‘The Morning Show’ Stars on the Finale’s Shocking Ending & Season 2 Hopes
[Warning: The below contains MAJOR spoilers for the Season 1 finale of The Morning Show, “The Interview.”]
Bradley (Reese Witherspoon) had been planning to interview Mitch (Steve Carell) to expose the role Fred (Tom Irwin) played in the work environment at UBA and on The Morning Show, and Alex (Jennifer Aniston) had been planning a way to get rid of her new co-anchor, but instead they joined forces in the final moments of the finale.
They “essentially blow the show up,” Desean Terry told TV Insider.
In the middle of a broadcast, Alex left her chair and walked around set before returning to stand next to Bradley and inform the viewers at home that they hadn’t been “honest” with them “about ourselves.” “This whole place [is] really different than what it may appear to you, and there are some really bad things going on here,” she said. “There are bad people.”
“We should just tell the truth quickly,” Bradley advised, knowing they’d be cut off. Cory (Billy Crudup) kept them on air as long as he could as they detailed Fred’s involvement in silencing women who came forward with complaints about sexual misconduct. Meanwhile, Fred tried to gain access to the control room, only for Mia (Karen Pittman) to lock him out.
“It’s a moment where she’s like, this is the big boss, this is the white patriarchy, and I’m about to lock him out of his house,” Pittman said. “It’s also being in solidarity for the first time as a woman with Bradley and Alex with what they’re doing and seeing it and acknowledging, yeah, things are going to shift, things are going to change, and I’m going to let this truth get all the way out.”
“I love that about Mia’s character. When it gets to the point where she has to demonstrate integrity, she seizes the moment,” she continued. “It’s a bunch of characters deciding we’re going to do something different. That moment is quite satisfying as an actor.”
“I’m as culpable as anyone in terms of not calling out or helping to end the sexual misconduct that goes on in this f—ing building,” Alex admitted. “Fred Micklen dictated a culture of fear and silence and paranoia and pain. I saw how it affected the women and I never stopped it because I was succeeding. And I know that it’s not enough and I apologize to many people, to one person in particular. I was so unfair to you and I am deeply sorry, and I will do everything that I can to make it right.”
“The abuse of power and corporate corruption, it has to end,” Bradley added. “We cannot accept a culture of silence, here or anywhere.” It wasn’t too much longer before the signal was cut.
“There’s just the human element that everyone in The Morning Show is connected to,” Terry said of that final scene. “That’s an astounding thing to witness in his job, when [Alex] makes this decision, however she comes to it, to go against all odds, do what is completely intellectually not going to serve her, but what she feels at that moment is humanly undeniable.”
The actor described Daniel and Alex’s relationship as “complicated.” Remember, she’d clued him in on a plan that would have him taking Bradley’s chair in Episode 9, but after the finale, “Daniel feels everything is really, really precarious at the show,” he said. And looking at it for his career, “What happens at the very, very end of the season probably will be the hardest blow Daniel has taken, when he doesn’t get to go up that day.”
“There’s definitely envy and jealousy there,” he added. “But when you see someone you know reach for the greater good the way Alex does in that moment, you just surrender to that. Now, what he might think a day or two later, that will probably be the impetus then for where we see Daniel in the second season.”
The Season 1 finale also saw Chip (Mark Duplass) become the fall guy in the internal investigation and fired. “Daniel does feel there’s someone to blame. Unfortunately, I don’t think that Chip’s hand is clean in this and someone does need to take the fall,” Terry acknowledged. “For him, Mitch and Chip are pretty much the same thing. He feels that’s a boys’ club … that does need to be knocked. For him, it’s associated with the patriarchy, that there’s been some dirty dealing and handshakes that have been covered up. He’s not been let into that club, and so he’s in general comfortable and supportive of that club being destroyed.”
As for how Mia feels about what’s happened to Chip, Pittman did consider him to be her character’s biggest ally, at least in the beginning. However, “what happens in Episode 7 is a reflection of how inept men are of taking care of women and then making an effort to save the day,” she said. And by the end of the season, Mia’s “quite aligned with Bradley.”
That being said, her character is also “an island to herself,” Pittman continued. “That is reflective of the experience of a lot of women of color, who work in these major corporations who happen to be in male-dominated companies, where they are trying to articulate their ambition and also make a name for themselves and do the right thing.”
She’s hoping that the second season explores “how she defines her character through her relationships at the network,” including more interactions with Alex, Cory, and Daniel, as well as more work with Bradley. “I really love working with Reese a lot. She’s very fun,” she shared. “She’s spontaneous in all the best ways and just really generous as an actor and interested in your ideas in the storytelling.”
Terry’s hoping to explore more of Daniel’s sexuality and political aside, the latter of which possibly through “more conversations with Chip and with Cory so that we go beyond what we see of him as an news anchor but actually seeing what is he trying to get done politically within the show.”
Neither could share any real specifics, though Terry did tease, “They’ve given us a little bit of hints about what’s going on, and it’s pretty cool.”
The Morning Show, Apple TV+