You have to give it to Bradley Jackson: she was right to freak out.
The headstrong news anchor played by Reese Witherspoon on “The Morning Show” has been unhinged since the third season premiered on September 13th, and for good reason; Not only was she at the Capitol on January 6, 2021, but her brother Cal (Joe Tippett) was one of the insurrectionists and attacked a police officer.
Because this is The Morning Show, nothing is ever enough. Bradley had To be at the center of the story, she had to have a deeply personal conflict of interest. Despite the large crowd that stormed the Capitol that day, she had to run into her brother, heck, he had to hit a cop, and there had to be video evidence of everything to make matters worse.
But Bradley Jackson doesn’t do things by halves. Why settle for personal involvement in law enforcement matters? As a journalist, it’s her duty to tell the truth – so of course she destroys the evidence. When she receives an award for her hard-hitting journalism, Bradley becomes drunk and moody at the ceremony, drawing attention to herself for this behavior and the palpable severity of her confusion.
A sensible person would let it all fade into the background, but Bradley Jackson is not a sensible person – and it runs in the family. Wracked with guilt, Hal plans to confess, and Bradley puts her moral compass aside to appease him. The awards show debacle suggested that Bradley might want to come clean too, but as soon as it’s someone else’s idea, she dismisses it, insisting that Hal will ruin it her Career. (She’s also worried about his family, but it couldn’t be clearer that these are secondary concerns.)
Anyone who watches crime media knows how sloppy it is to leave even a trace of what happened to her Work email server. Again, because it’s just “The Morning Show.” had It is a cybersecurity breach that would jeopardize the trust of Bradley’s emails and underscores the fact that Bradley should not trust the secret to anyone in the truest sense of the word, including and perhaps especially UBA producer Cory Ellison ( Billy Crudup). Cory has reportedly been in love with Bradley since Season 2 (I’d say that pales in comparison to his adoration for UBA+), and while she hopes he keeps her secret, it could also turn nasty if she runs away Contradiction with his feelings.
In the end, it was actually Bradley’s tangled personal life that shattered her fragile cloak-and-dagger cocoon. Ex-girlfriend Laura (Julianna Margulies) takes Audra’s (Mindy Kaling) extremely chaotic advice and reads Bradley’s emails, expecting to find evidence (or exoneration) of an affair between Bradley and Cory. Instead, she finds evidence of Bradley’s obstruction of justice, and because Laura is a better journalist, she finds the truth. One of the best moments of the episode is their confrontation; Margulies is on the offensive, outraged, indignant and Witherspoon is incredulous, defensive, vulnerable. Bradley blurting out the detail that Hal hit a cop is icing on the cake – proof that this woman can’t keep secrets and loves chaos!
And because this is – say it with me – “The Morning Show,” it doesn’t end as easily as Bradley and Laura’s breakup or the actions of the justice system. Before he gets caught up in all of this, Cory becomes the target of a message claiming that he has groomed Bradley since their first employment and that he is another sex offender in the long line of UBAs. Bradley is asked by Paul Marks (Jon Hamm), who is about to take over UBA, to make the decisive, inevitable and oh-so-dramatic decision to resign before she faces consequences – on air, which will no doubt raise thousands of questions raises and incessant confrontation with her private and professional life.
But this is The Morning Show, and this is Bradley Jackson, and she just won’t let anyone else have the final, most incredible word. Whatever happens in the November 8 finale, Jackson’s reign of chaos will continue.
“The Morning Show” airs Wednesdays on Apple TV+. Season 3 ends on November 9th.