Admittedly, as much as I have enjoyed this season of The Morning Show, each episode makes you feel the 50-60 minute run times. However, the ninth episode, “Update Your Priors,” completely flew by and had me on the edge of my seat. I like to think of UBA as like a Jenga tower; towering, imposing, and lasting through two seasons and eight episodes of pushes, pulls, and jabs. But in this penultimate episode, the stakes get impossibly higher, with all of the cast members facing off against each other in a race to the finish.
The Jenga metaphor must also be on Paul Marks’ mind as he goes full steam ahead on toppling the tower and dismantling the entire network, selling it for every last penny. Those pennies — billions and billions of pennies — of course will fund his Hyperion space shuttles. Beyond the larger ethical issue of big tech owning news and media, the acute conflict of The Morning Show becomes an unlikely duel: Paul versus Bradley digging to find dirt on one another.
As Bradley inches closer to discovering why exactly Paul and his Hyperion company are hemorrhaging money(and preventing former employees from speaking about their time at the company), Paul somehow uncovers the secret that Bradley’s been sitting on all season long. Dangling her dirty deed as the ultimate blackmail, Paul pushes Bradley to make a shocking decision that threatens to rock UBA from the inside out.
Bradley finds herself not just up against Paul, but also Laura, who previously discovered incriminating evidence and put together the pieces of Bradley, Hal, and Cory’s cover-up. While Laura took the high road in not turning Bradley in — though her niceties might cost her her reputation if Paul starts talking — she demands that Bradley get out of her life once and for all. While I’m still rooting for Bradley, she’s certainly backed herself into a tight corner and I’m nervous to see how or where she’ll find a way out.
Personally, I’m hoping that her plan somehow involves Alex, though this episode’s rift might have cut too deep to mend. These two have constantly had an on-off relationship, but usually they’ve found ways to support each other when it really comes down to it. But when Bradley questions whether or not Alex really knows her new boyfriend, she morphs into exactly the type of person that Alex hates: someone who judges without knowing or understanding the entire situation. Alternatively, Bradley also begins to view Alex the same way, assuming that she’s blindly throwing her career, dignity, and morals away for love. I think both of these woman could use a long, hard look in the mirror and realize that they are more similar than different and could benefit greatly from siding with one another.
Despite how the potential exposure of Bradley’s secret puts Cory at risk, as well, he’s too busy dealing with some battles of his own. Surprisingly, Paul ranks low on the list of opponents. First, Cory has to deal with Cybil, who waltzes up to his office as if she owns the place. Oh, that’s right, she did own the place for decades, and has risen from forced retirement and public humiliation to defend her family and legacy media’s honor. Cory has had no problem pushing Cybil out of his way before, but her revelation of what Paul plans to do with UBA is the final push that officially sends Cory over the edge.
This sends Cory toe-to-toe with one of his most formidable foes: Alex. Honestly, this is one of the match-ups that I’ve been looking forward to all season. These two see each other so fully and plainly, recognizing in each other the same tendency to put up walls to protect their own vulnerability. The reason why these two can call each other out on so much is because they’ve been through it themselves.
The last episode of The Morning Show Season 3 is sure to be a tense, thrilling conclusion to so many stand-offs, secrets, and threats. Luckily, everyone’s sarcasm and wits still seem intact, promising at least a bit of humor and entertainment, though that bombshell cliffhanger might have shut Cory up once and for all. We’re poised for the ultimate clash of the industry titans as Alex, Cory, Bradley, Stella, Laura, Paul, and even Cybil head towards an explosive finale. Truly, may the best (wo)man win; the future of UBA depends on it.
Featured images courtesy of Apple TV+