The finale episode of The Morning Show is a fitting epilogue to a season straddled with inconvenient plot contrivances and a whole of drama
Story: The finale episode of The Morning Show sees UBA finally inching towards the digital arena. Alex declares that she is done being ashamed of herself and the company she keeps, and Bradley has a surprise suitor waiting to confess their affections for her.
The second season of The Morning Show is evidently a pity party for Alex Levy (Jennifer Aniston), and the show is determined to exonerate her. So, the finale sees her suffer, both figuratively and literally, after contracting COVID-19. This is a tamer version of a similar fate meted out to Mitch Kessler (Steve Carell), who skidded off the top of a cliff in the final few seconds of Episode 7. Alex is the lesser of the evils among the two, and hence, is offered redemption while she is still alive.
Chip Black (Mark Duplass) is the ever-dependable friend who was brought back this season to steer Alex’s messy life into a non-self sabotage direction. Other than his association with Alex and her many, many slip ups, Chip has had very little to offer in terms of his narrative arc. His decisions are also colossally stupid. He lies to Alex about contracting the virus to shoot a candid tête-à-tête series that he believes would help in spreading awareness. While his intentions are noble, his actions are carried out by flouting social distancing norms with a patient. Further, a show on Alex talking about herself (once again, without being prompted even once), Chip figures, would Marie Kondo all troubles out of Alex’s public persona.
The show being made for UBA’s upcoming streaming service is perhaps the gentle nod to the Apple TV+ streamer, where The Morning Show streams. It also is the only way Cory Ellison (Billy Crudup) believes the channel can be salvaged amid a maelstrom.
Elsewhere, Bradley Jackson (Reese Witherspoon), desperately looking for her brother Hal, receives a call from a new and improved Alex. Alex thanks her for defending her during the Maggie Brenner (Marcia Gay Harden) interview. While their reconciliation is cutesy, it also is a glaring example of unprofessionalism. Bradley had clarified that her defense of Alex was motivated by her friendship with the latter, which is another way of absolving Alex for her toxicity. Alex also tells Bradley to accept Hal as he is, since she herself is “done” being ashamed of her association with Mitch. This ill-informed advice on “owning” one’s relations, however detrimental they might be, is in line with the show’s flagrant lack of nuance this season. As one would expect, Bradley and Hal reunite inside a hospital ER, in the most dramatic fashion.
For fans waiting with bated breath for Cory to finally confess his love for Bradley, the confession does arrive in the climax of the episode. However, since the season did not expend enough time to develop the dynamic between Cory and Bradley any further than it was in the first instalment, the moment feels laboured and inorganic.
The one satisfactory resolution this season was Daniel (Desean Terry) finally quitting TMS. After being overlooked for years, when Daniel refuses to anchor the show over unavailability of other hosts, there is quiet victory.
The same cannot be said about Yanko Flores (Nestor Carbonell) or Stella Bak (Greta Lee), or even Hannah (Gugu Mbatha-Raw), whose death prompted the countless series of events this season.
Verdict: Season 2 of The Morning Show is an elaborately crafted, but ill-engineered show pummeling towards failure with conviction right from the beginning. You hope it’d get better, but unfortunately, the series never manages to untangle itself from its own fruitlessness.