After That Bonkers Season 3 Finale, Where Does The Morning Show Go From Here?

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After That Bonkers Season 3 Finale, Where Does The Morning Show Go From Here?

In the wake of another season of The Morning Show come and gone, it’s time to start looking towards the future of TV’s most star-studded soap opera. Months ahead of the premiere of Season 3, Apple TV+ announced that the series was renewed for a fourth season, so it’s only a matter of time (and hopefully a very bountiful, new SAG-AFTRA contract later) until we are once again following the exploits of Alex Levy (Jennifer Anniston) and Bradley Jackson (Reese Witherspoon) as they navigate the fast-paced world of morning television. Except, after that jam-packed Season 3 finale, it seems that the series will be going in a much different direction come Season 4. 

In the high-stakes finale, which, at one point, felt even less like a prestige drama and more like a psychological thriller, it was revealed that Paul Marks (Jon Hamm’s charming tech billionaire) was the one behind the UBA hack, which was ultimately a way to cover up the fact that he was the one responsible for the feed cutting out during the Hyperion rocket launch in an effort to mask a malfunction on his rocket. In the meantime, he’s been using his access to UBA’s network and devices to blackmail Bradley and bug Alex’s phone, among other things. When Alex wisens up to Paul’s intentions and back-stabbing, she visits Laura Peterson (Julianna Margulies), now estranged from Bradley and nursing a broken heart, whom she convinces to join her grand plan. Alex’s Hail Mary idea to save UBA from becoming a tax write-off for Paul’s tech company is simple: two legacy media companies, UBA and NBN (the home of Laura’s TMS competitor Your Day America), will merge, creating a single media company that would provide both networks a chance to start over. Paul ultimately pulls out of the deal, and barring any interference from the FTC (regarding concerns of anti-trust), the newly minted UBA-NBN will be The Morning Show’s new world order going into Season 4. But in another shocking twist in the episode’s final moments, Bradley and Hal (Joe Tippett) stand with Alex outside of the FBI field office in New York before they both walk in, ready and willing to face the consequences of their actions in regards to the January 6th insurrection. 

Despite a number of revelations and reveals happening within this finale, Episode 10 titled “The Overview Effect,” there are two bombshells that will fundamentally change The Morning Show as we know it: the potential UBA-NBN merger, and Bradley turning herself in to the FBI.

While the UBA-NBN merger has yet to be confirmed in the canon of the series, it opens up numerous possibilities for the future, including new dynamics and upgraded arcs for countless characters. For instance, with Laura so closely tied to the creation of the deal, Alex and Laura could move into more high-powered positions at the newly minted UBA-NBN, forcing these former rivals to finally work together once again. In addition, Laura stepping in as a potential leader at the merged company would allow for her storyline to expand beyond just how she connects to Bradley, opening up the floor for Margulies to truly shine. 

However, despite the pros of a potential mega-network, there are quite a few cons as well. As mentioned by Stella (Greta Lee) and Mia (Karen Pittman) in the finale, this merger will likely result in countless layoffs, leaving our favorite UBA mainstays potentially on the chopping block. And while it does mirror our current media landscape, where buyouts result in layoffs for duplicate positions and one company will ultimately swallow the other, it will be difficult for The Morning Show to adequately portray that heartache and struggle without some beloved characters getting caught in the crossfire. But even with the potential challenges looming in the distance, The Morning Show thrives when it abandons its grander political ambitions to focus in on media itself and the way our landscape is rapidly evolving and changing, and this potential merger is setting the stage for this series’ most poignant season yet. 

The other major bombshell from this finale was, of course, Bradley turning herself in for destroying evidence from January 6th. Both the crimes of lying to the FBI and destroying evidence are serious federal offenses, so it’s difficult to imagine that Bradley won’t be serving some jail time. In true Morning Show fashion, the series will probably time-skip into the next season, likely to the end of Bradley’s federal prison sentence (if she even gets one). But it’s clear that, no matter the outcome of Bradley’s federal crimes, it’s likely she will never be back on the air again—at least, not in the capacity we have seen from her throughout the series so far. 

Unlike Mitch’s (Steve Carell) death in Season 2, Bradley turning herself in destabilizes the entire premise of the series. What is The Morning Show without Bradley and Alex attempting to make change in our turbulent media industry? What is The Morning Show if Bradley spends next season in federal prison? But also unlike Mitch, Bradley has a clear path towards redemption. Though The Morning Show toyed with the idea of “cancel culture” in Season 2, through both Mitch’s short-sighted redemption attempt and Alex’s finale outburst that eventually morphed into Alex Unfiltered, any attempt Bradley makes to come back into the spotlight during Season 4 will allow the series to dive head-first into consequences and reconciliation.

While The Morning Show‘s attempts at confronting consequences within its world have been eye roll-inducing more often than not, Bradley’s journey back into America’s good graces will allow for a much more sound examination of what it means to truly fall from grace and make amends for any wrongdoings. Instead of the despicable actions of TMS’ disgraced leading man, the series spent all of Season 3 showcasing exactly why Bradley did what she did, digging even deeper into her familial trauma to explain her choices. Despite the severity of her actions, the finale firmly established that she still has the capacity to do so much good in the future, even still. 

No matter what happens in the upcoming fourth season of The Morning Show, it is sure to be another entertaining watch. Season 3 allowed the series to fully embrace the soapy drama and the tongue-in-cheek camp alongside its signature sincerity, and if this show can keep that self-aware energy, Season 4 will be just as good, if not better. While the futures of UBA, NBN, Bradley, and Alex all hang in the balance, there is so much to look forward to when The Morning Show returns.

The Morning Show Season 3 is now streaming in full on Apple TV+. 

Anna Govert is the TV Editor of Paste Magazine. For any and all thoughts about TV, film, and her unshakable love of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, you can follow her @annagovert.

For all the latest TV news, reviews, lists and features, follow @Paste_TV.

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