Smash has been renewed for a second season, to the viewers’ delight. Hence they will get the chance to see how the show delves deeper into the Broadway’s behind the scenes and the characters populating it.
This week’s episode was all about betrayal and backstabbing. Thank goodness, Julia’s affair with Michael ended before it could turn into a disaster. Ivy, Julia and Tom are nervous as they haven’t heard anything about “Marilyn” since the workshop.
Eliss – The Omnipresent Threat
And Derek is very busy working behind Tom and Julia’s back, with the support of Eileen, to steal the musical. In a phone conversation, Derek and Eileen discuss “the Cartwright girl” who is amazing. But before that, creepy Eliss is again, everywhere! The man has aspirations. The man wants to become a producer. So he spends as much time as possible around Eileen ending up being her assistant. He pops into Eileen’s new and empty apartment, making suggestions of how he can be of help, but is interrupted by Katie Rand, Eileen’s daughter, played by Grace Gummer, who returns suddenly from India.
As if he hasn’t done enough spying and eavesdropping yet, creepy Eliss goes straight to Tom’s apartment and gives him the heads up on Eileen and Derek’s conversations involving Karen. Besides that, Tom panics when Eliss tells him Eileen had nothing to say about the workshop.
Derek meets Karen in a coffee shop to tell her about his secret project and he wants her to sing the new song for “Marilyn” that Tom and Julia can’t know about. Karen doesn’t really feel comfortable with being secretive, especially towards Julia who was so kind to her. They meet later at a warehouse with no one other than Ryan Tredder, One Republic’s lead singer, who heard and loved her “Brighter Than the Sun” demo. Karen practices with Ryan Tredder and he thinks she sounds amazing.
Back to Eileen’s domestic stuff, Katie has a sit down with her parents about her mother’s money issues and a sudden transfer of $3 million in her trust fund. Katie, who has a big heart, tries to make Eileen and Jerry reason. Eileen points out that Jerry hasn’t produced a play in 10 years and doesn’t need his family’s money, although her new apartment has no furniture. And Katie is not exactly happy with the amount of money she just received from her father. Katie and Eileen have later a mother-daughter reunion at Eileen’s favourite bar where bartender Nick makes the best $7 martini.
Back to Ivy’s turf, her mates take her to bowling. They all end up rocking the house singing Sly and the Family Stone’s “Dance to the Music.”
Too Late To Apologize?
Meanwhile, Derek and Karen are ready to show their new song, “Touch Me”, to Eileen, Tom and Julia. As the number unfolds, Tom and Julia are horrified and don’t understand where Derek wants to go with this. Karen’s voice is good and she looks sexy covered only in a bed sheet, but the song looks like nothing that would fit in the current “Marilyn” framework. Derek’s attempt of showing a modern “Marilyn” failed royally.
Lots of apologies start pouring from Karen, Eileen (after a private chat with her daughter who witnessed the entire scene) and even Ryan Tredder.
This is the moment when the viewers get to understand the source of animosity between Tom and Derek, an acrimonious situation that’s been lasting for the past 11 years. They did a show together that didn’t go well. Tom has been accusing Derek for the show’s failure and for trying to destroy his own career. Despite that, the NYT reviews were positive. A certain critic liked the direction, but not the songs. And that critic, says Tom, was actually sleeping with Derek’s gay father. The same Derek who is as amazed by how gay men own the NY theatre scene and yet whine about being such victims.
A new meeting with Tom, Julia and Derek takes place later in Eileen’s office. Eileen thinks they need a star for “Marilyn” as much as Tom tries for Ivy. She is terrific but they need more. And a title. At the end of the day, Eileen returns to a fully furnished and decorated apartment. Katie did that for her before saving the world any further and heading to Alaska.
Dev has his own little drama at work when he learns he won’t be giving the 9/11 Memorial speech in Staten Island and must hand it over to his rival to do. Later he talks to RJ about it and how to find some dirt about him. Soon they discover the guy sent naked photos to 2 girls – 1 college aged and a 17-year-old one. Dev and RJ high-five each other and share a hug just when Karen walks in. RJ leaves and Karen asks what’s to celebrate. At first Dev avoids to answer, but then reassures Karen he’s not interested in RJ and tells her about the photos they’ve been looking at on the Internet of some politician’s with his pants down. They kiss and make up.
Time for Tom to deliver the bad news to Ivy. Ivy is disappointed, but Tom tells her she’s welcomed in “Heaven on Earth” whenever she feels she’s ready. She hums later in her room “Let Me Be Your Star” and hears someone knocking at the door. It’s Derek who wants to see if she’s alright. He tells her she’s truly gifted and beautiful. She reminds him he was hideous, and he reminds her she said he’s not good in bed. Eventually, they forgive each other, kiss and make up.
Tune in next Monday for a new episode of Smash where the search for the “Marilyn” star begins.