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Kill the Fatted Calf is the 4th episode of the second season of The Morning Show.

Short Summary[]

A potential tabloid leak creates moral complications. A debate-moderator role becomes hotly contested.

Full Summary[]

The Foo Fighters perform on The Morning Show.

Mia is interrupted by someone asking where to put a cup of coffee. Chip told them to ask Mia. Mia looks over to see Rena and Chip dancing together.

Gerald comes over and congratulates Stella. He says getting Alex back was masterful. Ratings are up.

The song finishes and the crowd cheers. Alex goes up on stage in awe. Dave Grohl says the song they just performed is new and not coming out until summer 2020. Once the cameras cut, Dave asks Alex if she's okay and she says she's great.

Alex, Bradley, Yanko, and Daniel watch from the couch as Ty reads off the trending topics. He says Alex is the top trending topic. He reads off some of the comments people have left welcoming Alex back.

Ty gives Yanko a heads up that someone reposted his Groundhog Day thing. He thinks that's cool, but Ty reminds him of what he said before about it not being okay to say something's your "spirit animal." Yanko looks at the posts and sees the #YankYanko.

Alex walks out with Lizzy and Isabella and several people on the way welcome her back and congratulate her. Bradley follows her with a much less enthusiastic response coming her way. RJ and Gayle follow her into her dressing room and Gayle tells her she gave Stella all of Bradley's best political stuff in the hopes of getting her moderator. Bradley hopes so, too. Bradley gets ready to go out, saying she has a meeting, which is news to RJ. She says she booked it herself and she'll call him a few hours.

Alex is relieved she's finished and done it well. She's glad she didn't suck. Lizzy and Chip watch as she reads responses on her phone. Chip sends Lizzy to get Alex something to eat. Once she's gone, Chip tells her the interview played great and the ratings were great. Her first show back was also a success. She needs to relax. He says they need to talk about the debate as they need to make arrangements. Alex says she won't do it. Chip tries to talk her into it, saying she can bring in a good audience. Alex takes a call from Doug, who sent her flowers.

Paola, Mitch and Mitch's dog, Fido, are driving to an interview with a law professor. Mitch gives Paola tips on how to do the interview. He offers to pretend to be the professor so she can practice, then tells her she's going to do great.

Cory sees a voicemail from Fred telling him to call back. Kyle comes in with a cut of a finale for Cory to watch.

Bradley and Laura lie in bed naked. Laura says she sure knows her way around for someone in the closet. Bradley says she's not in the closet. She's just not a lesbian. Laura says she's something. Bradley gets ready to leave to go to Cory's office and refuse to leave until he gives her moderator. Laura laughs, asking if that's how they communicate. Bradley tells Laura that on the day Hannah died, the board fired Cory. She asks Laura not to tell anyone that, but the board fired Cory, put Fred on leave, and suspended Bradley. Then Alex took off. She and Cory got really close during that time. Then Bradley went to the board and told them they needed to fire Fred and replace him with Cory. She didn't think it was working, but the next day, Cory came to her room and told her they made him CEO. His first act was lifting her suspension. At that point, they were best friends. She was a really great friend to him. Laura asks if Bradley knows they're talking about replacing Cory. UBA is in third and it's entrenched in scandal. His history doesn't matter. Money is what matters and he's investing a lot in UBA+, which doesn't launch for another month. It needs to perform and it's unlikely to compete. She suggests that Bradley talk to Cory and reconcile with him. She wants the network to be her ally, not her foe.

Paola and Mitch arrive at the university. Paola starts to unload her equipment. Mitch is planning to wait outside while she works. Paola says she's not used to people helping her and thanks him. As she goes inside, Mitch gets a call from Paige, who says someone tried to plant a nasty story in the Daily News about Hannah, one that paints her as pretty fucked up. The Daily News isn't printing the story. Paige thinks Mitch is behind the story, but Mitch insists it wasn't him. Paige says she doesn't want to hear it and hangs up on him.

Cory is watching the cut of the finale he was sent when his phone rings. Kyle comes in and tells him it's Mitch Kessler on the phone. He says he'll take it and tells Kyle to stay off the line. Mitch tells Cory someone's launched a smear campaign against Hannah. Cory knows it's Fred. Mitch says the Daily News isn't going to run it, but someone else will until Cory cuts it off. Mitch wants Cory to do it because it's the right thing. Cory tells Mitch it's his fault this is happening. Mitch tells him he's the CEO, so he needs to handle it and keep these stories out of the press so he can live whatever is left of his life.

Daniel wants to talk to Mia and doesn't want to wait any longer. She agrees to give him two minutes. Daniel says there's a pattern of behavior at The Morning Show that disadvantages non-white folks, including the two of them. He's done turning the other cheek to it. Mia says she knows it. She knows she was only put in charge once everything fell apart and failure was nearly certain. But she's happier to have a job than being shut out. He wants her to push for him to moderate. She says she'll do what she can.

Yanko asks if he's going to be fired over the incident. Mia says no, but there's a lot of backlash. He needs to apologize on the show. Yanko doesn't understand what he did wrong and doesn't understand why a week went by before anyone said anything. Mia explains that it's cultural appropriation, but he still doesn't get it. He doesn't understand why they want him to apologize when he doesn't mean it. Stella tells him he needs to apologize when he's done something wrong and mean it. He's hurt that he's been misunderstood. He leaves. Once he's gone, Mia asks about Daniel moderating the debate. Stella says everyone's made a play for it. She says they have to use Eric, and Cory has made it clear he wants Alex instead. Stella would rather have it be Nooreen. There isn't room for Daniel. Mia expressed what frustrations Daniel is feeling. He thinks it's a racial thing. Mia says Daniel could do as good a job as anyone else they have and she has an important perspective. Stella doesn't think Daniel is capable of going beyond where he is. He doesn't have the "it" factor.

Chip and Alex are talking when Stella comes in and tries to tell Alex why it's so important that Alex moderate the debate. They need to put out quality content and she is quality. Alex will get some juice out of it as well, not that she needs it. Alex says there are others will more to prove, so she won't do it. Stella asks her to think about it. Once she's gone, Alex asks who Stella is to second-guess her. Chip says she's the president of UBA news and Cory paid a lot for her. Alex doesn't like that she's expected to listen to Stella. She thinks Stella's too young to be bossing the others around. Alex then says Stella thought bringing Chip back was a bad idea, which Chip didn't know. Chip asks who else thinks that, but Alex brushes it off.

Mitch reviews the interview Paola did with Professore Viola. Paola translates. They're talking about Italian law. There's a lot of good stuff there. She tells Mitch to keep watching while she finishes cooking dinner.

Paola dishes up a bowl of spaghetti for herself and hands the scoop off to Mitch. Mitch jokes about her making him serve himself. She laughs and points out that she made the food. Mitch jokes with Paola some more, but then things turn awkward when she kisses him on the cheek and he freezes and asks her not to do that.

Daniel goes to Mia and Mia tells him it's not in the cards this time, but they have the Phoenix debate next month. Daniel wants to know why Stella said no. Mia says the network is looking to showcase other talents right now. He asks if they're going with another Black journalist or another gay journalist. Mia says Stella doesn't think he has enough of the "it" factor. Daniel wants to know how Mia responded. Mia says Stella knows Mia thinks she's being ridiculous.

Cory tells Earl not to overcomplicate things. He just needs to find out what stories Fred is trying to plant so they can stop him. Earl says he'll get back to Cory. Cory answers a knock on his door to find Bradley. He tells her he doesn't know who's moderating. She says it's not about that and asks to come in. Bradley hates how their friendship has suffered recently. Cory says they can consider the slate wiped clean, which shocks Bradley. She suspects he's trying to shut her up, but he assures her he isn't. He repeats that he doesn't know who's moderating the debate, but she says it's not about that. She admits that she was pissed at him at NYE and she's been abrasive since then. But she wants to apologize because she cares about their friendship. Cory starts laughing, so she tries to start over. She says she hasn't been fair about things. He's the CEO and her needs can't always be his top priority. She says she's really sorry. He thinks it's just part of the Bradley Jackson ride. He wants what's best for her, but she won't trust that that's true. He doesn't want her to keep assuming the worst of him. He says he's always on her side. He's too old to have enemies. She says anger isn't what she's really feeling. It's just what she knows what to do with. She was really just hurt. They hug. And Cory tells her Alex is probably going to get moderator and they won't use two straight white women. She thanks him for telling her and leaves.

Bradley goes to see Laura and says she took Laura's advice and it worked really well. She and Cory made up. And she understand why they want Alex to do it and they can't bring out two straight white women. They need the diversity to ask about Stop and Frisk. Laura questions her labelling herself as straight. Bradley says she is to most of the world. Most of the time she's straight. She doesn't want to nail things down. Being sexually fluid is a thing. Laura laughs because Bradley is making things hard for herself. Bradley doesn't think it's a good idea for her to march into Stella's office and demand the debate because of her sexuality. Laura says being different could work to her advantage here. Laura kept her life private because she had to. It was 1997 and it was painful. But she quietly tried to live a life that was more truthful. But people talk and suddenly, she was fired. It wasn't explicit, but it was clear she wasn't wanted. She wants to resent Bradley for not being grateful for the opportunity she has to do things differently. She's envious because she lost a job for being gay. And it's not like Bradley would be lying. Bradley says she's not okay using her identity like that. Laura says she doesn't like that being her identity as she doesn't have any trouble identifying herself as a southerner. She knows that her being from the south has influenced Bradley's feelings. Bradley gets upset and says she's not repressed. She grabs a vase and smashes it into the floor. When Laura says she'll have to pay for that, Bradley tells her to start a tab because she's going to break a lot of things around there. She repeats that she's not repressed. Laura tells her to find some other woman's vases to break then. Bradley walks out.

Bradley cries as she leaves Laura's.

Yanko and Daniel are both upset as they prepare for the show. They rant to each other about their feelings.

Isabella goes to Mia and says Bernadette Peters' agent just told her she's not going to make it in time. Mia says they need to find a replacement surprise then. She has Isabella go talk to Matt and try to wrangle someone already in the building. Chip chimes in with a tip and Isabella goes to follow that. Mia overhears that and tells Chip not to undermine her with the staff. Chip says he was trying to help. When Stella asks Mia if everything's okay, Mia says it is. She just needs to find a new special guest.

On the show, Yanko addresses the comment he made on Groundhog Day. He talks around the issue and tries to absolve himself without apologizing. Stella tells Mia it won't be sufficient.

Stella calls Cory and tells him Eric's a go to moderate and so is Deena Pham. Alex is still refusing. Stella suggests asking Nooreen. If that's not okay with him, there's Daniel, Roger, or Bradley, who all want it. Cory just wants to get them to mid-March in peace so they can launch the streaming service. He's angry that he can't count on Stella to do what he's asked. Stella wonders why he brought her on if he won't listen to anything she says. She thinks he just likes having an Asian woman to show off. He either needs to listen to her or let her walk. She doesn't want Alex for anything and if he does, he needs to make it happen himself. He tells her to make it work.

Cory gets a call from an unknown. It's Earl. It's too late to reel the story back in. Someone will publish it. His only option is to go to Fred, which Cory doesn't want.

Stella tells Daniel she's looking forward to The Twist, which confuses him.

Alex and Bradley chat awkwardly as they get ready for the show. Alex says she's not going to do the debate and suggests Bradley throw herself at it now if she wants it. Alex gets called away and Bradley takes the six minutes she has before the show starts to go find Stella.

Mia sees the pianist on the stage and wonders why he's there because they killed the song. Daniel is on the stage and goes off script. Isabella had Howard Stern booked. They're all confused. The pianist starts to play and Daniel starts to sing Coming to America as everyone watches in shock.

Bradley goes to Stella and asks about the debate. She knows Stella wants Alex, but she thinks she can offer a perspective that neither Alex nor Eric can. She barely acknowledges this about herself, but she wants to be truthful. She takes a deep breath and then says she's from a Southern, conservative family. She'd like to ask questions from that background as she thinks it'll bring diversity.

Daniel continues singing and has some of the others in the studio singing along with him.

Teresa Bonner talks to Stella about some advertisers for TMS. It's shaping up to be the best February sweeps since Teresa's arrival thanks to Alex and Stella.

Daniel finishes the song. Alex enthusiastically thanks him.

Mia confronts Daniel, asking him what that was.

Stella exits Daniel's dressing room somberly.

Daniel sits inside his dressing room silently.

Stella goes to Alex and Alex thinks it's about the debate. Alex promises to tell Cory she tried. Stella says Alex doesn't know what she wants. What Stella wants is to change things. They'd both like to start fresh, but Alex can't. She is what she is. Stella says this place is a rotten mess and Alex was living in it for fifteen years. She tried to change it, but it's not clear yet if she's succeeded. Stella is there because of that. Stella tells Alex she wants Alex to do the debate because of what she did nine months ago that changed everything. She earned a connection to the women of the country. Alex doesn't believe that's true, but Stella says it is. That can be her brand. She opened a door nine months ago and now she needs to walk through it. Stella tells her it was a great show.

Mitch wakes to a call from Paola. She's just learned that the professor she interviewed has the new coronavirus. She was with him for an extended period of time and then was with Mitch for hours. They're both supposed to quarantine. She invites him to quarantine with her so they won't be alone. They can work on the documentary together.

Laura finds Bradley at her door. Bradley's nervous about being there. She gives Laura a $300 gift card because she doesn't know what to do. She doesn't know who she is beyond being a pain in the ass. She wants Laura to know that she knows that. As Laura goes to go back inside, Bradley stops her with a hug. Laura wraps her arm around Bradley.

As Alex works on her computer, a television in the background announces the debate moderators: Eric Nomani, Deena Pham, and Alex.

Cory enters the board room and asks for everyone to leave so he can have a minute with Cybil. He tells her he needs her help because Fred is planting stories about Hannah. It's gross. He doesn't care if Hannah's father is suing them. Cybil is sympathetic, but it's not their responsibility. Cory wants Cybil to tell Fred to kill the stories. The last time Cybil spoke to Fred, he told her that Cory was the best business decision, but she doubts that based on what he's done, including having them pay Fred out. If the stories aren't true, Hannah's family will have a case for libel. They have to face the facts that actions have consequences, but those consequences aren't her business. She tells him to give her regards to Fred.

Cast[]

Starring[]

Special Guest Star[]

Guest Starring[]

Special Appearance by[]

  • Foo Fighters

Co-Starring[]

  • Theo Iyer as Kyle
  • Jack Conley as Earl
  • Choni Francis as RJ Smith
  • Sean James as Jimbo
  • Catherine Dyer as Teresa Bonner
  • Candice Ramirez as Jasmyn
  • Zak Lee Guarnaccia as Professore Viola

Foo Fighters[]

  • Dave Grohl
  • Taylor Hawkins
  • Nate Mendel
  • Chris Shiflett
  • Pat Smear
  • Rami Jaffee

Foo Fighters' Background Vocalists[]

  • Violet Grohl
  • Barbara Gruska
  • Laura Mace
  • Samantha Sidley

The Morning Show Segments[]

Music[]

Song Performer Scene
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Notes and Trivia[]

Gallery[]

Episode Stills[]

Quotes[]

See Also[]

A complete overview of this episode's crew can be found here.

References[]

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