The Morning Show Episodes 1-3 recap: Introducing Mitch Kessler, Alex Levy, and Bradley Jackson

reese witherspoon as bradley jackson on the morning show
Reese Witherspoon as Bradley Jackson on The Morning Show. Pic credit: AppleTV+/YouTube

The Morning Show made its official debut with the first three episodes available on Apple TV Plus on Friday, November 1. In those installments, viewers were introduced to the characters that will be featured throughout the first season of the new series.

Here’s a recap of what happened in Episodes 1, 2, and 3 of The Morning Show.

TV network, Mitch Kessler in damage control

From the start of the first episode, the major theme is the fall of Mitch Kessler (played by Steve Carell) and how the network that terminated him is beginning their recovery in the wake of the scandal. Kessler is a longtime co-host for The Morning Show, a daily news program, and he has been fired for sexual misconduct allegations. He’s also going into damage control over his reputation and plans to fight the allegations after smashing apart his television with a fire stoker.

Meanwhile, his co-host of 15 years, Alex Levy (Jennifer Aniston), first learns of the news as she arrives at the station for her daily co-hosting role. She’ll have to deliver the somber news to the viewers that morning and then deal with it herself, eventually breaking down into tears when she has a moment of space by herself. Alex has the emotional support of her husband and daughter, as well as various individuals who work with her on the daily morning program.

Viewers also see that network executives are trying to figure out the next direction for The Morning Show. The sexual misconduct scandal will bring in viewers and gives Levy some time to shine. However, the execs feel they may need to change her out. Levy realizes this and begins to form a strategy to keep her coveted job.

Bradley Jackson’s viral moment brings opportunity

Bradley Jackson (Reese Witherspoon) is a disgruntled conservative news field reporter who has a brother in drug and alcohol rehab and a mother who enables him. She gets caught up in a heated moment during a coal mine protest following an argument with a co-worker who tells her she is “awful.”

After a protester accidentally knocks down Bradley’s cameraman at the protest, she goes off on the guy, confronting him over the major issues at hand. Her emotional rant is caught on video by mobile phone and goes viral. It also gets her in trouble with her station and she angrily quits because she no longer wants to be “their puppet.”

That ultimately gets people at The Morning Show interested in Bradley. She’s brought on the morning program as a guest, with Alex Levy interviewing her. While Levy tries to put Jackson on the hot seat over what went down, she handles it well, explaining her stance on journalism and America. That gets network executive Cory Ellison (Billy Crudup) interested in her as an anchor.

Ellison sets up a meeting over drinks and discusses Jackson’s future. Bradley impresses him with her unique story and style. It’s enough for him to arrange a meeting between Jackson and The Morning Show’s executive producer Charlie “Chip” Black (Mark Duplass).

However, that meeting ends up with Chip dismissing Jackson and her ideas as he feels they won’t work and says she’s not calling the shots over what they produce. He eventually tells her to leave. She storms out after telling him off, saying that he’s what’s wrong with the news.

However, Chip doesn’t really call the shots and Cory Ellison invites Jackson to attend a special awards dinner where Alex will accept a major award. He seats her at the same table as Alex in an effort to mess with her and put her on edge about her job.

Meanwhile, Alex attempts to demand that she has the ultimate say over her next co-host. Ellison doesn’t budge on that, but during her acceptance speech, Levy officially announces Bradley Jackson as the new co-host, shocking everyone, including Bradley herself.

The next moves for Mitch, The Morning Show

Mitch plans to fight the allegations against him as he tries to salvage his life. His wife has informed him that she’s taking the kids to the Hamptons and divorcing him. His attorneys and team are telling him he has no work and his funds will keep dwindling unless he makes some sacrifices.

Mitch comes up with an idea for a documentary to focus on the different accused men within the “Me Too” movement and asks his director friend, played by Martin Short, also accused of sexual misconduct, for assistance.

Meanwhile, the new Morning Show co-host Bradley Jackson questions if she really wants the job as Alex convinces her to take it. The network attempts to start grooming Bradley’s image for their viewers, to her dismay. Alex gains power over the decisionmaking when she meets with the network execs and tells them things will be done her way going forward.

After some discussion, Bradley tells Alex she needs her guidance if she’s going to make this work. Alex, still dealing with a whirlwind of emotions, decides she likes Bradley and will help her. The third episode closes with Alex and Bradley about to walk toward The Morning Show desk for their first show together as hosts ahead of an interview with one of Mitch Kessler’s accusers.

Viewers can watch new episodes of The Morning Show on Apple TV Plus every Friday.

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