We are halfway through this season of The Morning Show, and finally —finally!— they have deigned to give us a peak into what the past two years have been like for our beloved anchors, producers and newsroom execs. That’s right, we are going back in time and most importantly? We are going ✈️ to Laura Peterson’s Montana ranch! Let’s get into it!
Allow me to take care of the other bits and bobs we learn during this episode right off the bat, so we can spend the majority of our time with our Girlfriends in The News, will you? So, it is March 25th of 2020. The Summer Olympics have been postponed, even! Mia and that mysteriously hot photographer she’s been calling all season are living together, and they make…quite a hot couple, let me tell you. Of course, the pandemic means uba is struggling to make content and get ratings — TMS has dropped to number two! And Aaron Sorkin won’t release his Kissinger biopic to uba+, can you believe? You may be reading this and thinking “oh Christina you wily trickster, you are so funny, of course that is not a real line on this show.” I assure you it is, and I also assure you it was a little gift, just for me.
Despite the fact that the network is bleeding cash, Cory has decided to purchase a home in the Hamptons. His relator looks very familiar, doesn’t she?
I am becoming increasingly worried that Cory and I are the same person, because I too would have been immediately entranced by this woman. It seems they date for the better part of the year, but she disappears after two scenes? I am only mentioning this because she leaves a bracelet at Cory’s manse, and weirdly, it will be important later.
Mia and the hot photographer (his name is Andre) are doing quite well — until Cory decides to release the Mitch Kessler documentary the bonkers Italian lady made last season. No one hates Mitch more than Cory, but with Sorkin hanging on to that Kissinger biopic, what is the guy to do? The world needs content! Andre is watching it on the couch, until Mia snaps and demands he turn it off. Naturally, he assumes that Mitch has assaulted her, but then is just pissed that she had a consensual affair and was in love with him. What is a man to do but…go out to three bars in the middle of a pandemic. Mia is rightfully pissed, and starts sleeping at the office so she can still work and not expose her coworkers. Andre gets a call from AP to head to Afghanistan, and he might be gone for two weeks, or two months. He moves out, Mia is sad. I am sad for her, because she deserves a break and again, they are hot together! Also her at home loungewear is aspirational, to me.
Stella is very lightly featured in this episode, but we do learn some important things that will, indeed, come back later in the season, and they all have to do with the wonderful Natalie Morales. Allegedly “Kate” and Stella were college roommates and best friends at Stanford, but simply everything about them interacting screams “these are ex girlfriends.” Kate works at Hyperion, AKA Jon Hamm’s rocket company that sent Bradley to space. She seems a disaffected about working there, and tells Stella that she was right to “do what she did.” HMMMM.
WHEW. Now that we’ve taken care of that, let us get into the good stuff! Mia secures permission for Bradley to anchor remotely in Montana with Laura. She somehow does this without Cory’s knowledge, because when he goes to set to check on her — remember, in this timeline, he told her loved her like….two weeks ago — she drops the bomb that she’s going to stay with Laura. How does he react? By cheerfully saying “I hope you see a moose!” What else is there to say, really?
Bradley arrives in Montana and is reunited with Laura, yay! Bafflingly, they do not kiss? They literally hug and then we smash cut to them post coital in bed. Reese, you know I love you, but why did you agree to this storyline if you were not gonna put your whole Withersussy into this? Julianna is giving you a gorgeous, well realized dyke to work with here, and you are quite frankly not up to the challenge! They are joking around and flirting as they prepare to go on air; Laura literally slides her hand between Bradley’s thighs and this is the face Bradley makes in response:
Come on!!! They also make a big deal about “officially” coming out as a couple, something I find…perplexing, as they were outed quite recently in this timeline? Like, if you saw a piece about to co-anchors possibly dating and then they started filming from the same remote location, would you not just…know? They seem to think no one could have put this together, so as they are on air one morning, Bradley calls Laura “babe” and they joke about going on runs and who makes better coffee. It is kind of sweet, even if there is zero chemistry to be found.
We get some good moments of domestic bliss for them, which is nice to see! Laura thoughtlessly makes a hurtful remark about Bradley’s family not being educated when they are talking about Bradley’s mom going to church and not wearing a mask, but they talk about it! Laura (hilariously) admits she is kind of judgey and has a tendency to be an asshole sometimes. Bradley just wants her to understand who she is and where she comes from, and then Laura says a sentence so powerful, I nearly fall to my knees. “Or I’m doing the mommy thing, which is awful.” On the contrary my love! The Mommy Thing™ is amazing, and I beg that you keep doing it!
There is even a game of charades with Laura’s visiting gay friends, complete with Julianna Margulies doing a so bad it is good impression of Liza in Cabaret! But alas, nothing gold can stay. Bradley’s mom has COVID and dies a few days (I think? The timeline is unclear at best) later. Despite their famously strained relationship, Bradley is mad at herself for not going to West Virginia, mad at her mom for being careless, and she’s taking all of that out on Laura. She’s on the couch, staring into the middle distance when Laura asks if she wants something different for dinner. “I want to go to a real restaurant,” she pouts. Of course, Laura’s heart condition makes it impossible for them to take such risks, but Bradley is determined to cause as much havoc as she can. She is really giving “pissed off teenager” here, and I regret to inform you that in my professional opinion they only have chemistry when Bradley is mad and Laura is doing The Mommy Thing™. It should come as a surprise to absolutely no one that therapy comes up! Laura is trying to support her, but she is refusing to process her grief and making it rather impossible. On one hand, I know people act irrationally when grieving, and they should be allowed a little bit of grace for that. On the other hand, I cannot fathom fumbling Laura Peterson and the chance to live on her stunning ranch!
Alas, fumble Bradley does. She knows Laura hated her mom, so why is she even bothering to pretend she cares? Also, she’s elitist and only wants Bradley around so she can dress her up and show her off to her “fancy fuckin’ friends.” Source?? Your girlfriend cannot leave the house? Show you off to whomst?? Finally, Laura snaps, and it is rather glorious. Bradley has to grow up and stop dumping all of her shit on everyone else. True! Bradley is far too old to still be acting this way, imo. Laura also thinks there is a part of Bradley that is relieved her mother is dead, because, well: “Your mother was a piece of shit! You are the first person to tell everyone about it!” Now look — she is..not wrong, largely because Laura is never wrong. But it is not the kind of thing you can throw in your girlfriend’s face when she is actively grieving said mother! Bradley storms off, and Laura collapses on the couch, exhausted.
Fall is passing, and there is a noticeable chill between our Girlfriends in The News as they keep remotely anchoring TMS. Another unclear amount of time passes, and suddenly Bradley is packing up her little Jeep, getting ready to head to D.C to cover the election certification. Yes, we are going there, so just prepare yourself. Laura knows she won’t be coming back, to which Bradley says “maybe this just wasn’t our time.” This is a good time to note that Laura’s dyke at home costuming has been just *chefs kiss* perfect. So many chambrays, flannels and joggers, truly just a gift to witness.
A normal show would have ended here, but come on, you know how we do over here at uba! A family member dying and a breakup is only half it it! I am sure you recall wayyy back in episode one, Bradley was awarded for her coverage of the Jan 6 insurrection. And remember that weird flash of hands on a sink or bathtub, and how Cory seems to have something on Bradley? Yes, well, I am quite sure you don’t want to relive Jan 6, so just know that Bradley goes into the Capitol with a small crew to report the story. They do a surprisingly good job mixing actual footage and recreated footage to make it feel real and hectic — it is quite hard to watch! Bradley gets separated from her crew, so she starts filming on her phone, watching as one of the rioters attacks a cop in the hall. The two men fall to the ground, and the rioter’s face is revealed in the scuffle. The man in question? HAL JACKSON, BRADLEY’S BROTHER!!!!!
Yep, that’s right, Hal Jackson is indulging in some light domestic terrorism! Why, you might be wondering? Because he…had to go to Zoom AA meetings, and cleaning out their mother’s house has been hard. I mean, who hasn’t been there! Everyone is always going to riot in the Capitol when times get hard. It’s quite clear to me that The Morning Show doesn’t want Hal to be irredeemable in our eyes, so they try to play it like he just stumbled into…uh, rioting. It doesn’t really work for me, but does it work for Bradley? Kind of! Mostly though, Hal is gonna be a dad. That is enough for Bradley to give him a wad of cash so he can get out of there. She’ll clean up his mess, just like she always does.
As if that was not bad enough, she deletes the few seconds of Hal from the footage she recorded, then brings it to Stella and demands evening news. Miss Ma’m!!!! Journalistic integrity found DEAD in a ditch! And of course, a few months later when the FBI is like hello we need your footage for crime solving, Bradley hightails it to Cory’s Hampton hideaway, where she gets her fingerprints all over Maura’s bracelet, then confesses she edited the footage to protect Hal. He’s all she has left, after all. Because he is still in love with her, Cory agrees to have uba’s lawyers talk to the FBI, claiming journalistic independence. Oh, what a tangled web they weave!!! Certainly, this won’t have any repercussions later in the season, right? RIGHT???