Alex Takes Control in ‘The Morning Show’ Episode 2 (RECAP)
[Warning: The below contains MAJOR spoilers for Season 1, Episode 2 of The Morning Show, “A Seat at the Table.”]
What Alex (Jennifer Aniston) wants, Alex gets — no matter how she has to go about it.
As The Morning Show continues and the news program must move forward while facing the fallout of the Mitch (Steve Carell) scandal, Alex’s contract is held up in negotiations. She wants co-host approval; the network refuses. But how far will she go to get what she wants?
Meanwhile, Bradley (Reese Witherspoon) gets an up close and personal look at The Morning Show behind-the-scenes, through meetings of various success with Cory (Billy Crudup) and Chip (Mark Duplass). And Mitch looks to fix the situation for himself — only to find out that he may not be able to in the way he wants.
Does Bradley Belong There?
Bradley meets Cory in a hotel lounge as the singer belts out lyrics from “Creep that are a bit too on the nose (“I don’t belong here”). It’s a bit of an odd interview: he asks for her story, she for his, and he notes she’s treating the business meeting like it’s an interrogation in an enemy camp. When he asks why she hasn’t gotten further in her career, she tells him she says what she means and doesn’t fit any mold. In other words, he says, she’s a weirdo.
He can tell she does good interviews and is considering her for a field correspondent position on The Morning Show. The next step is to meet with Chip, only he doesn’t care about taking the meeting. She’s looking for a platform where she can get her ideas across and even has a few pitches, but he reminds her she’s not interviewing to be a producer. Also, he doesn’t think her ideas are at all interesting. “Your show sucks, it’s barely news,” Bradley retorts before eventually leaving.
But just as she’s ready to head home, Cory’s assistant calls on his behalf to insist she attend the Leadership in Journalism event.
Cross Alex, and You’ll Get Exactly What She Thinks You Deserve
While Alex is ready to go on-air, she insists on holding out until she gets a promise from Chip that she’ll have co-host approval in her new contract. She needs to be able to control the narrative so she’s not written out of it. (And she’s right to be concerned; Fred and Cory are already talking about having people on the list to fill Mitch’s chair who can work alongside Alex and someone new.)
As much as Alex doesn’t want to attend the Leadership in Journalism event, she has to because she knows it’ll look like she’s afraid if she doesn’t. Cory joins her for one of her red carpet interviews to impress the importance of the lack of importance of any one person to The Morning Show. It was implied that she’d be the one to help America through the recent scandal, he tells Alex after.
Also speaking to the press is Audra (Mindy Kaling), an anchor on the rival morning program, and she stresses that she could never show up to an event like Alex has after everything and her gratitude that she didn’t work with a sexual predator. (When Audra runs into Alex in the bathroom and tells her she’s sorry for everything, Alex’s response is the best: “Why? I didn’t f*** anyone.”)
When Alex reaches her table with her family, she thinks the two empty chairs are for Mitch and his wife, only for Cory to lead Bradley over and sit her down next to Alex. It’s a good wake-up call for their anchor, Cory tells Chip.
Alex knows exactly what Cory’s doing, but what she wants to know from Bradley is why she stayed because she’s an adult, with agency. But Bradley doesn’t think she’s in the position to tell off the head of a network.
Maybe she should take a page out of Alex’s book. Before Alex accepts the award, Cory tells her she’ll never get co-host approval, so she can walk if she wants. Oh, and they bought the award for her. Ouch.
But Alex takes back control with her acceptance speech. After apologizing to the women who were victimized for not seeing what was happening and dedicating the award to them, she heralds in a new era at The Morning Show “and for all women and unheard voices” with the announcement of her new co-host: Bradley Jackson.
Mitch, Stop Talking
Mitch’s business manager, Lisa, informs him that things are going to be tough financially for him moving forward because UBA is not paying out the rest of his contract. “How is that even possible?” Mitch asks in disbelief. “I’ve made more money than God.”
“God didn’t violate his morals clause,” she replies.
When he leaves the meeting, frustrated, a woman yells “rapist” at him on the street and he yells back. It’s not a good look, Chip informs him when he goes to his house to tell him to stop calling reporters to tell his side of the story.
“I’m as innocent as any straight middle-aged man there is,” Mitch insists. “The only problem is that seems to be illegal these days.” He even plans to attend the Leadership in Journalism event, but in the end, though he goes in his tux, he never gets out of the car.
The Right Place to Tell a Story
Hannah (Gugu Mbatha-Raw) finds out that their rival has booked one of Mitch’s victims, Ashley, so she sets out to poach her. The country needs to hear her story, she agrees, but she needs to tell it on The Morning Show. Returning to the scene of the crime takes courage, Hannah explains.
As she sees her story, she’s a brave woman who’s been knocked back by a powerful man and is out to reclaim her power on national TV. That’s not the story that will be told on the other program. And how the story is told matters. On the other show, she’d be the angry woman, manipulated by their enemy to hurt the opponent. Then they’ll move on to the next story. She needs to blow the whistle on Mitch, in his own house and show everyone, including him, she has the nerve.
Things are certainly heating up on The Morning Show.
The Morning Show, Fridays, Apple TV+