TMS covers a growing crisis that turns personal for Alex and Bradley.
Bradley walks down a crowded sidewalk handing out missing person flyers with pictures of her borther. She sees a man sleeping on the street, but it's not Hal.
Alex arrives home as a news broadcast reports a cruise ship that has multiple passengers with COVID. The next report is of five deaths in Washington in nursing homes and long-term care facilities. More reports about COVID overlap each other as Alex goes out to the balcony.
Daniel reports that Alex is taking a personal day. They're aware of the remarks she made at Mitch's memorial and that they were filmed surreptitiously. He says they appreciate viewers' concerns about Alex and about the co-workers who had contact with her after her return from Italy. They'll be investigating.
Brian Boso says the event will blow minds if they can get eyeballs. Cory says getting eyeballs is the point of the event, to get subscribers. Cybil asks about the cost of rescheduling. She is wearing a mask. Cory says they're not postponing. It's a launch even and they will launch tomorrow. Cybil repeats that she's asking what it would cost to postpone the launch. When someone tries to give the numbers, Cory interrupts and asks them to give him and Cybil a moment alone. Once they're gone, Cory says they're not going to postpone the event. Cybil takes off her mask and tries to convince Cory that they're headed toward an iceberg. They argue over the issue. She thinks they're going to fail, but she's pulling for them. Finally, she gets up to leave, saying she shouldn't have come in at all. She doesn't want to risk getting sick because Alex went to visit Mitch. She's not blaming Cory as he didn't know. She puts her mask back on and leaves.
Mia and Stella are in a virual meeting with Gerald, Teresa, and Pamela. Someone asks if they know everyone who was in contact with Alex. Mia says basically everyone on her show. Everyone is waiting to hear what to do. Stella says this is all dependent on Alex even having COVID, which she says is unlikely. Teresa says people are threatening adverstiser boycotts and they're not sure what to tell people becuase Alex has done many things people have hated. Stella says Alex is going to leave the show on her own. Stella gets a call from Alex.
Alex tells Stella she's home, but she tested positive for COVID.
Stella mutes her microphone and tells Mia to get everyone home. Then she goes back to Alex and asks if there's anything they can do. Alex asks if she has to announce it. Stella says they'll have to let everyone know they were exposed, but they won't tell anyone it was her. She hopes Alex feels better. She hangs up and tells Gerald, Teresa, and Pamela they need tests for everyone, whatever's possible right now. As she leaves, Pamela reminds her that they have to maintain employee privacy.
On the set, Bart and Donny talk. While Aflamu reads Maggie's book, Joel wonders what could be going on. Everyone's phones start alerting as Mia walks in. She gathers everyone and says they should have received an email. Someone has COVID. As people start to panic, Daniel asks if someone has COVID or if Alex has COVID. Stella says they can't divulge private employee medical information. Aflamu notes that Alex wasn't in the studio that day. Ty says Bradley wasn't either, but Donny says it isn't Bradley. Joel wonders if Alex really had a head injury or if she was hospitalized for COVID. Curt wonders if she hit her head because of COVID. Rena is shocked that Alex would do this. Daniel says it's careless, but Rena says it's malicious. Ty wonders if Alex is going to be okay among the other questions everyone is asking. Rena asks if Stella knew. Mia calls for everyone to be quiet. Then she tells them for their own safety, everyone must go home. They don't know enough yet. Anyone who can work remotely will. Jimbo asks what that means for him and Mia says they'll figure it out. They'll have a show, but they don't have all the answers yet. It's about their health. They must go straight home and wait for instructions. As they all go to leave, Stella stops Daniel and tells him he's going to anchor TMS for a few weeks, from home, at least at first. He says he isn't and asks if Alex is fired. Stella can't say. Daniel beleives she would be if she weren't a pretty white woman. He has to take care of his own. His grandfather is in a home. He needs to go get his grandfather and bring him back home with him. He has to get all the way to LA without somehow catching the virus. That means no planes, no hotels. He'll need luck being a Black man sleeping in his car. Stella offers the network's assistance, but says they need him here. She wants him to prove them wrong for sidelining him. He says they'll never know if they don't already. He's done trying to prove himself. Stella tells him he's the right person at the right time. Daniel says TMS isn't real news and walks away. Stella reminds him he's under contract. He points out that everyone else just does what they want, but he has to honor his contract. He quits, saying his grandfather believes he has the "It" factor, and walks out. Stella realizes Mia told Daniel about her comments. Mia asks if Cory knows about Alex yet and Stella realizes he doesn't and goes to tell him.
Glen asks Cory if he'd be willing to offer six months free on the trial. Cory thinks that's too much. He asks Kyle what the rest of his day looks like. Kyle says the last thing he has is Paola in an hour. It's a favor he's doing for Alex. Cory says he doesn't have time for a favor for Alex and tells him to have Paola leave a sample for Kyle to look at and pass to Cory if it's any good. Glen and Cory continue talking about UBA+. Glen says people will be glued to the news, meaning not UBA+. Stella comes in and starts frantically scribbling on a notepad. She keeps up a good attitude with Glen despite the sad message on her notes, which she hands to Cory. Cory asks Glen to give them a minute. Once he's gone, Cory asks if Alex is okay. Stella says she thinks so. Alex dug her own grave and is dragging them down with her. Now they have to draft yet another statement about Alex. Cory says they'll do contact tracing, but neither of them really knows what that is. They need to sit on it for as long as they can. Stella says she told the staff and crew they had a positive test and everyone assumed it was Alex, as will the rest of the world. Cory says Alex got back from Italy almost fourteen days ago. If she got it in Italy, she's a reckless fool, but if she got it back in the US, she's just unlucky and deserves their sympathy.
Alex wakes to the sound of thunder. She gets frozen vegetables and lies down on her kitchen floor. She's surprised when her dog comes in. She tries to get up, but can't, so she starts crawling and gets her phone off the counter. She calls Gary and asks how her dog got there. Gary says Chip dropped him off. He took the dog home when she went to the hospital. She tells Gary she's feeling okay when he asks.
Bradley lies awake in bed. Her phone rings. It's Laura, but she doesn't answer.
Cory makes sure everything is ready technically for the launch. He doesn't want outages on the first day.
Alex tosses and turns all night. Alex gets Vincent Botz on the phone and he asks how she's feelling. She says she feels awful and thinks she should go to the hospital. He asks her about her breathing and then tells her it's best for her to ride it out at home. He tells her there's nothing the hospital can do unless she needs to be intubated, so going there would just put more people at risk.
Alex shivers on the floor of her shower as water runs over her.
She ends up back in bed, where she is still shivering and coughing. She grabs her phone.
Chip wakes to a call from Alex, who calls him Mom, though she knows she really called Chip. He heard she has COVID. She thinks she's going to die, but he tells her she isn't. She says she doesn't want to be alone. He offers to keep talking to her, but she says talking is too hard and she should be sleeping. He tells her to put her phone on a pillow next to her and leave the line open. She turns on FaceTime and props the phone so she and Chip can see each other. She's worried she won't make it through this. He tells her to focus on something else, but the other things aren't good either. Chip says she has a chance to recover from this because he's not giving up on her. She asks if she's been fired, but he doesn't think you can fire someone with COVID. She wonders if she's infected everyone. Chip tells her not to go down that road. He assures her it'll be okay. As she settles in, he tells her he's not going anywhere.
Bradley is talking to a detective on the phone. Hal hasn't been missing long enough for them to get involved. On Bradley's TV, Yanko is talking about the coronavirus, which has just been declared a pandemic. Next, he announced the launch of UBA+. Bradley scrolls through all the texts she's sent Hal, asking where he is. She sends him another, begging him to let her know he's okay.
Cory leaves his hotel and is startled by Chip, who is wearing a bandana over his face. Chip wants to pitch a show to Cory. It's time-sensitive. He says a few hundred people have COVID. More people will get it. He says it'll be informative and comforting for people to watch Alex go through it. Cory asks what if she doesn't get through it. Chip is confident she will. Either way, it's a limited series. Chip says it's a good idea, because people like Alex, despite everything. This will make it real to people. Someone they know has COVID. He asks Chip to give Alex an hour. Cory says they're trying to protect her by not telling people she has COVID, but Chip says there's nothing to protect. Things can only go up for her.
Stella, now wearing a mask, bypasses Kyle and enters Cory's office. Cory's desk is now surrounded by plastic. He says HR insisted. Stella makes several jokes about it before asking him about having to clear an hour of primetime for Alex. Chip says the money is already spent on Alex, so they should try to get something out of it. Stella says they'll lose sponsors if he does this. Cory says they can put it on UBA+ instead then. No sponsors to lose there. He's not worried about losing subscribers because no one has subscribed, so he'll put on what he wants to put on. It's Cory+. Stella says she's subscribed. Cory tells Kyle they got one and thanks Stella as she leaves.
Alex hears the elevator chime and thinks it's Lizzy. She starts to say that Lizzy can't come in, but then Chip says it's him. She reminds him that she has COVID, but he says it's okay because he has it, too. She apologizes, but he says it's okay. He's fine. He actually feels okay. He might be asymptomatic. Alex thought that was her, too, but then it hit her. Now they'll pull each other through. He then tells her they want her on the air tonight. She thinks he's joking at first. He explains it to her and says she can do it. The show will matter. It'll get people to take it seriously.
Chip holds Alex's hair as she vomits into her bathtub. When she's finished, he hands her a towel.
Kyle tells Cory his schedule for the day as he retrieves an umbrella Denzel Washington left in the office. Their conversation is interrupted by Paola. She's upset that he cancelled their meeting and says his assistant was very rude. He said Cory had to cancel and to send a sample of her work. She can't do that, but still wants a meeting before she goes back to Italy. Kyle said he was too busy and to call when she came back to New York. So she drove to New Jersey and came back. She brought a sample. Cory thought she didn't have a sample, but what she said was that she didn't have a sample she could leave. She has to stay and watch it with him. She asks him for two minutes. Alex Levy got her a meeting with the CEO. She never even had a meeting before and now she wants him to watch her work. She needs him to watch it because it's really good. She watched it again last night and was blown away. Cory thinks she's full of herself. He asks why she can't just leave it and she says she promised so she can't let it out of her hands. She just wants two minutes.
Cory and Paola watch Paola's work, which is prefaced by her talking about Mitch and how they spent the last two weeks of his life together. Then it cuts to Mitch's interview, with him talking about how he didn't want to hurt anyone.
Bradley answers a call from Alex. Alex isn't doing well, but she's not dead. Alex thanks Bradley for not keeping her distance even when Alex asked. Bradley tells her to focus on getting better, but Alex wants to know why Bradley did it. Bradley said she did it because it's true. She did it because they're friends. Not good ones, but important ones. Good ones isn't out of the question. Alex says she'd like that. She promises to do better. Bradley's too good to her. Bradley doubts that and explains what she did with Hal at rehab and how he's missing now. He came back to the city, but she doesn't know where he is or even if he's alive. Alex asks if she needs her to retweet anything. Bradley says she didn't post about it. Bradley tries to explain why, but Alex tells her if she needs to cut someone off, she should do it, but if that's not an option, then she has to own them. She owned Alex and her shit. She shouldn't let shame run her life. Alex has to go because yelling at Bradley wore her out. Bradley thanks her and says she won't stop calling becuase she's worried about Alex.
Bradley records a video of herself talking about Hal's disappearance. She holds up a flyer with his picture and asks anyone who sees him to tell him she loves him and just wants to see him. She begs anyone with information to call in or DM her.
Paola's documentary ends with a card saying that Mitch died six days after the interview. Cory tells her it's very good. She said that. She wants a job. She's open to all kinds of things. Cory thinks there's an audience for her documentary, but she won't betray Mitch. She promised him and she owes him. Kyle interrupts and tells Cory he needs to leave or he'll miss his next event. Cory tries to persuade Paola to release the documentary and leaves.
Alex tracks her symptoms as she goes through the day. That evening, Chip sets up all the equipment to start their broadcast. Alex attempts to get ready, but has to stop to cough and rest.
They have three minutes before they go live. Alex's temp is up, but her not being up for it is the point. She wonders who will be watching. She thinks they'll just be watching to watch her die. Chip doesn't think that's true and he gets her ready to start the broadcast. He assures her that she'll be fine. Alex starts off reading what Chip has prepared for her, but then starts to deviate. She gets back on script after a brief tangent. Chip encourages her to keep going. She talks about her experience and says she's happy to scare people if that'll get people to take it seriously. Her main concern is what she may have put on her co-workers. She says she was tested when she returned from Italy and was negative then. But the incubation period is up to fourteen days, so she doesn't know if she got it there. Regardless, she has to take responsibility. She then says she owes a specific apology to Chip, who has also tested positive. Chip is shocked by her saying that and sees that he has a call from Madeleine, which he declines.
Daniel is parked in Cincinnati listening to DJ Dennis on the radio. Daniel answers a call from Mia. Daniel says one of the nurses taking care of his grandfather is sick and they don't know with what. Mia asks how long it'll be before he gets there. He says it'll be a few days as he's only in Ohio. Daniel doesn't want to talk about quitting. He's not at peace with the whole situation, but he is at peace with quitting. Mia wants to talk about it, but he just wants to talk as friends. She says all she does is work, so she doens't have non-work things to talk about. Having Daniel there makes it tolerable, so she needs him to come back. He says that's appreciated, but he quit. He's not coming back. He can't and he doesn't want to. He can't keep waiting for a seat at their table when he can make a table of his own. Mia talks about things from her point of view and says he can leave, but if he doesn't, so many other people will benefit from him sitting in the chair that Alex takes for granted. He'll be the lead anchor. Daniel says no one is offering him that seat. She says things won't be different somewhere else. They can keep pushing and doesn't want him to give up on that. Tomorrow will come someday. Daniel thanks Mia and hangs up.
Stella works on her computer as her TV is tuned to Alex's broadcast. She stops typing and turns toward the screen, where Alex is talking about her symptoms.
Cory is also watching Alex's broadcast, where she's talking about her doctor telling her to stay home unless she really, really can't breathe. Cory's phone rings. It's Glen and Brian is also on the line. They got word from Australia and Tom and Rita have COVID. People are starting to freak out. If Tom Hanks and Rita Wilson can get it, no one feels safe. Peter Bullard is refusing to come to the launch. Sporting events are being cancelled. Cory asks if it's safe to do the event. When he's told they don't feel comfortable, Cory says to shut them down. He asks Glen to put out a release. Once he hangs up, Cory sits down and opens Instagram on his phone, where he sees Bradley's video. He watches it.
Bradley watches Alex's show, where she's more fired up as she talks about the virus competing with the people to see who can cancel her first. She thinks the virus will win. There's a knock at the door and Bradley turns off the TV to answer it. It's Cory, who saw her post and is there to help. He tells her the event was cancelled. He offers to join her as she goes out.
Alex continues ranting about Alex's book. They cut the Fauci clip and Chip tells Alex she did really good.
Alex takes her temp again and tells Chip she's on fire. Chip takes a call from Marcy at Titanium Health. She tells him there's a COVID test available for him, but he says he doesn't need one. He already got tested and was negative. Chip watches Fauci's report that it's ten times more lethal than the seasonal flu.
Alex does a video call with Peja Bjelica, the director of the University of Michigan Institute for Infectious Disease, who agrees with Fauci and says many people will die. Alex asks if he's afraid of dying in general. He says it's natural to be afraid of death. She asks about him personally and he says no. As a doctor of infectious disease, you learn to come to terms with death. Alex asks what he thinks happens when people die. He says it's medically unknown, but he has faith and believes it's not the end. Alex thinks when they die, that's it. It's scary to be faced with that.
Cory and Bradley hand out flyers, but Bradley says she feels like she's looked everywhere. She's feeling hopeless. Cory tries to calm her down. He asks about Laura, who is in Montana. Bradley says it's better that she's not there becuase she thinks Bradley's family is crazy. She doesn't like chaos. Bradley misses her and wishes she could help. Cory has something to confess to Bradley. It's terrible timing, but it's been eating at him. He's not happy that he did it, but it seemed justifiable then. But then a pandemic hit. He may have just lost the company a billion dollars. But he has to confess something about her. She says he doesn't have to. She trusts him. He tells her he loves her. He doesn't know what that means exactly, but he wants that on record. The tension is broken by Bradley's phone ringing. It's a nurse from Antioch Hospital. She saw Bradley's post and she thinks her brother is at the hospital. Bradley thanks her and tells Cory they found her brother.
Alex says during her broadcast, her fever has gone up. She knows people think she deserves it. They might be right, but she doesn't know what their point is. Does that let them enjoy someone else's pain while feeling morally righteous. She asks why they have an opinion on this and advises them to mind their own business. She asks if she brought it on herself by being in the public eye. That makes sense to some people, but she asks them to rememebr she was a kid like anyone else. She had all the same experiences as anyone else. She just wanted to be on TV to entertain and inform people. She didn't realize when she chose that, that people would find her personal drama more interesting than what she was reporting. She's done apologizing for herself. She tells people to get on the Alex Levy train or stay at the station.
Bradley and Cory arrive at the hospital, which is overwhelmed. Cory tells Blaine, the ER receptionist, that Bradley needs to find her brother, but Blaine says they have new visitor restrictions and she'll help them when it's their turn. Bradley tries to explain that she needs to see Hal to make sure it's him. Blaine says she can wait or leave. Cory silently indicates to Bradley to go while he stays at the desk. Bradley goes through a staff-only door.
On the other side of the door, Bradley frantically searches for Hal. A nurse stops her and tells her she needs to leave. She ignores the nurse and finally finds Hal, who is in a hospital bed. When he sees her, she runs to him and they hug. He says he got in a fight and got beat up. She's glad he's okay. She promises him she won't leave him.
Cory sees that there are over 600 confirmed and presumptive cases in the US.
Alex says the world is at a turning point. She's facing some adversity and looking at herself to see if she's who she wants to be and seeing if that's who she is. A lot of people should be doing that. The world will always being coming at you, but life is life. And she's alive. She hopes everyone watching is alive, too. They won the lottery just to be there. She hopes they figure it out, whatever it is. They've meant a lot to her over the years and she thanks them from the bottom of her heart. She tells everyone to stay safe and sane and she'll see them later.
- Jennifer Aniston as Alex Levy
- Reese Witherspoon as Bradley Jackson
- Billy Crudup as Cory Ellison
- Mark Duplass as Chip Black
- Greta Lee as Stella Bak
- Nestor Carbonell as Yanko Flores
- Karen Pittman as Mia Jordan
- Desean K. Terry as Daniel Henderson
- Ruairi O'Connor as Ty Fitzgerald
- Steve Carell as Mitch Kessler
Special Guest Star
- Valeria Golino as Paola Lambruschini
- Holland Taylor as Cybil Reynolds
- Joe Tippett as Hal Jackson
- Damon Dayoub as Glen
- Markus Flanagan as Gerald
- Victoria Tate as Rena Robinson
- Joe Marinelli as Donny Spagnoli
- Joe Pacheco as Bart Daley
- Eli Bildner as Joel Rapkin
- Amber Friendly as Layla Bell
- Theo Iyer as Kyle
- Guilford Adams as Curt Savage
- Aflamu Johnson as Aflamu
- Sean James as Jimbo
- Choni Francis as RJ
- Martin George Berishaj as Peja Bjelica
- Catherine Dyer as Teresa Bonner
- Noah Blake as Brian Boso
- Arianna Ortiz as Pamela
- Candice Ramirez as Jasmyn
- John Gloria as Dr. Vincent Botz
- Anneris Mercedes as Blaine E.R. Receptionist
- Danielle Thorpe as E.R. Doctor
- Stephen L. Wilson as Sick Man
- Joe Daru as Angry Husband
- Hosai Ehsan, MD as Home Nurse
- Midnight White as DJ Dennis
- Angelo Vacco as Gary
- Kerry Gutierrez as Marcy
- Edie Mirman as E.R. Phone Nurse
- Anyumel Roselind Emuge as E.R. Hospital Nurse
- Ephraim Lopez as Shopkeeper
The Morning Show Segments
Notes and Trivia
- Alex getting COVID was inspired by Chris Cuomo saying that he had to keep working, had to keep doing his show, or he was pretty sure he would die.
A complete overview of this episode's crew can be found here.
|The Morning Show Season 2|
|#01||"My Least Favorite Year"||#06||"A Private Person"|
|#02||"It's Like The Flu"||#07||"La Amara Vita"|
|#04||"Kill the Fatted Calf"||#09||"Testimony"|
|<< Season 1|