Monday’s episode of Smash was definitely not one of its best. It was uneventful and had only two musical numbers. It had some sweet moments, though, which I liked. Here’s a recap of the episode:
The episode opens with Sam asking Ivy if she’d heard anything from the Marilyn producers, but just like expected, she hadn’t.
“You don’t think it’s dead, do you?” Sam asks her as we cut to Julia telling her husband that the project is, in fact, dead. As it turns out, Julia hadn’t heard from Eileen either about Marilyn. Adding to Julia’s misery is the fact that her son’s court date has arrived. Trying to cheer her up, Frank serenades his wife to the tune of Bob Marley’s “Don’t Worry Be Happy.” It was weird and awkward, to be honest. His son, though, seems to like it as he smiles while hearing his father sing to his mom.
Meanwhile, Ellis drops by to Eileen’s empty apartment to deliver a CD. Trying to take advantage of every chance he gets, Ellis asks Eileen if there’s anything he can do for her. He’s obviously eying the position of being her personal assistant.
A girl enters the apartment with a face just like Meryl Streep (well it should be, she’s played by her daughter!). It turns out she’s Eileen’s daughter Katie who tells her mother that her father has actually been sending her money (lots and lots of money) trying to buy her love which has made her believe that her father is up to no good. That girl is clever.
The episode starts becoming interesting when we get to see Derek and Karen planning to steal the show. Well, it’s actually Derek who’s trying to steal the show but he needs Karen’s help. He wants to try a new approach for the musical and he has already picked a new songwriter and a new song for her. He tells her that Julia and Tom cannot know anything about their meeting or what they’re up to which only makes Karen uncomfortable.
When Ellis tells Tom (what a snitch!) that Eileen did not say anything about the musical to him, Tom flips out. And then Ellis let it slip (yeah, right) that Eileen was talking with Derek about Karen Cartwright.
As for Julia, who got the two dullest storylines in the episode, she meets Michael (remember Michael Swift? The guy she slept with then fired?) to tell him the news about him being fired, but he tells her he already knew and that he would have quit if they hadn’t fired him. He loves his family and he realizes what they did was stupid. And then they stare at each other for a while, and I just wanna punch them. Can we move on from this storyline, please? Thank you.
Later, Karen tells her boyfriend, who after Ellis is my least favorite character on the show, about her meeting with Derek. And then tells him she’s cooking dinner for him. Disappointing her, though, he tells her he can’t because he has dinner with RJ, the one journalist Karen basically hates and is threatened by.
At dinner, RJ tells Dev that she has found dirt on his opponent for the secretary of press position at the mayor’s office. He has taken photos of himself and texted them to the mayor’s daughter á la Anthony Wiener. (Why do we care about that, by the way?)
Back to Leo’s, Julia’s son, court-case, it appears that he’s being trialed for failure to obeying park signs which Leo says he didn’t do. They do manage to get a dismissal from the court even though Julia loses it on the judge. (Which was awesome, by the way.)
Derek takes Karen to see a friend of his in Brooklyn. His friend? One Republic’s Ryan Tedder who tells Karen that he heard her demo for “Brighter than the Sun” and he loved it. Way to go, Karen. During rehearsals for the new song, “Touch Me,” Ryan asks Karen if she can sing the bridge using E-flat (whatever that means). And Derek starts giving her annoying pointers, but they both shut him up.
Katie, on the other hand, tries to convince her father to give Eileen money. He did give her 3 million dollars. He should be that generous to his wife, too. By the way, Katie is awesome. When she sees Ellis eavesdropping to their moment, she opens the door and goes, “Can I help you?” I LOVED that scene. Someone should stand up to Ellis; he’s a jerk.
We then jump to Tom and his boyfriend, who was also Leo’s attorney. And it seems they’re finally happy together.
Trying to cheer Ivy up, the chorus of the Marilyn workshop and Ivy’s friends, take her out bowling. And they all dance and sing to “Dance to the Music” which was INCREDIBLE. This chorus is so much fun one of the saving graces of the show. The chemistry between them is just fantastic.
Ellis, again being the snitch that he is, waits for Ivy after her ballet class (he tells her he has a class next) to report the latest gossip: Derek is up to something with Karen. And as expected, this pisses Ivy off. I don’t get why Ellis is being that way. What does he want?! He’s such an A-hole. Please kill him off. Please kill him off. Anyway, it seems like it’s only Ellis who’s spreading the rumor because Bobby, one the guys from the chorus of Marilyn, asks Karen what she and Derek are up to.
(And now there’s this scene with Ellis in bed with a woman talking about how much he pities artists, but I’m gonna skip that because I don’t wanna relive that again. I think I’m scarred for life. The whole scene should have deleted, if you ask me. His whole character should be deleted, actually. Yes, yes, I’m ranting on him again. But I just can’t help it.)
Meanwhile, RJ invites a few of her friends over to Dev and Karen’s place so they can help him beat his opponent. When they realize that the girl the guy sent his pictures to is 17, they all cheer and hug. And that’s when Karen walks in on them and it all becomes a tad awkward. Adding insult to injury, Dev tells Karen that he can’t tell her what’s going on. But then he lies and says that they’re erasing the photos of a politician caught with his pants down. And then they kiss and make up.
At rehearsals for their big number, Derek tries to convince Karen to use the sex factor while singing. She’s innocent and it’s beautiful, but she has to be sexy, too. And sexy she tries to be while performing “Touch Me” to Julia, Tom, Eileen, and Grace. Even Ellis and Ivy sneak in to watch the performance.
The song? Kinda awesome but SO not Smash. I don’t think anything like that has ever been performed on Broadway like that, so that’s why, I guess, everyone was incredibly shocked by the performance. The song is very pop, very Madonna-ish, actually. It suits Katharine McPhee quite well, but the dance number and the show are purposefully very provocative. I mean, she’s wearing sheets for a dress. Derek justifies this approach by saying that Marilyn was more than just a fairy tale. She was a drug addict. She was a sex symbol. And that’s something I actually agree on. Marilyn was a dark character, and I think they should deal with her that way. She’s not all about looking beautiful and classy.
By the end of the number, everyone has their jaw-dropped going “WHAT THE HELL?!” But Julia and Tom can feel the betrayal. Eileen, who knew what Derek was doing, alone with Derek and Karen had stabbed Julia and Tom in the back. Katie, infuriated, tells her mother that she has become just like her father. She has become a jerk.
Eileen apologizes to everyone, and that’s when Ellis suggests that they all cool down and think about what’s going on. Who died and made him queen? UGH. But it seems like Eileen was impressed by Ellis’ behavior, so she invites him to join her in her limo.
The one person satisfied after that aftermath? Ivy. She sneaks up on Karen and tells her that she understands why someone would stoop so low. It is a dirty business, after all. They all leave for Derek and Tom. And we finally learn why Tom hates Derek so much.
It turns out Derek had badmouthed Tom in front of the public and the critics calling his art overrated and saying that he was unstable and that he would never be an artist. They have an intense fight and Tom believes that Derek is homophobic. Tom tells Derek he’s this way because his father isn’t so straight.
By the end of the episode, Eileen changes the game for everyone. She doesn’t want Ivy or Karen to be Marilyn. She wants a star to play Marilyn Monroe; so Tom, crying, breaks the bad news to Ivy. And it kills her. That scene actually made me cry. I hate seeing Ivy that weak, that vulnerable.
Katie furnishes Eileen’s apartment and tells her goodbye. Dev learns that his opponent is not going anywhere. Ellis quits working for Tom and starts working for Eileen. And Derek comes over to Ivy’s and apologizes telling her that she’s beautiful and very talented, and of course, she forgives him and they’re back together again. And again, I hate seeing Ivy that vulnerable.
So yeah. The episode was definitely not one of my favorites. What did YOU think of the eighth episode of the season? Do you like the season so far? Discuss!
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