As we arrive at the finale of the second season of The Morning Show, I have a very serious question to ask: Is Chip Black the biggest idiot on the planet? No, seriously, I’m asking. Why in the actual world would he risk getting a deadly disease — in March 2020!! No one knew anything about COVID!! — for Alex freaking Levy. He’s still in love with this woman? After everything?! And I’m not even talking about how she screamed at him that she would never suck his dick, though that should’ve at least given him pause. I’m talking about how she is always awful to him unless she needs something. And sometimes even when she needs something. Last season he risked his career for Alex; this season he’s risking his life. Someone tell this man to get a grip, please.
Alex Levy has COVID. Whether she contracted it in Italy with Mitch — it’s been almost 14 days now — or once she was back in NYC, no one knows for sure. It doesn’t much matter. She’s back at home and suffering. She’s not having breathing issues, so she is advised not to go to the hospital, but her symptoms are severe. And we get a front-row seat. Do we need to watch multiple montages of someone battling COVID? No. We’ve been through so much. No one ordered this; please send it back. The silver lining of this entire section is that we get a few great looks at Alex’s fabulous bathroom. That marble tub and that shower with, what, a teak floor? That’s a rich person’s bathroom, and I’m happy to stare at it. But the whole thing goes on a little too long, and things get bad in that apartment. In all honesty, I was starting to wonder if this whole thing was going to end with Alex Levy being eaten by her dog on the kitchen floor while an acoustic version of “Nothing’s Gonna Harm You” played. Like, it’s not that far off from things that have happened on this show.
Alex does not get eaten by her dog. Instead, during the worst of it, she calls Chip and he stays on FaceTime with her until she falls asleep. He’s not going anywhere, he tells her. It gives him an idea: Wouldn’t people love to see Alex Levy suffer on television? Okay, so his idea is more that Alex could “guide” people through what’s happening to her in order to both inform and get people to take COVID seriously. But the whole “watching one of the most hated people in morning television at the moment” bit is probably what compels Cory to say yes when Chip pitches an evening special with Alex. That, and UBA+ is crashing and burning — he has to cancel the huge launch-day events once Tom Hanks gets COVID and everything starts crumbling — and at this point he’ll do anything to get some buzz, I guess.
And so Chip arrives at Alex’s apartment, where he lies and tells her he already has COVID, so it’s totally fine and he can be near her, and he gets her pull herself together enough to get on the air that evening. It’s wild to see Chip continually tell Alex that this is gold, baby, and that she’s doing great, because from my seat the woman looks like she’s growing increasingly unhinged. (And why wouldn’t she? She’s been through multiple personal traumas recently and is very, very sick.) She rails against cancel culture, she muses about what happens after we die, she tries to make us feel bad for her for being famous, she tells us to “either get on the Alex Levy train or just stay at the station.” In the end, though, she talks about this time making her, and she suspects a lot of people, more introspective. She is thinking about the person she wants to be and wondering if she is actually that person when she looks in the mirror. Everything that’s happened to her this season has led to this revelation, and it’ll be interesting to see who Alex Levy is after she makes it through all of this and how she fits into The Morning Show going forward.
And what of her sometimes co-anchor Bradley Jackson? Bradley is hitting the streets looking for Hal. It seems highly unlikely that not one person who receives a missing-person flyer from the Bradley Jackson wouldn’t post that shit on Twitter, but this is the case. It’s not until Bradley gets a call from a very ill Alex wanting to thank her for trying to protect her during the Maggie Brener interview that Bradley decides to take her search up a notch. When Alex hears about Hal, she pretty much tells her the opposite of what Laura did: She says that if completely cutting a person out of her life isn’t an option for Bradley, then she just needs to own that person. All families have baggage, and Bradley needs to own it. Own them. They are her people. Just like Bradley has clearly decided to own Alex as one of her people. “Don’t let your shame of what other people think run your life,” Alex tells Bradley. And so Bradley owns Hal and takes to social media to put out the word that he’s missing and she loves him and if anyone can help, please let her know.
Cory Ellison offers a hand. Should we talk about Cory’s state of mind at the moment? Alex Levy isn’t the only one coming to terms with who she really is. Cory has pretty much bet it all on UBA+, and even as everyone is telling him to push the launch, he refuses. Cybil asks, “Is this about the service or about you?” His response: “They are one in the same.” That is so bleak, dude!! You are your streaming service? Cory, what happened to you as a child? Or as an adult, really. What a wild existence. In the end, though, it doesn’t matter how badly Cory wants this to work; the launch events are cancelled because of COVID and the streaming service seems DOA. But then Cory sees Bradley’s post and it makes him realize there are bigger things than content available 24/7. He goes to her door and offers to help her look for Hal. It is in this very moment, as Cory and Bradley are searching the streets of New York as a pandemic takes hold, that Cory decides to confess to Bradley. He does not confess about selling her and Laura’s story to the tabloids; no, instead he decides it is the perfect time to tell her he’s in love with her. He’s in love and he doesn’t care who knows it and there is no time like the present and life isn’t just about streaming services or whatever. Before Bradley can make space for that in her brain, her phone rings, and a nurse at a nearby hospital who had seen her social post tells her that she thinks Hal is in their ER.
The hospital is pure chaos. Bradley eventually sneaks into the ER and passes like 50 different people who do not stop her to say What is this host of morning TV doing in our very restricted ER and why does she not have a mask on? Eventually, she finds Hal in a bed — he isn’t high, he just got in a bad fight — and the siblings have a tearful reunion. She owns him, and he owns her, and I guess this show owns us now but, like, not in the good, loving way, but in the “there’s no escaping us now” way. And maybe, friends, that is what The Twist was all along.
In Other News!
• Well, finally!: Daniel quits TMS. In the wake of the Alex-has-COVID news, Stella wants him to anchor the show for a while from home, and he’s like, Uhh, hard pass. He’s not taking the gig just because everyone else bailed on Stella and also he’s more concerned about getting his grandfather in California out of his nursing home. He’s done with all the BS. During his road trip, Mia calls to try and get him to reconsider, but he remains very much not interested.
• The scene in which Stella runs into Cory’s office to tell him Alex has COVID by slipping him a ridiculous series of notes, prompting the two to go back and forth to figure out how far away Stella should be standing from Cory, was such a fun bit. It made me mad there weren’t more of these types of Cory/Stella interactions all season long.
• After Cory tries to reschedule Paola’s meeting, she barges into his office (where’s the security in this place?) and shows him the Mitch interview. She still refuses to release it because she doesn’t want to betray Mitch, but Cory works his hardest to convince Paola to change her mind. It seems she is at least considering it.
• What was the point of Yanko’s story line this season? It set up all these questions that went nowhere. Same with Mia. And Stella. And nothing else on the wrongful-death suit? Yeesh.
• Let’s be honest: There’s never going to be enough of Cybil on this show, but wow, what a way to go out for the season. She gets a quick scene that ends with this line: “I’m not going to risk getting sick because our prized feminist morning anchor was horny for Chester the Molester.” What is Cybil’s day-to-day life like? I need to know.
• Oh wow, Cory Ellison is really coming for the Apollo 13 mission like that?