Just like Alex in the last shot of The Morning Show Season 3, I can now finally exhale after a whirlwind of a season. After weeks of mounting tensions, shifting alliances, and lurking secrets, “The Overview Effect” was like the final minutes of a championship game between rivals. The buzzer finally rings, the pressure from the stadium is released like air from a balloon, and a sense of calm rests down on the weary shoulders of players and audiences alike. However, with this episode’s conclusion, I’m not quite sure if my team, er, I mean, UBA, won or lost.
Our star player all season has been Cory, pushing through rumors, secrets, and fierce competition all along. Despite Cory’s attempts to continue to stay one step ahead of his foe, Paul Marks, and emerge from the UBA and Hyperion merge still top dog, he’s getting pretty worn out, particularly since the last episode when Paul leaked a fake news story aimed to destroy Cory’s reputation. After teaming up with unlikely allies to force a new deal through the board meeting, Paul continues to outpace him, effectively pushing Cory out of the game.
And while Cory’s downfall came pretty solely at the hands of Paul, he admits that a lot of it is due to his own mistakes. He apologizes to Bradley for what he’s done to hurt her and as the two stare each other down, Bradley says that she misses him. It’s in this unspoken, yet mutual, understanding that what they feel for each other is real but can never come to a happy fruition that the unflappable Cory finally breaks. Honestly, it’s one of the more moving moments when Cory walks down a sidewalk filled with New Yorkers and confronts the reality that he is no longer a man on top, but rather, just a man.
When Cory fails to deliver in the final moments, Alex Levy comes through with a buzzer beater of the century. Her relationship with Paul has been so electric and fulfilling for Alex, that it comes as a disappointment, though not necessarily a shock, when she finally sees their dalliance as a dance with the devil. Ever the actress, she keeps up her facade of a happy, supportive partner of Paul, Hyperion, and the merger until literally the final minutes before the board vote, when she presents a new deal with rival network NBN that will change the face of UBA forever, but hopefully in a more positive way.
The worst part of Alex and Paul’s finish is the realization that, similar to Cory and Bradley, what they felt for each other was real. Paul is blindsided by Alex’s new deal, but after she talks to him about why she had to do what she did — citing concerns not just for the future of network media, but also for his seeming ease with silencing female journalists — Paul pulls out of the deal without a fight. As he comes to Alex’s apartment to pick up his stuff, we’re reminded just how fast their relationship moved, but also how meaningful it was to both of their vulnerable and scarred hearts. They reminisce on what could have been, but will now never be, leaving behind no regrets.
This mantra of ‘no regrets’ also extends to Bradley, who is close to a personal breakdown on the heels of her professional breakdown the week prior. Hiding in her apartment away from tabloids, Paul, and the FBI, Bradley is reduced to a paranoid mess, convinced that she is being tracked and hunted at every turn. While, unfortunately, this sentiment turns out to be true — and is proven by another MVP moment from Alex — Bradley recognizes what she must do to make things right and at least feel like her whole self again. In a chillingly powerful final scene, Bradley and Hal walk arm in arm into the FBI, with Alex supporting her from afar.
So where does that leave the rest of the UBA gang? Even more importantly, what happens next? After Chip’s viral breakout moment lambasting Paul and the risks of losing public media to private entities, I’m actually hoping that he has a more prominent role in the re-structuring of UBA and NBN. There are whispers of Chris leaving UBA, which is disappointing, but might also allow for more character growth from Yanko and leave room for a new character. Stella and Mia continue to be powerhouses, alluding to strong futures fighting for the protection of legacy media and the rights of minority and underprivileged workers.
And while I’m a bit unclear on the exact details of this new merger, considering it was crafted by Alex, Stella, and Laura (an unlikely, yet dominant trio), I’m pretty sure things will turn out alright. And if it doesn’t, at least it appears that Alex and Bradley have finally realized that they will always have each other. While there haven’t been too many details released about plot, cast, or projected release date of the next season — in part due to the SAG-AFTRA strike which triumphantly ended in the early minutes of November 9 — I can’t wait to see where this show goes next.
Featured images courtesy of Apple TV+