HOUSTON - We are down to the second to last episode of Smash, and with the conclusion of The Voice having just taken place, I feel my Mondays already getting less and less sparkly. Sigh.
So, remember that HORRIBLE decision you made last night, Dev and Ivy? BECAUSE WE DO. Curtains open on Dev and Ivy, naked, in bed. There's the game of "guess whose phone Karen's calling" and then of course the obligatory exchange of "I won't tell if you don't" and the whole thing just made me feel all gross and icky.
In a similarly awkward situation just down the road, the Houstons arrive at the theater just as Michael Swift pulls up in his cab. Awkward glances are exchanged. Leo Houston reminds me why I hate him with a weird comment about enjoying Swift's pain. I'm reminded that Michael Swift is in fact very, very pretty.
Back in the theater, we begin previews for Bombshell—previews are that time in between "closed" rehearsals, where you can look sweaty and mess up and get yelled at by the director on stage, and open "rehearsals," where you're in full costume, hide your sweat with makeup, and get yelled at by the director off stage—plus an audience. We have a new Joe DiMaggio, a subpar Marilyn, and some SERIOUS tension between the director and some of the ensemble members. And by "some of the ensemble members" clearly I mean Ivy, the girlfriend on whom he is cheating. And if there's one thing Katherine McPhee can play realistically, sincerely and consistently, it's dumb. I love that lady's voice but really don't love her acting. It never ceases to disappoint. Unless she's playing dumb! In that case, she's brilliant! Give this lady an Emmy! A Tony? Whatever!
We zip through the first preview performance of Bombshell, which ends with Marilyn dying while singing "Secondhand White Baby Grand"—and there is no applause. We're talking crickets, people. It's awkward, everyone's uncomfortable, and the bottom line is this show needs a new ending before a real, paying audience and CRITICS can see the show and crush its soul. This will force Tom and Julia to work together, which presents a problem as Julia is currently not speaking with Tom because he didn't stick up for enough with the whole Michael Swift ordeal. But let's back up a second and talk about the new musical number featuring Ivy and Karen—I think it's actually called "Smash"—themed around the infamous Hollywood casting couch. LOVE. So much love. I wish there existed a FULL soundtrack of the show with all of the musical numbers from Bombshell plus a few covers that really should have been included, like "I'm Going Down" and "Call Me," etcetera, etcetera. So yes, back to the point that Julia and Tom are tasked with writing a new ending for the show, lickety split.
Post-preview, Eileen, Smoldering Barkeep and Ellis are having a drink at the bar, and Ellis jumps up on that high horse he loves so dearly and starts drunkenly giving Derek directorial tips. When Eileen asks him if he's a director now, Ellis responds with, "No, I'm producing. Somebody has to." Let's all take a minute and fantasize about our favorite ways we could either kill Ellis or watch him die. Some of my favorite include: getting eaten alive by carnivorous insects; getting pushed out of an airplane sans parachute; and listening to William Hung's "She Bangs" audition from American Idol until his brain explodes.
Moving on. Rebecca Duvall, in the midst of a phenomenal pity party, has a severe allergic reaction to the shake she's drinking. WHO PUT PEANUTS IN THERE? Was it you, Karen? No, you're too wholesome and Midwestern. Had to have been you, Ivy, right? You're totally not above it. And I've seen some of the other insane things you've done. But could it have been someone else? Derek? Ellis? Probably Ellis.
Now let's reflect back to last week when I was saying that proposing marriage isn't the way to apologize for cheating. I should also have mentioned that, on the female side, re-proposing because you feel bad about not accepting said marriage proposal after learning about an infidelity is similarly NOT A GOOD IDEA. Silly Karen and Dev—what am I going to do with you two? But wait, where's the ring, you ask? Wop, must have left it in that other girl's room… ya know, the girl with whom he was CHEATING, for the SECOND TIME. Oy to the vey, am I right?
And then everyone goes to church. A fantastic gospel number happens. Tom and Julia make nice and are friends again. EVERYTHING IS AWESOME!
But wait—is it even possible? Could things get even better? THEY CAN! In the smartest decision she's made since entering the scene, Rebecca Duvall decides to bow out and let the show go on without her. All is right with the world!
And now we're right back where we started—who's it going to be, Ivy or Karen?
Check back next week for the final episode of the first season of Smash!
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