The Morning Show “A Private Person” Spoilers Ahead
The Morning Show’s “A Private Person” is about many things, but at its core, it’s about stolen agency. It’s the showcase of what happens when someone is robbed of their own choice, and it’s something that more often than not happens to women and/or people in marginalized communities.
There was always something about Cory Ellison I couldn’t fully trust—a reputation no less, but I at least hoped that where Bradley Jackson was concerned, he’d do the bare minimum and protect her as he said he would.
In choosing to stand back, in choosing to reveal what he knew, Cory Ellison robbed both Bradley Jackson and Laura Peterson of their agency. It’s one thing to out someone publicly, and it’s another to do it to someone you supposedly care for. The thing with Bradley Jackson is—she’s still got a lot to overcome. She comes from the kind of monstrosity filled upbringing that goes against so much of what she believes in, but it also leaves her powerless in the face of adversity.
When she took on the role as co-anchor in TMS, the choice was also made for her to a degree as well. At the end of the day, agency is something that needs to be established and respected, but what happens in The Morning Show’s “A Private Person” is the polar opposite of that.
Laura Peterson was robbed of this agency once before when she was publicly outed at a time where the news of her sexuality could have actually gotten her fired. And thus, the episode exploring both their relationship and the way the two women navigate through this fallout was a riveting showcase of just what’s missing in Hollywood—the respect for a person’s agency and ultimately, basic human decency. And where everything went to utter shambles in this episode, Reese Witherspoon upped her performance game, which was met brilliantly by the perfect scene partner—Julianna Margulies.
Where we got a moment with them in the best kind of sweet bliss that could’ve led to the next step in their relationship, instead we were faced with the kind of gut-wrenching conversation that showcased both of their chops impeccably.
The cutting back and forth, the unsturdy rocks they both then stood on, it made for some of the best moments in the series but marred with the detail that they were robbed broke me. Laura didn’t deserve to go through that the first time, and she most certainly didn’t deserve it the second time. The Morning Show “A Private Person” fixated on the detail that it was all about Bradley’s privacy that bothered her, but it’s so much more than that, and the episode’s focus on agency is something this show knows about too well.
It focuses intently on female agency because so often they are the ones victims of it. White men especially are rightfully shown throughout the show’s run to be the ones taking advantage of the trust that’s placed in their hands. And it makes for such a riveting episode when the ways in which it’s handled directly leads to a conversation about therapy. Laura Peterson is many things, but her resilience is a direct result of the choices she made to get the help that’s necessary.
The series isn’t shying away from vocalizing this, and it was especially riveting to watch the confidence in which Laura vocalized where her strength comes from. This is still hard. This isn’t something she deserves or wants to go through again, but she understands the value of talking through life’s hurdles because she understands the detail that human beings are, in short, f—ked up.
And for this all to happen during Laura’s return to TV? It’s deeply disturbing. The lengths men are willing to go to steal a woman’s agency whether it’s intentional or not is so harrowing on this show. And to not realize the effects their decisions have are just horrific.
The episode is powerful for just how intrinsically it lays out the foundation of what should never happen. A person should never be outed one, and a person’s agency should be respected two. It broke my heart in more ways than one, but it served as a reminder of just how often we need to continue having these conversations about agency.
What are your thoughts on The Morning Show “A Private Person?”
Gissane (pronounced Geese-enny) or, as people often call her, "Goose," is a Christ fan above all and a romance enthusiast who's taken her Master's degree in English and love for essays into writing lengthy analyses about pop culture.
She is the founder and Editor-in-Chief of Marvelous Geeks Media and the co-host of Lady Geeks' Society Podcast. She drinks too much coffee, wants to live in a forest, and cries a lot because of her favorite characters. She's a member of The Cherry Picks and can also be found writing features for Looper.