Hey guys, remember last week when Mitch Kessler drove his car off a cliff in Italy during the start of the pandemic while running out to get cigarettes for a curly-haired Italian woman who had just asked to see his big balls? That is a thing that happened! Honestly, sometimes this show feels like the wildest game of Mad Libs. Another example: In this week’s episode, Bradley’s brother shows up at the studio in the middle of a show wasted out of his mind, tells everyone about how their dad killed a kid while drunk driving, and then smashes a whole bunch of plates in the breakroom while singing Simon and Garfunkel’s “The Boxer” before being dragged out by security. Fun, right?
The best part of this whole Bradley Jackson Presents A West Virginia Family Drama storyline is that it is a mere blip within the episode. Why? Because it happens in the middle of everyone learning that Mitch is dead. There is complete chaos in the halls of TMS as people try to confirm rumors that Mitch was involved in a car accident in Italy and The Morning Show tosses this whole thing on top of it all. It’s fine. It’s all fine. We’re fine. Laura Peterson says we all need therapy and to completely cut off our families and we will all! be! fine!
As embarrassed as Bradley may be — very to 100 percent embarrassed — most people aren’t even clocking her brother’s breakdown because they are so busy processing the Mitch Kessler of it all. During a meeting in which a UBA brain trust is trying to figure out how to spin Maggie Brener’s book and the outing of Bradley Jackson in ways that benefit them, they receive a call from a reporter in Italy looking for the network’s comment on Mitch’s death and people panic. Stella is running. Cory is yelling. Mia needs two valid confirmations that Mitch is really dead, and then she needs Alex Levy in the studio to break the news. There are some tears, but mostly “oh shit” faces of shock. Honestly, how does anyone get any work done in this building? I’d love a quick check-in with a coordinator in the accounting department who overhears Cory Ellison screaming down the hall, “I don’t care if she’s in traction, get Alex in hereeeeee!” and pops up from a pile of expense reports to be like what’s that now?
Obviously, the reaction to the news of Mitch dying varies amongst our main cast. Cory’s simply looking for a way to use this to UBA’s (and UBA+, naturally) advantage. Mia is working through her complicated feelings for Mitch — the Mitch she knew and fell in love with and the monster he was outed as; she even apologizes to Rena for taking out those complicated feelings on her the other day. Mitch has fucked her up over and over and even in death. But really, we need to talk about Chip.
Chip is still pretending that he has Alex’s absence under control, but he loses his mind covering for her. He leaves her a lengthy and angry email full of phrases like “you’re incapable of loving another human being” and “the real you is an emotional murderer” and “you parasite,” and uh, a detailed rant about how she stuck a shiv up his ass. You just know he’s going to regret that later. But after that and possibly ruining the one good relationship in his life by making his fiancée uncomfortable in Alex’s office, Chip is tasked with getting Alex into the building in case this Mitch thing turns out to be true. A lot of the tension in this episode is deflated since we already know that Mitch is dead and Alex is fine, but we continue on.
When Chip discovers that the last charge on Alex’s credit card was at an Italian airport, he begins to put it together that Alex was in Italy with Mitch. When he calls the hospital where they believe Mitch was taken. The frantic doctor who is, oh right, dealing with the chaos of the pandemic, can’t really stop to give him detailed answers to his questions but does mention there was a woman with the American man in the car accident. He finds out that she was “not good,” and well, Chip really loses it. We know that the doctor must be referring to Paola coming to find Mitch, but Chip doesn’t and assumes Alex is dead too. Guys, like, I wasn’t joking when I said the real name of this series should be People Are Spiraling. People are spiraling again! When Stella finally gets Alex’s assistant to admit that she’s been reading Alex’s emails (the whole “she would be so mad” “well, she might be dead” exchange was great) and knows that Alex was booked on a flight from Italy landing at Teterboro and there’s hope that she’s very much alive, Chip, well, Chip barfs on the table? In front of Cory? He says he’s sorry but come on, sir, sorry is not enough for a surprise barf on your conference table.
And then Chip is off to the airport. His relief is palpable when he sees Alex hobble off the private jet Mitch got her set up on. But then he has to break the news that Mitch is dead. Alex has Paola’s number — she had promised Mitch she’d help Paolo with her career — and Paola confirms that Mitch is dead and that he loved Alex very much. Along with the UBA affiliate guy who was loaning Mitch his Lake Como house and car, that is the confirmation everyone needs. Alex isn’t coming into the studio to go on air, though. Instead, she wants to tell Mitch’s ex Paige in person.
And thus begins the car ride from hell. It starts with Alex listening to Chip’s voicemail about her being a succubus and, yes, spirals from there. Alex screams that Chip isn’t letting her mourn Mitch and Chip tells Alex that he forgives her for being the worst to him and Alex thinks he’s jealous of Mitch and Chip says he’s jealous of Mitch like he’s jealous of Hitler and then they start talking about the other voicemail Chip left for Alex that she ignored and she screams at him that she never wants to suck his dick and then somehow they are both sort of crying and yelling that they hate each other. It’s insanity!! We would all very much like to get out of this car.
It’s a relief for all parties involved when they pull up to Paige’s house, and Alex has to go to the door and deliver this news (oh LORD, the way she is hugging that child, you just know this woman is going to end up having COVID). She tries to be very gentle and loving and There For Paige but Paige, while obviously rocked by Mitch’s death, is like, did you really think I didn’t know you fucked my husband and then smiled at me at parties? And all Alex can offer as a response is, “it only happened twice.” It only happened twice!! Paige’s parting words are about how Mitch and Alex are basically the same person, and that really must resonate with Alex, who you’ll remember, was quite recently on an Italian highway trying to convince herself that she is a good person and not a monster. She gets back in the car, calls Mia, and has her put Bradley on the phone. Alex thinks Bradley is the one who should tell the world Mitch is dead. And also she appreciates her (??). If this season of The Morning Show is about breaking down Alex Levy, she is nearly there, folks. There cannot be much lower she can go.