One thing you gotta give Bradley Jackson: She was right to freak out.
The maverick news anchor played by Reese Witherspoon on “The Morning Show” has been off-kilter since Season 3 premiered on September 13, and for good reason; not only was she at the Capitol on January 6, 2021, but her brother Cal (Joe Tippett) was one of the insurrectionists and assaulted a police officer.
Because this is “The Morning Show,” nothing is ever enough. Bradley had to be at the center of history, and she had to have a deeply personal conflict of interest. Despite the number of people storming the Capitol that day, she had to run into her brother, coincidence be damned, he had to hit a police officer, and there had to be video evidence of everything to make matters so much worse.
But Bradley Jackson doesn’t do things by half. Why settle for personal entanglement in matters of criminal prosecution? As a journalist, it’s her duty to tell the truth — so naturally she destroys the evidence. When she gets an award for her hard-hitting journalism, Bradley gets drunk and moody at the ceremony, drawing attention to herself with this behavior and the palpable weight of her obfuscation.
A sensible person would let it all fade into the rearview, but a sensible person Bradley Jackson is not — and it runs in the family. Wracked by guilt, Hal plans to confess, and Bradley puts her moral compass on the back burner to talk him down. The awards ceremony debacle hinted that Bradley might actually want to come clean too, but as soon as it’s someone else’s idea she rejects it, stressing that Hal will ruin her career. (She’s also worried about his family, but it couldn’t be clearer that it’s a secondary concern.)
Anyone who watches crime-based media knows how sloppy it is to leave even a hint of what happened on her work email server. Again, because it’s “The Morning Show,” there simply had to be a cybersecurity breach that would jeopardize the confidence of Bradley’s emails and underscores the fact that Bradley shouldn’t trust a literal soul with the secret, including and maybe especially UBA producer Cory Ellison (Billy Crudup). Cory has been allegedly in love with Bradley since Season 2 (I’d argue it pales in comparison to his adoration for UBA+), and while she might be counting on that for him to keep her secret, it could also turn nasty if she runs afoul of his feelings.
In the end, it was in fact Bradley’s tangled personal life that shattered her fragile cloak-and-dagger cocoon. Ex-girlfriend Laura (Julianna Margulies) takes Audra’s (Mindy Kaling) extremely chaotic advice and reads through Bradley’s emails, expecting to find evidence (or exoneration) of an affair between Bradley and Cory. Instead, she finds references to Bradley’s obstruction of justice, and because Laura is a better journalist, she finds the truth. One of the episode’s best moments is their confrontation; Margulies’ on the offensive, outraged, indignant, and Witherspoon in disbelief, defensive, vulnerable. Bradley blurting out the detail about Hal hitting a cop is the cherry on top — proof that this woman cannot keep secrets and loves mess!
And because — say it with me — this is “The Morning Show,” it does not wrap up as simply as Bradley and Laura parting ways or the actions of the justice system. Before he’s implicated in all this, Cory is the target of a news item claiming he groomed Bradley ever since she was first hired, that he’s yet another sexual predator in UBA’s long line of them. Bradley, called out by Paul Marks (Jon Hamm) who’s about to acquire UBA, makes the pivotal, inevitable, and oh-so-dramatic decision to resign before she faces consequences — and to do it on air, no doubt prompting thousands of questions and incessant probing into her personal and professional life.
But this is “The Morning Show,” and this is Bradley Jackson, and she simply will not allow someone else to have the last, most unbelievable word. Whatever happens in the November 8 finale, Jackson’s reign of chaos will continue.
“The Morning Show” airs Wednesdays on Apple TV+. Season 3 concludes on November 9.
– Armessa Movie News