I think Billy Crudup outshining everyone else has become quite the norm for Apple TV’s The Morning Show by now. Despite starring big names like Jennifer Aniston, Reese Witherspoon, Steve Carell, and now John Hamm, Crudup has always been the best thing about The Morning Show, and the latest episode is another profound example of that. I am not sure if the show is still considered by the likes of the Emmys’, but this should probably be the episode that Crudup submits for himself. With how last week’s episode ended, a lot happening in this one was a given. But the show played it rather subtly here, instead of opting for the usual all-hell-breaking loose approach. That’s kind of a surprise, given I kind of complained about its lack of subtlety just last week. Anyway, let’s get into it.
Did You Know Cory Ellison Has Mommy Issues?
With the deal with Paul Marks about to be finalized, Cory is both elated and anxious. The anxiety increases when Leonard lets him know that a certain “someone” is poking around the Department of Justice (DOJ), which might land the deal in murky waters. Cory promises Leonard he’ll take care of the problem by visiting that “someone” in Connecticut. He tags Bradley along, hoping her presence will be helpful in convincing this certain person to get on board.
Well, I am sure none of us expected it to be Cory’s mother, Martha. But here we are! Martha is delighted to see Cory, but it doesn’t take that long for her to realize that he is only here because he wants something. To prove Martha wrong, Cory decides to stay for a traditional lobster dinner, which puts Bradley in jeopardy, as she was supposed to return in time for the evening news. But Cory pulls off his “boss” card and asks Bradley to stay, so she has no choice but to oblige. Martha herself is quite a big shot; she has connections with the DOJ people, and she is quite doubtful about the legitimacy of the deal between the tech company and media house.
Things get awkward when Martha casually asks Bradley about Laura, and Cory gets flustered while listening to Bradley talk about giving her relationship with Laura another shot. He soon composes himself and firmly says that Bradley is only a colleague, which upsets Martha, who admits that she was hoping for a different answer—something in the line of Cory and Bradley getting romantically involved.
Is Paul And Alex’s Romance Bad For “The Deal”?
I am being rhetorical here because the whole point of this entire Alex and Paul thing is to give the audience more drama, and Jennifer Aniston and John Hamm playing the parts are certainly helping. We still don’t have a proper answer to the question “what kind of man is Paul Marks,” but this episode makes it pretty clear that these two were not just hooking up; there is a blooming new relationship in the UBA world after all. But the problem is, the board is not going to be happy about their new investor and star news presenter being in a romantic relationship. So Alex and Paul have no choice but to sneak around. However, that seems to be a real problem with a photo of them clearly revealing “what’s going on,” which is about to become public. At a Valentino (UBA is big enough to have a sponsor like that, I suppose) event, where Alex and Paul appear separately and then pose for the paparazzi like nothing ever happened, Paul breaks the news to Alex. He floated the idea of going public together, but when she insisted that was not good for the deal, Paul promised to take care of it.
Why Does Stella Tell Cory About Paul Marks’ Offer?
Coming back to the mother-son reunion, things get more awkward at the Ellison household when Cory tries to bring up the deal during dinner, which upsets Martha. She storms off, and Cory follows, leaving a perplexed Bradley at the table. Despite the mother and son ending up singing something as sweet as Ain’t No Mountain High Enough together, the night ends on a real sour note. Martha does promise that she won’t meddle anymore, but she also gets really mad at her own son—so mad that she doesn’t even hesitate to say that Cory should always be alone. On their way back home, Cory has his The Social Network last scene moment when Bradley tries to cheer him up by saying that she genuinely believes Cory is not a bad person. But Cory, like always, pretends to not care and says Bradley and him are just two people who are taking advantage of each other. Really, Cory?
Anyway, Cory will have to deal with his inner demons later because a more pressing matter has just come up. Thanks to a Supreme Court leak, the news of an abortion bill being overturned has surfaced, which effectively means that women will no longer have rights to their own bodies. The series has always been known for handling relevant issues, and this is no exception. Naturally, everyone at the UBA instantly turns into busy bees, keeping aside everything else for the time being. The news has a grave impact on Christina, who has a sort of meltdown at the washroom and makes an Instagram post that might land UBA in trouble.
Meanwhile, Stella tells Mia about Paul Marks’ offer, and she also admits that she is actually considering taking it. She also confirms that if she takes the CEO job, then Mia is going to be the head of the news division, which makes all the sense in the world, given the two are pretty much work besties. Given she doesn’t have any fondness for Cory, Mia is more than excited about the news and asks Stella to accept the offer. But for Stella, accepting the offer from Marks would mean betraying her current boss. Cory Ellison, no matter how he is as a person, has always been good to Stella.
On the other hand, Paul Marks is literally the reason Stella is trying to end her life, even though that’s now a once-in-a-lifetime thing. Stella finds herself in an even more difficult position when Kate (remember the friend from the last episode?) visits her after getting fired from Hyperion (thanks to a disagreement with Marks) and asks her to help. Stella refuses, clearly thinking about the fact that she has Mark’s offer on the table, but gets an earful from Kate about what a terrible, selfish person she has become. And we can’t really say Kate is wrong under the circumstances. But Stella is not inherently bad, after all. So she does exactly what you would expect her to do—going to Cory and telling him everything. Stella is a lot of things, maybe, but she is not a backstabber after all. Greta Lee is fantastic in this role, by the way, which I don’t get to mention often. Anyway, Cory acts exactly like he does after getting the news from Stella. He asks her to go ahead with it and accept the offer. This only means it is an advantage for Cory at this point, and Marks is going to pay for his sins.
Things are about to get further troublesome for Marks, by the way, given Amanda (not sure why someone as talented as Tig Norato would take a role like this), his trusted right-hand man cum strategist fails to fix the photograph issue and blames Paul for messing things up. The episode ends in true The Morning Show style, with Chip walking into Alex and Paul without the latest couple in the block being aware of it. We have three episodes left and a whole lot of drama to gorge on, for sure.