“The Morning Show” This Week: Betrayal! Family Trauma! Gayness! Holland Taylor!

This week, The Morning Show is giving us betrayals, family trauma, gayness, and Jennifer Aniston is missing in action! Let’s dive in, shall we?

The TMS team is back from Las Vegas! Bradley did such an amazing job filling in for Alex that she gets to host the debate in Phoenix next week or month, I can’t remember, and it doesn’t really matter. Cory agrees to sell the Laura + Bradley story to an outlet called THE VAULT, in an effort to stop them from publishing a nasty story about Hannah. Also, press about Maggie Brener’s (Marcia Gay Harden) book is heating up, which has made Alex’s back hurt so bad that she simply cannot work. They need someone to fill in for her and fast! Gosh, who on earth should they ask?

Julianna Margulies and Reese Witherspoon on The Morinng Show, in a stunning outdoor space

“Please! I love working with my girlfriends and obviously nothing will go wrong here!!!”

Cory calls Laura as she and Bradley are giggling away on her stunning outdoor patio. Bradley begs Laura to come and be a part of the TMS family while Alex is gone. She agrees, but I have a feeling the thing that really swayed her was Cory telling her she could hit him anywhere but the face. Hugely motivating! Laura hangs up the phone and leaps into action, because if she is gonna do this, she is not going to half ass it. “Oh no, we definitely want your whole ass,” Bradley giggles, before wondering if it would make sense for her to stay the night. You know, just because they both have to get up in the morning, and they are going to the same place.. Laura would love that, and you know what? Why doesn’t Bradley just bring some stuff to leave here, so she doesn’t have to keep going back and forth? While I still blame Reese for most of the chemistry issues in this couple, it should be said that she absolutely nails the look of nervous excitement and glee about this relationship.

Julianna Margulies and Reese Witherspoon on The Morning Show

Laura’s SWEATER? Please give it to me! Also look at baby gay vibes Reese!!!

Alas, upon returning to her hotel room, Bradley’s plans are waylaid by her brother, Plot Device. It’s possible that his name is Hal, but there is really no way to know, and I will be referring to him as Plot Device, or PD, from now on. PD is like heyyyy no need to worry about me and my history of addiction, I am just here to hang out with you and I promise I won’t cause you any troubles or anything, really! Scouts honor! He refuses her offer to get him a room, which I would not have allowed. You are grown adults! Get your own room! Your back will not forgive you for sleeping on a couch!

Bradley is pissed that she has to cancel on Laura, and when she whips out her phone to do so, Plot Device does that annoying thing that only people on TV do when someone texts in front of them telling her to “put that thing away.” I suppose it’s possible people do this in real life, but if anyone ever said that to me I would just laugh and ignore them??? Thankfully, Bradley manages to text Laura anyway, which gives us this shot that I simply must discuss for the next five hours.

A screenshot of a phone with texts

I would like to do an interview with the person who set this prop phone up.

UMBRELLA FLIRTING? That was their last text exchange??? “Very naughty” in response to Laura saying “I can’t guarantee you’ll stay dry” because she’ll get wet?????? It’s not even that good of a double entendre! Why would she not say “You’ll still get wet… it’s a small umbrella.” I would add a wink emoji, myself, but that is dealer’s choice. Also does Bradley think saying “Do you think I’m adult enough to own an umbrella?” is flirty texting? She is in her forties, she should be adult enough to have an umbrella?? God, I love this show.

Laura’s first day on air is the literal next day, and she and Bradley settle in, doing the very obvious flirting chit chat that you do when you are trying to pretend you aren’t deeply intimately acquainted. One of the producers slides over a tray of Groucho Marx glasses, because TMS is doing a Marx Brother’s tribute this week, in honor of Groucho’s 130th birthday. “Yeah…I won’t be doing that,” Laura says, smiling sweetly. Iconic! The show starts off strong, Laura is delightful and a much better morning host than Alex has ever been.

Cory is basically crying in the control room as he watches the girls flirt on air because he is so in love with Bradley or whatever. They do a very accurate morning show segment about American Heart month, a cause Laura says is close to her heart, because I guess she has heart issues? Or someone she knows does? Wouldn’t it just be easier to say “As a person who has heart problems,” so I wouldn’t have to guess?? Personally, I am having a heart issue due to this exchange:

Laura: There is no way you get enough sleep in this job, is there Bradley? You have to get up so early every day!
Bradley: And there is always something to keep you up at night!
Laura: HA! HA! HA!

Bradley plays Doctor and uses a stethoscope to listen to Laura’s heart, which is racing! No prude, but this is steamy for a morning show!!!

Julianna Margulies and Reese Witherspoon on The Morinng Show

Left: “There is always something to keep you up at night!” Right: “HA!HA!HA!”

During the weather segment, Plot Device calls, so Bradley texts him “I can’t answer, I’m on TV. Why aren’t you asleep?” Well don’t ask me a question if you are on TV! Like a good Plot Device, he texts her a link to a story in THE VAULT. “Laura Peterson…and Bradley Jackson Dating??” First of all, that is the wrong place in that headline for an ellipsis! Second, my begrudging kudos to THE VAULT for grabbing a still of the stethoscope bit that literally just aired! They also have a picture of them holding hands and entering a hotel room from Vegas, from so close up that I am a little surprised they didn’t notice this person, but whatever! Bradley is totally shell-shocked, Laura takes a deep breath before telling her “You’ll be fine.” She’s obviously pissed but is trying to hold it together— I imagine she can tell Bradley needs one of them to be together.

Bradley walks back to set like a zombie and grabs the Groucho glasses, the ringing in her ears is very loud, it’s very dramatic. As she makes her way through the segment, the TMS staff reacts to the story, most of them some variation of “well, this will boost ratings,” and “holy shit!” The best reaction comes from Janina Gavankar, AKA Papi. She, as the kids say, “caught a vibe.” The second best reaction is from Daniel, Papi’s cohost for the nine o clock hour and noted homosexual himself. When the replacement weather guy, (Yanko punched someone last week and is stuck in a dumb cancel culture plot) asks if he hopes the rumors aren’t true because being gay is “his thing,” he says: “Uh, no, because I think it’s horrible and painful to be publicly outed and it’s nobody’s fucking business.” Go the hell off king!! And while he is right, that this whole thing is painful and horrible for Bradley, I cannot take it seriously because she is having a breakdown in Groucho Marx glasses, I mean come on!!!

Reese Witherspoon in Groucho Marx Glasses

Disassociation, Groucho Marx style!

The minute the segment is over Bradley runs to the safety of her dressing room and loses her shit when Laura comes in. She can’t be in there, it’s too gay! Laura calmly explains that they had bullshit gossip posted about them so it makes sense that they are discussing how to handle it, and when Bradley is all BUT WE ARE FUCKING, she just sighs “You are so not cool.” Bradley thinks Laura is not taking this seriously, but of course she is, she is just also at work, a place where she, unlike the rest of this cast, tends not to have public breakdowns. Plus, she has experience with the whole “being publicly outed” thing. Bradley is upset, but not about being outed! She’s a private person! She doesn’t want people talking about anyone she is dating! And she feels like everyone is staring at them! “Well, they are. There are cameras pointed at us. We’re on TV.” Laura deadpans.

Her attempt at humor does nothing to calm Bradley down, she keeps spiraling and she cannot have people judging her! Also, she’s never had a relationship past a few months because she’s Bradley Jackson, famous truth teller and damaged person and if people know that she is dating someone they’ll know when it’s over. Laura promises her it will be okay, and they go back to finish the show. Look, of course I understand why Bradley is freaking out, but the fact that she won’t even be honest with the person she is dating is a bit of a red flag!

Julianna Margulies on The Morinng Show

“Get involved with a closeted woman, yeah, great idea.”

Some hours later, Bradley is still in her dressing room, lying on the couch and staring at the ceiling. She checks her phone and finds a barrage of texts from Plot Device, and tons of articles and tweets about her. The tweets are actually exactly what I would expect from Twitter, which is pretty amazing. There is one that I could not get a clear shot of that reads “Laura definitely turned Bradley out,” and whew, how I laughed!!!!

Screenshot of tweets on an Iphone

Yes, the one that is slightly cut off at the top says “come out come out wherever you are.”

Laura calls to check in and invite her over. “There is probably paparazzi, but you wouldn’t be the first woman to sneak out of here undetected.” Okay, brag!!!! But Bradley can’t come over, and is shocked to hear this affected Laura at all because she was so cool earlier. COME ON Bradley, obviously it still sucks for her to return to morning TV and get outed again? But no, our favorite Truth Teller refuses to get the point and says “so was it traumatic to get outed as with me? Because everyone already knows you like girls” and, wow I hate the phrase “likes girls” coming out of an adult woman’s mouth!

They have one of those classic couple fights, the one that is like “what do you want?” “I wanted x” “fine, I’ll do X” “No I don’t want that anymore.” Bradley yells about her family being terrible and Laura is like “I know why you are the way you are” which is quite the drag. When Bradley tries to interrupt, she very sternly says “Don’t cut me off.” which is quite the turn on. Equally hot to me is when she tells Bradley: “Fucked up kids have an excuse. Fucked up adults get therapy. Fucked up adults change their circumstances.” True! And! Hot! Their fight is not resolved, but Laura agrees to hang up so Bradley can go fight with Plot Device in her hotel room.

Julianna Margulies on The Morinng Show,

“Don’t cut me off unless you are ready to be punished.”

Bradley’s fight with Plot Device does a good job explaining why she is the way she is. PD tells her that abandoning him with their mom has been awful for him and he’s using again. He begs her to not kick him out, but she can’t be there for him like he needs, because what he needs is to go to rehab. He accuses her of making everything about herself, she says the same to him. He doesn’t want to rehab, they yell “fuck you” at each other at least three hundred times. Plot Device also hints that Bradley was doing gay shit when they were in high school which had me like :EYES:. It’s a horrible fight to watch, especially with Laura’s “fucked up adults” comment from earlier hanging over it. No one has the needed conflict skills or emotional regulation to deal with this!

The episode ends after Cory stops by to make sure Bradley is okay, which is RATHER RICH considering he was the one who outed her!! But she really likes Laura, like a lot, and maybe she needs to care a little less about “what those fucked up people think about her.” She does not mean the public, she means her family. Bradley tells Plot Device he’s leaving tomorrow and he gets in one last “fuck you!” as she sits on her bed in the dark and the screen fades to black.

Oh! Holland Taylor appears to say “All due respect, but I am giving you all the respect that is due” and “These aren’t earthquakes, they’re people!” Impeccable as always.

Holland Taylor on The Morning Show

Holland Taylor like, could stop an earthquake though?

Quite! An! Episode! So many questions to be answered! Will Bradley actually kick her brother out? Will Laura decide that she actually wants to be with, oh, I don’t know, maybe a tall bottom who would bake her anything she wants, a woman who puts a full face of makeup on everyday no matter what, one who has been in therapy? Cause I, uh, know a gal, if you catch my drift!

As ever, I will be here to update you and guide you through any and all gay moments that happen this season! And if you like, you can read my old school, Television Without Pity style recaps via my (free) newsletter, Chaos, It’s The New Cocaine where I am bravely recapping every episode in painstaking detail, yes, even the straight stuff.


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christinatucker

Christina Tucker is writer and podcaster living in Philadelphia. Find her on Twitter or Instagram!

Christina has written 128 articles for us.

12 Comments

  1. Brilliant recap. Julianna Margulies is incredible in this role. My only quibble is that her makeup job is atrocious (I’m so deep). Let’s hope that Bradley doesn’t screw up the relationship.

  2. Ps. Since this show is trying to deal with sexuality, ethnicity etc, it’s very confusing to see Laura Peterson wear a tiny crucifix and then spout some Yiddishkeit which Juliana M. Knows because in real life she’s Jewish.
    I notice the crucifix because I am, of course, examining every element of her outfits.

    • I too noticed the crucifix! But then I justified it as maybe something coming from one of her travels as a journalist, like every jewelry she owns has a story? Laura comes off as this worldly, probably interviewed world leaders/ serial killers/ the whole badass shebang.

  3. This column is making me want to try watching The Morning Show. But I can’t handle drama if the characters are awful people and the story is too depressing. I didn’t get past season 2 of the L Word, and can’t be in the room when my partner watches the real housewives of ny. (I love Killing Eve and Batwoman—I don’t mind morally questionable characters that I can respect.)

    Any idea how much I’d regret trying the morning show? And if I should skip to this season?

  4. Thank you so much for doing this. Am loving/hating and loving to hate this show, and your recaps are so what I need. Bless you for just ignoring the endless Mitch Kessler and the producer dude sections (also, why are there so many of them?). Love your work!

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