'Murphy Brown' Faces Off Against Sarah Huckabee Sanders

Murphy Brown - Show Still -Publicity- H 2018
Courtesy of CBS

The second episode of CBS' Murphy Brown revival, much like its first, put politics front and center. The half-hour featured Murphy (Candice Bergen), being banned from the White House press briefing room, then sneaking in and confronting Sarah Huckabee Sanders about immigration policy — and being promptly kicked back out.

The episode started with the Murphy Morning gang — Murphy, Frank Fontana (Joe Regalbuto), Corky Sherwood (Faith Ford) and producer Miles Silverberg (Grant Shaud) — discussing the rigorous hours of a morning show (Murphy wears pajama bottoms and slippers under her desk so she can sleep that much longer). After an encounter with a new, incredibly drunk/hungover assistant for Murphy, the action switched to Phyllis (Tyne Daly) interviewing an enthusiastic college student, who happens to be a Mexican DREAMer, to help her out at Phil's.

Later, Murphy's son Avery (Jake McDorman) joined the gang at the bar and informed them that he would be filling the Wolf Network's seat at the next White House press briefing, and thanks to the crush Sarah Huckabee Sanders developed on him during the campaign, he was certain he'd get called on to ask his question about whether the Trump administration had plans to bring down the cost of prescription drugs.

Murphy told him about her ban, saying, "If I did get back in there, I would ask a question that would blow the roof off that place."

Cut to: the group in a high-tech news van, decking Murphy out in disguise so she could sneak inside. Now wearing a brunette bob wig and a credential with a fake French name (Cosette, prompting an appropriate Jean Valjean joke), Murphy was ready to sneak inside — only to find no one in the guard house and walk right inside the White House and then the press room.

The show used a combination of stock footage of the White House Press Secretary, a stand-in shot from the back and an actor doing an impression of her voice to simulate Sanders' presence. Sanders told Avery she'd leave his question for the end so she could save "the best for last," then Murphy hijacked the briefing to ask a question (and go on a rant) about immigration policies detaining children. Naturally, she was kicked out, and called out the rest of the press corps for not sticking up for her.

At home, Avery and Murphy fought because she was upset he didn't stick up for her. He argued that if everyone who agreed with her had left in solidarity, the only people left in the room would be the ones who "drank the Kool-Aid." Murphy apologized, and Avery turned a recording of her saying "I'm sorry" into his new ringtone — then answered a call from Sanders.

Murphy Brown airs Thursdays at 9:30 p.m. on CBS.