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The Morning Show “Testimony” Review: Accountability in the Public Eye

The Morning Show “Testimony” Spoilers Ahead

Reese Witherspoon and Jennifer Aniston in The Morning Show "Testimony"
©Apple TV+

What is accountability in the public eye, and why does it matter? Is there any part of Hollywood that somehow isn’t uglier than we imagine? The Morning Show‘s “Testimony” digs into this idea so subtly, it makes for one of the series’ most brilliant episodes to date. And of course, there’s the bombshell, unsurprising ending we’re left to grapple with, but it’s the middle that’s a masterclass.

The strongest aspect in The Morning Show is the detail that these characters are all deeply flawed—even the best of them, the seemingly most innocent. And “Testimony” paints a riveting picture of where and how and why that matters. Alex Levy and Mitch Kessler’s relationship was fortified through loyalty, but the words written in Maggie Brener’s book demonize her instead of choosing to understand her.

Is Alex Levy innocent? Absolutely not—she is chock full of faults, but Mitch Kessler’s crosses were never hers to carry. In The Morning Show’s “Testimony” Bradley states, people change and people grow. And that’s a truth we tend to forget more often than not. But how much of that change actually equates to accountability? Mitch Kessler maybe could have, but to quote Shana Lieberman, It is not for any of us to forgive on Hannah’s behalf. But Alex Levy is undeniably trying, however painfully unintelligent some of the choices in this episode are.

I want to give her the benefit of the doubt considering there was very little we knew about Covid 19 in the early days, but still. I can understand why she wanted to speak at Mitch’s memorial, but I also cannot fault people for being upset. Especially after how hard Bradley defended her. But is that worth cancellation? Does accountability equate to perfection? These are all questions worth asking and The Morning Show’s “Testimony” puts it front and center for us to do.

Complete with astounding performances left and right, the episode doesn’t tone it down for even a millisecond. Where Reese Witherspoon’s heartbreaking terrors broke me in last week’s “Confirmations,” it was astounding to watch her armor Bradley as meticulously as she does during the debate.

The Morning Show “Testimony”—Finally

Julianna Margulies in The Morning Show "Testimony" now streaming on Apple TV+.
©Apple TV+

Itching to see the moment where Julianna Margulies and Jennifer Aniston would bring their characters full circle since the third episode didn’t disappoint. Instead, it made for the kind of scene where it was easy to wonder how much of it was true to the very essence of Hollywood dynamics. How many women have been pit against each other like this? How many women said something, however unknowingly, behind another’s back only for it to end as badly?

The number is likely countless. But it was genuinely surprising to see Alex boldly ask what she had done. And the way Margulies carried Laura during her response floored me because it made for the kind of achingly brilliant scene worthy of dissection. But the truth is, I don’t have the right words.

I don’t have the right words because they spoke the right words. The fact that it was left open for interpretation is a brilliant choice because it strengthens the thematic importance of accountability. Sometimes, all a person could do is bare it all and Alex Levy does that. She tries. I can’t blame Laura for her hesitations because it’s hard to trust in a circle this corrupt, and she took the fallout in a way no human deserves—through the loss of her agency.

Maybe one day, in the distant future, the women can come to better terms. I’d like that, and I’m sure Bradley Jackson would too. (I still have the stupid hand washing song stuck in my head because watching the two of them host together felt right.) But for now, accountability equates to doing the right thing even when it doesn’t go the way you want it to.

Alex Levy will try and fail multiple times before she gets it right, but The Morning Show “Testimony” makes it clear that the wrongdoings of a man are not the fault of a woman. No matter how deeply she cares for him or how many times she slept with him, Alex Levy isn’t responsible for the people Mitch Kessler hurt. She is responsible for partaking in a marital affair, but that is not what the book focuses on.

Hollywood has pit women against each other for far too long and if nothing else, what this episode tells me is that at the very least, these women are trying to do right by each other. This doesn’t guarantee that there won’t be darkness or pettiness in the future, but it does exemplify that accountability comes from transparency. We are our actions. This is a scene that requires its actors to deliver with emotions beyond the spoken words, and boy do they.

Aniston and Margulies are sensational—a masterclass in every way. The way both women held their own through such an intrinsically crafted scene was nothing short of genius. I’ve watched it over and over again, and still, it’s something else. Something I’m very much at a loss of words for.

What are your thoughts on The Morning Show’s “Testimony?” Let us know in the comments below.

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