoa story emerges on Twitter, and in New Hampshire, Jim's efforts to have his questions answered continue to fall on deaf ears.


The events of this episode begin on September 23, 2011 and conclude September 30, 2011.

Will renews his "mission to civilize" whilst searching out an office leak, Mac and Jerry further investigate the Genoa tip and Jim demands more answers from the Romney campaign. Will condemns the would-be GOP presidential candidates for allowing an openly-gay soldier to be booed during a town hall debate. Charlie and Will discover that Reese was behind the office leak. As well as, attempting to woo Nina Howard on a couple of occasions.

Dantana and Mac sit down with Gunnery Sergeant Eric Sweeney who recounts the alleged use of sarin gas. Sloan and Don converse over her insecurities. Maggie moves forward with her Uganda report. Neal receives criticism from Mac about taking the Occupy Wall Street movement so seriously. Jim continues to stand up for what he believes in by peppering the Romney press consultants with questions and continually request time with the candidate. Later, he inspires Hallie and Stillman to revolt against the Romney press consultants. Instead, this results in all three of them being expelled from the bus.


Jeff Daniels as Will McAvoy
Emily Mortimer as MacKenzie McHale
John Gallagher, Jr. as Jim Harper
Alison Pill as Maggie Jordan
Thomas Sadoski as Don Keefer
Dev Patel as Neal Sampat
Olivia Munn as Sloan Sabbith
and Sam Waterston as Charlie Skinner

Guest starring

Hope Davis as Nina Howard
Chris Messina as Reese Lansing
Hamish Linklater as Jerry Dantana
Grace Gummer as Hallie Shea
Constance Zimmer as Taylor Warren
Chris Chalk as Gary Cooper
Adina Porter as Kendra James
Roderick Hill as Eric Sweeney
Don McManus as Zane


Margaret Judson as Tess Westin
Wynn Everett as Tamara Hart
Thomas Matthews as Martin Stallworth
John F. Carpenter as Herb Wilson
Charlie Weirauch as Jake Watson
Trieu Tran as Joey Phan
Riley Voelkel as Jenna Johnson
Joel Johnstone as Cameron
Cameron Gharaee as Frank Stillman
Kosha Patel as Jill
Shaun Brown as Zach
Starla Benford as Amy
Eric Bunton as Pierre
Tara Sands as Assistant

The voicemail[]

Hey Mac, it's me
Look — I'm not just saying this
because I'm high:
I've never stopped
loving you
You were spectacular
can you believe we got


  • First appearance of Taylor Warren
  • We finally learn, from Nina, what Will said in the voicemail he left Mac
  • He tells Nina that he thought Mac had moved on when she never mentioned the voicemail
  • Will and Nina start dating
  • Jim Harper mispronounces "Concord" by putting the accent on the second syllable. Martin Sheen's character in The West Wing made this same error.



The Newsroom
#201 "First Thing We Do, Let’s Kill All the Lawyers" #206 "One Step Too Many"
#202 "The Genoa Tip" #207 "Red Team III"
#203 "Willie Pete" #208 "Election Night, Part I"
#204 "Unintended Consequences" #209 "Election Night, Part II"
#205 "News Night with Will McAvoy"