Bradley is presented with an opportunity that could jeopardize her tenuous, newfound bond with Alex.
Chip and Cory get falafel together from a truck. Chip wants to talk about some emails he got his hands on, which he says have evidence of transfers, payoffs, and complaints. He has people who can back them up as well. Unfortunately, no one can tie it to Fred, but he's at the center of it. Chip says he knows someone at the Times he could leak it to, or he could go to someone else and guide them to the story without saying anything explicit. Cory talks about ambush predactors, who wait for their prey to come into their vicinity before attacking. Chip's not as fast as Fred, so he has to wait or he'll end up attacked himself. Cory says he has to wait until they have airtight evidence. Until then, Chip has to be patient.
Bradley watches a video of Mitch reporting about Harvey Weintein. She wonders aloud what she's doing. Her car pulls up to the curb and she gets out and approaches Mitch at the park.
Mitch and Bradley walk and he offers to tell her the whole story about everyone who knew what he was doing and covered it up. In exchange, Mitch wants Bradley to intervew him on TMS, to give him the platform to tell his story. Bradley says that won't happen. Mitch says it would help ratings, but it would also open them up to a lot of criticism. He tells her it's a good story and she's a reporter. Bradley knows Alex and Chip would both say no. Mitch knows Alex would hate it, partially because she's not innocent herself. Chip won't survive it either. Bradley knows his motivation is selfish. She doesn't want any part of that. Mitch says he has proof and he can dig up some witnesses. One withness is a woman who slept with him to get a career bump. She doesn't hate him and he thinks he can get her to back him up. He's offering Bradley an important story. It could change things. Bradley wonders what happens if it also takes down the show and everyone who works there. Mitch says it's a risk, but it might be one worth taking. Mitch tells her to let him know soon because he's going to tell the story with or without her.
Lizzy begs her parents to tell her what's doing on. She knows it's bad. Jason says they love her and then Alex says they're getting a divorce. Lizzy doesn't believe it. Alex says they tried to make it work, but Lizzy doesn't believe that. Alex says she tried for years, but Lizzy thinks she only pretended. Their lives have always been about her job. Alex and Jason both say that's not true. Lizzy says she and Jason are never the priority. Alex says she did what she had to do. Lizzy says she did what was best for her job and they enabled it. Alex says the therapy is kicking in. Lizzy says not to shame her for therapy because she's never had a normal life. Alex has never been there for her or for Jason. Lizzu hugs Jason and he tells her he was the one who asked for a divorce. Lizzy says that's only beacuse Alex gave him no other choice and leaves. Alex sends Jason after her because she's upset.
Alex jogs on a treadmill. She turns up the speed until she's at a full run. She starts crying as she runs until she trips and falls.
Chip lies awake on his couch. His alarm goes off and he turns it off.
Bradley watches the Frost/Nixon interviews.
Bradley stands outside Alex's dressing room, where she's having a conversation with Valerie as Valerie does her makeup. As Valerie leaves, Bradley comes in. They're both glad to be back home. Bradley asks how Alex is and she says they told Lizzy. It was quick and painful. Alex asks if she ever doesn't know who she is or what she wants. Bradley says sometimes. Alex doesn't like it. Alex says Bradley can help by getting the team photoshoot taken off the schedule. She can't stand the thought of fake smiling. Bradley understands. Their pictures will be everywhere. They have to erase Mitch Kessler from everyone's memories like he was never there. Bradley asks if Alex misses him. Alex says she does. Bradley asks if she's tried to talk to him since he was fired. Alex says she reached out to him once or twice. He thought hiring Bradley was crazy. Bradley says he's not wrong, which Alex says is often true of him. Bradley says the show much go on. Alex thanks Bradley for checking in on her.
Bradley and Alex do the show.
Backstage, Chip tells Mia, Nicky, Layla, and Joel that they have a gap in the show asks for suggestions to fill the time. Mia suggests a pre-taped interview Bradley did, which she says is strong. Nicky's not sure it has the same impact as the bird flu, the story it's replacing, but Mia says it's powerful. Joel suggests the EPA's new report on climate change. Chip reminds him they cut that segment already. Layla says the report is dry and there's nothing new in it. Nicky says it feels like a big story. Chip decides to go with Bradley's interview. Nicky says the climate change report is actual news and it's related to the wildfire story they just did. Mia tells Nicky to stop pushing because Chip's his boss. He tells her Chip is her boss as well, so she should stop kissing his ass, which everyone knows is her specialty. There's silence after those remarks until Nicky apologizes. Mia tells him they just need to move on. Chip says no. He tells Nicky to pack up his things and get out. The others are stunned. Nicky's upset that he's being punished for saying to Mia's face what everyone else has been saying behind her back for 18 months. Chip tells him again to get out and tells everyone else to get back to work. He suddenly leaves the room himself and Mia follows him into his office, where she tells him he has to hire Nicky back. He's not helping her. He just made everything worse. He asks what she wants from him. He didn't fuck Mitch, but he's the one paying for that terrible decision every day. He wasn't perfect, but he can't fix everything. Mia realizes that's all she's ever going to be at TMS. Chip apologizes for his outburst and Mia excuses herself to go back to work.
Claire finds Yanko and tells him to check his email. He has an email from HR asking to speak to him. He akss if she got the same thing and she says she did. Claire wonders if someone saw them and reported it. She asks him what to do. She's terrified. Yanko says they should just go to HR together and tell them they're dating, put it on the record. Claire wants to deny it instead, but Yanko says that won't work. He loves her and hates every moment that he has to hide it. He wants to take her out on dates in public. He asks her to go to HR with him. Now's the time. She tells him she'll meet him in HR after the photoshoot. He has to return to set as Julia starts counting them back in.
Chip talks to Maggie about Bradley, praising her work. The only struggles were his own doing. But now they've settled in and get to watch Bradley do what she does. Maggie says she has enough and packs up. Chip realizes she didn't ask him about Mitch. She doesn't have time for that and has everything she needs. As she goes to leave, Chip says she only thinks she has it. Maggie says she's not writing that story anyway, which should be a relief to Chip. He asks her to do him a favor and trust him. He says he can point her to things that incriminate the network at the highest level. It would have to be secret. If she's interested, she needs to get back to him soon. It's not like him to reveal something like this, so she asks what's making him feel bold. She doesn't believe him when he says it's because of 15 years of complicity. You don't grow a conscience overnight. You do it when someone gives you permisison to have one. Chip's offering a great story, but she's looking for the better one. She says she'll think about it and call him.
Fred tells Cory his office will be calling to set up an interview between him and Marlon Tate, a potential EP for TMS. Cory asks if Chip had a heart attack. Fred says the investigation will be wrapping up soon and they don't know what the report will say. They need to be prepared. Fred's known Marlon for years and knows he's good. He makes it clear that Marlon has the job. Cory hears that, but says as head of news, he'll take it under advisement. Cory asks if Fred is happy, because he doesn't seem to be, despite everything he has. He should spend more time doing things he enjoys. Maybe soon he'll have more time to do that. As Cory leaves, Fred tells him to let him know how things go with Marlon.
Yvette tells Alex it's not a good time to get divorced. Alex asks if there is a good time. Yvette asks if she's been abused and Alex says no. Marriages end, especially celebrity marriages. Yvette says people won't see it that way. They'll wonder if she was having an affair with Mitch. If she did, that's okay, but she should tell them so they can get ahead of it. People will notice that Paige filed for divorce right before hers was announced. And which of them files also matters. If she files, she'll look heartless. If he files, people will think he caught her with another man or he couldn't handle her celebrity anymore, which makes her seem pathetic. Unless Jason was cheating with a younger woman. That will be sympathetic.
Audra tells Daniel TMS is a car crash. Even Audra is watching and references Alex crying over the dog story. It won't last, though. He's on the winning team now, but the nice part about being the number two show is that they'll pay whatever it takes to get top talent. Audra's upset that TMS is putting two white women out in front and praising themselves for that while the brown people have to take care of everything. Daniel is just upset that TMS pulled him from a job he actually liked and wooed him with the promise of a space where he could do what he loves. Then they made him do The Twist. His ego loves that Audra is interested, but he's worried that YDA would be a lateral move for him. He wants to do the news and wants that to be enough. Audra says that's why she wants him on YDA. He's a boring man who loves the news. People watch YDA because it's fun. She and Jimmy have that covered. She loves doing it. But they won't beat TMS by being fun. They need someone like Daniel. Daniel says TMS is vulnerable. There are people he cares about who would be hurt if he left, like Alison and Yanko. It's not easy to leave them behind. Audra says the TMS family is broken and only ever really included Mitch and Alex.
Daniel asks Bradley where everyone else is. She doesn't know. Their family is dysfunctional, just like a real family. Alex, Alison, and Yanko arrive, ready for the photoshoot. Alex pulls Bradley aside to talk to her and tells her she has to announce her divorce on the show sometime next week. She wanted Bradley to be prepared for the awkwardness. Bradley says that's her specialty. Alex asks Bradley to keep it to herself for now. She met with a PR woman who scared her about the minefield she's about to walk into. Bradley offers her support if Alex needs anything. Alex asks if they could work on something together, for the announcement. They could make it a dialogue. She asks Bradley to work on it over dinner. The photographer calls them to start. They all smile on the couch together and pose for pictures as he calls out directions.
Mia sits down in the control room. Bart is sitting nearby and says Nicky was just making a joke. He's a good kid and shouldn't have his life ruined over a joke. Mia says Chip's the one who fired him, not her. Donny calls over to tell Bart to drop it. Mia gets up and walks out as Bart says other people are never going to drop it. Mia puts her things down at another station then grabs a microphone and calls everyone's attention to her. Everyone is confused as she talks about her relationship with Mitch, using all the rumors that have circled about her. Yanko wants to stop it, but Bradley says to let her speak. Bart tries to apologize, but Mia tells him to shut up. Mia tells everyone she knwos what they're saying about her, that she got Nicky fired and leaked the story about Mitch to the Times. She's probably done other horrible things as well. She could deny it, as most of it is lies, but she's so tired. She doesn't have the energy to deny it and doesn't think there's a point. Everyone's decided what to believe already. She tells them to have their opinions. She just wants to move on with her life. Chip comes back in with Rena and asks Mia to put the mic down. Mia says she's almost done, unless he wants to join in. He tells her to go ahead. She tells everyone they're all human and they all have regrets. They're just people who want to do good work. That's what she's going to focus on. She wants to be known for something other than Mitch Kessler and thinks she deserves that opportunity. Bradley gets up off the couch and leaves the stage as Mia leaves the control room. Chip takes the mic and tells them to take that advice and get back to work.
Bradley finds Mia in the hallway and checks on her. Mia apologizes for not telling Bradley. She didn't want Bradley to think less of her and wanted to be her producer. Bradley doesn't think less of her and is glad she did what she just did. She's sorry Mia had to deal with it all by herself. Mia says they have to prep the show for tomorrow and says he'll meet Bradley in her office in ten minutes.
Sheila Lutkin tells Claire that Yanko said he wants to put their relationship on record. Claire says they both want to do that. Claire wants it to be confidential if that's an option. Sheila asks how it began.
Sheila asks Yanko if he initiated a sexual relationship. Yanko says he didn't want wouldn't have thought of that. They became friends. Claire was genuinely interested in his work, which is rare.
Claire says his brain is sexy. It didn't seem like a crime to translate that into actual sex. Sheila wants to know how their first sexual encounter came about. Claire says that's really not her business.
Yanko says he stopped the kiss. He worried it was inappropriate. He was in denial about his feelings, but Claire was unphased. Claire said she'd liked him for a while.
Claire admits they had sex that night at Yanko's apartment, but only because he's the one who knows how to cook and she likes paella.
Yanko says he asked her to dinner and they both thought it best to keep it quiet.
Claire says she hit on Yanko, so she's the creep. Sheila never said either of them was a creep. Claire knows that's the implication.
Yanko says they thought many times about coming forward, but Sheila points out that they only came when they were summoned. Yanko says she could indict them for that or compare their relationship to what happened with Mitch, but she has to understand that that fear is what kept them quiet.
Sheila asks Claire if Yanko ever asked her to do anything she was uncomfortable with. Claire says no, aside from asking her to come to HR, because she's uncomfortable with that.
Yanko says the work Sheila does is noble, but he and Claire hope to represent a new way to navigate a workplace relationship.
Sheila asks if Claire's relationship with Yanko is serious. Claire asks why that's relevant. Sheila says it's their job to make sure the relationship in their current environment is sustainable. Claire asks if she could be fired. She's angry if that could happen when they wouldn't fire Yanko. Sheila's not saying that. Claire says she didn't want to do this and it was a mistake. She needs to leave. She thinks she's entitled to a bit of privacy. Sheila says she chose to come there, but Claire says she didn't choose anything. Sheila asks if she needs help getting out of the relationship and Claire just leaves.
Yanko sees Claire and asks if she's okay. Claire's not sure. Yanko's relieved. He thinks they'll be okay. Claire has trouble describing how it was for her. When she sees Bradley approaching, she says good night to Yanko and then tells Bradley she'll have the research to her soon. Yanko is awkward as Bradley walks by. She asks him if Claire is all right and Yanko says she is and she's very talented. He's glad Bradley gave her a shot. When the elevator doors open in front of Bradley, Cory is standing there. She gets on the elevator with him, where he jokes about her waiting for him. She thinks it's so weird that they live in the same building. Cory suggests they walk back to the hotel together. Bradley's surprised, but agrees.
As they walk along the street, Bradley asks if it was nice for him to be home and sleep in his own bed, but he says he spent most of his time in the screening room watching pilots. She asks if he saw anything good and he says he would have previously said yes, but now he knows truth is stranger than fiction. The shows were fine, but he's really into the truth right now. Bradley likes the truth as well, even though it's bit her in the ass. Cory suggests they go to Central Park and find the carousel, but then says they should get a carriage ride instead. Bradley says she has stuff she needs to figure out right now. She asks for a rain check.
Alex shows up at Lizzy's dorm room with a box of pizza. Lizzy says she already ate, but Alex wants to talk to her. Lizzy says Samantha is there, but Samantha gets up to go to the library. Alex goes into the room. She apologizes to Lizzy. Lizzy asks why it's happening now and wonders if it has to do with Mitch. Alex says no, but Lizzy doesn't believe her. She's been melting down since Mitch was fired. Lizzy says Alex hurt Jason and she doesn't care. Lizzy says Jason does everything for her and wonders why he isn't good enough. Alex says that's not what happened. Alex says Lizzy's only seeing the part she can see. 25 years is a long time. They were completely different when they met and she just doesn't feel the same way anymore. She hasn't in years. She tried. She's been lonely. She knows Lizzy is angry and hurt, but she wants her to see the bigger picture. Lizzy asks Alex to leave, saying she can't take care of her right now. Alex gets up to leave. Lizzy tells her to share it with America. They'll take care of her. Alex is appalled at her saying that after everything Alex has done for her, including staying with her father when she was miserable. Alex says she deserves happiness. She is angry that Lizzy is upset about her career. She worked hard to get where she was. She wanted it, wanted to mean something. She tells Lizzy to make the life she wants and stop blaming Alex. She takes the pizza and leaves. She throws the pizza away as she walks out.
Alex gets home and crawls into Lizzy's bed.
Bradley lies awake on her hotel bed.
Mitch sleeps next to his dog. His phone buzzing wakes him up and he answers a call from Bradley.
Bradley tells Mitch she might be interested if he can find someone to corroborate his story.
Mitch drives through the city.
Mitch waves to Hannah through a glass door. She opens the door and asks what he's doing there. He says she got something from him and now it's time to repay the favor.
- 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 Stars
- Oona Roche as Lizzy
- Victoria Tate as Rena
- Andrea Bendewald as Valerie
- Shari Belafonte as Julia
- Joe Marinelli as Donny
- Joe Pacheco as Bart
- Amber Friendly as Layla
- Katherine Ko as Dhillon
- Eli Bildner as Joel
- David Magidoff as Nicky
- Romy Rosemont as Sheila
- Brian Bowen Smith as Photographer
- Dendrie Taylor as Yvette
- Shane Munson as Samantha
The Morning Show Segments
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 >>|