Controversy and betrayal strike TMS as a new year approaches. Alex faces a difficult decision.
Mia walks down the hall giving orders. She passes Alex's dressing room, where some PAs are trying to get her to let them in.
Inside the room, Bradley tells Alex Twitter's going nuts as her phone chimes for several notifications in a row. Alex panics because she knows UBA's going to try to protect their image by dragging Alex and Bradley through the mud. Bradley says they have to understand that Fred needs to go. Alex reminds her that they crossed a line and UBA's not going to do what they want because of that. As Alex prepares to leave the room, Bradley says they need to be united and not mention Hannah by name as she didn't want that. As soon as Alex opens the door, the PAs flood in and usher Alex back out after taking her phone. As she's pushed down the hall, Alex tells Bradley to keep her phone on her and she'll call her.
Fred tells Cory he's a dead man, but Cory thinks Fred's the dead one.
Cory's shocked because the network put Fred on administrative leave, but he's being fired. Cybil Reynolds tells him they believe the victims, and if it's proven, Fred will be terminated as well. Fred maintains his innocence and he's the only person who was in that room who can say what happened. Cory starts to explain that that's because Hannah's dead. He then reminds Cybil they can't terminated his contract without just cause, but she says taking over the airways and locking Fred out of his control room is cause enough. Fred knows that's ridiculous, but says he can't drag them into the 21st century. Cory is excused from the meeting.
Three Months Later
Bradley and her new co-host, Eric Nomani, start their New Years Eve Extravaganza by dancing and singing.
In the control room, Mia and Greta talk about Bradley's singing. Eric talked her into it. On another monitor, a report about the claims against UBA anchor Ray Marcus plays.
Yanko and Ty talk about the song and the show they have upcoming in Times Square.
As the song continues, several phones chime with the news about Ray.
Cory's television shows an anchor reporting on Ray Marcus, who has several accusers. Kyle comes in and tells him multiple press outlets are waiting for his comment and the board is meeting to discuss Ray's replacement for the evening news. Cory tells the PA to assemble the team and get Maggie Brener on the phone first. As the PA leaves, he starts talking to Maggie.
Eric and Bradley finish their song and talk about their New Years Eve Extravaganza. They then tell their audience to stay tuned for The Twist. Julia calls cut. Eric immediately checks his phone and reports that Twitter is loving their show. Bradley admits it was more fun than she thought it would be. Bradley then sees the news about Ray and asks if Eric saw it.
Bradley talks to Gayle about a segment Mia wants to do called "Nutrition in the New Year." Gayle says it's to avoid bumming everyone out. Bradley says it's one of the deadliest times of the year, which is a bummer. Gayle says they don't have a choice. Bradley goes to talk to Mia. Gayle reminds her that ratings are down and tells her to pick her battles. Bradley says if they don't value her at The Morning Show, there's going to be an opening in the evening news very soon. Gayle also told her that playing along would buy her some freedom. She dyed her hair and hosted their celebrity bowling show and did TikTok dances on television. Gayle says she's gotten to do most of the stories she wanted to do. Bradley says if they stay the course, people will catch up, which Gayle hopes is true. Bradley wants to talk to Cory about the evening news as Cory values integrity.
Cory wants to get ahead of the news so Bradley doesn't find out from Twitter that they're moving Eric to the evening news. Eric is almost ready to close a deal and Cory wants that to happen as soon as possible. Mia says they were supposed to have more time to ease Bradley into the idea. Vince Fontana says it's making his life difficult to fire Ray, so maybe they shouldn't. Yelling at a PA isn't the same as sexual assault. His boss threw a pineapple at his head when he was a PA and he survived. Stella says the network needs to clean up its act. Cory says the press release announcing that Ray will be fired and Eric will replace him in the evening news is being drafted, but they won't release it until everything else is in place. The timetable has changed since it was leaked to the press. They need to focus on who they're pairing with Bradley. Stella says the list is down to Mickey and Aaron. Miguel declined because he didn't want to work with Bradley. Mia floats the idea of leaving Eric at TMS and moving Bradley to evening news. Bradley loves the news. Vince laughs at the idea. Stella asks if Bradley's really cutting it. Ratings are down and her contract is up in a few months. She was poised to be a feminist superhero, but couldn't capitalize on that. Mia says she refused to. Cory admires that she didn't jump on the MeToo bandwagon, but Mia points out some major missteps Bradley has made. She loves Bradley, but she needs a seasoned anchor like Alex opposite her, to balance her out. Cory wants them to get Alex back. The others don't think that's an option. Richard says Alex emphatically told him no. That's why they spent all the money on Eric. Cory doesn't think anyone else will cut it. Stella doesn't like the idea of having another white woman co-anchor. Especially one who admitted to all the questionable things Alex did. She thinks Alex is done.
Alex, in an isolated cabin, types furiously on her computer. She pauses for a moment and then continues, finishing her book. Then she takes her glasses off and rubs her eyes. She gets up and her dog follows her to the window, where she looks out onto the snowy landscape.
Cory tells Bruce he can't have $100 million/year to buy back the streaming rights to Hampton. They're not going to renew the deal for Apocalypse 13 because of that. After Cory hangs up, he asks Kyle who's holding on three and learns it's Ivy, whom Cory asked him to call. Cory says to let her know he'll call her back and to get Pete Freeman on the line instead. Bradley comes in as he waits, but sees that he's busy and asks if she should come back later instead. Kyle gets Pete on the line as requested, but Cory tells Kyle he'll call him back and invites Bradley in to talk.
Bradley asks if he's going to have to fire Ray. Cory's can't tell her, but yes. Bradley asks who's going to replace him and Cory says he doesn't know. Bradley offers herself up for the part. He owes her because she got him un-fired. He says he needs her on The Morning Show because people need that stability of seeing her. She's been killing it. Bradley thinks her talents are more suited to the evening news and Ray is leaving an opening. She knows she'd kill it. Cory loves filling weird holes, but the ratings have dipped and he's waiting for the ta-da moment when they come back up. He can't move her before the ta-da. She relents and says she's finding her groove on The Morning Show and she and Eric complement each other well. Cory says she complements anyone well. They're a good match, much better than she had with Alex. Cory says they had something special, too. But Bradley says it was too short to know. Then Alex left and Bradley hasn't heard from her. Bradley guesses they'll never know what might have happened. Cory tells her never to say never, except when he says never. Bradley says it feels like a million years ago, even though it was still 2019. Hannah's also been on her mind. Cory says it just takes time and they'll get there.
Shirlee Alpert calls in to nominate her grandson for hero for the day for sharing his candy cane with a child who dropped his. As Chip listens to the call, he looks at the report about Ray on the monitor. The call cuts off before the woman can finish saying her number, so Phil asks if he should track her down. Chip sends him to do that. As he leaves, Chip's new girlfriend comes in and they share a kiss. He asks her about New Years plans and insists he can get away. Phil then comes in and says the phones aren't working. Chip suggests calling the phone company. Then he tells his girlfriend he can still go out with her.
Alex is out walking her dog when her phone rings. Adelle Waters has just finished her manuscript and says it's really good. Alex hears what she isn't saying and asks what's not working. Adelle says it's all wonderful, but she needs to dig deeper in certain areas. She wants Alex to dig deeper into Mitch. Alex doesn't want to talk more about Mitch, but Adelle says that's why people will buy the book. It's part of the movement. Alex says she destroyed her career over the movement. Adelle says they don't know what's going to be in Maggie's book. This gives her the opportunity to go in and respond without looking like she's responding. She can defend herself. Alex says she already admitted to everything on national television. Adelle says this is her chance to put her own narrative on her relationship with Mitch. Alex says there's nothing, but agrees to go back over the manuscript and try to find something to keep the sharks happy. She hangs up angry.
Yanko tries to reassure his mother that no one is listening to her through her Life Alert and ambulances are coming because she's pressing the button. He ends the call when he runs into Meredith on the street. He asks if she's heard anything from Claire. Meredith says she's studying for her GRE. Yanko is glad to hear that. It was good for her to get away after everything. Meredith says she'll mention that she ran into Yanko next time she talks to Claire. As Meredith walks away, a fan asks Yanko the weather. Yanko gives a snarky reply.
Alex attempts to chop wood. On her third try, she splits it. She's shocked to see Cory get out of an SUV and asks what he's doing in Maine. He asks what she's doing in Maine.
Alex knows Cory needs something, but doesn't think it's something she has to give. He wants her to come back for a year. Bradley's not testing well and they're moving Eric to the evening news. Alex is shocked and asks if Bradley's upset. Cory says she will be. Alex says it's the same old UBA. Cory says it's business. His job is to ensure the stability of UBA. Cory says she'll get a whole new deal, be a partner with the network. He needs her. The network needs her. He begs her to come back as she's the only thing that can save them. Alex agrees with everything he just said, but she can't go back. Even if she wanted to come back, she couldn't. She'd look flaky. Cory says when her new deal came out, she'd look smart. Then she tells him she doesn't want to. She's done. She asks him to leave. She likes him, but he's a bit crazy and that scares her. He doesn't want to harass her, so he begs her one last time to come back. He tells her to think about it for a day and get back to him. She insists that she won't.
Ty Fitzgerald reports that a Twitter user took issue with Yanko's weather report. Yanko apologizes, but says he'll have to take it up with the spirit upstairs.
Rena tells Mia she still needs to approve the year-end clip package, so she hands the task of to Donny. Rena tells her about her upcoming meetings. Mia goes to talk to Joel Rapkin, but Lindsey interjects to asks Mia to weigh in on tomorrow's stories and asks her to pick two. Mia listens to the options and chooses two. Mia then goes back to Joel and asks what he has for the year-end review. When he reads it off, she tells him to stick to the highlights for Trump or it'll be four hours long. Outside of Trump, there are a few depressing stories. Mia tells him to give people some hope. She asks if anything good happened. Someone says the US Women's soccer team won the world cup. Mia comments that 2019 sucked. Rena asks if they should include themselves in the year-end packet. Mia says to cover Alex and Bradley's moment, but choose the clip carefully. No Mitch at all. Layla asks what they should do about Hannah. Mia says to dedicate the broadcast to her. Rena says Archie, the royal baby, was born in 2019. That's optimistic.
Mia passes Bradley's dressing room and asks why she's there and not at home taking a nap. Bradley says she will be soon. Bradley says she know she can be difficult, but she knows Mia's always looked out for her. She tells Mia she's very grateful for that.
Stella thinks Aaron's the right choice and tells Cory so. He tests well with everyone. Cory says he doesn't think Aaron will move the needle with the press, but they won't have the issues with him that they've had with other talent. He's solid. Cory says to let him know before they announce because he still hasn't told Bradley.
Bradley waits for the New Years Eve Extravaganza to start. Eric joins her on the stage. They make a toast and she tells him he's been an amazing partner. Eric returns the sentiment. They drink to the year ahead.
Mia watches from the control room as the show starts.
Alex gets out of her car and hands it over to a valet. She enters the party and immediately draws a lot of attention. Aria Bloom is surprised she's there, but welcomes her. Alex feigns enthusiasm as she's shown around.
Cory is stuck in traffic and asks his driver, Frank, what they're looking at. Frank estimates half an hour. Cory gets a text from Stella that she's closing the deal with Aaron, who is excited to work with Bradley. Cory asks her to give him an hour and then calls Alex. He gets her voicemail and starts to leave her a message.
Sylvia Portman is doing a reading for Alex. She asks if Alex's parents have died. She says not that she's aware of and offers to call them. She asks if Alex has a child and Alex says she does. Sylvia thinks it's a son and Alex offers her a second guess.
Bradley introduces the next act. Eric stands off to the side and takes another swig of alcohol. Bradley sees him and tells him to slow down. She takes the bottle and takes a sip of her own. She's excited to be doing this and loves working with Eric. Eric finally can't take it anymore and tells her he's moving to evening news. She asks if everybody knows and he confirms that they do. She walks away without saying anything.
Sylvia tells Alex there's a young man who is or will be important in her life. She thinks Alex is in a serious relationship. Sylvia knows Alex doesn't believe in what she's doing, so they agree to shake hands and call it a night. Sylvia feels a lot of resistance from Alex. Alex takes that remark personally. Sylvia elaborates that Alex is carrying around a paralyzing amount of guilt. Alex denies that. Sylvia asks if that's what she's running away from. Alex denies that she's running away from anything and leaves the table.
Bradley asks RJ if he's seen "him" but RJ doesn't know who she means. Bradley sees Cory just arriving and walks up to him. She confronts him and asks what happened to him. He's not the same person she thought he was. She tells him she knows about Eric and how everyone knew except her. Cory says he's doing the best he can and has her best interests at heart. He says the job is hard and he's doing the best he can. She reminds him he only has his job because of her. They argue for a few minutes before she leaves because the ball's about to drop.
Alex stands outside at the valet stand, but the valet is gone. She digs through the drawer and finds her keys. As she walks to her car, she sees she has a voicemail from Cory, so she plays it. He talks about a poem and one line that reminds him of her. "Fame is no plant that grows on mortal soil." He tells her she's not mortal soil. He thinks she's yet to do her greatest work and thinks she's knows it. If he's right, she needs to call him back and tell him that.
Bradley and Eric begin counting down to midnight.
Cory's phone rings, so he walks away from the stage and asks if Alex got his message. Alex says his message was nice. He tells her the deal fell through on Eric's replacement and they're in a bind. He asks her to come back and fill in until she's ready to launch her new primetime show. She tells him they'll talk tomorrow. He says he'll call her tomorrow and she won't be sorry. She asks if she can trust him. AS they count down the final seconds, Cory says yes.
Everyone celebrates the new year.
Mia, Rena, and the others celebrate back at the station.
Chip proposes to his girlfriend and she accepts.
Yanko stands in a crowd of people celebrating.
Alex stands out in the snow.
Cory calls Stella and tells her to kill the deal with Aaron, saying he'll explain tomorrow. It's a new year and things are looking up. Cory looks up at the ticker and sees that Hannah's family has filed a wrongful death suit against UBA. He curses.
- 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
- Janina Gavankar as Alison Namazi
- Tom Irwin as Fred Micklen
- Holland Taylor as Cybil Reynolds
- Hasan Minhaj as Eric Nomani
- Katie Aselton as Madeleine
- Kathy Najimy as Sylvia Portman
- Hannah Leder as Isabella
- Augustus Prew as Sean
- James Urbaniak as Backstage Manager
- Mark Harelik as Richard
- Victoria Tate as Rena Robinson
- Tara Karisian as Gayle Burns
- Joe Marinelli as Donny Spagnoli
- Joe Pacheco as Bart Daley
- Shari Belafonte as Julia
- Eli Bildner as Joel Rapkin
- Amber Friendly as Layla Bell
- Michelle Meredith as Lindsey Sherman
- Stephen Friedrich as Jeffrey Gordon
- Theo Iyer as Kyle
- Choni Francis as RJ
- Molly McNearney as Aria Bloom
- Taylor Cooper as Meredith
- Tony Von Hale as Phil
- Mark Totty as Jeremy Brian
- David Bowe as Clyde Canter
- Guy Garner as Darwin Martin
- Judy Kain as Adelle Waters
- Jay Jackson as Vernon Worrell
- Krystin Goodwin as Tabitha Roberts
- Alexandra Fatovich as Michelle Conners
- Steve Kuzj as Andrew Falk
- Dawyne Colbert as Fan
- Tyee Tilghman as Cory's Driver
- Craig Cox as New Orleans Head-Licking Guy
The Morning Show Segments
Notes and Trivia
- The poem Cory recites a line from is "Lycidas" by John Milton.
- Reese Witherspoon and Hasan Minhaj rehearsed the dance sequence only once, the day of shooting, as they wanted it to look unrehearsed.
Behind the Scenes
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|