'The Morning Show': Here's Why Bradley Kept Hal's Secret (Exclusive)

Reese Witherspoon's Bradley Jackson discovered shocking information about her brother on the Apple TV+ series' latest episode.

Spoilers ahead for season 3, episode 5 of The Morning Show, "Love Island."

The Jan. 6 insurrection had grave consequences, both in the real world and that of The Morning Show. On the latest episode of the Apple TV+ series, viewers are taken back in time to the start of the COVID-19 pandemic where social distancing, quarantining and the political divide are all at front of mind.

"It's always challenging, telling real world events and interweaving them within our character-driven show. Everything is done through their POV," executive producer Mimi Leder tells ET. "It was really important for us this season to focus on... the threat to journalists around the world and the threat to journalism. With saying that, the state of the truth is the most important theme that runs through our season."

After Bradley Jackson's (Reese Witherspoon) mom dies from COVID, the realities of their divide come to a head when her girlfriend, Laura Peterson (Julianna Margulies), and Bradley decide to leave their bubble and head to Washington, D.C. to cover the news.

It's there that Bradley finds herself on Jan. 6, 2021, when rioters stormed the Capitol in an attempt to block the certification of then-President-elect Joe Biden's election win. While filming the chaos of that day, Bradley comes across a man attacking a police officer. When the man's mask comes off, he's revealed to be Hal (Joe Tippett), Bradley's brother.

Amid the shock of the discovery, Bradley learns that Hal, who's newly clean and sober, is a dad-to-be. With that in mind, instead of turning Hal in, Bradley helps her brother cover up his presence in D.C. and deletes the footage of him assaulting the cop. She does, however, keep the rest of her Jan. 6 footage, and leverages that sort of inside coverage to nab the evening news anchor role.

"We touched on in season 1 Bradley's very intense story of her life," Leder explains. "[In season 3], we see that she's thriving. She's in the evening news. She's a serious journalist. She's winning awards. And we see that she's carrying a secret. We look at her past in episode five and [ask], why is she this relentless truth teller? What happened to make her keep this secret and hold this lie inside of her?"

That answer, Leder says, "obviously relates back" to Bradley's childhood experience.

"She was in the car with her father, her father was drunk, he hit a kid, killed a kid. Bradley turned her father in," Leder says. "This had repercussions into into her life and it shaped her into this very naive truth teller."

So, when "she finds herself reporting at the Capitol, and she finds her brother assaulting a police officer, she decides to keep that fact a secret."

"Hal is newly sober, he has a family, is she going to ruin his life? Is she going to ruin their lives?" Leder questions. "She sees it as him ruining her life, which is very interesting, because in keeping and holding this secret, she's about to hurt her life. So there we have the lies we tell ourselves, the truths we tell ourselves. That was the arc."

The intense story was based on real-life events, specifically one that writer Charlotte Stoudt discovered about a son who turned his father in to the FBI after seeing him on the news at the insurrection. That man, Guy Reffitt, ended up being sentenced to 87 months in prison.

"It made perfect sense to, well, that's what she did to her father in her early life," Leder says. "We see why Bradley does the thing she does, for that reason. In dealing with the state of the truth in journalism, how far will you go to protect your family? How far will you go to tell the truth?"

"It really posed the moral question: 'What would you do in this situation?' It asks our audience to ask that among them of themselves," she notes. "When you look at the division in our country, and the state of journalism, it was a very important question for us to tackle."

The first five episodes of The Morning Show's third season are now streaming on Apple TV+. Subsequent episodes will be released every Wednesday through Nov. 8.