Star Rating:

The Morning Show

Streaming On: Watch The Morning Show on Apple TV+

Season: 2

Episode: 5

Actors: Jennifer Aniston, Reese Witherspoon, Steve Carell, Julianna Margulies, Billy Crudup, Mark Duplass, Marcia Gay Harden

Release Date: Friday 15th October 2021

Genre(s): Drama

Running time: 55 minutes

There’s a lot of Alex and Cory in this week’s episode, not that we’re complaining when you’ve actors as talented as Jennifer Aniston and Billy Crudup behind them. The latest edition of ‘The Morning Show’ opens with a revelation that does not reflect well on Cory – he got his job not thanks to Bradley (Reese Witherspoon) but rather thanks to shaking hands with Fred Micklen (Tom Irwin). That’s right, he sold his soul and made a deal with the devil.

Speaking of Cory and Bradley, we’re treated to a flashback of them having a flirtatious exchange (so much for them “being friends”, as she always harps on about) and it would seem Cory’s not over her when we see how upset he is upon finding out about her and Laura (Julianna Margulies). This whole Cory and Chip (Mark Duplass) pining over Bradley and Alex, respectively, is getting a bit old, but there’s an interesting commentary here, one could argue, on the “nice guy” “deserving” the girl, which doesn’t take into account what she wants.

Cory redeems himself, at least, when he goes to Hannah’s father’s bar, insisting he takes the settlement as not only will the case likely be thrown out and he’ll get nothing. Moreover there’s also a smear campaign on the way and if he doesn’t settle, Hannah’s name will be destroyed, which was the last thing she wanted. This scene, the opening phone call between Cory and Fred, and a fight in the hallway between Chip and Alex all play to ‘The Morning Show’s strength, which is the writing.

Another powerful scene occurs between Mitch (Steve Carell) and Paola (Valeria Golino), who are quarantining together, and he tells her they’re not going to sleep together, admitting he’s “pretty damaged”. She says he feels like home to her, but isn’t sure of her judgement. It’s heart-breaking, and another scene in which Yanko Flores (Néstor Carbonell) comes to blows with a man in the street after he calls Stella Bak (Greta Lee) a “slanty eyed b***h” and tells her to “take her virus and go back to China”, is also stirring – in that it enrages you.

Mark Duplass and Jennifer Aniston in 'The Morning Show'

A much chirpier – even if it is fake – presence comes when Mindy Kaling pops up as a fellow TV presenter who pays Alex a visit. Alex is getting increasingly stressed out about this book by Maggie Brener (Marcia Gay Harden) throughout the episode, her anxiety manifesting in back pain and a snappy attitude towards Chip (his “Get it yourself” retort has to be funniest moment in the episode).

There’s this build-up and build-up of pressure to the point where Alex loses her darn mind and actually bursts into Maggie’s room, demanding to see the book. Low and behold, she had a reason to be so worried as when she finds a copy of it, she’s on the cover and it’s called ‘The Wrong Side of the Bed’. So yeah, as damning as she feared.

“There’s nothing in it about you”, Maggie taunts her, “that you don’t already know”, confirming that it includes that she slept with Mitch. Alex begs Maggie “Do not associate me with him, in that way” and thus her greatest fear of all is vocalised. In an interesting turn, Mitch has been steadfast in his loyalty to Alex, as Maggie informs her he didn’t say a word about the affair, telling Maggie to eff off.

This week’s episode is finally back to the standard of ‘The Morning Show’ we loved so much of the first season. There’s an intriguing sowing of the seeds for future drama, and explosive confrontations aplenty. This is what we came for.

‘The Morning Show’ is streaming on Apple TV+ now.