Well friends, we’ve made it to finale of season three of The Morning Show. You can rest assured that I am thrilled and exhilarated to have made it here and that I am entirely unmoored and not quite sure who I will be going forward. But that crisis of self is for me to work through; let’s get into the goods!
After dramatically quitting on air, Bradley is doing the only thing that makes sense: lying in a depression ball on her bed. She is also being tormented with memories of when she turned her dad in for running over and killing a kid while drunk driving, and I guess that the guilt and shame of doing that is why she didn’t turn Hal in? I mean, I guess! It’s the finale, it is probably not the time to mull over every character inconsistency. Cory comes by and, she won’t see him, despite him apologizing and begging to talk to her. She will, however, let Alex in, because this is show is desperate to prove these two are besties, despite having a only handful of scenes together this season. “Together” is also a generous word, because 99% of the time it does not look like they are in same space at the same time. Also, the paranoia has really set in, and Bradley makes Alex leave her gorgeous little Chanel bag and phone outside of her apartment. Is now the time to discuss that Bradley’s apartment door is basically the door to a 2013 cash only speakeasy?
Alex has learned (via Paul, of course) about Bradley’s domestic terrorism cover up, and when Bradley admits she did, in fact, lie to the FBI, Alex’s response is poetic and relatable: “Oh fuck, Bradley.” They snipe at each other about it for a bit, and once again, it looks they are not filming this scene together!!! But the real question is this: How the hell did Paul know? Not only about the FBI, but about Laura. How did Paul know what Laura said to Bradley at her house, only hours before he confronted her at uba??? Bradley thinks she is being surveilled, that Paul has been surveilling her ever since she started digging into Hyperion. Not to be entirely rude, but like…duh? Right? I mean, is that not what tech guys do? With our consent and without? “He said he would ruin Laura’s career. I can’t let that happen. I won’t let that happen.” Ex-girlfriend loyalty is still alive and well! Even if said ex-girlfriend did drag the hell out of you!
In one of my favorite scenes in TV history, Alex has her driver take her aimlessly about the city while she stresses and fusses prettily in the backseat. Paul texts, she ignores him, then drafts a text to Bradley that reads “You’re right. Get away from all this. Go back to West Virginia.” AND THEN! She DELETES “West Virginia” and replaces it with “Hanover.” Is this a 1999 spy thriller starring Catherine Zeta Jones and Sean Connery?! Cause this is starting to feel like Entrapment! Alex returns to her penthouse, telling Paul she saw Bradley and that she was super manic and bizarre, that she just wants to get through this deal, and oh, wouldn’t it be nice if she could do something to help Bradley. It takes Paul all of three seconds to walk directly into her trap, saying that he believes in second chances, and Bradley should “go back to HANOVER and hide out till all of this blows over.” J’ACCUSE SIR! Somehow, Alex manages to hold it together long enough to make it into her shoe closet to have a full-fledged breakdown. It’s all true! The man of her dreams has crumbled to dust before her very eyes, and she must pace and sob in her closet to David Bowie’s “Lazarus.” Sure!
But where is Alex to go? She cannot live in her closet forever! Who is she to turn to in this moment of personal and professional chaos? Why one Laura Peterson, of course! At first, Laura thinks Alex is there on Bradley’s behalf, and she is not interested in that. No, this is about the sale, and Paul, and quite possibly the fate of mankind? Laura admits the network she works for, NDN, run by Elizabeth Perkins, is also struggling financially, and if a billionaire came by offering a life boat, well, they would probably take it. Journalism must be protected, and there is not a lot of money in media right now! Too real, The Morning Show! And it turns out Alex came here to talk about just that, but she is gonna need a stronger drink than tea. Also, I cannot say with any confidence if Julianna and Jen are filming this scene in the same room. Maybe?
Over at uba, everyone has found out about Paul and Alex’s plan to sell the company for parts after the deal goes through, and they are fighting back! By…uh, putting a recently fired producer (Chip) on air to rant about the importance of journalistic integrity while also demonstrating he knows how much FCC fines are? Once again I am forced to say: SURE! Meanwhile, Cory is running around and appearing on golf courses to try to secure loans from dudes named “Reid” to stop the sale. He’s still working with Cybil, which is mostly them just negging each other on the phone as they are chauffeured around. Somehow, Chip’s rant works, as Amanda reports to Paul the board is starting to turn. Also June Diane Raphael returns as “Fox News Blonde,” which I personally am thankful for. Cory saunters into some fancy dining club to meet with Reid, but plot twist! Paul sits down instead! That’s right, he got to Reid and to Cory’s personal fixer Earl, and there will be no saving uba today! Paul is just too powerful, and after dragging Cory about all of his mistakes, he offers a 10 million dollar “parting gift” if Cory will sign an NDA. Once again, Cory’s strange morals make an appearance, as he tells Paul he would rather “do time with the fucking Oathkeepers, than take a penny from you.” He storms off, calling his mother from his dark office, to tell her she is gonna hear a lot of bad stuff about him in the papers. Some of it will be true (outing Laura and Bradley) and some of it won’t be (sexual predator stuff). Well, I’m sure his nightmare mother won’t hold this over his head for the rest of his life!!
Unable to sleep with a LIAR in her bed, Alex is staring blankly in the darkness when she gets a text from Laura that reads “She’s in.” Okay, gagged! Who is in? For what? Alas, we must wait til the vote, where celebratory champagne is being wheeled into the conference room as Paul wonders where the hell Alex is. Classical music is swelling as Alex takes some deep breaths in the elevator. She is wearing a red heel and a pinstriped, double breasted suit, she looks hot and like she is ready to absolutely fuckin rumble. “While we have a few minutes, I have an idea I’d like to run by everybody,” she says, dropping her purse on the table with a thud. She would like the board to consider a merger with…NDN! She has drafted some deal points, she has talked to the people at NDN, she has a prospectus that she would like to hand out. Why not merge two news giants and leave the tech money out of it? She has a whole presentation tucked into that bag of hers! “It’s a chance to start over. To do things right, for once. A true partnership.” She is glaring daggers at Paul as she speaks, and look, I’ll admit it! I was gagged! I still am! Also gagged? Paul, and I have to hand to it to Jon Hamm for his perfect dumbfounded reaction.
Alex drags him out of the room, refusing to answer his questions as they walk into the newsroom. BOOM, Natalie Morales and Stella are here! Stella drops the bomb: Hyperion cut the transmission on the rocket launch because the navigation system was fucked! And he ignored the safety warnings Natalie gave him while reporting fake data to NASA!!! GOT HIM FOLKS! He is flabbergasted, and demands Alex explain. “You SILENCED a JOURNALIST,” Alex says through tears. Oh, now she cares about journalistic integrity, after fucking the guy who was gonna buy her company and reporting on him? You gotta hand it to her, her ability to be self-serving at all times is truly impressive. He agrees to pull out of the deal and to report the correct data to NASA, leaving her in the newsroom, lightly weeping.
Suddenly it is two weeks later, which means it’s time to set up various plots for season four! Stella is trying to talk Chris out of leaving, and I am personally begging that she stay! Bradley is talking to investigators about Cory, saying she never felt pressured or uncomfortable by him, even after he told her that he loved her. She went to Montana because Cory “saw her for who she really was?” And she couldn’t be with someone like that? I guess they cannot drop the Bradley/Cory will they/won’t they, despite the fact that it is like the 28th most interesting thing on this show! She runs into Cory in the hall, and he does finally apologize for outing her, so that’s something! She tells him she misses him, and goddamn it if Billy Crudup doesn’t knock his shocked and teary reaction out of the park! Then he walks into the streets of New York, alone. Paul comes by Alex’s to get his stuff and tells her he wishes they took that helicopter anywhere else. I kinda like that he is bad, but also that they did actually care for each other? Not like Madam Levy is a saint!
And of course, it wouldn’t be The Morning Show without a bonkers final scene! After all this actually thrilling spying and deal making, Alex and Bradley are walking on the sidewalk, arm in arm, actually in the same scene!! Alex doesn’t know what she is going to do without Bradley, but Bradley knows she’ll be just fine. They reminsince about the good times, and how much they have changed together as they come to a stop….outside the FBI office. That’s right, Alex is dropping Bradley off at the FBI like it is her first day of school. Hal is there, Alex says “You got this,” and then a white girl cover of “Three Little Birds” plays as she slo-motion walks into the building??????????????????????????????????????????????????? Season over??????????????????????????????
For the record, I give it a standing ovation. They have done it again! Who knows what Season Four could even look like! Bradley in jail? Cory selling that house? Alex and Laura and Elizabeth Perkins running a news network? The world is their oyster, and I, for one, cannot wait.