Steve Carell Pushed for This End to His Character in ‘The Morning Show’
Ending a character's arc on a TV series, especially when they're a high profile actor and an integral part of the show is always a big narrative move that gets people talking. While it's expected in a series like The Walking Dead or Game of Thrones where folks are getting killed off, it can sometimes even come as a bigger shock in a series that isn't really known for widespread death and destruction.
So in a program like Apple's The Morning Show, if a character dies, it's a big, big deal — because it ain't like they're fighting off white walkers and zombies. And fans are now asking: "Does Mitch really die?"
Does Mitch die in 'The Morning Show?'
Warning: spoilers for The Morning Show ahead.
If you've been keeping up with the show then you'll know UBA anchor Mitch Kessler (played by Steve Carell) has been dealing with the aftermath of a massive sexual harassment scandal that went public in the series' first episode.
As per Variety, showrunner Kerry Ehrin stated that Mitch's ability to mount a "comeback" via a public apology didn't seem like a possibility in the series.
Maybe it's a case of art imitating life and/or vice versa, but just take a look at Matt Lauer and where his career is at right now: it doesn't seem like the disgraced former TV anchor is going to get back behind a hosting desk anytime soon.
Mitch's character was meant to explore what a person goes through following the fallout of a ruined career, and how he's able to live again as a result.
Ehrin stated that the decision to "kill off" Mitch was a narrative choice because "his story had effectively run out" according to the entertainment outlet.
However how that "killing off" played out was originally much different than what was planned, and that's because Carell wanted a more definitive ending for his character.
"[He] pitched the idea that it was a more active choice, which I thought was really interesting from someone who was really inside the character," Ehrin said of Steve's fate in the show."
In Season 2, Mitch ultimately ends up in an Italian Villa where he meets a filmmaker by the name of Paola who he helps shoot a documentary.
In episode 7 of the second season, Jennifer Aniston's character, Alex (who worked with Mitch and was once his lover) flies to Italy in order to talk to him about his life post career destruction.
Ehrin stated that the exchange between the two performers was one they attempted to engender in the most delicate way possible without interrupting their work.
"We were fortunate to film most of this episode in sequence which allowed Jen and Steve to have a genuine flow of emotional continuity. We shot with three cameras to capture every bit of nuance. They pretty much stayed on script, except for one incredible moment: After Alex reveals that she thought she might be pregnant, but was just late, Steve and Jen just held onto each other. The moment was so intense and powerful, and then Steve decided to break the moment with dancing in a way that felt joyous and dangerous. Carter Burwell, our composer, wrote an incredible piece of music to enhance the feeling that danger is coming," she said.
It turns out that the "dangerous" dance was definitely a precursor for Mitch's death. While driving alone at night, he's blinded by truck headlights, but instead of swerving out of the way to save his own life, he just takes his hands off the wheel and lets himself drive straight off the cliff and die.
So the moral of the story is if you're a person like Mitch who harmed so many, is there any chance for redemption? Maybe, and some fans of The Morning Show certainly believed there was. However, that wasn't in the cards for the character and now his corpse is presumably rotting at the bottom of an Italian cliffside.