Murphy Brown came face-to-face with her own abuser in a #MeToo-inspired episode of the rebooted comedy.
The episode, appropriately titled "#MurphyToo" began with the Murphy in the Morning team getting their corporate-mandated sexual harassment seminar, which Murphy (Candice Bergen) and the team were dreading.
After the long seminar, Murphy complains as the team arrives at Phil's about what a waste of time the meeting was, as Corky (Faith Ford) began to share her multiple encounters with harassment on her every day life.
"I don't know any woman who hasn't had an experience," Corky says. "Right, Murphy?"
"I mean, what guy would be stupid enough to try anything with me?" Murphy says, though her face tells another story.
That night, Avery (Jake McDorman) notices his mother is lost in thought and, despite her hesitation to discuss the matter with her son, opens up her own #MeToo moment.
She revealed to Avery that as a 19-year-old college student, she recalled a time when her professor — Professor Talbot — singled her out in class and made her feel special, encouraging her to pursue her ambitions.
That year, Murphy won her first award ever — the Collegiate Reporter of the Year award — telling her son that after a ceremony for the award, the professor invited her back to his house for an after party, but no one else would be attending, and the older man made a move on young Murphy.
When Avery asked if she told anyone what had happened, Murphy admitted she "put [the incident] in a drawer in my mind," and the memories came back up after the seminar.
Following her conversation with her son, where he also made sure to tell her the incident was not her fault, Murphy went to Phyllis (Tyne Daly) for advice.
She told Murphy that the best way to move on from an incident like that would be to confront her abuser, since he is still alive.
Murphy takes the advice and visits Professor Talbot (Harris Yulin), and finds that he keeps her award in a special commemorative box outside of his study.
"I guess you're wondering why I'm here... I wanted to talk about the night I won that award. You remember that night?" Murphy asks. "Do you remember inviting me here for a celebration party afterward? Except there was no party... you kept filling my glass of champagne. Your hand kept finding its way to my thigh. You kissed me, I tried to pull away. You pinned me down right there on that couch. I pushed you off and got the hell out of here."
Talbot tries to turn the tables on Murphy, claiming she is just bringing memories of the past up because of the #MeToo movement and saying that she gave him signals that she was interested in him.
"I was sending out nothing," Murphy responded. "I ran out of this house shaking, I was so upset I forgot my award and I love awards."
She then demands an apology from the professor, but he snaps back saying, "An apology? I would've thought you came here to thank me. For opening your world... everything you've accomplished Murphy, was because of me."
"I accomplished everything in spite of you, you weak miserable excuse for a man," Murphy says. "I'm leaving now, only this time I'm not running. I came here to get closure and I just figured out how I'm going to get it."
She then grabs the professor's gavel and left the room, breaking the box that held her award and taking it with her.
The next day, as Corky continued to share her many instances of sexual harassment with Miles (Grant Shaud), Murphy arrived at Phil's and tells Phyllis that she finally got "the piece of myself" that she needed to get back after her incident, represented by the award she now had back in her hands.
Murphy Brown airs Thursdays at 9:30 p.m. ET on CBS.1comments