“The Morning Show” recap: an Italian stunt of talk, sex and reckless driving
Mitch and Alex fight, then they dance, cause nothing matters
There’s no point in writing a traditional recap of this episode, as that would be just a lot of “they talk” and “they talk again,” so let’s wrap it up this way: it turns out that Alex, who was AWOL from work, was on his way to Italy to see Mitch, as she wants him to deny that they ever had (consensual!) Sex, even though they did. She believes that being linked to him in Maggie’s book through their affair will damage his reputation. When she arrives at her mansion, she finds Mitch in quarantine with Paola, who is scarce so that Mitch and Alex can get by.
The Have It Out is unfolding as you might expect. They fight because he doesn’t want to lie anymore, but she thinks it’s a very awkward time for him to develop principles. She wants him to issue an official statement saying they’ve never slept together, arguing that he owes her at least that much. And her feelings are hurt, because she thinks that being connected to him is going to ruin her life. There are still fights, but then they reconcile, because basically neither of them really cares about the consequences of anything for anyone except themselves. So they kiss, and they dance, and everything is fine, because nothing matters!
But just when things are going better, they see on TV that Maggie’s book alleges Mitch targeted black women for harassment. Between this report and her angry denial, Alex realizes he’s about to be extra-radioactive, so she thinks to herself: lying together, I love you, I think so, goodbye. “When she does. left, he goes to Paola’s place, where they finally have sex, and he has found peace, then he gets in the car to get her some cigarettes, then he leaves the side of a mountain.
It’s hard to believe this is all true, but it is all true.
It’s regrettable narrative choices all the way down
It’s remarkable that there are only 10 episodes in this season, and they devoted an entire episode solely to the relationship between Alex and Mitch, two of the least emotionally interesting characters on the show. If they weren’t played by big stars, anybody thought they were characters whose relationship was interesting. Frankly!
Alex is a person in a position of power and privilege who was friends with someone who did no harm her but hurts a lot other people, and when it came out she felt more concerned with how it was going to reflect on and bother her than anything else. He is a very mundane person to be! Mitch is a person who treated everyone the way he wanted until he suffered consequences, and he has spent all of his time since trying to find a way to reframe his behavior in a way that he is. can live. Also banal!
For them both believing that the highest stakes right now concern repairing their relationship is a result of their common narcissism. For the spectacle adopting this point of view is a regrettable narrative choice.
Structurally, The morning show always wanted to treat this friendship as a delicate love, built over many years and now loaded with feelings of betrayal and sadness. But honestly, as written, these people were always are going to end up unless and until it’s impractical (see: Alex’s recoil from revelations about black women in the book), because neither of them cares what actually is. stake.
Mitch is still mostly worried about the way he seen, not on what he made. He doesn’t lose sleep because of Hannah’s father, Mia, or other people he’s harmed. He loses sleep over whether people will think he’s a bad person and if Alex will hate him. Plus, he still sees himself as a victim, and it takes very little provocation to get him out of him. He and Alex approach the damage to their relationship as a question not of how Alex has to deal with what Mitch has done to other people, which is a very real and complicated question for someone who has been close to him, in favor of treating it as a question of how Alex has to reckon with what Mitch did to her – the inconvenience and damage to reputation it inflicted.
Honestly, what do we take away from the fact that Mitch’s reaction to the allegation that he has targeted black women is to complain about the injustice he is being dealt with? Mitch actually lets out of his mouth these words about black women: “I am attracted for them. I’m old enough to remember when it was considered progressive. “Five minutes ago, Mitch was a warm, cozy sweater man, dancing with his old friend. Difference between harassing people and being attracted to them and (b ) does not understand the deeply racist implications of believing that it is progressive to be attracted to black women.
Get it: it’s okay for Mitch to be inconsistent – to be a nice guy sometimes, but still basically a messed up stalker whose ideas about black women are riddled with unexamined racism; it’s probably more realistic than if everything were undone! But from a narrative standpoint, the series has invested deeply in a fairly routine story of Mitch’s guilt and his path to rebirth: his relationship with Paola, his relationship with Alex, how unfair Instagram is to him. and the hard work he did in trying to be a better person, which we have every reason to believe is genuine. The season has been built in a way that is extremely sympathetic to him and has encouraged the public to invest in the idea that he has grown a lot, before he even left the road.
What do we want to take away from all of this?
If most of the events here were the same, but the style and music and performances and lighting and staging suggested threat instead of heat – this Mitch is a self-pitying man. who will never see beyond the tip of her own nose, that Paola is a traumatized woman inadvertently allowing a man to shirk responsibility for her horror, that Alex is a responsibility dodging jerk who just doesn’t want to not be bothered, and that all of them are toxic together for these reasons – that might make sense. But they wrote and shot it all in a kind of halo of heat, like it’s touching, sweet, moving, an example of how complicated people are and they just gotta love each other anyway, you know ? And it never worked on that basis, not for a second. (Maybe there could have been a suggestion somewhere along the line that just hiding in beautiful surroundings wasn’t enough to resolve what was wrong with Mitch, which he actually had. needed to seek some sort of help other than the unwavering support of a beautiful woman who wanted to sleep with him.
Meanwhile, Alex has come out this season as selfish, mean and disrespectful to women of color in his workplace, and totally solipsistic in his opinion about just about everything. This makes it impossible for his reaction to the reports on the book to sound like anything other than a selfish panic. It would be one thing if the scene suggested that Alex realizes, to her horror, that Mitch still doesn’t really understand what he’s done wrong and that she can’t continue to allow it. But it doesn’t play like that at all. It’s like she’s just going back to her original position: she can’t let people think she’s attached to him if he’s going to be seen as a racist at the same time as a stalker. She doesn’t care that Mitch hasn’t changed enough; she’s just looking for number one.
What do we take away from Mitch’s decision to go to sleep with Paola right after Alex leaves? What do we take away from the fact that she slaps him turns him on? Obviously, slapping is something that turns a lot of people on and it doesn’t have to mean much, but in the context of this story, if you’re going to suggest that Mitch wants to be punished by women as a gateway to intimacy, that opens up quite a bit. barrel of worms, so why is it thrown into a scene as if it has nothing to do with the rest of the story? Is this supposed to be the highlight of this Italian romantic comedy? That being accused of targeting black women is just the boost he needs to fall in love? WHAT IS HAPPENING?
And to top it off, there’s this final scene
And yes, let’s talk about driving off the cliff. The suggestion is clear that Mitch swerves to avoid the other car, but when he sees he’s heading for the cliff, rather than trying to correct, he simply takes his hands off the wheel and lets go. . He thought about all the terrible things people said to him, all the terrible truths he heard about himself, and so he decided to start off the cliff. That’s the suggestion, anyway. And as everything turns white, Mitch – who has children! And probably other parents! – naturally thinks of … dancing with Alex.
Driving up the side of a mountain doesn’t make you a better or a worse person. The suggestion, but not quite the statement, that Mitch is attempting suicide makes it seem like it’s just an extension of the martyrdom they’ve been inflicting on him all season, and it’s positively bizarre. It’s like the cymbal crash in Poor Mitch’s great symphony, and it’s just a wildly ill-conceived story idea.
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