In a weekend of turmoil, TMS scrambles to prepare itself for its new future.
Immediately following Alex's announcement that Bradley will be her new co-host, Chip, Fred, Alison, Daniel, Cory, and Yanko react. Bradley herself is shocked. Alex goes back to the table and tells her not to look too surprised, then ushers her up for photos.
Fred tells Cory to get them both to the studio and not let either of them make a statement.
Alex tells everyone that Bradley is perfect for the job. Cory confronts her over it, but she simply leaves with Jason and Lizzy. As she goes, Maggie Brener approaches Bradley and tries to interview her, but Cory steps in and speaks to her himself, pretending the announcement was planned. He invites everyone to learn more by tuning in Monday for Alex and Bradley's first show. Once she's gone, Cory congratulates Bradley and tells her her life just took off. He tells her not to say anything to anyone and meet him at the studio. Bradley is swarmed with questions until Mia comes and ferries her out of the crowd.
In a car, Mia tells Bradley Cory is waiting for them at the studio, where they'll have more information. Bradley wants to go to the airport instead of the studio, but Mia says Cory already put it on public record. Bradley knows they won't get what they want from her, but they don't know what because she hasn't been vetted. She's being set up to be a fall guy.
Fred is angry that Cory went along with Alex's statement instead of refuting it. Fred wants to know why Cory is going to fix it. Cory says Alex did them a favor. The show has been stale. Alex needed to go a long time ago, but now they can make Alex think she's won. Now this fresh face will spike the ratings and they can finally let Alex go. They need to do it quickly because Your Day, America is creeping up on them. Cory asks Fred for a month to test it. Fred agrees, but Cory's the fall guy if it falls apart.
Sarah tells Alex she committed a fireable offense and they'll be lucky if the network continues negotiations at all. She needs to apologize to Fred immediately. Alex asks if there's an alternative option. Sarah says she could play the rehab card, say she was emotional about Mitch. Alex says she was emotional because no one was listening to her, not because of Mitch. Alex promises Sarah she'll handle it and Sarah reminds her to apologize. Once she hangs up, Alex tells Lizzy sometimes women can't ask for control, so they have to take it. She wants Lizzy to remember that.
Mia takes Bradley to wait. She tells Bradley to think about what she wants. It's the start of Mia being a great producer. Once Mia's gone, Bradley answers a call from Hal, who has seen her on the news. Their mom is angry that Bradley didn't tell her. Bradley says she didn't know. She hopes it's not real.
Mia tells Chip Bradley's waiting in the green room. Chip hopes it's not real. He has no idea what Alex was thinking. Mia asks to be Bradley's producer because she likes Bradley and wants to get out of the purgatory she's been in.
Chip enters a room and is immediately accosted by the staff. As they settle down, Cory comes in and tells them to cheer up. They're in the middle of a re-birth. He knows it's a shock, but they've been quietly vetting Bradley for a while now. He knows it's fast, but that's why they hired a veteran. Chip says she has no anchor experience. Cory says she has raw talent. They need to get started because they have 48 hours to get Bradley ready. They need to get a contract in place. Mia says it's not a given that Bradley will go on air Monday. She's speaking as Bradley's producer and since she's told Cory, Chip can't refuse her. Cory tells Mia to make sure Bradley can read a teleprompter. Hannah then announces she snaked a Mitch accuser from YDA. It won't look good to have that alongside a new anchor, but Cory likes it. They're creating a safe, feminine space. A place where women make the rules and give voice to the silenced. Speak of which, no one is allowed to speak to the press. Now he has to go deal with Alex.
Mitch talks to Neal about what he wants to do next. He thinks if he can get in and show his face, he can make it right. Mitch's phone chimes and he asks who Bradley Jackson is. Neal says he loves Mitch, but Mitch isn't going to be working for a while. He has to drop him. He represents a lot of female clients. He wishes things were different, but they aren't.
Fred is upset with Alex's insubordination. The network could terminate her immediately. She's put the network in an impossible situation. She tells Fred they don't have the power anymore. The news division is held up by her show and she's the only thing keeping it afloat. America loves her, so she owns them. She doesn't need to justify anything. They're convinced they have the power, but they're doing it her way now. She's let them handle it long enough. They're shocked that she's not apologizing.
Bradley looks at The Morning Show set. Alex asks if she wants to take a seat. Bradley says she doesn't like surprises, but Alex thinks it was a good surprise. Bradley is angry that Alex has fucked with her. Alex doesn't believe that Bradley doesn't want the job. Bradley says she doesn't have a contract, but Alex just put her in a great spot to negotiate. She's welcoming Bradley with open arms and giving her the biggest news platform she could have. Bradley's not sure she can consider TMS real journalism. She's not a perky person. Alex doesn't care. She wants a partner, not a replacement. Bradley doesn't believe that's true. She thinks Alex wants someone she can control. Alex says Bradley's underestimating her. She wants Bradley in the studio at 7 tomorrow. She suggests that Bradley get up earlier each day to get herself used to it. Bradley says she doesn't like being used, but Alex tells her to take advantage of the situation she's in.
Mia explains to Bradley everything they need to do to get her ready for the show. She also informs Bradley that the show is entirely scripted, which Bradley doesn't like. She has a habit of going off-script. Bradley's still not sure about the whole thing. She still hasn't signed a contract and isn't sure she will. Mia tells her Alex is excited about her joining the team. Alex will be shepherding her through the entire weekend, getting to know her and everything. It'll be fun.
Chip knows the writers are tired, but he doesn't care. He tells them they need to figure out who Bradley is next to Alex. Alex comes in with treats for them. Chip says they were just discussing Bradley and Alex wants in on the conversation. She wants to make sure they're all on the same page. She'll be around for the whole weekend. Sean even typed up a schedule and starts passing copies out. Alex talks about her plans. When asked, Sean tells Alex that Ashley Brown will be there around ten, one of the women Mitch harassed. Chip is surprised that Alex is planning to do the Ashley Brown interview. The writers don't think it's a good idea. Alex says she worked with Mitch for 15 years. He wasn't perfect, but she didn't know he was that guy. And that's a problem. She fell asleep at the wheel, but she's here now, for Ashley, for them, for everyone. She's ready to get started.
Donny give directions from the control room as Yanko does his weather report. Mia and Bradley are there so Bradley can see the action. Daniel and Alison tell the audience that Bradley and Alex are preparing to have an amazing show Monday, including the interview with Ashley. The show ends and Donny calls for credits to roll. Once they're clear, Daniel complains about Bradley without knowing she's watching. Bradley knows he's not wrong to be upset that there's another white woman hosting. Claire introduces herself and says she's going to shadow Bradley as she does her screen tests, to give people a front row look on how they make a star.
Daniel goes to Chip and threatens to quit because he didn't get the job as Chip all but promised he would. Chip tells Daniel to take a breath, but Daniel can't do it anymore. Chip wants him to stick around for when the chair opens up again. Chip says Bradley will fail and maybe two chairs will open up when that happens. He begs Daniel to stay. He promises the show will be Daniel's in the end.
Mitch and Dick Lundy play tennis together.
Inside, Dick and Mitch talk about how his movies were re-framed to fit the accusations against him. Dick doesn't understand what they're trying to do. He feels bad for kids because there's nothing sexy about consent. At that comment, Mitch pauses. Dick backtracks and says humanity happens in the unsaid moments and he feels bad for a generation that loses that. They agree they're in a prison of the public opinion. They're against #MeToo, saying a single woman can destroy your whole life with nothing. They think they deserve better. Mitch wants to do a documentary together. Dick will direct while Mitch does the interview. He thinks they can do it well. Dick wants to be more aggressive with the accusers, insulting them. Mitch is surprised to learn Dick's facing a lawsuit because one of his victims was underaged. Mitch suggests just interviewing the men instead. The women might not want to participate. Mitch wants to talk about the difference between the first and second waves of people being accused. Mitch tells Dick he's a predator. People will want Dick to own that. Dick asks what that makes Mitch. Mitch says he's not Dick.
Bradley does screen tests. Cory is impressed by her, but Chip needs more convincing. Bradley reads a story about grits and takes issue with it, as she doesn't call her mother mama and she's a terrible cook. Mia promises they're taking notes and making changes. Bradley takes the opportunity to re-write the story herself. Cory doesn't respond to her changes in the story, but wants to fix her wardrobe, saying whoever picked her outfit should be fired. Bradley says Alex picked it.
Alex and Jason talk about their upcoming events. They start bickering because Alex is upset that they have to keep making a fake family calendar. It feels like a game to her. Lizzy's stuff is real, but him having to pretend at her events feels weird. Jason says Lizzy will be going to college soon. Alex says Page Six thinks she's crazy and she might be. She read an article that she was wandering the halls of TMS late at night. She was, but that means her co-workers are leaking stories about her. Mitch is going down and now there are stories about her being crazy. The move she made with Bradley was crazy. It felt like a power move at the time, but now she's exhausted. Jason asks if it would be so bad if it all went away. A part of her is trying to blow it up. She's had a great run and has earned her freedom. Now she can choose to stop. It'll be fine.
Cory takes Cory to Barney's at night. He has $30,000 for her to spend on whatever she wants. Veronique asks Bradley what she likes and Bradley says pants. Cory sends Veronique to get a variety of options while Bradley grimaces as she looks through the racks. Bradley doesn't like having her whole image workshopped. She's been critiqued her whole career over everything.
Bradley says she's trying on a lot of clothes for someone without a signed contract. Cory promises it'll be ready tomorrow and says she needs a better agent. Hers is an idiot if he closes at $700,000. He doesn't mind paying someone what they're worth. Cory asks if she's single. She won't say, but he know that means yes and tells her to keep it that way. She comes out and shows off a pantsuit. He says he loves it. It reminds him of his mom. His mom is going to love Bradley. He took care of his mom after his dad left, by reminding her to quit working and go to bed at night. She was a campaign organizer for progressive women who usually lost. She loved the tough sell. Bradley says Cory's the same, for peddling her out. He doesn't think Bradley's a tough sell. To win, they need to attract the people who aren't already watching. They'll get that with her. With her, they can give the real narrative that women are living.
Mia goes into Bradley's dressing room and sits down at her vanity. She uses a switch under the vanity to close the door.
Alex says Ashley is good for more than one segment. Chip says that's plenty of time and Ashley isn't good. She's superficial and her story is inconsistent. Mia says she's too pre-occupied with what Mitch will think. Alex says she's going to do the interview her way and tells them to quit if they don't like it. She storms out and Chip says to let her deal with it.
Alex goes into her dressing room and slams the door. Mia knocks and then comes in and tells her not to do the interview with Ashley. Alex wants to create this narrative that she's taking control after being powerless, but Alex has always had power and knows what it looks like when a woman doesn't. Alex has made assumptions about Mia. Alex says she has and she didn't approve of Mia's relationship with Mitch at all. It was inappropriate. Alex wants to know why it's her fault. Mia says it isn't, but she's not impartial because she knew what Mitch was doing. Alex says Mia's not impartial either. She doesn't remember Mia asking her for help. She remembers Mia taking care of herself. Mia leaves, telling her to do whatever she wants with Ashley, but warns Alex that Ashley is enamored of her. She'll never get to something honest and she'll get crucified for it.
Bradley asks if it's one big happy family. Yanko says yes, with an absent mother. Alison's surprised Alex even agreed to a run-through because she's not a team player. Greg comes up and tells them Alex is in a meeting, so they'll proceed without her. He asks Daniel to stand in for Alex for a while.
Bradley and Daniel run through a segment. Bradley fumbles over the words on screen. Mia comes into the control room and tells Bradley over her earpiece that she's doing great. Then she tells Bradley she'll be doing the interview with Ashley. They've pushed it to the end of the week so they can prepare. Alex told Mia on her way out. Bradley's surprised that Alex is leaving. She wonders when Alex is going to rehearse with her. Mia tells her just to keep doing with the run-through. Bradley jumps off the set, saying she won't go on air if they don't rehearse.
Bradley chases Alex down and asks why she's not doing the run-through. Alex says she has to go home and prep another segment because the interview was moved. She gave Bradley the interview because it's better for the show. Bradley says Alex isn't present and she's not making sense. Bradley has plans that don't involve being Alex's sidekick. Alex says Bradley's not her sidekick; she's her co-host. Bradley says Alex has barely acknowledged her all weekend. Alex says she didn't know Bradley needed someone to hold her hand. She needs a partner. Alex says she doesn't know what she's doing. She's running on instinct. But she needs a minute to get it together so she can go on air. She can't be in the building with those people who are constantly judging her choices. She honestly doesn't know why she picked Bradley. It's just an impulse she went with. But she thinks she likes Bradley. She encourages Bradley to sign her contract. Then she gets in her car.
At 3:30 AM, Bradley's alarm clock goes off and she shuts it off.
On set, everyone prepares for the show. Bradley walks on set. Alex walks up beside her, grabs her hand, and tells her not to screw it up.
- 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
Special Guest Star
- Joe Tippett as Hal
- Oona Roche as Lizzy
- Ian Gomez as Greg
- Victoria Tate as Rena
- Augustus Prew as Sean
- Shari Belafonte as Julia
- Kate Vernon as Geneva
- Joe Marinelli as Donny
- Amber Friendly as Layla
- Katherine Ko as Dhillon
- Eli Bildner as Joel
- Michelle Meredith as Lindsey
- David Magidoff as Nicky
- Adina Porter as Sarah
- Fred Melamed as Mitch's Agent
- Philip Anthony-Rodriguez as Gabriel
- Roman Mitichyan as Sam
- Joe Pacheco as Bart
- Hannah Marshall as Veronique
- Pramod Kumar as Cab Driver
- Markus Flanagan as Gerald
- Mark Harelik as Richard
Notes and Trivia
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 >>|