'The Morning Show' Episode 4 sees Cory Ellison manipulate Bradley against Alex, raising suspicion about his motives
Cory pushes the board to accept Bradley Jackson as co-host alongside Alex Levy, hoping for explosive episodes. Bradley did an interview with one of the women, Ashley Brown, who accused Mitch of sexual misconduct. Cory's comments cause Bradley to think Alex knew about Mitch's behavior at the time
This article contains spoilers for 'The Morning Show' Episode 4
'The Morning Show' on Apple TV+ centers on a news network that recently fired its top host Mitch Kessler (Steve Carrell) who was accused of sexual misconduct. The consequences of this, faced by women at the news network, including Mitch's co-host Alex Levy (Jennifer Aniston), takes center stage.
The three-episode premiere of the show saw the network go through a power struggle as Alex refused to extend her contract if she doesn't get to have a say in who her co-host is. Cory Ellison, the newest of the directors of UBA, the network Alex works for doesn't agree.
Amid this struggle, Alex meets Bradley Jackson (Reese Witherspoon). A local reporter from West Virginia, whose claim to fame is a video of her taking on an unruly protester. Cory watches the interview Alex does of Bradley, which fills the air with tension considering Alex and Bradley are two very different people.
He enjoys this and pushes for Bradley to be employed at UBA. He wants her on 'The Morning Show' as a correspondent, but Chip Black (Mark Duplass) doesn't agree. Chip calls Bradley a trainwreck. He is right about one thing, and that is Bradley is someone who is too impulsive to be trusted with a job.
Interestingly, this is exactly what Cory seems to love about Bradley. He wants an environment as explosive as the interview Alex did of Bradley. Initially, it seemed like he was intrigued by Bradley's outlook about life. In episode 4, we saw Cory is beyond excited about Bradley constantly locking horns with Alex, Chip and even the network.
On the surface, it looks like Bradley is being manipulated by her producer Mia Jordan (Karen Pittman) to push an agenda forward. However, look a little deeper and we see Bradley is more influenced by Cory than anyone at UBA.
At this point, she also considers Cory an ally since it was he who brought her on-board even though Alex provided her the opportunity of becoming a co-host. Alex and Bradley sit down for their first broadcast and Cory, who watches it from the comfort of his gym, finds it too sober and boring to be of any worth.
Then, he watches Bradley's life being tailored to suit the taste of the audience and he worries things are not going according to his plan. That's when Bradley, unable to stand how false she is made to sound, bursts out on live television about her life not being as perfect as what is portrayed.
She shares her miseries with the audiences and in the heat of the moment, also confesses she had an abortion when she was 15-years-old. To do so on a news network that is supposed to uphold certain policies including being objective, is a grave error since this confession politicizes the network and the show.
In the coming week, the show and the network become the center of debate and discussion about pro-choice vs. pro-life and abortion laws. There are young women who support Bradley, and there are many who are against her and in all of this, people have forgotten Mitch.
So when the head of the channel holds a meeting to discuss firing Bradley, Cory supports her with a vengeance. It really is strange to see the network's director support someone who could end up being detrimental to them. He does it anyway and cites the resulting excitement from her broadcasts as the main reason.
That cannot be it though. Take the interview Bradley did with one of the women, Ashley Brown (Ahna O'Reilly), who accused Mitch of sexual misconduct. The interview was vetted and rehearsed enough times to make sure the network is in no way affected by the interview.
Bradley decided to go off script because she found the original interview "too safe". She does talk to Mia about it, who convinces her doing the interview by the script is already helping a lot of women.
It is Cory's comments that push her into thinking Ashley's colleagues at the time, including Alex, might have known what Mitch was up to. Cory visits Bradley in her dressing room, which was previously used by Mitch. He asks her if she ever found it weird or thought about the things that would have gone on behind the closed doors.
He also wonders out loud the number of people who would have known about Mitch's behavior. This is what actually pushes Bradley further to go off-script.
When everyone calls for Bradley to pull back and even try to interrupt her line of questioning during the interview, Cory is the only one who supports her decision. This is strange, especially when her questions are directly attacking the network's reputation. This is the reason why we feel there is more to Cory than meets the eye.
The next episode of 'The Morning Show' will stream on Apple TV+ on Friday.