“I thought I would miss it, but the 17 years I’ve been gone have been some of the best of my life.”—Chip
We pick up the action right where we left off in the premier. As the work begins to clean up from the Times Square festivities and people are embracing 2020 (they really shouldn’t), Cory (Billy Crudup) is waiting to rip off the band-aid. As Bradley (Reese Witherspoon) arrives home he tells her Alex (Jennifer Aniston) is coming back. She doesn’t take it well and threatens to be “sick” the following day…which turns into a much longer absence.
We’re well into January now and there is a lot going on. Eric (Hasan Minhaj) is preparing to transition to the evening news, Bradley has been out of action for three weeks and Alex is nearing a deal to return. When she arrives at UBA unannounced to look around, Cory pops down to visit her and her manager, Doug (Will Arnett). He invites Alex to a dinner with the team to prepare for her big return.
Meanwhile, Bradley and her team are trying to negotiate for her return. She’s on the fence about the dinner party, calling Chip (Mark Duplass) for advice. She gets some, though likely not what she expected. Chip seems content to walk away, but is he really?
At the dinner party, Alex is confronted by her old co-workers, including Daniel (Desean Terry), who is still more than a little bitter about the way he was used before Alex had an on-air melt down and walked away. Alex tries to make amends but it doesn’t go well. I have a feeling that will come back up again.
Also bound to come back up is COVID. Heading into the long MLK Day holiday weekend the virus is starting to be a discussion point but opinions around the dinner table are mixed. Still, Daniel heads out to grab the story….
As the dinner ends, Alex realizes there’s a lot of frost between her and Bradley. She makes a proclamation and heads out, but that’s not the end. Bradley meets her in the hallway and they finally have it out. Will it lead to a better relationship? I suspect it will. These ladies will need each other, but we’ll have to wait to see how that plays out. She does challenge Alex’s commitment to friendship, noting she never checked in on Chip.
Moved, Alex heads to Pete’s house and asks him to come back to The Morning Show. It’s a tense moment that concludes with Chip asking when he will start much to the dismay of his new fiancé (Katie Aselton). And that’s the bombshell with which this second episode concludes.
Adventures in Italy
Meanwhile, Mitch (Steve Carell) is back. He’s living a quiet life alone in Italy. He tries to keep up with his family via online video and keep his head down. He’s still a public target, but he wants to stay out of the press and out of the headlines. When Fred (Tom Irwin) calls and then shows up, Mitch is shaken. Certainly, there will be more to come here. Will Fred try to convince Mitch to make a comeback? Those are questions for another week.
No End In Sight
The big bombshell to close the pilot was the lawsuit from Hannah’s family. Cory tries to get it settled quickly and thinks he’s dealt with it. As this week’s installment closes, he learns the family demanded $119 million—the same amount paid to Fred to make him go away. So, yeah, this isn’t ending any time soon.
It’s another interesting week, but I’m going with Bradley. She is fighting to stand up for herself and the way she pushes back against Cory and then Alex in the episode is fascinating. She’s on a ledge but I think she can get back. We’ll see how it goes moving forward, but I liked her moxie in this episode.
Episode Grade: B
Matthew Fox is a graduate of the Radio, Television and Film program at Biola University, and a giant nerd. He spends his free time watching movies, TV, and obsessing about football. He is a member of the FSWA. You can find him @knighthawk7734 on Twitter and as co-host of the Fantasy Football Roundtable Podcast.