Let us start with a token of appreciation for British-Canadian artist Matt Maltese and his song “As the World Caves In”. There are chances of you coming across the more popular cover of the song by artist Sarah Cothran, who rose to fame thanks to covering a lot of popular tunes on TikTok. The Morning Show uses Sarah’s version throughout its latest episode in such a manner that the song works as a part of the narrative itself. As you are bound to search for it after finishing the episode and Google is going to show you the name of Sarah Cothran as the creator, I feel it is my responsibility to let you know the name of the original artist. Sarah’s version is fantastic, though, and fits right into the world of The Morning Show.
When the ongoing season of Apple TV’s The Morning Show picked up the story two years after the finale of season two, we didn’t have much to complain about. Sure, it was an adjustment to get settled with the new characters and changed dynamics between the old characters, but it made sense considering the show itself has returned after a two-year hiatus. As it happens with every season of The Morning Show, we quickly got invested in the new storylines, and the primary one, i.e., whether or not Paul Marks would get on board to save UBA, reached a very interesting point by the end of last week’s episode. But you can always trust The Morning Show to whip up theatrics and surprises, so what we get this week is a tale of what happened in the past two years. Reese Witherspoon’s Bradley Jackson gets the center stage here, but every other major character plays their part as well. And we found a lot of answers to questions that I thought this show was never going to answer after all.
What Was Bradley Jackson Doing During The Pandemic?
In March 2020, Bradley Jackson was hosting The Morning Show from the UBA studio along with Laura Peterson, who was operating from her Montana home, as COVID-19 was already looming large. Bradley, who was in a relationship with Laura, soon moved to Montana, and the two kept doing the show from there during the initial months of the pandemic.
Days went by, and while the lovers had it blissful initially, Bradley and Laura’s fundamental differences in their upbringing started to become visible. While Bradley came from a rather uncouth, hot-headed Texas household, Laura hailed from the much polished NYC. Laura understandably hated Bradley’s family, despite never meeting them. For Bradley, things were complicated. She was glad that she got away from that menace of a family and moved ahead in life, but she still cared for them. We already saw how protective she was of her drug addict brother Hal in season 2 when he stormed into the UBA office while on a bender. Bradley got really frustrated with Hal for not taking COVID seriously and even vented about her mother not wearing a mask in front of Laura, but got defensive when Laura started criticizing her family. Bradley’s mother was eventually diagnosed with COVID, and despite her wanting to go see her immediately, Hal asked her not to. Bradley found out about the death of her mother while playing dumb-charades with Laura and her friends, in a scene that was filled with ironic subtext.
In the following months, her life got further worse. She hit the pit of depression, and her relationship with Laura was growing sour with each passing day. Laura kept trying her hand at “straightening up” Bradley, but all her effort went in vain. A fight between the two was inevitable, and it finally happened when Laura erupted in anger after Bradley accused her of being elitist and snobby. Considering how Laura behaved during the whole episode, I don’t think Bradley was wrong either. Anyway, Bradley and Laura were over, and so was their stint on The Morning Show.
Shortly after, Bradley got back into the field, and she was finally doing something she had always dreamed of doing. Out of the candyland of The Morning Show, Bradley became the face of UBA’s “Evening News”, the primetime show that actually matters. Remember the award Bradley received during episode 1? Well, we get to see exactly to what extent she went to earn it, after all. If you thought boarding Paul Marks’ rocket was the most daring thing Bradley Jackson has ever done in her life, then you were clearly wrong, as you see Bradley fearlessly trying to document the chaotic state of Washington DC during the pandemic, in the midst of a riot. There was nothing in this world that could take down Bradley Jackson except her own family. Coming across her dear brother Hal assaulting a police officer during the riot is way too much of a coincidence, narrative-wise, but this is The Morning Show after all, so we have no reason not to buy it.
What About The Other UBA People?
My assumption of Mia Jordan and freelance journalist Andrew being something more than work buddies finally got validated by this episode, as we discovered the two were in a full-blown relationship when we saw Mia walking into the arms of Andrew after a long, stressful day at work. Things were fine, and it seemed like Mia had finally found healthy love and stability, until one day Andrew found out about Mia’s relationship with Mitch and went on a drinking binge. Clearly an extremely stupid decision in the middle of a pandemic, Andrew’s erratic behavior understandably pissed off Mia, and she left the apartment and started living in her office as a safety measure. Andrew later left after finding a new assignment to work in the Middle East, and he told Mia that he didn’t know when he would be back. As things stand now, Andrew might never get back and could very well die by the next episode.
Meanwhile, in spite of Bradley’s Evening Show and Alex Unfiltered doing really well, the financial decline of UBA was already in motion, and both newly elected CEO Cory Ellison and UBA news president Stella Bak were trying everything to prevent it. With Bradley and Laura out of The Morning Show and Alex busy with her own pandemic show, UBA needed a new dynamic anchor for their flagship show, and that was where Christina Hunter came in. Mia Jordan played an integral part in that decision, and by now, we can all agree that it was the perfect move after all.
We don’t really know much about Stella’s character and her backstory, despite her being one of the major driving forces of the show since season 2. In this episode, we got a glimpse of her life during the pandemic, where she struggled to keep things together at the UBA and brought in content that would make the American audience tune into UBA news. Her relationship with Paul Marks was also addressed when she met her old friend Kristina, who mentioned that she was happy that Stella got out of her thing with Marks. With Marks coming on board as the prime investor, aka the savior of UBA, we are going to see him and Stella finally coming across each other in the future episodes, and we can expect a lot of drama.
Is Cory Ellison a Good Person?
I suppose it is human nature to do anything for the person one truly loves. Over the course of its entire runtime, The Morning Show has made it abundantly clear that Cory Ellison was in love with Bradley Jackson. He never said out loud, but his actions were more than enough to prove how he really felt for Bradley. While it was true that Bradley also felt something for Cory, things never really fell into place, and then the Bradley and Laura thing happened, which pretty much ruined any chance Cory had with Bradley. It can be assumed by the viewers that the two of them found physical comfort in each other when Bradley was on her downward spiral and Cory was doing his best to get her out of it. However, this episode made it quite clear that while Cory thought whatever happened between Bradley and him meant something, Bradley considered it to be a crazy mistake.
Cory Ellison got his heart broken in the early days of the pandemic. But instead of crying in the corner of a dark room, he decided to put a smile on his face and get out into a world that was full of suffering and misery. We finally got to the bottom of Cory’s flashy new house as we saw him meeting a realtor in order to splurge his money on a house that could make a statement. The realtor, Salma, not only found the house for Cory; the two got into some kind of relationship as well. Considering we don’t really see Salma in the present, it can be concluded that things clearly didn’t work out, which is not surprising at all. But it was Salma who helped Cory meet none other than Paul Marks. Cory was already looking for someone who could save his company with a bucketful of money, and Marks seemed like the perfect choice. The two met on a beach when Cory sort of ambushed Marks and casually threw around the idea of Marks investing his money in UBA.
Meanwhile, Bradley confronted Hal, who claimed that he came to Washington only to see his sister. Hal also let Bradley know that he was about to become a father. Knowing this, Bradley had no choice but to delete the part of the footage she shot, which could put Hal in legal trouble. However, things got troublesome for her when law enforcement contacted UBA to get a hold of Bradley’s footage in order to find people who had assaulted police officers. Finding her in murky waters, Bradley sought help from Cory, who was initially shocked to find out what Bradley had done. But as you would expect, Cory Ellison would do anything for Bradley Jackson, and this was no exception either. Considering we have already seen Bradley still doing her job and winning awards, we know for a fact that Cory managed to fix the problem for her, as he promised.
Last week, I came across an article that was criticizing the current season for gaslighting us into rooting for someone as problematic as Alex Levy. As much as I love watching The Morning Show, I do find portraying Alex as a messiah confusing and quite annoying. In no universe can Alex Levy be considered a good person considering everything that she has done. I agree that The Morning Show doesn’t really have a character that is squeaky clean in terms of nature, but Alex Levy should never be portrayed as the poster child of a good human. Thankfully, there wasn’t any Alex in the episode, and it was not needed either, as we already know what she was up to during the pandemic.
The reason I am bringing this up here is the latest episode, which has sort of presented an opportunity to do a character analysis of Cory Ellison. The men in the world of The Morning Show have always been problematic, whether it was the former UBA boss Fred, the infamous Mitch Kessler, or Paul Marks at the moment. But Cory, even though he comes off as this shrewd man who would do anything for money and power, has actually done a lot of the right things. From allowing Bradley a free rein at the job to bringing Alex back into the UBA world, Cory Ellison, no matter how it seems, has actually done more good than harm. I am not even bringing up his romantic feelings for Bradley Jackson, which has to be the reason for him saving Bradley from the trouble in this episode as well. The question is, would he have done the same if it were someone other than Bradley Jackson? Only time will tell, but I would like to believe that he would.
P.S. I am not sure if the show has completely forgotten Chip Black or if Mark Duplass is busy with other commitments, but it was disheartening to not see the character. We can assume that the reason for Chip’s absence was because he was mostly with Alex during the pandemic, and Alex was also absent from this episode. But it would be great if we got to see the OG character in action again in the upcoming episodes.