Apple TV’s The Morning Show, despite boasting a cast full of popular names from Jennifer Aniston to Reese Witherspoon to Steve Carell and now John Hamm, is never really considered to be a great show. The show does have a dedicated fan base, and it has received some love from The Emmys over the course of its first two seasons, mainly thanks to its star Billy Crudup picking up an “an outstanding supporting actor” trophy for his fantastic turn as Cory Ellison. But when people talk about the best TV shows, they do not consider The Morning Show at par with Succession, Better Call Saul, or House of The Dragon. That might just change after Season 3 Episode 2, which I would say is the greatest episode of the entire show and one of the best hours of television of the year 2023.
First things first, Bradley, Cory, and Marks are all fine. It would have been stupid to linger on the cliffhanger where the first episode ended, especially considering this episode is also available for streaming, so people are going to find out anyway. It is just a technical glitch, thanks to which the show just lost the live feed for a while. This clearly doesn’t sit well with Mark, who seems furious after coming back to the earth. Not only did he fail to get Alex Levy in his precious spaceship, but the show’s technical issue also harmed his cause. Cory tries to lighten the mood with a joke where he randomly talks about expecting a movie to be a drama and it turning out to be a thriller. Marks is not in the mood for it, sadly. Little did we know at this point that Cory’s words were only foreshadowing of this episode.
What Did Bradley and Cory Do?
The actual story of this episode kicks off with Bradley’s recent spacewalk being celebrated on the show. The teleprompter suddenly goes off, but for seasoned anchors like Bradley and Alex, that is just a minor issue, so they keep going. However, everyone soon hits the panic button as they realize that they are all locked inside the studio. The power goes off, and most cell phones are not working. The show is, of course, cut short, with Chip ushering Alex and Bradley away. In a moment of chaos and confusion, Bradley and Chip end up in the elevator and get stuck inside. We know for a fact that these two characters have a very unique “love hate” equation, which results in a very interesting scene where they end up talking about Alex, of course.
At the same time, it is officially confirmed by the tech specialists that UBA is under a cyber-attack, which automatically puts every single person’s personal data and privacy in danger. And the first wave of that hits none other than Bradley Jackson. After getting out of the elevator, Bradley is taken to the top boss’ chamber by an employee of UBA, where she finds Cory, Stella, and Laura Peterson are all waiting for her. It doesn’t take much to figure out that Bradley and Laura’s intimate moment is out in the open now.
However, Bradley handles it as best she can and shuts off Laura, who seems visibly concerned for her. Later, she meets Cory alone and asks him whether he has told anyone about “something” that they have done in the past.” This “something” is most likely the two of them getting intimate in a moment of vulnerability during the pandemic. We don’t get a confirmation, but both Bradley and Cory appear to be in the same boat regarding their secret not getting out. And the only way to prevent that is to pay the fifty-million-dollar ransom to the hackers.
What’s Going On With Everyone Else?
The only person who seems quite chill during this entire cyber-attack crisis is Alex. Thanks to her COVID-19 stint, Alex Levy is an open book and doesn’t have an earth-shattering secret to protect. Her only concern is that the computer at home is connected to the UBA network, which her daughter Lizzy uses. But Chip and development director Isabella assure Alex that they are going to visit her place and take care of that immediately.
As per the standard protocol in a time like this, Stella asks everyone to hand over their electronic devices, and her decision is met with a lot of criticism. Despite not having a problem of her own, Alex vocally taunts UBA about their failure to protect the privacy of their employees. She is clearly mad at the management, but so are they for her theatrics during the “Hyperion One” launch. And actions do have consequences. So Alex gets saddled with 5 days of The Morning Show instead of the 2 days scheduled, and when she brings up her contract, Stella seems quite confident and adamant about bypassing a certain clause. I should mention here that this is a result of Alex’s earlier attempt at pushing Cory under the bus by taking matters to Cybil, the UBA owner, who is all smiles up front but the epitome of shrewdness inside. Not that Cybil has any love for Cory, but she doesn’t have any for Alex either. So she uses Cory and Stella to get Alex in line, along with giving Cory an earful about the Paul Marks deal, which may or may not happen. And how does Cybil know about it? All because of Alex, who clearly didn’t think this move through.
While all this is going on, The Morning Show executive producer Mia Jordan privately video calls a man who looks like a part of some sort of military thing. The two of them seem very affectionate towards each other, although the conversation appears to be quite vague. When Mia tells this man that she has to give away her phone, the man suggests she get a burner, which shouldn’t be a problem for someone like her.
Is Paul Marks behind the cyber-attack at UBA?
That is the thought that comes to Cory’s head, and he even conveys it to Marks through a sneaky phone call. It actually makes some sense, as after the debacle during the rocket launch, Marks would be likely to do something to retaliate as it would make UBA weaker, and he could acquire the sinking ship at a lesser price. Cory is quite confident about it, but Marks completely denies the claim and laughs at Cory.
Whether it is Marks or not, Cory wants the whole thing to stop, and he is willing to pay the money. But unfortunately, it is not up to him after all, as he needs to convince the board members and, most importantly, the one who sits at the top, which is Cybil. As you would expect, Cybil absolutely detests the idea of caving under pressure and giving any money to these hackers. She even mentions that if this is Russian handiwork sanctioned by none other than Vladimir Putin, then she would be contributing for the wrong team in the Russia-Ukraine war, which is something that her conscience wouldn’t allow her to do. I can’t help but side with Cybil on this. But Cory, despite how he is, also has a valid point here. Even though he is probably doing it for his own selfish reasons, trying to protect the privacy of people is always the right thing to do in any situation. Cory does have one last trick, which is calling someone named Earl and ordering him to leak documents concerning Marks’ acquisition of UBA.
By now, it is established that it is Cybil who has the last word at UBA. So, the network takes a bold stand by not giving in to these hackers. Bradley, who, we know for a fact, wants the money to be paid, announces her network’s stand in the evening news. She makes one last attempt at seeking help from Alex, but after her own experience with Cybil, Alex doesn’t want to go anywhere near the woman; she harshly refuses Bradley, which really upsets the latter.
The UBA employees are understandably freaked out about their secrets getting out. One such secret turns out to be that our show producer Chip and development director Isabella have been in a romantic relationship for a whole year. It is definitely a surprise, but a rather good one. Alex echoes our thoughts after getting over the initial shock of finding out about it in the weirdest possible way, and that too in her own home. Remember that Chip and Isabella went there to fix the computer issue?
Speaking of secrets, though, Chip and Isabella are not the only ones who have them. In fact, some people actually have those earth-shattering secrets after all. And who might that be? UBA News President Stella Bak, who, after advocating for confiscation of electronic devices, gets a phone by herself during The Morning Show episode 2 ending. She scrolls through the gallery, and then she views a particular photo of herself with none other than Paul Marks. Stella does have different hair in the photo, but it is unmistakably her. This indicates that these two know each other from before. Are the two of them conspiring together? Or is it Stella who is holding the reins, and Mark probably has no idea about it? We can’t wait to find out.