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The Morning Show Season 2 Episode 9 review: Jennifer Aniston, Reese Witherspoon’s show is steeped in melodrama

The finale is just around the corner, and the makers are clearly in a rush to neatly tie up all loose ends. Unfortunately, this makes the events of Episode 9 feel choppy.

Pratishruti Ganguly
Nov 13, 2021
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Story: Mitch’s sudden death has cast a pallor of confusion, regret and sadness in UBA. Alex’s future as a news anchor hangs by the thread as Maggie Brenner threatens to expose her complicity in enabling Mitch’s predatory behaviour.

After meandering around for a significant part of its 10-episode-run, The Morning Show finally shrugged off its directionlessness by hurtling the sudden death of Mitch Kessler (Steve Carell) in the concluding minutes of Episode 7. The disgraced UBA news host, one might remember, skid off a cliff in the thick of the night after the rendezvous with his Parisian paramour, Paola. The death, while unexpected, is perhaps the most fitting end to the character.

The penultimate episode of The Morning Show Season 2, charts the aftermath of Mitch’s death in the UBA universe. Alex Levy (Jennifer Aniston) has returned to the TMS after jetting off to Italy unannounced to navigate her messy relationship with her former co-host. Her return, however, is short-lived, because she decides to quit over the fear of being outed in Maggie Brenner’s tell-all. She tells Cory Allison (Billy Crudup) and Stella (Greta Lee) that she will no longer be the ‘paragon of feminism’ for her viewers.

On the other hand, Bradley Jackson (Reese Witherspoon) finally is handed the opportunity of covering serious news, with Maggie Brenner’s (Marcia Gay Harden) interview. But in a classic soapy twist that has now come to define the series, Bradley defends Alex. She grills Brenner over her insistence of “roping in” Alex into Mitch’s actions, through the book cover, which prominently features Alex, and the revelations surrounding Mitch and Alex’s past. While you cannot help but marvel at Bradley’s sudden change of heart, her argument in defense of Alex, if not anything, is unsettlingly problematic. The show conveniently brushes aside the fact that Alex has been an enabler, that she has allowed for Mitch’s toxic behaviour to go unnoticed because of her own closeness with him. Bradley’s fiery interview fares well for Alex. Twitterati rallies around her for the model feminist that she is. (Yes, sarcasm!)

The scene swiftly shifts to what the primary theme of this season was supposed to be — coronavirus. Alex tests positive for coronavirus, and people around her start to wonder if Alex travelling to visit Mitch is an indication things weren’t over between them. Further, she is criticised for flying during a raging pandemic to solve her personal issues with Mitch.

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The problem with The Morning Show is its inability to be consistent. Just before the finale, it is evident that the makers are whooshing past plots to wrap things up neatly. But in the process, Episode 9 feels too rushed. From Bradley’s brother Hal making another dramatic entry into her life, to Yanko Flores (Nestor Carbonell) and Claire Conway (Bel Powley) clashing over the former attending Mitch’s funeral, the progression from one event to another is painfully choppy. However, if you have been invested enough in these characters and their fate in the show, the episode answers many of the questions that the viewers may have had about where it is headed.

That does not take away from the fact that The Morning Show is confused to a point where you may mistake it for Hindi soaps of early 2000s spinning the yarn at will, introducing and killing off characters as per narrative convenience.


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