‘The Morning Show’ Episode 3: Alex Refuses to Apologize & Bradley Considers the Job (RECAP)
[Warning: The below contains MAJOR spoilers for Season 1, Episode 3 of The Morning Show, “Chaos is the New Cocaine.”]
If Alex (Jennifer Aniston) says it’s so, then it is.
The third episode of The Morning Show picks up right where “A Seat at the Table Ended,” and Alex is probably the only one pleased about her announcement. But just because Alex has said Bradley (Reese Witherspoon) is her new co-host doesn’t mean she will be, right? After all, they have to get Bradley to sign on.
Meanwhile, Mitch (Steve Carell) comes up with an idea to try to help himself, which, as you can guess, is a terrible one.
A Big Change Is Coming
Following Alex’s big move, Cory (Billy Crudup) takes control and tells the press that Monday will be her and Bradley’s first show. And then everyone quickly escapes the event to meet up back at the studio, with Mia (Karen Pittman) keeping Bradley from heading straight for the airport instead and already planning to be her producer.
Cory tells Fred that Alex did them a favor. They couldn’t get rid of her like they wanted after Mitch, but they’ll use Bradley to paint the show in a new light and then push Alex off when it’s convenient for them and they don’t look like the bad guys. Cory gives it a month.
He then tells the rest of the staff that Alex simply jumped the gun on the announcement, and they’d been vetting Bradley. Over the next 48 hours, they’ll define her character. And while the optics may be questionable to have Bradley’s start and Ashley’s interview at the same time, Cory sees it as them creating a safe space, an era for The Morning Show where the women make the rules and they give a voice to the silenced.
While some may think Alex should apologize for what she did, she does the complete opposite when she goes before the heads of the studio. “The part you guys never seem to realize is you don’t have the power anymore,” she informs the room full of men. “The news division is held up by my show, and the only thing keeping us afloat is me. Because guess what? America loves me. And therefore I own America.”
“I don’t need to justify anything,” she continues. “You all are so convinced you are the rightful owner of all of the power, it doesn’t even occur to you someone else could be in the driver’s seat. We have to gingerly step around your male egos in order to not burst this precious little bubble. Well, surprise! I’m bursting it. We are doing this my way, because frankly, I’ve let you bozos handle this long enough.”
And Alex joins the writers in the studio for the weekend as they begin working on redefining the show. When she reveals she’s going to do the Ashley interview, she addresses the elephant in the room: she worked side-by-side with Mitch for 15 years, and while he wasn’t perfect, she didn’t know he was that guy. But now she’s here, for Ashley, for everyone.
Or will she do the Ashley interview? Alex is upset when Chip (Mark Duplass) informs her that it will only be one segment, calling it disrespectful to the seriousness of the subject. But Ashley is apparently “superficial” and “inconsistent.” Mia — who knew where the button closing the door to Mitch’s dressing room was hidden — notes that she’s preoccupied by Mitch.
Mia also finds Alex after the heated discussion in Chip’s office and tells her she shouldn’t do the interview. The narrative she wants to tell is noble, but Alex has always had power. Alex, in turn, notes that she didn’t approve of Mia’s relationship with Mitch. Neither woman is impartial when it comes to him. But Mia knows that if Alex does the interview, she won’t get to anything honest and will be crucified for it.
After that, Mia tells Bradley she’s doing the interview (which has been rescheduled to later in the week).
Will Bradley Take the Coveted Job of Co-Anchor?
Obviously the answer is yes, though she doesn’t sign the contract until Alex tells her to — after spending all weekend prepping with Mia and even getting a wardrobe upgrade. They need women who don’t see themselves in Alex, Cory explains, wanting her to be the narrative real women are living.
But, hey, if Bradley doesn’t want the job, Daniel (Desean Terry) does, and he’s ready to quit since he didn’t get it. Chip promises him that he’ll get what he wants once a chair opens up. “And when will that be?” Daniel asks. “Because women live longer than men and those two look like they do a lot of Pilates.” With Bradley a “nobody” and Alex struggling, Chip thinks it’s bound to fail and the show will eventually be Daniel’s.
However, after the Ashley interview is handed off and Bradley finds out Alex left instead of doing a run-through with her on Sunday, she chases after her future coworker. Alex explains she needs to prep a new story, but Bradley calls her out on barely acknowledging her all weekend. Alex didn’t know she needed her to hold her hand; she needs a partner in this. Sometimes partners hold hands, Bradley tells her.
Alex then admits she doesn’t know why she picked Bradley, but she thinks she likes her. What she needs is to not be in a building with people constantly judging her choices.
And the next morning, before they walk onto set, Alex takes her hand, tells her, “don’t f*** it up,” and keeps walking to her chair.
Seriously, Mitch, Stop Talking
Mitch decides he should look at the larger context of #MeToo, feeling as though people want an honest conversation. Neil takes a drink, then drops him as a client.
Mitch brings up his suggestion to a director who was also accused, but this man is just awful. (“There’s nothing sexy about consent,” he says at one point, making even Mitch stop for a moment.) Though he originally wants the man to direct his documentary, he realizes he’s the wrong one to work with. After all, one of the women he was with was underage and he wants to prove the women aren’t victims.
As Mitch sees it, the first wave of men accused were really bad — like the director, who’s actually a predator — and the second wave was different — in other words, “not you.” Mitch should really just take Chip’s advice and hibernate for a few years.
The Morning Show, Fridays, Apple TV+