Warning: This post contains spoilers from the season 1 finale of The Morning Show.
The Morning Show held nothing back in its season 1 finale. Following Hannah’s death, Chip lost his job and revealed he was the one who leaked the story to the Times in the first place, and Alex Levy decided it was time to speak up. While on the air, she and Bradley outed Fred for silencing Hannah with a promotion and exposed their workplace culture. Now the question is: Where do we go from here?
EW spoke with Morning Show showrunner Kerry Ehrin about the finale, season 2, and more.
ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: Before we get to the finale, I want to talk about episode 8 and the way in which you all shot the Hannah-Mitch scene because it really presented two very different perspectives on what was happening in that moment. What did you all discuss in terms of how you wanted to shoot that?
KERRY EHRIN: We knew we needed to do a lot of coverage because that was definitely something we wanted a lot of different versions of and different takes that felt authentic. We wanted to be able to sculpt it in editing. And [director] Michelle MacLaren captured the painful presence in that scene. It’s very complicated emotionally, and I think she brilliantly captured it with a beautiful nuance.
It was so fascinating to watch, because from her perspective, it’s terrible. From his, it’s this interesting debate of “Is he ignoring the signs or does he just not get it?”
He’s choosing not to get it. I think it’s a couple things. It’s the environment he lives in where he’s never told he does anything wrong, and it’s his own ego. He’s a narcissist and he’s convincing himself that it’s consensual. The whole scene is really heartbreaking to me because it’s the worst of how a person can be where they’re just totally in everything for themselves.
I will say the moment when Chip punched Mitch in the face in the finale I was like, “Finally!”
Yeah, I really enjoyed that scene and I enjoyed just these two guys who, obviously to varying degrees, are somewhat culpable, just beating the s— out of each other because they didn’t know what else to do. I loved that idea. They were just so angry and their world was falling apart. Their world was collapsing and this woman died who was innocent and they just don’t know what to do with it all so it turns into fists.
Speaking of the decision to kill Hannah, would the last 10 minutes of that finale have happened if she’d lived?
Not to this extent and not as immediately. She was in the eye of a hurricane. It’s like everybody was swirling around her. Everybody wanted something from her, everybody was trying to manipulate her so that they got something out of this. She couldn’t find a way out of it. And she had worked so hard to cover that up and not have it be public and she was so ashamed of it. She was ashamed she accepted the promotion, and she was ashamed it happened. She took on all of those things and had no outlet for. It eventually crushed her — whether it was just from self-medication, which she was doing on a regular basis, that went awry or it wasn’t intentional. It was just too big for that young woman.
At the end of the finale, Alex and Bradley essentially blow everything up. Knowing you had a second season, were you at all hesitant to go that far?
No. In the first week that I was working on the show, I knew that’s where I wanted to end it. That was the goal we were working toward all year, we knew we were going to land there. There were different versions of it. There were different versions of Hannah, of how you get there, but that seemed really important. And I think also it’s such a great arc for both of them. It was a great place to finish for both of them. Everything Alex had been through, everything Bradley had tried to accomplish. And there was definitely a sense of tragedy to it. It’s too tragic to be a total victory but I also think that’s realistic in a way. It’s such a dark subject and it’s really hurt so many people and there’s no just clean fix. It’s heartbreaking.
I also think it endeared me to Alex in all of this, like, “Yeah, you should snap.”
Yeah. She has been holding a lot of stuff down for the whole season and part of it was her own culpability. I really loved that part of the story. I really love where it shifted from her being worried about her career to her letting in that she had contributed to it.
Where do we go from here in season 2?
Well, we emerge from the wreckage. We see what the world looks like outside of the war zone. Everyone’s trying to find their footing in a new universe.
What has the experience of putting this show out been like for you? The initial reception from critics wasn’t great, but then it feels like the show has found its audience, and now, you’ve got Golden Globe and SAG nominations.
In the beginning, the reviews definitely hurt. I’m not going to lie. None of us were expecting that because we all loved the show and I think the perception that it was some glossy, empty thing was just not correct. I’m sorry that they saw it that way but to me, I think what audiences are engaging with are the characters. Character is always first and foremost with me and I love them and I feel like they’re very engaging. You want to be with those people and follow them and I think the world is just crazy and wild enough that it’s an interesting terrain to follow these people in. So who knows? We’re feeling good and when you work this hard on something, it’s really gratifying to see an audience response like this. That’s the best thing you could ask for.
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