The Morning Show
It’s episodes like “La Amara Vita” that make me wish The Morning Show actually started well before the implosion of TMS and Mitch Kessler’s sexual misconduct coming to light so that we could’ve watched more of Alex Levy and Mitch doing their thing on-air and off — their relationship is much more complex and interesting than most things happening on this show, and Jennifer Aniston and Steve Carrell have killer onscreen chemistry. Who needs Bradley Jackson around when we can have a deranged Alex Levy screaming at Mitch Kessler about being “associated with [his] dick?” This is most definitely not the intended feeling I’m supposed to be walking away from this episode with, but honestly, all I want is for Aniston and Carrell to star in a Nancy Meyers–esque rom-com immediately. They can also slow dance in that, please. Alas, Alex Levy’s sojourn at Lake Como is neither as relaxing nor as feel-good as a Nancy Meyers movie, but It is Complicated, and as Alex and Mitch scream at each other amidst some very lavish interiors, you just know that Something’s Gotta Give, so, hey, maybe the Meyers magic is already working.
We now know that Alex Levy, back aching and spirit broken, hightailed it out of Las Vegas and flew over to Italy with one very important mission: To make sure no one now or ever, for all eternity, thinks she and Mitch had sex. The thought of, again — it’s such a bonkers phrase I never want to stop using it — “being associated with [his] dick” is so abhorrent to her that she has tracked down Mitch in the middle of a burgeoning pandemic to get him to write a statement saying that they never had a sexual relationship. She doesn’t care that it’s a huge lie. She doesn’t care that he doesn’t want to lie anymore. She is so scared of being outed as a fraud and losing everything like Mitch did that she doesn’t care how insane she sounds or the lengths she has to go to to keep this covered up. The two scream at each other for a while, and after Alex tosses a real cutting “well, how’s your life been going being associated with you?” at Mitch, he’s at such a loss that Alex would think “the mere fact that having consensual sex with [him] was so vile that it will end [her] life” that he agrees to write the statement for her. Of course, the statement he writes is, “I did not fuck Alex Levy. Best regards, Mitch Kessler,” which pisses Alex off even more, but she takes it, along with his new phone number, in case she needs to reconfirm anything, and leaves.
As soon as she’s out the door, you can see Mitch hates himself for letting that meeting go like that. Paola sees it too and encourages him not to leave it that way. He finds Alex unable to get out of the gate at the end of his driveway, which of course immediately leads to comments about the button in his dressing room — apparently, that was Alex’s idea in the first place, and it was only to shut the door not “get [his] dick sucked in private,” so there. After they calm down again, he tries to explain why he did the things he did, but there’s no good explanation here. Mitch seems to know that and all he wants now is not forgiveness but for Alex to know that nothing he did came from a place of malice; He doesn’t want her to think he’s “evil.” This conversation devolves into another argument, and Alex is gone just as fast.
Of course, Alex is in Italy, and the pandemic is getting much worse and a lockdown has been instituted. It’s nearly impossible to get a flight and it gets much more difficult when Alex, exhausted from, well, her life honestly, is so tired she needs to pull over. She’s awakened the next morning by a police officer who won’t let her drive to the airport without flight arrangements already made, and he needs to know where exactly she’s going — the only local number she has belongs to Mitch. So back to the Mansion of Tension she goes. Only this time around, Mitch is done talking to her. He’s left her notes to come in, to sit and eat the breakfast he’s set out for her, but tells her he won’t be coming down. It’s too hard. He’s left her an official written statement like she’s asked for. Alex sobs and then breaks a glass and sobs some more and it doesn’t take long for Mitch to appear. “I’m trapped in Italy, and I don’t know who I am or what I’m supposed to be doing, and I just miss you,” she says as she hugs him. So, yes, Alex flew all the way to Italy to get that No Humping Mitch Kessler doc signed and dated, but she also went because she’s having a complete breakdown and she needs her friend. Like Nancy Meyers and I said before, IT’S COMPLICATED.
This moment diffuses the tension a bit. Mitch gets Alex a flight home the next morning, they sip wine, they play trivial pursuit, Mitch says some weird stuff about the Chipmunks, and they dance. Mitch fires up the record player and it feels like old times. But Mitch makes it clear once again: All he wants is for Alex to simply not hate him. And, of course, they talk. They talk about cancel culture — Alex truly is obsessed — and Mitch notes that the good thing to come out of it is that he realized who in his life is real and who believes you can change — for him this is, of all people, Paola and she just left due to said tension thanks to Mitch asking her to delete his interview and Alex making her feel like a piece of shit — and he apologizes for what he did to Alex. “At our core, you and I know how close we are,” she tells him. She confesses that after they slept together in Chile she thought she was pregnant and secretly, she so badly wanted that baby because she loved him so much as a partner. They talk about how no matter where they worked, they’d be a successful team. They talk about how Mitch goes to some “pretty dark places” because he “lost everything that gave [his] life meaning.” And they sleep, curled up on the floor together. It almost seems like this is the closure they’ve both been seeking.
But then Mitch turns on the TV, and the news about the Vanity Fair excerpt that details how Mitch targeted Black women breaks, and so does everything else. Alex remembers that being associated with Mitch would ruin her, and Mitch remembers that everyone hates him no matter how much he cries out that he didn’t mean to do any of that and he doesn’t understand and he just wants to be a better person. But Alex can’t help him, and she certainly can’t be seen with him. She wants to get out of there fast. Mitch knows that this means she won’t defend him or remind people of who he is deep down to her anytime soon. Even with everything awful Mitch has done, it’s a pretty cold way to say goodbye. Alex knows this too — we see her in the car racing to the airport, whispering to herself that she’s a good person because she really needs convincing.
Mitch heads over to see the one person he has left in his corner: Paola. I don’t know how to tell you this, but, um, she slaps him and says, “show me your big fucking balls.” I said it before, and I’ll say it again (so, so many times), but what in the actual fuck is this show? Anyway, they have sex. She admits she didn’t actually delete the interview because she thought she might never see him again and would miss him (like, honey, we know this interview is getting out). Then, she asks Mitch to run out and get her cigarettes. He’s driving and looks almost at peace for a moment until those “dark places” he mentioned before start creeping in. He hears Alex yelling at him; he hears Hannah pleading with him. He swerves to avoid hitting a car coming around the bend, but when he sees he’s headed straight for a cliff, he doesn’t turn or hit the brakes; he lets go of the wheel. His final thought is of him and Alex dancing together.