“A Private Person” taps into one thing we don’t think about when looking at the media and those who run it: insecurities. This is the base theme of the entire episode, which began its ascension in the previous episode surrounding the election. This particular episode is all about how Bradley Jackson confronts her relationship with Laura Peterson. Having a television show openly speak about identity, whether that’s based on gender or orientation is a tricky subject to navigate. In addition to not knowing whether she wants to disclose her identity, navigating the minefield of how the media perceives her is a different task entirely.
In complete opposite to that plotline, you also have Mitch finally able to sit down and look at his life and look at the poor decisions he has made. He also partially at least confronts his guilt over his inappropriate actions. The other hanging plot thread is where in the world is Alex Levy? The entire episode is spent with Chip trying to locate where she is, thinking she is still in town. This turns out to be a wild goose chase but makes for entertaining television because we all know from previous episodes how much pressure the network is under to keep her happy.
I really like this show because it’s at its strongest when it looks at the dynamics between different people inside the media. Audiences are just used to watching their shows and enjoying the stories told. It’s very nice to get a clear look behind the camera to see the frustrations that can unfold when the entire name of the game is staying at the top of the ratings or being at the top of people’s minds. Reese Witherspoon finally gets to showcase the level of acting she won an Oscar for. Bradley Jackson still defines herself by her broken redneck roots, which her colleagues know nothing about. Audiences are literally watching the character beat themselves up because Bradley doesn’t feel like she belongs in this world of glitz and glamour.
Witherspoon does an excellent job at displaying the level of brokenness her character feels. She is literally a person caught between two different worlds. The funny thing is that she’s not even asked to choose what side she’s on. The apparent difficulty is deciding how she wants to comment on what’s been said about her relationship with Laura Peterson. It’s a complete struggle for Bradley that I can always empathize with. Julianna Margulies is spectacular in her role as Laura Peterson, somebody who is self-assured and has been through the media blitz before when she was initially outed. The relationship between them is cozy but also completely contrasts the other person’s personality. It was honestly good to see Bradley accept herself and realize that she didn’t have to answer anyone.
The rest of the story was carried off with an elegance that made all the sense in the world but left so much hanging. We still don’t know where Alex Levy is. I’m personally trying to decide whether I care to know where she escaped to. Ultimately, what I want is justice for every supporting character in this cast. Most of my energy is anchored at Daniel. He seems to have a lot to say about working at The Morning Show and his own ambitions, and it doesn’t feel like any of those things are ever fully explored.
I would love to see his story told in more depth. I love that the weatherman is yet again the source of controversy by trying to do the right thing. It seems like since he lost his girlfriend, he is becoming a warrior for truth in a way. He doesn’t like to see people being disrespected or talked down to and, as a result of that, is stupid enough to take matters into his own hands. So far, his superhero complex is getting him into trouble, and I can’t wait to see what the blowback is from the latest incident.
The Morning Show is a better show than it was last season, and that’s saying something. Season one was brilliant, but the writers have really taken things up a notch. The only issue I see is we have way too many plot threads running at once. If the writers can resolve some of those, the show will have a clearer destiny. Either way, I will travel with these characters until the end of the season.