It’s all-out war in The Morning Show Season 1, Episode 9, “Play the Queen” as the characters drum up their plans to survive the scandal and move forward.
This recap of Apple TV+s The Morning Show Season 1, Episode 9, “Play the Queen” contains significant spoilers. You can read the recap of the previous episode by clicking these words.
This is likely to be one of the best shows of the year. The #MeToo themes are integral and the story is woven with such greed and stakes and lust for power. More people should be watching this.
Episode 9, “Play the Queen”, begins with Mitch going to Hannah’s apartment, which is a strange segway after last week’s episode. Mitch asks Hannah if she remembers leveraging for a promotion after they slept together. He wants proof that Fred swept it under the rug and created a culture that was against women and wonders why he is not forced to examine his own behavior. Mitch says Hannah’s story will be revealed either way, but it is better to control the narrative. When Mitch says goodbye and touches Hannah, she slightly flinches. It’s still uncomfortable to watch these two characters in the same scene.
Bradley Jackson turns up at Alex’s place, and they talk about the divorce and how they’ll handle the interview. Bradley nervously tells Alex about a potential interview with Mitch on the show. Bradley knows Mitch is playing a game to oust Fred but thinks it would be great for all of them and the show. Alex is furious, asking whether Bradley could be loyal to her for once. Alex claims Mitch went to her because she’s easy. Bradley leaves upset and rings her brother. She wonders if she ruined their family’s life and if she could have fixed it. Her brother explains that she did nothing wrong and that their father killed a child while drink driving.
Episode 9 then shows journalist Maggie meet Cory. She wants to know if Cory is planning a corporate takeover. She has information that could incriminate Fred and the entire network. Maggie delves into how Cory isn’t impenetrable. Cory claims he could not care less about losing his job.
Episode 9 then turns into a war; Alex lets Fred know about the potential Bradley and Mitch interview. Alex is throwing Bradley under the bus. Fred claims he never felt comfortable around Mitch, which is strongly manipulative and untrue — “something about him was off”. He also says Chip needs to be put in the limelight too but Alex defends Chip. Fred suggests that Alex and Daniel are the new news anchors and that Bradley will be the field reporter.
Meanwhile, Bradley meets Cory and tells him about the potential Mitch interview — his eyes light up when she mentions evidence about Fred. Both women seem to be playing the men. Cory agrees to the interview.
Moving forward quickly; Yanko and Claire have a private chat. Yanko reckons he did the right thing and they agree to a proper date. Meanwhile, Alex tells Daniel about his opportunity and a colleague tells Chip that she thinks Fred is trying to replace him.
Back to Claire who speaks to Hannah about Yanko over drinks; Hannah reveals that she reported them both to HR after seeing them in Vegas. Hannah said she reported Claire to protect her. It’s clear that Hannah reported Claire and Yanko based on her own terrible experiences with Mitch. Claire is angry and leaves to go on a date with Yanko.
But the date does not go well. Claire is super nervous. When Yanko calms Claire down she reveals that she wants to feel relieved and excited but she’s not ready. Claire is not ready for colleagues to judge their relationship; she does not want to be defined by who she is dating. Claire ends it with Yanko.
As we near the end, The Morning Show Episode 9, “Play the Queen” offers the best scene of the chapter. Alex visits Mitch and tells him that he will not be having that interview with Bradley and that his credibility is gone. Alex demands that Mitch leaves Fred and her show alone. Mitch goes into a rant about how “the world is not ready to hold women accountable for their complicity”. Mitch goes on to accuse Alex of knowing about his behavior and he refuses to stand down on the interview. Alex states that it is not happening on her show and then proceeds to enter a monologue…
Alex states that it was never easy sitting next to Mitch; he was all-powerful, all intimidating. There were times she tried to forget. Alex explains a time when they were in Chile and Mitch accused her of feeding into his segment. Later that day, they went out for drinks and woke up in his bed, and she does not fully remember how she got there. Mitch looks at her in the eyes and says, “you wouldn’t dare”. Alex responds with, “try me”.
Now the question is; was that a real account by Alex, or a story that she will tell the media to stop Mitch?
After that powerful scene, Cory holds a meeting with Bradley and Chip; Chip is unsure about the interview between Bradley and Mitch but Cory says that they have to move fast. Chip asks about Alex, but Bradley and Cory do not seem phased about hurting the co-anchor in the process.
The war continues to simmer in “Play the Queen”; Mitch rings Hannah and asks her to go on the record sooner rather than later. Hannah meets Mitch outside his apartment — she’s clearly shaking every time he asks her to come inside for drinks to flesh out the story. Hannah tries telling Mitch that she did not use him for a promotion; that she saw him as a mentor and looked up to him and that she tried to leave. “I admired you as a journalist and as a boss”. Hannah tells Mitch that she froze in his hotel room.
Mitch responds nastily saying she’s a grown smart woman and that she should stop acting like a victim. He accuses Hannah of being naive to think of any other reason to go to his hotel room and that she has a mind of her own. He continues to shout at her and then Hannah agrees to corroborate with his story as long as she never sees him again. Mitch agrees.
This scene fully confirmed to me that Mitch is completely in denial of his actions. Earlier in the season, he refused to compare himself to a predator, but as the story has progressed, he clearly is a predator; a fact Mitch will not admit.
The Morning Show Season 1, Episode 9, “Play the Queen” ends another brilliant chapter with Chip calling Alex. He asks her if they are both good and she says yes. Alex then asks Chip the same question. The silence between them is telling. The loyalty between friends is now broken as they do not tell each other of their plans.