Imagine your white company head making a casually racist comment about you that questions both your ability and credibility for the job you do, and you get the opportunity to confront them about it in front of the whole world! Something this picture perfect probably wouldn’t happen that easily in our world, but in the world of The Morning Show, things like this do happen. The show often takes a stance regarding certain issues, and it is always very clear about them. Sure, The Morning Show thrives on drama, and the latest episode in particular is a profound example of that, but the drama that happens at UBA is why we love watching this show, right?
The Morning Show Episode 3 focuses on two characters, and they are not Alex and Bradley. It is quite a big risk to randomly introduce a new character at the beginning of the season and make that character your de facto lead two episodes later. But thanks to great writing and Nicole Beharie’s astonishingly brilliant performance as newly recruited The Morning Show anchor Christina, aka Chris, things just fell into place. The character, UBA head Cybil Reynolds, who is played by Emmy-winning veteran actress Holland Taylor, has been around for a while. But in the current season, she has finally started to make an impact. TMS basically pits these two against each other, and we get a banger of an episode.
The unwritten rule of the The Morning Show world is that even if you are at the top of the power dynamics, you might find yourself in the gutter the next episode. And the possibility of that happening is somehow higher if you try to mess with Cory Ellison, aka the new UBA CEO. Naturally, UBA boss Cybil Reynolds had it coming, but in this case, Cybil pretty much dug her own grave.
What did Cybil do?
All she did was send a “harmless” racist email to the people in her inner circle. The email was about TMS anchor Christina, a former Olympic medal-winning athlete with ample experience and skill to be a great news anchor. Cybil, the UBA matriarch, not only made derogatory remarks about an employee of her own company, but she was also instrumental in purposefully giving lower salaries to minority employees, including Chris.
None of this would have come out if there was no hack, and we still don’t exactly know who is behind that. The pressing matter at the moment is the Cybil and Chris situation. Cory is obviously not feeling any sympathy for Cybil and revels at the opportunity to throw the old lady out of the board. Realizing she is in murky water, Cybil seeks out the only person who can help her. And that person happens to be—who else but Alex Levy? But the Alex of this season is not the one we used to know, who would do immoral things to get a seat at the head of the table. Moreover, she just got backstabbed by Cybil regarding the Cory and Paul Marks deal. Yet Alex appears to be reasonable enough and tries to calm Cybil down. Cybil, who is desperate to clear her name, asks Alex if an “Alex Unfiltered” can save the day. Alex does consider it, but eventually comes up with a better idea. Before getting into that, let us look into what Mia Jordan and the rest of the UBA employees are up to.
More chaos, less money
Surviving the storm could have been a little easier for Cybil if it were only a racist joke. But it is the nature of the rich to exploit the poor, especially people of color in this context. Ever since the leak, there has been a sense of discontent amongst the minority employees at the lower level of UBA. It is ironic that their boss, executive producer Mia Jordan, happens to be a woman of color herself. Mia is clearly not happy about this either, and she vents about it to Stella. Despite being Mia and everyone’s boss at work, Stella is sort of a friend to everyone outside of work. Upon Stella’s insistence, Mia and her go drinking after what should be considered a terrible day at work, where everything has gone wrong.
While TMS had the opportunity to linger on the suspense regarding how Stella is connected to Paul Marks, the show chose to give it away as Stella confides in Mia that she has a history with Marks and the man is not good news. Stella and Mia are later joined by Chris, who actually seemed pretty chilled out, considering what she had to endure over the last two days. Of course, we do find out that Chris has a solid, well-orchestrated plan of retaliation, courtesy of a visit from Alex.
Why does Chris interview Cybil on the show?
The best way to fight any sort of oppression is to look right into its eye, which is bound to weaken it. While Cybil desired to give her faux justification to the public in the presence of Alex, who is the closest thing to a friend she currently has at UBA, Alex clearly had other plans. I can assume convincing Chris to interview Cybil on the show didn’t take much for her, as Chris was desperately in need of a platform to channel her frustration and anger. And what better way than to do it on familiar ground, the show itself? Cybil might be the top boss of UBA, but inside the studio of The Morning Show, it is clearly Chris who has the home ground advantage.
Of course, the whole thing doesn’t come easy, as it faces hurdles from Cory. However, Cory was only doing it for the sake of being a board member and standing by Cybil, but he clearly wouldn’t mind pushing Cybil under the bus. Cory even privately meets another board member, Leonard, played by the brilliant Stephen Fry. One of the interesting aspects of the episode has to be the importance of familiar settings. From Cory taking Leonard to a rather casual dining restaurant, which the former has visited many times but the latter has never been to; to Chris interviewing Cybil in the TMS studio, aka her everyday workplace, it is very visible and oddly satisfying to watch.
The much-hyped interview goes exactly as you would expect: Cybil gets owned by Chris. The thing about The Morning Show is that the show is sort of an antithesis of the kind of show HBO’s Game of Thrones used to be, in the context of doing your favorite characters dirty. In the world of The Morning Show, someone like Mitch Kessler does get canceled, and so does Cybil Reynolds, no matter how big and powerful they are. This is a people-pleaser show where the good wins, and the audience goes home happy. And that is actually quite a reason to root for the show.