I think Tom Levitt speaks for us all when he says, "I HATE HER," -- "her" obviously being Rebecca Duvall, the death of all things good and wonderful and musical theater-y in the world. But there is love in this hate. I realized how much I love to HATE Rebecca Duval. And Ellis. And Leo. I hate them all forever and for always, and every week I get excited because I know each will provide a new and horrifying reason for me to hate his/her very existence.
SO let’s get down to the nitty gritty about these people I hate. This week, Karen gets her first taste of movie stardom and paparazzi when Rebecca decides to make Karen her personal pet, giving her expensive clothes, lauding her obviously stellar vocal abilities, going to lunch and dinner and spending all their time together. Vom. When Tom and Julia write a new song for the show, “Secondhand Baby Grand,” Rebecca decides to generously bequeath the song to Karen, her new bestie forevs. Is that really her call? No. Absolutely not. But no one seems to care because everyone would rather have Karen sing than Rebecca anyway. Rebecca also takes it upon herself to give Karen the sage advice of breaking up with Dev, because he will inevitably hold her back on her way to the top. It is therefore no surprise that the dinner Karen sets up in order for Dev and Rebecca to meet, doesn’t go so swimmingly. Well, unless we count that INSANE Bollywood number. Gold everywhere! CGI flowers falling from the sky! Dev SINGING! Talk about production value! Everyone looked out of control amazing, and while I can’t speak to the authenticity of the number from a Bollywood perspective, it was phenomenal to watch. Any excuse for a musical number works for me! I’m not that hard to please.
Speaking of people I hate, Leo, in all his awfulness, decides to run away because things at home are too difficult for him to bear. He pulls the one-two punch on his quasi-separated parents, telling one he’s with the other and vice versa, until they eventually speak and realize he’s been missing for two days. Needless to say, they both freak out and call the police and Julia stops going to rehearsals and they go on a round-the-clock hunt for their son. This whole drama really brought out some incredible moments for Debra Messing and Christian Borle, who made this kind of thing really hit home, both for parents and for those who see their friends in crisis and are powerless to help. Julia eventually finds Leo after threatening his friend, he comes home, and the family has dinner together. Are Frank and Julia’s marital problems over? I doubt it. But this looks like one positive step for them. If only Leo had stayed gone. Forever.
So, Ellis really outdoes himself this week. First, he alerts Rebecca’s snakey agent dude to the fact that Derek loves Karen for the role of Marilyn. I mean, Ellis. Whose side are you on? Seriously. Eileen’s? Ivy’s? Rebecca Duvall’s? Heterosexuality? Homosexuality? Bisexuality? Opportunistic sexuality? This spurs the whole Rebecca-adopting-Karen thing, which then leads to the whole Karen kind of sucks by association with Rebecca thing. THEN, Ellis pulls the snakiest and snake moves and helps Ivy screw Karen over by stealing the cell phone of one of Rebecca’s people and texting Karen that she isn’t needed at rehearsal. First of all, why would Karen take directions from anyone besides the stage manager in this type of situation? If you’re already in the building, why wouldn’t you go upstairs and check? That’s Karen’s bad. So when they get to “Secondhand Baby Grand” and Karen is nowhere to be found, who on earth can replace her? Who would know the song and staging already? Ivy, in her limitless generosity, offers to sing the song instead of Karen. I wish I could hate Ivy for this, but I can’t, because she’s awesome and I really can’t say a bad word about her because I love her and IVY I’M SORRY FOR ABANDONING YOU FOR KAREN I DIDN’T MEAN IT! These women are going to give me a complex.
And then, just in case we forgot how heinous Rebecca is, she closes out the episode with a suggestion that she, and not Ivy or Karen, sing the song. GO BURY YOURSELF IN A DITCH SOMEWHERE, REBECCA DUVALL. That’s all I have to say on the matter.
Also, I listened to the pre-release of the Smash soundtrack (http://music.aol.com/new-releases-full-cds/#/21) and I just wish it came with a DVD so I could SEE what I was hearing! But I’ll take a recording of Katherine McPhee and Megan Hilty anytime, any place, anyway.
Check back next week for the third to last episode of this inaugural season of Smash!