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Play the Queen is the ninth episode of the first season of The Morning Show.

Short Summary[]

New alliances are formed and old bonds are revived as TMS is forced to reckon with its past.

Full Summary[]

Mitch comments than it's been a while since they saw each other outside work. She wonders how he found her apartment. He says he still has his contact list. He asks to come inside and talk to her, but she says she has guests. She says they can talk there. He asks her if she remembers sleeping with him and leveraging it to get the head booker job. He's not juding her. He's over it, but needs to know if she remembers. If she wants to dance, she needs to pay the fiddler. She needs her help getting proof that Fred swept his "so-called" behavior under the rug. And she's proof of that. He needs her to go on the record with a reporter. It's not a small ask. Hannah says it's her career they're talking about. He says it can be anonymous if she wants, but he needs someone. She's not sure if she can. Mitch tells her what he thought of her when they first met. That's why it took him off guard when she did what she did. That choice cost her something. He's having to examine his own behavior and doesn't want Fred to be the only one not examining his behavior. Everyone should live by the same rules. Mitch then says he's already talked to reporters, so her story is coming out either way. Controlling narrative is powerful. She says she'll think about it. He thanks her and says she's one of a kind.

Alex wakes to her phone ringing. It's a security guard telling her Bradley is there. Alex says to let her in, but give her a few minutes first.

Bradley is amazed by Alex's place. Alex brings her some wine as she admires the view out her window. Alex got it her fifth year on the show. It felt good. Alex practices what she's going to say about her divorce. Bradley encourages her to be honest because people like that. Alex wants them to join Tinder together. Alex asks if she's ever been interested in marriage, but Bradley says she's not suited for that. She's not even sure she believes in love. Marriage is too big a leap for her. Alex thinks that's a shame, despite her circumstance. She thinks partnership is great, however long it lasts. Bradley tells Alex about the interview she wants to do with Mitch. She knows it's a sensitive subject and wants to acknowledge that. Alex is shocked. Bradley tells her that Mitch wants to out Fred for promoting that culture. She knows Mitch is out for revenge, but in order to accuse Fred, he has to admit that he's part of the problem. Bradley knows she can hold his feet to the fire, especially with Alex's help. And they can nail Fred. Alex asks what Bradley wants her to say. Bradley wants her honest opinion and Alex asks how Mitch contacted her. Bradley says they met in person. Alex is upset that Bradley didn't talk to her first. Bradley thought she'd say not to do it. Alex is worried about getting screwed over by this. She knows Mitch wants to take more people down with him. Bradley offers to protect her, but Alex knows that won't work. The business is a boy's club. Everyone knows the culture that exists in their business. Bradley just needs to shut up and do her job and have a shred of loyalty for Alex. Bradley goes to leave and Alex says Mitch came to her because she was an easy mark.

Bradley gets back to her hotel and calls Hal. She asks if she ruined their lives by reporting their father for killing a child while he was driving drunk. Things fell apart for their family after he went to prison. She's sick with herself over it. Hal says what she did was right because if she hadn't, it could have happened again. He drove drunk with them in the car so many times. Hal's not an addict because of her, but because he's wired wrong. He's going to get better because of her, becuase he wants to see her change the world. She doesn't need those people there to be her friends. She tells Hal she misses him and loves him. He says he loves her, too.

Bill welcomes Mitch home. He thinks Mitch got a raw deal. Mitch goes inside his place and pours himelf a drink.

Alex paces around her room. She finally makes a call and asks someone to lunch to talk, saying it's long overdue.

Alex is annoyed to see Bradley when she arrives on set.

Maria Sharapova is on TMS and says she loves watching Bradley and Alex together.

Cory watches the show from his couch. Maggie comes in and he invites her to join him. She congratulates him for keeping the train on the tracks. She says she's there to find out if he's plotting a corporate takeover. He says he always is and asks which one she means. Maggie says she talked to someone about a claim that would incriminate Fred and the entire network. Cory wants more than an anonymous source, but she refuses to reveal her source. She knows that Cory must be her source's cover as they wouldn't come forward otherwise. She understands why Cory is doing this, but he's not invincible. Everyone knows Fred didn't want to hire him. The board forced him to. Fred will ditch him as soon as he can. It would be favorable for Cory to protect someone preparing to overthrow Fred. Cory says he doesn't care about losing his job. He'll get another one. He doesn't like Fred, but he isn't afraid of Fred. Fred's just a weak man hiding. If Fred wants to fire him, he will. He's only doing the job because it's fun and he's good at it. Maggie says when she first started, Fred gave her the story that launched her career. She has some loyalty because of that. Not totally, but enough to make sure the story is straight before reporting on something like this. She leaves.

Alex is remorseful about her actions that's led to where the show is right now. Fred is surprised that Bradley thought she'd agree to an interview with Mitch. Alex thinks they should have gotten rid of Bradley when he first wanted to. Alex says she's embarrassed by what she's done.

Bradley feels weird for inviting Cory to her room, but wants him to hear her out as a friend. She says what she's about to say could be damaging to the News Division. Then she tells him about Mitch wanting her to interview him on TMS. He's charming, but he's made himself the victim. But he also claims to have evidence that Fred silenced women. He wants to topple the king. And it's of interest to her if it is to him.

Fred says something about Mitch always bothered him. His one regret is not following that gut instinct and for believing that Alex was part of the problem.

Cory is processing Bradley's request. Bradley then tells him she told Alex and it didn't go well. Alex is terrified because she's guilty. Bradley knows Alex doesn't care because it works for her. Bradley has the power to have the conversation she wants to have about it. Bradley doesn't want to the harbinger of doom.

Alex says they're the only two people who care about the show. They can right the ship. Fred says some order needs to be restored and that doesn't include Bradley. She needs to go, Alex agrees.

Cory says TMS could give Bradley a nice life. She needs to think about that before she decides to blow it all up. Bradley says she has. Cory says she can do it.

Fred tells Alex that they've been investigating and Chip has to go as well. He knew about Mitch's behavior and protected Mitch. Alex says Chip's sins were sins of omission, like all the rest of them. He's not the guy Fred's describing. Fred says he was running the show. They need this. Fred wants Alex to meet Marlon Tate, to know she's comfortable with Chip's replacement. Alex agrees to meet with him.

Yanko checks on Claire, who hasn't been answering his calls. He knows she's been avoiding him. They moved to a more private area, where she says she doesn't want to tell all their co-workers about their relationship. Going to HR was bad enough. Yanko still thinks they did the right thing. He wants to ease into things and invites her to go out to dinner outside his apartment, a real date. Their first date. Claire asks if he'd judge her for sleeping with him on their first date. He says no, but "Daddy" will. She accepts.

Alex explains the plan to Daniel, which involves ousting Bradley and replacing her with Daniel slowly. Daniel is flattered but sayas it's a big change. She wants to keep it between them for now.

Outside, Daniel makes a call and says to call it off with YDA. He'll smooth things over with Audra, but he has to go with the devil he knows.

Rena tells Chip she just had coffee with her friend Simon Reichl in corportate. He's sleeping with Fred's assistant, James. Fred had a meeting with Marlon Tate two days ago. Now Marlon Tate is meeting with Cory tomorrow. Chip's not worried about it, but Rena is. They vet people for his job every year. It's a tactic. Chip thinks he's safe. His time isn't up yet. As Rena leaves, Chip says whatever happens, he'll make sure Rena is fine.

Claire and Hannah are at a bar and Claire has told Hannah about her relationship with Yanko. She doesn't want to go public not because he's predatory. People don't see him like she does. No one would understand. She's embarrassed about dating him. But she loves him. She's worried about being judged, like Hannah is judging her. Hannah says it's not worth losing her career over it. Hannah saw them sneaking around in LA. She's the one who reported it, becuase it's hurting Claire. Claire is angry that Hannah reported them without asking Claire first. Hannah was worried Claire would feed her a line. Claire says they're friends. Or she thought they were. Hannah tries to explain position, but Claire is angry that Hannah reported them. Hannah doesn't care if Claire hates her. Claire doesn't hate her, but says their experiences were different. Claire now understands why she loves Yanko. He's the only person who understands her. She says she's going to have dinner with him and leaves.

Cory yells at Cory over the phone.

Cory listens to Chip's ranting. When he finishes, Cory says he knows Chip is Maggie's source. If he wants to save his head, he'll meet Cory at Chip's office in two hours.

Claire meets Yanko for dinner. He's brought her a rose. They're at a fancy restaurant, but she just wants a cheeseburger. They don't have that, but their food is good. Some nearby outdoor diners laugh, but Yanko assures Claire that the owner will make sure no one bothers them. Claire's reluctant to go inside, so they go sit on a bench. She thought she'd be okay with this, but now it feels like too much. Yanko offers to take her somewhere else to get the burger she wants. She doesn't feel the relief like he does, but he says they can work with that. She's not sure she can wait for that. She's not ready. She doesn't like the idea of their co-workers knowing. He realizes she's embarrassed, but she says she's just worried about her career because she's just starting out. Yanko says they're what matters, not anyone else. Claire can't just forget whatever everyone else thinks. She loved being in a dark room with him, but now she doesn't feel the same way. It hurts, but she can't lie to him. Yanko hugs her and says he understands. He walks away from her.

Mitch tells Nate he's worried about the custody thing. He says to give Paige the house. He doesn't care. He just wants access to his sons. That's all he wants. There's a knock at his door and he says he has to go. Alex is at the door and he lets her in. Alex tells Mitch that Bradley's not going to interivew him. His credibility is gone. He has no allies. He's not going after Fred and the network. It's time for him to leave her and the show alone. He says it's not about her. She'll be fine. He's fighting for his own legacy. He's upset that she won't acknowledge that she was complicit. He reminds her that she made jokes at their expense. She was cruel. He says he's not coming for her. He'll always have her back, but this could benefit both of them. Very few men in his situation have been willing to talk. It could elevate the show. Alex says what he's trying to do is breaking her heart. He says it's his legacy and he has to fight for it. She's asking him not to, but he refuses. Alex says it won't happen on her show. He says he'll go somewhere else then, but it'll be hard to keep her out of the narrative if that happens. She says she'll be doing a lot of press about her divorce, especially given the timing. She says it wasn't easy sitting next to him. He was intimidating. She's spent years trying to forget certain things. She brings up one time in particular when they were in Chile and he was mad at her for eating into his segment. She felt horrible, so they went out for drinks to make it up to him. She remembers trying to get back to her hotel room and then waking up in a bed that wasn't hers. She was in his bed and doesn't remember how she got there. Mitch doesn't think Alex would dare tell that story. She tells him to try her. He says she's pathetic, but she doesn't care. She says goodbye and leaves.

Chip says he's crossed a lot of lines, but doesn't think he can cross this one. He is against Bradley interviewing Mitch on the show. Cory reminds Chip that he's the one who said he wanted to take Fred down. Chip says he didn't want to use the show to do it. Bradley says she's not trying to blow the show up. She's just trying to explore Mitch's claims against Mitch. Chip thinks it's too dangerous. Cory says the train is moving. Chip can get on or be obliterated by it. If they don't do it at TMS, he'll go somewhere else. If YDA gets it, they'll overtake TMS in ratings and Audra will win a Daytime Emmy for it. And Maggie is also cirling, looking for the scoop. She's talking to everyone, including Fred, so he knows mutiny is coming. They have to move fast if they want this to work. Chip asks what about Alex. Bradley feels bad about going around her, but being kind to her won't get them anywhere. Chip was Alex's personal producer. He wants to try to convince her, but Cory says he's not the only one meeting with Marlon Tate.

Hannah gets a call from Mitch. He wants her help sooner rather than later. Hannah says she'll meet him outside his apartment and asks for his address.

Mitch goes outside and thanks Hannah for coming. He invites her in, but she ignores that and says she'll cororborate the story, but only anonymously. She doesn't remember things the way he doesn't. He tries again to get her to come inside, but she says she didn't use him for a promotion. He used her. She thought he believed in her. She looked up to him. He asks if she's drunk, but she says she's fine. He tries to apologize, but that's not what she's there for. She tried to leave. She was young and ambitious and admired him. And then he started paying attention to her, which made her think she was good at her job. She didn't go to his room to sleep with him. It happened so fast she froze. He says she can't blame him for things she regrets. He says he can handle it if she won't help, but he tells her not to act like a victim. She says she doesn't want anything. But he says she wants him to feel like a piece of shit. She just wants him to understand how it felt for her. He says he didn't lure her up to his room. He didn't trick her. She could have said something. She was an adult. He thinks she should have known what was going to happen. She can't be mad about this. Hannah says she'll cororborate his story, but she wants to remain anonymous and she wants him to leave her alone. He says he's fine with that.

Alex gets a call from Chip. He's just checking in with her. He felt like something was weighing on her and asks if she's okay. She says she was in a weird mood, but they're good. That's all it was. She asks if they're good and he says they're always good.



Guest Starring[]

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The Morning Show Segments[]


Song Performer Scene

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See Also[]

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