“Ghosts,” episode five of The Morning Show, showcases Jennifer Aniston at her best and her character, Alex Levy, at her worst. Alex Levy literally spends the entire episode worrying about the publishing of a book by celebrated journalist Maggie Brenner. Alex wants to moderate the presidential debate and is scared the book will damage her credibility with viewers. She is also nursing the worst back pain I’ve ever seen on screen. Alex literally backstabs everybody to feed her own neurosis about whether or not she’s going to be implicated in the mess of sexual assault allegations and mistreatment of women in the workplace highlighted in Brenner’s book. That is her sole focus for the entire episode.
Upon watching this episode, I was initially irritated beyond belief because people were letting her get away with disrespecting them left and right. The main example of mistreatment that I can think of is Chip. She is the reason he went back to that organization despite hating it. There was no reason for him to go back there, and he did it for her. He literally spends the entire episode stroking her ego because she is afraid of bad press after returning to The Morning Show. Aniston is insane in this episode, and as much as I wasn’t initially here for that kind of behavior, I understand where the chaos comes from. She knows these people, and she knows that her back is against the wall even when she’s supposedly supposed to be comfortable, so why wouldn’t you continually fight back to avoid yourself being attacked. It makes perfect sense, even if it doesn’t look good.
Bradley has her own chaos to deal with in this episode. Her relationship with Laura continues to progress, but she still doesn’t want to define who she is. Honestly, who could blame her after dealing with so much trauma growing up? She wants to do life on her own terms, and I respect that. The fact that she is leaning on Corey all the time in terms of advice is ridiculous. It appears as though she has an interest in him that is more than friendship when that doesn’t seem to be the case. Witherspoon continues to instill her character with a curious mind. She always has to be one step ahead of everyone else because of the position she was placed in at the beginning of the first season. I honestly cannot blame her for being suspicious of anyone she is involved with, whether professionally or personally.
Mitch is continuously an open wound. He is doing everything he can to make peace with the damage he caused. I love that Steve Carell plays this role with open acceptance of this person’s failures. Traditionally on TV, you would not see that. The person would stick to their story and the chaos they believe those around their circle inflicted or created. It’s not just that Mitch is open to change. He is looking introspectively at how he failed the people around him and questioning how it was allowed to continue for so long. This may be the ultimate example of a show being confident in its own journey. I would love to see that strength of character from other series.
Ultimately this episode was about the things we can’t run away from and how as much as we fight it, we have to remember that we define where things go next in any part of our lives. The sooner every character realizes that and makes their move, the better. The clock is ticking, and Covid-19 is coming. Let’s hope every major player makes their decisions soon.