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The Pendulum Swings is the sixth episode of the first season of The Morning Show.

Short Summary[]

TMS covers the California wildfires, while Alex and Bradley struggle to keep their relationship from going up in flames.

Full Summary[]

A state of emergency has been declared in California due to wildfires. The biggest fire is the Huntley Fire just outside Malibu.

Malibu, CA

Fred's property manager gets a call from Fred and tells him they're evacuating as it's mandatory.

Geneva calls for Fred to make sure they get all the animals. After he hangs up, Fred says TMs should go to LA to cover it so maybe they'll stop talking about MeToo for five minutes. He calls Cory and asks him to get a hold of Bradley.

Cory says he and Bradley are staying in the hotel so he'll see if he can try to connect with her. Fred says he'll call Chip on his way to the airport. He tells Cory to get Bradley and Alex to LA to cover the fires. Cory hangs up and goes to Bradley, who is asleep in her bed. He wakes her up with circus music. She's surprised to see Cory. She feels awful and apologizes, but he tells her it's okay. He slept in the living room. He was happy to help. He wouldn't have wanted her to be alone. She thanks him. She tells him he's nice for the president of a network. He says he isn't; he just really likes her. he gives her some toast and coffee. Then he tells her about them going to LA to cover the wildfires. She has several missed calls from Chip. She can call him back in the car. Bradley's excited, even though she feels bad, because boots on the ground is what she's good at. Cory has to go to LA too, so he's going to go pack and get her some medicine and then he'll take her to the airport with him. She asks if that wouldn't be a little bit strange. He says that's a good point, so he'll get her some medicine and put her in a cab.

Alex wakes to a call from Chip. She reminds him that it's Sunday.

Chip tells Alex they have to go to LA to cover the wildfires. YDA is already ahead of them in that department. He tells Alex she needs to get on a plane in a few hours. She doesn't understand the pressing need, but he says it's massive. The show could use a shift anyway. Alex maintains that she doesn't want to cover a fire. She wants him to send Bradley, to get her out of Alex's hair for a few days. Chip still wants Alex to do it.

Their conversation is interrupted when Jason walks into Alex's room. He knows he's not supposed to come in unannounced. He grabs her phone and hangs up. He tells her he can't do it anymore. He was up all night after she left him to host her fundraiser. He can't take it anymore. He loves Lizzy, but their relationship is killing him. She's not in love with him and he's not in love with her anymore. He wants a divorce. Alex pauses for a moment and then says no. He says it's not entirely up to her. She says that's why they're separated. They don't have to do the family calendars. He doesn't have to host the fundraisers with her anymore. He says they separated because they argue constantly, just like they're doing now. And deep down, he's angry with her for never putting him first and she's angry with him for being angry about that. Alex's phone rings and Jason tells her he'll never speak to her again if she answers it. She makes a show of denying the call. Alex says they can't get a divorce. She's on thin ice with America. Divorce will put her over the edge. He tells her it's happening. They have to tell Lizzy and she has to tell her PR people because like everything else in their personal life, it needs to be handled. But it's definitely happen. He's spoken to a lawyer. He's going to tell Lizzy tonight. If she wants to come, she should. She says no, but he walks out and says he'll meet her at five so they can go together. She follows him and tries to apologize. She says they can't tell Lizzy. She has to go to California to cover the fires. That's why Chip was calling her. He agrees to wait until she's back to tell Lizzy, but says he's not changing his mind.

Alex calls Chip back and tells him she'll be there. He says the plane will leave at 11:00. She tells him not to bring Bradley. He says that's the opposite of what she just said, but then says it doesn't matter. She's going. Fred wants her there, so they're both going. She needs to pack and the car will be there in an hour.

Alex arrives at the aiport and boards the plane.

Yanko, Bradley, and Mia are already on board. Alex says she's there so they can go and settles into a seat away from the others.

Later in the flight, Alex watches as Mia gives Bradley the copy that just arrived. Bradley's happy to be getting out of town for a few days. Mia agrees that they could all use a change of scenery. Bradley says she was also glad that Mia was there last night. She's didn't know half the staff didn't trust her. Mia says the staff barely knows her. It's only been a week. She's pretty likeable. She just needs to give it time. Mia goes to get coffee and offers to get some for Bradley, but Bradely declines.

Sean tells Alex most of the hotels near the fire are full because of the evacuations. The only one available doesn't have suites. Alex jokes about kicking out some of the displaced families, which Sean takes to mean she's okay with that. Alex wonders who is telling people she needs all these things. That's how celebrities get crappy relationships. Chip says that also happens by being difficult to work with. It's been two days since the Ashley Brown interview. She's going to have to talk to Bradley at some point. Alex tells Chip to leave her alone about it. The pilot announces they have about an hour left.

Burbank, CA

Everyone gets out of the car after they've arrived. Chip sends everyone to go get set up. He wants Yanko to meet the helicopter. A woman carrying supplies recognizes Alex and is delighted to see her.

Hannah says they're working on the press conference with the Malibu fire chief. Mia says they also have the children who survived in the swimming pool and a climate change expert. She asks if they have anyone from the hospital yet. Hannah is working on getting a nurse, but she's skittish. She'll get a backup. Chip says they need an upbeat story to wrap on. He's learning toward the Good Samaritan who rescued all the dogs. Bradley says that's a little bit soft. Bradley suggests something about the allocation of firefighting resources, how they prioritize which homes to save. The numbers show an imbalance for rich neighborhoods over poor neighborhoods. Maybe it's unconscious, but maybe it's corruption. Either way, it's wrong. Hannah says Claire found a video on Twitter. Some celebrities hire private firefighters to protect their mansions. Bradley asks her to send the link. Chip says that's interesting, but it maybe look like they're denegrating first responders, so he's not sure it's right for them. Bradley says they're a news program, so their tone is the truth, even when it's ugly. Alex snaps and asks if Bradley's going to do this every day. She says it's obnoxious. She has no respect for the show or the work they do. Bradley says she doesn't have to lie to herself about the quality of the show Alex has been producing for fifteen years. Chip says they're the number one morning news show in the country, which Bradley says puts them in a good position to open people's eyes. Alex says you can't begrudge people wanting to feel better. It's part of the job, like it or not. Bradley says they have different ideas about what the show means. Chip says they'll run the dog story today and dig deeper into the private firefighters for tomorrow's show.

As she, Greg, and Sean walk through the aftermath of a fire, Mia says they're going to need a bigger tailer, as they going to shoot the whole show.

Yanko dictates his report to Joel.

Hannah stands on top of a car talking to Mrs. Rosen. She tries to get Mrs. Rosen for the show, but the signal drops.

There's a chance the signal will drop and they'll have to cut to New York. Sean asks how big a chance.

Yanko continues dictation. Joel asks if he's just telling him this stuff or if he wants it in the copy. Yanko says he wants it in the copy.

Hannah asks Claire to get the keys to the car while she tries to get Mrs. Rosen for the show.

As Claire drives, Hannah tells Mrs. Rosen her story could bring awareness, so no other family has to suffer like hers has. She tells Mrs. Rosen to take time to think about it and she'll check in soon. They end up very close to the fire. Claire asks Hannah how she's so good at speaking to people who have been through such horrible traumas. Hannah says you don't avoid the pain. Her mom died suddenly when she was ten. She's smart at tragedy. Nothing anyone can say can make it better, but there are a lot of things that can make it worse. She just tries not to make it worse. She offers Claire adderall as they're about to be up for 30 hours. Claire takes some. Hannah says remotes are also a good time to make a good impression on higher-ups. Stuff happens on remotes. Hannah answers a call from Mrs. Rosen. She tells her they're on their way and will be there soon.

Cory sits in a theater watching something. When it ends and the lights are up, he says it doesn't work. Kate thinks they did a good job of putting what was on the page on the screen. Cory says it doesn't work. She reminds him that he greenlit the pilot. Cory uses a baseball metaphor to explain to the room that sometimes you give someone a chance so you can experience the greatness and sometimes you do it to show them it's not their thing. He's not picking up the pilot and he's okay with that. Alyssa comes in to tell him Chip has been calling for him. He excuses himself.

Chip and Cory walk and Chip asks for protection. Cory's come out of this fairly unscathed and could find himself in Fred's seat pretty soon. He wants to help Cory get there. He know show to do it by starting rumors of a shake-up. They are the press. They can't put the story on their show, but he's been around long enough that he has some credibility. He can spend his saved capital getting the story placed where it needs to be. Cory doesn't see Fred getting taken out unless something specific about him comes out. Chip has to think about that.

As Hannah and claire get back, Rena hands a mask to someone and tells him he doesn't have to wear it, but he has to take it. Claire takes some masks and helps pass them out. Mia sends her to give one to Bradley. Greg and Yanko try to fit everything together for the show.

Claire enters Bradley's trailer and gives her a mask, saying it's network policy. Bradley asks Claire if she found the article about the actor who hired the private firefighters. Claire says it was her. Bradley's horrified and fascinated by it. Bradley tells her not to hesitate to bring any other stories like that to her. She then asks Claire about her goals. Claire's still trying to figure that out. Bradley says she's been interviewing assistants. It hasn't been going well. Claire offers herself up for the job and lists several positive attributes about herself. She admires Bradley and wants to learn from her. Bradley offers her the job. Claire's prepared to start immediately. Bradley suggests she hand out the masks first and then they can talk.

Claire tells Yanko about her new job. He says he's proud of her. She hands him a mask and tells him he looks sexy out in the wild.

Bradley and Alex get their hair and makeup done. Bradley knows Alex is upset with her. Alex says her whole life isn't about Alex. They argue over the issue. Alex says they just have to be professional and act like they're friends for two hours a day. Alex asks Greg what the holdup is and he says they're live in 30 seconds.

In their improvised control room, Donny tells Chip they're live in ten.

Daniel and Alison start the show back in the studio and then turn things over to Bradley and Alex, who report on the fire. Alex says it's intense, but they're looking out for each other. Bradley then introduces a press conference with the fire chief. As soon as they're clear, Alex walks away.

Alex cries as she looks at old pictures of Lizzy on her phone. Greg offers her a thermos and asks if she's okay. She says it's just the smoke. He tells her the dog guy is on next and she has five minutes.

Greg counts Bradley and Alex in. They're there with Tim Eavers. Tim says he's been watching the show for the last fifteen years. He watched Alex's daughter grow up on the show. Tim has rescued eighteen dogs and two cats from the fires. He explains how he came to rescue dogs through first rescuing his own dogs, a mother and daughter. When he talks about not wanting to bust up the family, Alex starts to cry, but blames it on the smoke. Tim says he went around the neighborhood and kept finding dogs that had been left behind. They have four of the dogs he rescued. Tim talks about the dogs as Alex hugs one and cries.

Chip tells Donny no more close ups on Alex and Donny tells them to focus on Bradley and cut Alex's mic.

Bradley says to go to their website if they're interested in adopting one of the dogs. As soon as they're clear, Alex flees.

Greg and Bradley arrive at Alex's trailer, where Chip and Sean are standing outside. Bradley tells Alex to open the door. Chip says he needs her on camera in eight minutes. Alex pokes her head out and says she's fine, though she's still sniffling. She shuts the door. They debate if she's actually fine until Bradley says she isn't fine and says she's going in.

Alex says she doesn't want Bradley or anyone else in there. Alex gags and then vomits into a toilet. Bradley gathers up her hair and holds it for her. Once she's done, Bradley holds her and tells her she'll be okay. After a few moments, Alex scoots away and says she's fine, so Bradley can leave. Bradley says she's going to stick around for a few minutes, but Alex insists that she leave. She got to see Alex break and now she can leave.

Bradley leaves the trailer and tells Chip Alex is calming down. He can send in hair and makeup in a few minutes. She'll cover the next segment.

Valerie presses spoons to Alex's face. When Chip comes in, she leaves along with the hairdresser. Chip asks her what happened. Alex tells him she and Jason are getting divorced. It's been coming for a long time, but it's Lizzy. It's her family. She'll handle it so it doesn't hurt the show. She knows there will be some fallout because they were America's family.

Greg gives Rena directions. When he sees Chip, he tells him the press is putting out feelers about Alex's meltdown. Chip tells him not to let them make a big deal of it. Alex is fine. She was just moved by the fire and the victims and the dogs. That's the story. Chip then get a call from Fred.

Fred is angry that his property manager is telling him TMS is trying to interview the hired firefighters working to save his home. Chip says that's a story Bradley's doing tomorrow. They didn't know his house was among those. Geneva is upset becuase one of their horses was burned. Fred says he needs help because his home might burn down. He has to find somewhere to put Geneva's horses. He tells Chip to kill the story.

Alex watches Bradley and Mia get out of the car and chat as they walk to their rooms.

Bradley is angry to learn that she can't do her story. Chip says it's Fred's network. Bradley knows she's pushy, but she can't change it, so she's learned to learn into it. Chip knows it's a good story. He used to be her, pushing. But now he has to be the one who kills it and he wonders if he was ever really pushing. While they laugh about that, Rena comes in and says the wind has shifted, so they have to pack up and move. As they get up to help, Chip suggests that forget about Fred and run the story anyway. She says she can be ready in time.

Bradley approaches one of the hired firefighters and asks how long he and his team have been working to save the private estate. He says since last night. She asks if he thinks it's fair that wealthy people can afford private firefighters while poor people lose their homes. He says there is no fair and you can't blame people for doing whatever they can. Bradley says a whole neighborhood very close by was burned to the ground. He wishes everyone had extra money to hire extra help. They're just doing what they can. Money matters.

Chip watches the fire as production moves. He says, "Fuck you, Fred," and then gets in a car.

Claire sits on the floor and texts Yanko.

Yanko is exercising in front of the TV, but stops when his phone buzzes. He then goes to the door, where Claire is waiting.

Hannah sees Claire enter Yanko's room.

Claire and Yanko fall back onto the bed.

Bradley opens her door to find Alex. Alex tells her she's getting a divorce, which is why she was acting oddly earlier. Bradley asks if there's anything she can do. Alex is afraid of losing her daughter becuase she's going to blame Alex and her job. She can't stand the idea of her daughter thinking badly about her. Alex then says good night and leaves.

Bradley runs to catch up to Alex. She says everyone's life is messy. Her own mom is a mess. Her dad was a drunk and was once driving a car and killed a kid. She was angry with her dad and pushed him out of her life, but she never stopped loving him. That's how it is with parents and kids. And no matter what, Lizzy loves her. Alex thanks Bradley. Bradley says Alex is loveable when she's not acting like a wet cat. Bradley says Alex can tell her things and be vulnerable. Alex thanks her and says good night again. She walks away, but then turns around and hugs Bradley.

Chip calls Cory and says he's ready to talk.

Hannah looks at herself in the mirror. There's a vial of cocaine spilling onto a nearby table. She takes a pill and washes it down with alcohol.

Bradley climbs into bed. She checks a notification on her phone and sees an email from Mitch asking to meet with her, saying he has some information he thinks she'd be intersted in.

Alex looks out over the parking lot.



Guest Starring[]

Special Guest Stars[]

  • Mike O'Malley as Tim Eavers



Notes and Trivia[]


Episode Stills[]


See Also[]

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