“Caring about other people limits your ability to make self-serving decisions.”—Cory
When last we left The Morning Show, Alex (Jennifer Aniston) was (presumably) headed home after reuniting with Mitch (Steve Carrell). Mitch, meanwhile, was flying off the side of an Italian mountain. Last time we were in New York, Cory (Billy Crudup) was selling out Bradley (Reese Witherspoon) and Laura (Juliana Margulies) to protect Hannah’s reputation. But it seemed to spur Bradley to make a decision about her life, including finally confronting her leech of a brother, Hal (Joe Tippett). So, yeah, there was plenty of potential drama heading into our eighth episode of the season.
We pick up with Cory fired up and offering quite the pep talk to Stella (Gretta Lee). Meanwhile, Chip (Mark Duplass) is pretty angry that Alex ghosted him, leaving an interesting message on her voicemail. He also fumbles things with his fiancé (Katie Aselton). Bradley and Laura are hosting together, but there’s still some tension in the air. Bradley thinks she sent her brother packing but it’s unclear if it was a success. Mia (Karen Pittman), meanwhile, is still raw after being the subject of the leak from Maggie Brener’s (Marcia Gay Harden) forthcoming book. But there’s a show to do, and some bad publicity to spin, so everyone gets to work.
Then a call arrives from Italy seeking comment from UBA about the death of Mitch Kessler. Suddenly, the day changes. Stella rushes to the newsroom to get Mia and the team on the case. Cory starts trying to spin the possible story, and what it will mean for UBA. And Chip is tasked with finding Alex, who they want to report the story.
Mia informs the crew, which receives the news with a mixture of emotions. They need two confirmations—and to be sure Mitch’s family knows—before they can report the news. And The Morning Show needs to be first.
Mia decides to write the copy herself and retreats to her office. She finds Rena (Victoria Robinson) there. Rena thinks Mia is still upset from the day before, but instead Mia is shaken about Mitch’s likely death. She pours out her heart, practically breaking down before steeling her nerves to write the necessary copy.
While all that swirls, a drunken Hal arrives at the station and makes a scene. Bradley is shaken and humiliated. Hal is removed by security but not before spilling more of Bradley’s personal life to all her co-workers and Laura. Despite the frost between them, Laura tries to encourage Bradley. They have a show to do.
Chip, meanwhile, is spinning out. After some sleuthing her discovers Alex was in Italy. Unable to reach her, and hearing from the Italian hospital that a woman was with Mitch, he assumes the worst. He shares his concerns with Cory and Stella, the latter of which presses Alex’s assistant for information. They learn Alex is on a flight bound for New York. After booting on Cory’s conference table, Chip races off to meet her.
As Alex emerges from the plan, she’s thrilled to see Chip’s friendly face. He breaks the news and Alex quickly calls Paola (Valeria Golino), who confirms Mitch is dead. Alex is shattered but determined to make sure Mitch’s ex-wife, Paige (Embeth Davidtz) knows before it becomes public. Chip drives her there and, along the way, Alex hears Chip’s message. They fight and it feels brutal. Months of pent-up frustration spill out and Chip lets her have it.
When they arrive at the Kessler house, Alex breaks the news. Paige reveals that she knows about the affair between Alex and Mitch, making a painful moment even more awkward. Alex attempts to apologize but it’s still a frosty scene. The job is done and the news is broken, Alex returns to the car. She calls the station, gives them the all clear and suggests Bradley is the right one to break the news. Bradley does it and the world learns Mitch Kessler is dead.
It’s a chaotic and difficult episode. Most of our core characters have been laid bare, Mitch is dead and the book is about to drop. All that’s coming with just two episodes left in the season. Not to mention the impending pandemic. Buckle up everyone.
There are a few candidates, but I’m going with Chip. His voicemail to open the episode is epic, but the action of the episode puts him in the middle of a lot of the narrative and emotions. Chip’s been holding a lot back this season and it was nice to see him get that out.
Episode Grade: A-
That’s a wrap on Confirmations. Check back next week for the penultimate episode of the season, Testimony.
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.