The Morning Show Recap: Ghosts

Jennifer Aniston's The Morning Show reveals season 2 release date

“The money is meaningless to me unless it can resurrect her or buy her a better father.”—Hannah’s Father

All is not right with our friends at UBA. It’s really a tale of three struggles this week for Alex (Jennifer Aniston), who is weary of Maggie Brener’s (Marcia Gay Harden) impending book release, Yanko (Nestor Carbonell) and Cory (Billy Crudup) is racing against time to uphold Hannah’s reputation before the truth of his deal with the devil becomes known. It’s a tough and at times tense episode. Let’s dive in!

Waiting on the Book

Alex isn’t doing well. Her back is hurting and she’s distracted. When Audra (Mindy Kaling) arrives to announce an exclusive with Maggie Brener on the book, Alex goes into a tail spin. She blows off debate prep and meeting Chip’s (Mark Duplass) new lady to head home and stew. Things don’t improve when she sees Laura Peterson (Juliana Margulies) on the plane. Laura is there to continue her affair with Bradley (Reese Witherspoon), but to Alex it’s just another annoyance.

When they land, Alex ducks Maggie at the hotel and goes about her prep. Afterward, Chip convinces her to go out for a drink. Heading back to her room for the night, Alex’s back is killing her. When Chip lets it slip he was interviewed for Maggie’s book, it doesn’t improve Alex’s mental state. She heads to her room but, unable to find comfort mentally or physically, she storms down to Maggie’s room, barges in and demands to see the book.

Maggie doesn’t have a copy and makes clear she’s done her homework and has no plan to change anything in the book. Alex, near a complete mental breakdown, can’t handle it. To no one’s surprise come debate night, it’s Bradley on the moderator’s panel as Alex boards a plan alone to head home.

Yanko in Hot Water

After his botched apology, Yanko remains in hot water, and he can’t stand it. As a Cuban American he’s furious that he’s being accused of being a racist. They plan to send him on a cultural awareness tour, but for now he’s relegated to the studio. Still frustrated, he exits the studio just as an angry white man is shouting at Stella (Gretta Lee). He’s got plenty to say—most of it ugly—about how she’s responsible for bringing COVID to the United States, an example of the kind of vitriol Asian-Americans faced in the wake of the pandemic. Stella manages to escape but Yanko, enraged, can’t hold it in. He attacks the man and one of his friends before being pulled off. It was a public fight on a public street so, doubtless, we haven’t seen the end of this for an embattled anchor at a scandal-plagued network.

The Fight for Hannah

By the end of the last episode, it was clear that there was more to how Cory saved his job than we’d previously been led to believe. To open this week’s episode, Cory attempts to man up can call Fred (Tom Irwin), hoping to change his mind about smearing Hannah. Instead, Fred reminds Cory of the deal he made—one we see through flashbacks—to get the keys to the kingdom. It’s a deal with the devil that will be undone if Cory meddles with Fred’s plans, something the latter makes clear to the former on the call.

So, Cory is in a tight spot. He turns to Bradley for some advice and gets some. Another flashback gives the impression that their “friendship” was nearly something more. It seems Cory would possibly like it to be more, but regardless sees her as someone who will speak truth to him in a world of grey. When Cory hears rumors of Bradley’s affair with Laura, he tries to squelch them. When he calls her in Vegas and hears Laura in the background, he knows the truth. Regardless, he needs her advice.

Cory traveled to Green Bay covertly to meet with Hannah’s father (David Paymer). Her father is angry and wants UBA to hurt. Cory suspects if he continues on the only one that will be hurt is Hannah and her reputation. Unable to persuade Hannah’s father to change course, he knows the only way to keep the story from coming out is to spurn Fred. He knows what it will mean. Of course, Bradley doesn’t know what the consequences will be when she tells Cory he has to do whatever is possible to protect Hannah’s name. Cory agrees, perhaps finding the path toward redemption that he seems to be seeking. But it will likely come with a heavy cost.

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Quarantined in Italy

Speaking of Hannah, it seems her death is always top of mind for Mitch (Steve Carell). Thanks to a COVID exposure, he’s quarantining with filmmaking friend Paola (Valeria Golino). He helps her finish the documentary but she asks him to sit as a subject so she can grow as an interviewer. Mitch finally agrees and is forced to confront what he did wrong. In a raw, honest and emotional moment he shares the blame and guilt he feels for what happened to Hannah—not so much for their night together but for the way he pushed her in a fractured mental state to help him. This is a different Mitch than we’ve seen before. He’s finally ready to be honest about the mistakes he’s made.

Carell is a gifted and talented actor. While he was OK as a heel in Season 1, he seems much more suited to this new version of Mitch. His arc with Paola has been both illuminating and satisfying. His interview moment, which is mostly a monologue is an incredible piece of acting and should be his Emmy submission clip.

Episode MVP

No character has shown more growth since episode one than Mitch, who is my MVP for this week’s episode.

Episode Grade: A-

That’s a wrap on Ghosts. Check back next week as we explore the season’s sixth episode.

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.

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