Uh, can someone go check on Bradley Jackson? Girlfriend is in a bad way by the time the end credits roll on this week’s The Morning Show (not that we can blame her).
In addition to the giant secret she’s keeping about the Jan. 6 insurrection, she now has to contend with the knowledge that PAUL knows the giant secret she’s keeping about the Jan. 6. Insurrection. And there’s no way that’s going to end well for her, Hal or… anyone, really.
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Long story short: Things look rather bleak for the evening-news anchor as the season’s penultimate episode draws to a close. How’s Bradley going to get out of this one? Read on for the highlights of “Update Your Priors.”
ALEX’S COLD FEET WARM UP QUICKLY | Seems like Alex is having second thoughts about dismantling UBA. “We’re killing a company that has existed for, like, 80 years, and I’m standing there, holding a match,” she says. But Paul argues that she owes the network nothing. His pep talk includes the details that at their new venture, she can run her own studio and bring over anyone she wants.
Later, Alex is in her office when Maggie Brener — remember her? — swings by. She’s in the building because she’s writing about the acquisition for The New York Times; given their past, Alex isn’t happy to see her. “I know we didn’t leave things on the best of terms, but I’m out of the shame business,” Maggie reassures her. They wind up having an off-the-record conversation about what UBA’s long-term chances of survival are, and Maggie forecasts three to five years, tops.
That perspective seems to seal something for Alex, who calls Bradley into her office: She wants her former co-anchor to leave UBA with her. “That is… not what I thought you were going to say,” Bradley says, taken aback. She’s honored, but she’s also not going with Alex — in part because, “if I’m going to be completely candid, I think the wrong guy is buying this place.” Her reporting on Hyperion has made her even more suspicious of Paul Marks and how he does business, which irks Alex in the extreme. She calls her naïve and asks for specific evidence against Paul. “I think it’s hard for you to be objective about this,” Bradley says, which pushes Alex over the edge. She storms out.
When Alex comes home, Paul’s got takeout waiting for them and “Wonderful Tonight” playing on the stereo. After the day she’s had, is it any wonder that she announces that she’s really, truly ready to leave UBA in the dust?
STEALTH CYBIL! | Unbeknownst to Alex, Bradley has unearthed that Hyperion’s rocket launch is behind schedule and out of money. “Paul is hiding something, Cory,” she warns her boss. Then Stella learns that the transmission problem during the suborbital flight in the season premiere was on Hyperion’s end, not the network’s, but Paul chose to blame it on UBA and the cyber attack instead of reporting it like he should have. Bradley wants to delay the board vote on the acquisition, but Cory says nope. And his refusal to engage with what they now know pushes Stella to tell him she’s gone after the deal is done.
In Cory’s defense, he’s a little scattered: UBA stock is suddenly trading up, purchased mainly by a mystery LLC, and he’s stymied. Cybil clears up his confusion right quick when she marches into his office, throws down her handbag and announces that she was behind the LLC. “You know, when you became CEO, my expectations were low. But it turns out, I overestimated you,” she sniffs. He points out that she doesn’t have enough votes on her side to stop the sale. “Yet,” she corrects him. Then she has the pleasure of telling him something he doesn’t know: “Paul Marks is stripping the network for parts, and Fred is helping him price the sale.”
Cory runs out of his office, punches an elevator in his frustration over not being able to get in touch with Paul, then strolls into Alex’s office, asking, “Are you a part of this?” He soon realizes that she is. He stands in front of her desk and rants for a while until Alex truly performs a public service and interrupts him. “Oh my God, do you know how many of these I’ve had to sit through? I’m so sick of your self-righteous monologues, Cory.”
She points out that he denied her a seat at the table, so she has no responsibility or power in the ending of UBA. She calls him out for scapegoating. She mocks him for allegedly having the staff’s wellbeing in mind. Then she promises to hire his people out from underneath him, “and I will be paying them what they deserve.” He leaves. Alex calls Paul to tell him Cory knows. And Cory calls an emergency board meeting, because “We need to shut this down right now.”
‘THAT’S LOVE’ | After Laura does a little more digging into Hal and the Capitol insurrection, she texts Bradley and says they need to meet. Laura’s manner is so confrontational and odd at first that Bradley says she’s scaring her. “Hal’s a terrorist, but I’m scaring you?” she spits back. It quickly becomes clear that yes, Laura’s mad and hurt and upset about what Bradley did in response to Hal’s actions — but she’s also (and maybe more?) mad and hurt and upset that she confided in Cory about the whole thing. “He lied to the FBI for you!” Laura says. “That’s love.” They yell. They cry. Bradley tries to defend herself. “I couldn’t let Hal ruin his life,” she says. “So you ruined ours,” Laura replies.
The scene is hard to watch, but man, is Julianna Margulies on fire, eh? “You f—king broke every rule. How do you sit in that chair every night? It is OBSCENE!” she shouts. Then she kicks Bradley out. She’s not going to report anything to the FBI, but she also wants nothing to do with her. “I thought we would get old together. I really did,” Laura says, her voice breaking as she turns her back on an utterly wrecked Bradley, who leaves.
THE HITS KEEP COMIN’ | Little does Bradley know, as she dejectedly swigs booze in her dressing room before that night’s broadcast, that things are going to get So! Much! Worse! Paul comes by and acts like he just wants to chat, but she’s not dumb. “You’re out of money. What you’re doing is not safe. You’re trying to silence people,” she says, knowing it’s only a matter of time before they’ll be able to get a Hyperion employee on the record. “How’s your brother?” he asks, abruptly switching topics, and the tactic has its desired effect: Bradley is shook.
“Does his wife know what you did for him at the Capitol?” he continues, tone still as genial as though they were exchanging pleasantries. “I mean, conspiracy, sedition, lying to the FBI. These are all really serious charges. You and Cory really went all in, didn’t you?” Paul even knows that Laura knows — which happened, what, five minutes ago? He wraps up by saying that Bradley can protect both Laura and her brother by dropping the Hyperion investigation: “You can make it all go away. Food for thought. Have a good show.”
So Bradley has had A DAY by the time she takes the anchor’s seat a few minutes later. It’s not long into the broadcast when she stops reading the teleprompter and starts stream-of-conscious-ing her long-time-coming meltdown. “I wanted to make a difference somehow, I want to help those people who feel small and forgotten,” she says, holding back tears as she thanks everyone at the network who’s helped her — including Alex — and the viewers.
“It has been my privilege. It has been a dream come true. Effective immediately I’m resigning from UBA for personal reasons. This will be my final broadcast,” she says as the control room collectively loses its stuff. “Thank you for watching. Stay safe, and goodnight.” She walks off set and ignores Stella screaming at her, wondering what’s going on. “I’ve got to go,” is all Bradley says.
Upstairs, Cory is freaking out about [waves hands] everything, but he’s about to take one more whack: Stella arrives to let him know that The Vault has a story about how he was grooming Bradley and how he retaliated by outing her and Laura as being in a relationship. “Security’s on their way up,” his assistant, Kyle, says. “They’ve been told to escort you from the building.”
Now it’s your turn. What did you think of the episode? Are you looking forward to the finale? Hit the comments and let us know!
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