Alex engages in contract negotiations as she prepares to accept an award. Bradley is courted for a new opportunity.
A singer performs while Cory watches. He sees Bradley walking in and waves her over to introduce himself. She orders a drink and asks him what the meeting is about. He promises her he doesn't want to sleep with her and points to Cecily, his New York assistant, who is nearby taking notes. He jokes that he's sleeping with her. Their drinks arrive and he asks Bradley for her story. She says it's the same as so many, but he thinks it's different. She asks him his story. His dad left, so he took care of his mom and vowed to own the world one day. It's working pretty well for him. She asks him what he wants from her. He asks why she's not further in her career if she's so savvy about the business. She thinks what he sees as fresh is what held her back. She says what she means and doesn't fit the mold. He wants her to be a field corespondent for The Morning Show. She has a bit of a colorful history. She brings up an incident he didn't even know about it, but won't tell him more about it. He's trying to decide if he should give her a chance. He wants to use the scandal to re-invent themselves. He's arranged a meeting for her with Chip and she agrees to take it. She thanks him for the drink and goes to prepare for the interview as she takes her job really seriously.
Alex returns home and Jason startles her. She says she can't just come over like this anymore. He tells her Lizzy's been freaking out over not knowing where Alex is. Alex says she's home and fine and she'll call Lizzy. Jason asks where she was and she lies that she was on a walk in the park. Jason leaves, saying he'll see her tomorrow night for the event.
Mitch wakes up at 3:30 AM. He checks his phone to see several notifications about him. He checks his kids' room, but it's empty. He tries to make coffee, but can't work the machine properly. He starts crying, but then stops himself and figures out how to work the coffee maker. He starts crying again as his coffee brews.
Isabella gives notes to Alex as she prepares for the event. They need to review her speech. Greg tells her the network is nervous about her speech because it's her first public appearance since this happened. She's accepting an awards for leadership in journalism two days after her co-anchor of fifteen years was fired. She wants to get out of it, but can't. She goes into her room to take a call.
Sarah got a message from Alex at 4:00 AM. Alex asks her if the network is dragging their feet on her new deal because something unusual is going on, like they're trying to replace her. Sarah says it doesn't necessarily mean that, but they need her right now. Alex wants the deal is closed with everything they asked for. The most important thing is co-host approval. She wants to control the narrative so she's not written out. She wants Sarah to push for it. She wants to hear the second Sarah hears back from them.
Yanko watches a video of Mitch interviewing a director accused of sexual harassment. The director says the women never complained to him. Mitch points out that he was their boss. Suddenly, Claire comes in and climbs onto Yanko's lap over his objections. She wants him. He uses the safe word to get her to stop. Despite this, they start kissing. After a moment, Yanko goes to unlock the door because a locked door looks bad. Claire says they're different from what happened with Mitch. Yanko says they have to be careful. Or go to HR and declare their relationship. Claire doesn't want to do that. It'll look bad that he's in a relationship with a PA who is half his age. Valerie, the makeup artist, comes in, interrupting their conversation.
Fred gives a speech about wanting to create a safe working environment for everyone at TMS. No one knew what was happening. Now they need to get their feet back under them before sweeps. They're in a bad place. YDA is close to them in the ratings. He wants them to give it their all as they search for America's new family. As he finishes, Chip tells everyone to get back to work. Fred asks Cory where they are with Alex's new deal. She won't budge on co-host approval, but Cory is handling it. Fred wants a list of names of men who can work with Alex now and someone younger when she's gone. He wants Cory to add some women in case the list leaks. Cory has a list in progress. Fred makes it clear that Cory doesn't have the power he thinks he has. Cory says it would have been better if they knew ahead of time so they could have stopped it. But they didn't know. Fred says that's right.
Hannah tells Chip that YDA booked one of Mitch's victims for next week. Ashley Brown, a sound tech. She needs to convince Ashley to give them the interview instead. It'll be huge for them. Chip authorizes her to do whatever she has to do. Chip asks Rena for today's schedule and takes it with him. Cory checks on him and he says he's stressed. Cory tells him about Bradley and how he wants Chip to meet her as a possible correspondent. Chip doesn't understand, but Bradley brought eyeballs. And she went toe-to-toe with Alex. As Chip walks away, Cory gets a call and tells them Alex can't have co-anchor approval.
Sean has Alex booked for a mani-pedi. And he tells her Lizzy will be ready after school. As Valerie does last checks on her makeup, Sean tells her she has a call from Sarah. Sarah tells her they're sticking to their guns. Alex says she'll call back after the show. Alex walks off the set instead of going on stage. They have 90 seconds to air and Alex asks Chip for a guarantee that he'll wrap up her negotiation. The Mitch days are over, so she wants control. Otherwise, she won't go on the air. Chip gets her to walk toward the stage, but continues to refuse to go on air. He's the only person she knows who can push it through for her. She wants him to promise he will. Julia says they have 30 seconds. Alex says she won't go on if he doesn't. Alison offers to fill in if sh won't go. Ten seconds. Julia counts down from there. At seven, Chip caves and Alex sits down and starts the show with Daniel.
Bradley arrives at the studio and tells the desk security guard that she has a meeting with Chip.
Daniel thinks his second day on air went well and tells Chip that. Chip says Mitch was an easygoing guy, which was an asset for him. Daniel is more hotheaded and he needs to stop that if he wants the co-anchor job. He's too serious. Daniel asks if Chip's telling him to be less Black. Chip says he isn't saying that. It has nothing to do with him being Black. Chip suggests that he do a lot of schmoozing at the event and the chair could be his. Daniel thanks him and leaves. Rena tells him Bradley is there. Chip quickly finishes his sandwich and goes to the meeting.
Chip talks to Bradley and she says she's looking for a platform to get her ideas across. She has some stories. He tells her as a correspondent, she'll just be reporting stories the producers write. She knows that, but wants to do her own producing. She has stories that will do well on TMS. She proposes an idea, but Chip cuts her off, so she pivots to another, but he's distracted. When he shuts that idea down, she tries another one. He tells her she's wasting her time. The stories aren't right for them. She asks if he was even listening and wants him to explain how they're not right. Chip says they're not interesting and the meeting is over. Bradley follows him out and mentions the ridiculous stories she's seen on his show lately. It sucks and it's barely news. He's dumbed it down to get some YDA viewers to his own detriment. Her stories are good. He tells her to leave, which she does. He's bewildered by what happened.
Lisa Pauschter tells Mitch that UBA isn't going to pay out the rest of his contract because he violated his contract. He asks how that can be because it was consensual. Lisa tells him he won't have income for the foreseeable future. She says he has to start making choices about what property to sell. He has maybe two years tops at his current level. He doesn't know how that's possible. He's angry about his morals clause. It's a moving target. It's anything they want it to be. Lisa says she's his business manager, not his lawyer.
A woman yells rapist at Mitch. Mitch yells at her that he's not a rapist and then gets into his car.
Hannah goes to Ashley Brown and tells her they want her to tell her story and they want her to tell it with them. She doesn't want to go back there, but Hannah says it takes courage, which she has. Hannah finds stories for a living and sees a story when she sees Ashley. If she goes to YDA, a different story will be told. Ashley says she won't go back to UBA. Hannah says it matters where she tells her story and she's making a huge mistake. People watching will have knee-jerk reactions and how she tells her story will determine what they believe about her. YDA will paint her as a bitch because they're TMS's enemy. They'll say she's just bitter and looking for payback. Then they'll move on to the next thing. She should tell her story, but she should tell it on Mitch's own show so it means something. It'll show everyone, especially Mitch, that she has the nerve.
Cecily calls Bradley and invites her to the Leadership in Journalism event. Bradley says she's on her way to the airport, but Cecily says they'll fix her arrangements for her and get her an outfit. Bradley's confused because the meeting with Chip didn't go well. Cecily suggests she go to the event because Cory asked her to. Bradley says she'll be there.
Photographers take pictures of Chip as he approaches Mitch's house.
Mitch isn't happy to see Chip. Chip tells Mitch to stop calling reporters. He knows Mitch has been looking for someone to tell his side of the story. It won't work because Mitch is toxic and will be for a while. He needs to hibernate. He knows from covering past stories that you can cry and apologize or fight back. He wants to fight back, not hide in shame. Chip warns him not to go to the event. Mitch tells him he's going. Chip saw the video of Mitch yelling at the woman on the street. He's too emotional volatile to make a good argument. Mitch maintains his innocence and things he's being tried in the court of public opinion. Chip warns Mitch again not to go to the event. Mitch asks who leaked it to the Times.
Jason, Alex, and Lizzy are riding to the event. Alex can't fit all the things she needs into her tiny purse and starts freaking out. Jason and Lizzy try to calm her down. Jason suggests not going to the event, but Alex knows she can't do that. People will talk and many of them already hate her. She starts crying and frantically tries to stop.
As she arrives, Alex gets out of the limo smiling. Mitch watches from the other side of the street in his own car.
Alex is photographed and interviewed on the carpet by Zuri Hall. Cory interrupts what she's saying and says TMS will survive the disgrace. After they walk away, Alex says he forgot how she'll be the one pulling them through.
Daniel is exhausted by all the schmoozing. Gabriel offers to take him to the bar to give him a minute. Daniel's starting to think he has a shot at this.
Chip tells Cory that Bradley was a bit of a train wreck. That's his gut feeling. Cory says fine.
Bradley asks her mom on the phone if Hal went to his meeting. Sandy says he's been out for hours and went to see a friend after his meeting. Bradley says he can't see that friend because that's like putting drugs right in front of him. Sandy's worried, but Bradley says after this event, she'll come home and deal with it herself. Cory says he's going to take her to her seat.
Zuri interviews Audra Khatri, who says she's excited to be supporting Alex Levy, even though their shows are rival. All women in the business are in the same boat. What happened to Alex is humiliating and she couldn't show up to an event after that. She's glad it's not her.
Alison introduces Alex to her mom and they take a picture together for Instagram. Alex greets Geneva, Fred, and Yanko and they all take their seats. Alex tries to figure out the other people seated at the table. She asks Chip if they forgot to take off Mitch and Paige. Chip hints at a problem but won't tell her what it is. Suddenly, Cory comes up and shows Bradley her seat, next to Alex. Both Alex and Bradley are shocked by this, as well as everyone else at the table. Bradley clarifies that she's not seeing Cory. She doesn't even know why she's there. Chip is also surprised to see her.
Chip asks Cory about Bradley. She's there to be a wake-up call for Alex.
Mitch asks the driver to take him home.
Alex takes some deep breaths in the bathroom and then touches up her face. Audra comes out of the stall and says she's sorry about everything that's happened. She's looking forward to Alex's speech. After she leaves, Bradley comes in. She knows it's weird that she's at the table with them. She doesn't know what Cory's doing, but she feels very stupid and she thinks she's been thrown around by the guys all day. She tells Alex about the meetings she's had. Alex tells Bradley she's all the table to mess with Alex. Alex asks why Bradley stayed at the table. Bradley says she can't tell the head of the network to fuck off. She's not like Alex. She's a nobody.
Alex tells Cory that she won't close without co-host approval, even though she knows she shouldn't be telling him that. Cory says she won't get it. Alex says she'll walk. He tells her to walk. He tells her they bought the award for her. As he walks away, she fights back emotion.
Maggie Brener speaks highly of Alex and presents her with the award. Alex accepts the award. She starts her speech by apologizing to Mitch's victims for not protecting them. She feels weird accepting an award for Leadership in Journalism when that was going on beneath their noses. She dedicates her award to them. Then she says it'll be a new era for The Morning Show. Things will be different. She has exciting news to share with them. She announces that Bradley Jackson is her new co-host, shocking everyone in the crowd, including Bradley.
- Jennifer Aniston as Alex Levy
- Reese Witherspoon as Bradley Jackson
- Billy Crudup as Cory Ellison
- Mark Duplass as Chip Black
- Gugu Mbatha-Raw as Hannah Shoenfeld
- Nestor Carbonell as Yanko Flores
- Karen Pittman as Mia Jordan
- Bel Powley as Claire Conway
- Desean K. Terry as Daniel Henderson
- Jack Davenport as Jason Craig
- Steve Carell as Mitch Kessler
- Janina Gavankar as Alison Namazi
- Brett Butler as Sandy Jackson (voice only)
- Tom Irwin as Fred Micklen
Special Guest Stars
- Oona Roche as Lizzy
- Ian Gomez as Greg
- Victoria Tate as Rena
- Augustus Prew as Sean
- Hannah Leder as Isabella
- Shari Belafonte as Julia
- Joe Marinelli as Donny
- Andrea Bendewald as Valerie
- Kate Vernon as Geneva
- Adina Porter as Sarah
- Philip Anthony-Rodriguez as Gabriel
- Christian Zuber as Fred's Assistant
- Rozzi as Vocalist
- Ahna O'Reilly as Ashley Brown
- Natalia Warner as Cecily
- Zuri Hall as E! Reporter
- Elizabeth Greer as Lisa Paushter
- Julie Goldman as TMS Desk Security Guard
- Ellen Gerstein as Woman
- Hank Cheyne as Disgraced Director
- Jordan Seigel as Musician
- Benjamin Shepherd as Musician
- Greg Webster as Musician
Notes and Trivia
- This episode is the first to feature opening credits.
A complete overview of this episode's crew can be found here.
|The Morning Show Season 1|
|#01||"In the Dark Night of the Soul It's Always 3:30 in the Morning"||#06||"The Pendulum Swings"|
|#02||"A Seat at the Table"||#07||"Open Waters"|
|#03||"Chaos Is the New Cocaine"||#08||"Lonely at the Top"|
|#04||"That Woman"||#09||"Play the Queen"|
|#05||"No One's Gonna Harm You, Not While I'm Around"||#10||"The Interview"|
|Season 2 >>|