Hell hath frozen over on The Morning Show as cancel culture and personal demons put the TMS staff through the ringer.
This week’s episode of AppleTV+’s The Morning Show, titled “Testimony,” was a doozy, and managed to put every character on the show through the ringer, but none more than Alex Levy herself. Seeing as it was episode 9, the penultimate episode before the season finale, I expected nothing less than the drama and suspense the show delivered in spades.
Alex’s journey throughout this season of The Morning Show has been extremely fascinating to me. While every character has been forced to deal with the consequences of their actions, Alex has been forced to instead confront hers from almost an outside perspective. She has been genuinely clueless about how she has treated others in the past, Maggie, Chip, and Laura included, but this episode finally sees an end to the delusion.
Alex actually takes the opportunity of hosting The Morning Show with Laura to confront her about why they fell out all those years ago. Laura, ever the picture of calm and collected, laid out exactly why they fell out, at Alex’s hand. This scene featured incredible character growth for Alex who, after a bit of floundering and excuse-making, finally owned up to the fact that she contributed to Laura’s outing and then abandoned her.
It’s like in the midst of that conversation with Laura, she finally realized the person she’s become over all these years isn’t the person she wants to be anymore. Later when Alex gives her eulogy at Mitch’s funeral, I don’t think she was talking about Mitch at all.
Alex said Mitch was “showing remorse,” for what he’d done, but the Mitch we saw on screen was just as quick to insist he’d not targeted Black women or owned up to the true hurt that he’d caused that fateful night in Italy.
No, it was Alex who had taken steps, both in this episode and some before, to be remorseful for her wrong-doings and her missteps. It was Alex who wanted to be remembered for her capability and willingness to change, even if she did desire that for Mitch as well.
Bradley was right when she defended Alex against Maggie during that interview, in what was one of the highlights of this episode. Alex has changed, and it is unfair of Maggie to feature her as one half of Mitch’s rotten whole, especially considering that, as Bradley said, she just had extramarital sex with the guy.
It’s incredible how quickly Bradley was able to flip the narrative on Maggie, turning her into the bitter woman fighting America’s sweetheart, proving that the path Bradley and Alex have been down together on this show so far has bound them forever.
As the episode wraps for Alex, her funeral speech leaks online, effectively getting her “canceled.” It was obviously Fred who filmed the footage, as we see him re-enter the room as he passes Alex on her way into the memorial. Then, in a crazy cliffhanger, Alex ends the episode in the hospital, having gotten a concussion as well as tested positive for COVID. Because, of course, Mitch Kessler just had to screw Alex over one last time.
Besides this being a very Alex-centric episode, there were some other highlights as well. One is that we finally saw Claire again, the rich former PA of The Morning Show, after not being seen since the final episode of season one. Claire was best friends with Hannah, and was devastated by her death; so much so that she is the one providing Hannah’s dad with the money to sue UBA, as we learn in this episode.
It’s also another wonderful episode for Bradley, as she finally takes control of her own life. Bradley dropping her brother off at rehab was a heartbreaking scene, as she followed Laura’s advice from episode eight and tells Hal to take responsibility for himself. She set boundaries with him, establishing that she can’t and won’t allow her family to dictate her life any longer. Though, it’s clear that dropping her baby brother is easier said than done if her worry at the end of the episode regarding the money that turned up at her hotel was anything to go by.
Laura also had a wonderful episode. She finally got her closure with Alex after filling in for Bradley on The Morning Show, which even involved a delightful segment with an original duet to wash your hands to. Then, she invites Bradley to stay with her in Montana as they wait out the pandemic since she has a studio at her ranch.
Bradley ignores this request, and instead focuses on the fact that Laura called her “her woman,” which was extremely wholesome. It was so nice to see them have this quiet and loving moment before everything comes crashing down in the next episode.
It’s still beyond refreshing to watch this relationship grow and flourish the way that it has. The care put into these scenes by the people who write, shoot, and perform them is palpable, and it shouldn’t be understated how rare it is to see such authentic and well-done queer representation, especially on a show of this scale and magnitude.
Selfishly, I hope this isn’t the last we see of Laura Peterson as she flies off to Montana to quarantine. If The Morning Show gets that season three renewal, I’d love to see her back in a series regular capacity.
Overall, this episode delivered on wonderful Alex moments, performed masterfully by Jennifer Anniston, as well as character growth and plot development as the show sprints towards the finish line on its second season.
The season 2 finale of The Morning Show will drop November 19, only on AppleTV+.