There’s less going on in this week’s episode The Morning Show, which doesn’t mean much – we’re dropping the value from the usual 100 to 95. Last week’s episode was about the uprising and the pandemic, two weeks ago UBA faced a racial reckoning, and this season started with one Huge network hack. An episode with just one heated interview is pretty lame in comparison.
The interviewee is Paul Marks (Jon Hamm), The Morning Showis its own version of Elon Musk, who is currently working on a merger that would see him purchase UBA for $40 billion. The newsroom organizes a last-minute question and answer session with Paul and offers employees the opportunity to ask him questions about his plans with UBA. No, he doesn’t want to lay off many employees. Stella (Greta Lee) will continue to be in charge of the newsroom, meaning there will be no conflict of interest if UBA ever needs to report on anything related to Paul and his company Hyperion.
Alex (Jennifer Aniston) wants to interview Paul Alex Unfiltered. Just a few episodes ago, the couple began some short-lived flirtations that led Paul back to UBA after facing racial discrimination. Now their relationship is purely professional. Although Paul is camera shy, he agrees to the interview with Alex. Chip (Mark Duplass) will research the topics of conversation, Paul will host the camera crew in his Hamptons home and Cory (Billy Crudup) doesn’t have to know about it.
Meanwhile, tensions rise between Paul and Stella, who was once employed by Hyperion. Paul tries to work things out with Stella – he’ll kiss the ground she walks on; He will offer the UBA news department anything it wants. Despite all this, Stella hesitates. Instead of accepting Paul’s offers, she goes to Chip and Alex and tells them a secret that they should bring up in the interview. Scandalous!
It Is Scandalous, until the actual interview. Alex embarrasses Paul: Was he responsible for stealing a Stanford student’s brilliant new technology, leading the student into a spiral of depression in which he attempted suicide? He allegedly took the student’s facial recognition technology and sold it to police departments across the country, who used it to racially profile people. It’s all kind of confusing. (He bought the technology legally, so isn’t that all settled? And how many times are we going to hear Alex say “tech”?) Plus, it’s not as dramatic as other historical big reveals The Morning Show.
Paul defends himself against the allegations and apologizes. If this were a replica of Elon Musk – I’m not saying it has to be, but let’s face it, you don’t get a number like $40 billion out of thin air – that would be a bad thing. Musk is unfunny, uncharismatic and terrible in interviews. He stumbles over his words. He’s not sexy. Hamm as Marks is the opposite of all that: super hot and incredibly talkative. Thanks to his undeniable attraction, Paul spends the night in his bed with Alex. Musk never could.
Although Paul’s situation with the stolen technology is a bit dull, there is a spicier twist. This Stanford student was actually Stella. She offers to leave the company because she hates the idea of working with Paul, but he wants to make amends. Paul will fire Cory when the merger is complete. Stella will take over as President of the UBA. By signing this contract with Paul, Cory is shooting himself in the foot.
Meanwhile, Bradley (Reese Witherspoon) has a far more interesting storyline as she continues to cover up her brother Hal’s (Joe Tippett) involvement in the uprising. Bradley deleted her brother’s footage, but every other video she took inside the Capitol was used TMS. Now, in 2022, Hal brings his daughter and wife to New York to visit Bradley. As the couple steps back for a second, Hal tells Bradley that these are their last moments together as a family – he will turn himself in to the FBI.
This is a real catch for Bradley. If Hal turns himself in, she will be unable to hide the recordings from the FBI because he is incarcerated. On the other hand, the FBI could also accuse them of concealing evidence. To convince her brother to keep quiet, Bradley invites him and his family to a live taping of the evening news at UBA, where she interviews a not-so-subtle rioter imprisoned for treason. He lost everything – his family, his life, his job – and he regrets his decisions.
It is Laura (Julianna Margulies) who ultimately saves the day and begs Hal to reconsider his plans to imprison himself and his sister. She begs him to give her a chance at life. Hal agrees and leaves Bradley with a message saying he’s changed his mind about everything. But this is The Morning Show, and there’s no chance that Hal and Bradley will escape this situation unscathed. They can’t stay safe much longer.