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‘The Morning Show’ 3×06 review: “The Stanford Student” enters the honeymoon phase

By October 17, 2023No Comments4 min read
Reese Witherspoon in Season 3 Episode 6 of The Morning Show

After last week’s traumatic trip back to COVID-19, the sixth episode of The Morning Show Season 3 is a walk in the park. Or, maybe, a walk along a narrow cliff with the path crumbling right before our very eyes. Because despite the many, many ways that hiding things have come back to haunt the UBA employees, it seems that they all could use another healthy dose of the school-yard chant “secrets, secrets are no fun, unless they’re shared with everyone.” 

After several episodes of hinting at a shady past between Stella and Paul, the murky details finally come to light through an interview with the Hyperion One head honcho on ‘Alex: Unfiltered.’ This interview is the prized cherry on the proverbial sundae for UBA, as Paul notoriously does not do interviews, but agrees to come on Alex’s show to help explain some of the details of the almost-finalized merger. Of course, his decision has nothing to do with getting to spend more time with Alex.

While the interview starts relatively tamely with questions of legacy media, tech giants, and the effects of combining the two, things take a sharp turn when Alex pokes Paul about an unnamed ‘Stanford Student.’ But as shown during Alex and Paul’s jaunt to Coney Island, it seems that Alex has finally met her match, as Paul answers her questions and attacks tit for tat. With expert editing that reads like a tennis match, Alex exposes Paul for stealing a lucrative idea from a graduate student while Paul admits that there is a cost for people that are addicted and over-invested to their jobs. Certainly a sentiment that Alex can, and does, relate to, leading to an increasing amount of tension between the two of them. 

So maybe the interview was a chance for Paul to connect with Alex, if the following scene is anything to go by. With flashes of midriffs, dark lighting, and hands curled together, Paul and Alex’s explosive chemistry reaches its peak, though I’m left to wonder if things might have peaked too soon. 

So where does Stella fit into this? Well, as it turns out, Stella was the mysterious ‘Stanford Student’ whose personal code was taken and transformed into a global security oversight system. Finally, Stella and Paul confront each other, with Stella becoming surprisingly meek in his presence and offering to quit UBA. Paul, however, apologizes, before launching into his plans to move Stella into Cory’s role and stage a drastic turnover of leadership in the network. Is our favorite puppet master about to be out-played?! 

Cory won’t have any idea what’s headed his way, though, seeing as he’s preoccupied with his and Bradley’s secret. Like a bad penny, Hal keeps turning up, this time with his girlfriend (wife?) and baby in tow. Unlike his family, though, he isn’t there for a tour of UBA and a trip to the Statue of Liberty. He’s there to tell Bradley that he’s going to turn himself in to the FBI and admit to assaulting the police officer on January 6th. 

Bradley immediately tells him not to, because if Hal reveals himself, then it won’t be long at all for news sites and gossip blogs alike to connect that back to Bradley and, eventually, discover that she deleted the footage of him in the first place. Which, as we remember, would be a train of falling dominos that could take out Cory and UBA. 

Despite Hal and Bradley heaping unhealthy amounts of guilt and shame onto the other—from comparing Hal to their deadbeat Dad to critiquing Bradley for only looking out for herself to using a UBA interview with an indicted insurrectionist as a manipulation tool—the siblings part amicably. Or, as amicably as Hal leaving in the middle of Bradley’s shift with nothing more than a note could be. 

Don’t be alarmed, though, as Hal didn’t have a sudden change of heart and character and leave for the welfare of himself, his sister, and his family. Rather, Laura Petersen, inserting herself once again into places she’s not wanted, comes to talk to Hal and says that his mere presence puts undue stress on Bradley. Like a knight in shining armor, Laura is there waiting for Bradley to run into her open arms, now that she’s free from her wicked brother. Poor Cory, appearing to lose both his girl and his job during this episode of The Morning Show.

Featured image courtesy of Apple TV+

Kellie Innes

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