'The Morning Show's Flashback Episode 'Explains a Lot' About Mia

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Spoiler Alert
Apple TV+

[Warning: The below contains MAJOR spoilers for Season 1, Episode 8 of The Morning Show, "Lonely at the Top."]

Episode 8 was the beginning of the story for the characters of The Morning Show, as the Apple TV+ drama flashed back to a time before Mitch (Steve Carell) was fired following allegations of sexual misconduct and Alex (Jennifer Aniston) brought Bradley (Reese Witherspoon) in as her new co-anchor.

"I would consider Episode 8 to actually be the start of my character's arc, which is part of the really smart writing on the part of Kerry [Ehrin] and her group of writers," Karen Pittman, who plays Mia, told TV Insider. "This would actually be Episode 1 for my character."

"Episode 8 explains a lot of why she is where she is in Episode 1, and it just creates, 'oh, that's why Mia feels like she's gone through the wringer or why she feels like she has to get together with Bradley Jackson or she has to be the first to do it," she continued. "You start to understand why there is an urgency for her to articulate her ambition with this particular person, what her journalist acumen is like, and why she needs that outlet after having made the mistake, admittedly, of getting involved with one of the lead anchors."

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In "Lonely at the Top," Mitch told Chip (Mark Duplass) to take Mia off his team and put her on Alex's because the situation was "kind of uncomfortable." When Chip informed Mia of the change, he, too, pointed to the "too awkward" situation and told her not to take it personally. "Things got messy," he said. "It's nobody's fault, but he does have a right to say who he wants on his team. I'm sorry."

"What you start to see is a woman who is under a great deal of pressure to navigate a choice that she's made that's undermined her career," Pittman said of that scene. "This is one of those moments where I was really challenged as an actor to convey, to the audience, a great deal of vulnerability and softness in a character."

(Apple TV+)

As Mia had seen it (and told Chip), she was being punished for breaking things off with Mitch. "At that point, I don't think she knew all the things that Mitch had done, but I think that she understood the construct of the relationship that they had created was never going to shift," the actress explained. "It was never going to change and she needed to do something different. What she didn't expect was the retaliatory effort that he would make."

She recalled the moment in Episode 4 when her character lied and said, "no, we were perfectly professional." "[As] Kerry Ehrin said, part of this show is telling the story of what happens when people lie to themselves," Pittman said. "There's a lot of lying going around in this culture, at UBA and at The Morning Show, and this starts to help you understand why Mia is in the position she is and some of the external forces that created the dynamic that she ended up dealing with and responding to in Episode 7."

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The Morning Show, Fridays, Apple TV+