Emotions runs high in episode seven of ‘Smash,‘ which starts off with Derek (Jack Davenport) and Eileen (Anjelica Houston) catching Michael (Will Chase) and Julia (Debra Messing) holding hands outside of their studio building. Karen (Katherine McPhee) shows up at a recording studio and nails ‘Brighter Than the Sun’ by Colbie Caillat. Once inside, Michael drags Julia out of the workshop for a passionate make out session, where Tom catches them. Ellis is also hidden in the room, much to his old tricks, reassuring us that nothing is ever boring in the New York City world of theater.
Karen receives an immediate callback to the recording studio, while Ivy shows up late with her Broadway famous mother, played by renowned star Bernadette Peters. Julia, Tom and the rest of the cast convince her to sing ‘Coming Up Roses’ for them. Peters performs a breathtaking number, to a standing ovation, which only reduces Ivy to tears. This leads Derek to surprisingly tell her, “I know I don’t say this enough, but you’re wonderful.”
In the theme of surprises, Michael’s wife and son show up at the studio, sending Julia out of the building in tears. She pleads with Tom, saying she has to go home and leaves. Ellis then reveals to Eileen about Michael and Julia’s affair, but Eileen threatens him to never speak a word about it. At home, Julia discovers her son Leo smoking pot again. He storms out of the room, claiming to know “all about” what she is the middle of.
Uh-oh. There’s just one week until the workshop goes live before an audience, and as you might have expected, there were problems galore on last night’s episode of “Smash.” Julia’s script, and her affair with Michael, still weren’t totally finished, Karen realized she had only about $300 in her bank account (yikes!) and, worst of all, Ivy lost her voice…and possibly her claim as Marilyn?
One minute Ivy was fine, making catty comments and strutting around the studio, and the next, she was on vocal rest, and Julia, Eileen and Derek flirted with the idea of replacing her with Karen if she didn’t improve, an idea that unbeknownst to them, Karen overheard.
At home, Ivy was resting and took some medicine, which everyone repeatedly explained would help with her voice, but would have a bunch of weird side effects. No one mentioned that the weirdest side effect would be her singing, alone in her room, and then going full “Black Swan” on everyone, seeing Marilyn Monroe and Karen behind her over her shoulder. Time to try and sleep it off.
Meanwhile, Eileen and Ellis formed a weird partnership that will definitely implode before the season is done. Ellis helped her out while she was apartment searching, and then she wound up at a downtown bar with him. You haven’t seen the last of this newly formed duo. I don’t think it’s going in this direction, but I’m just putting it out there: I wouldn’t be too surprised if those two started hooking up. Eileen is newly single, and Ellis is determined to claw his way to the top, and nothing—not Julia, not his obnoxious personality and certainly not the idea of age-appropriate relationships—are going to get in his way.
Last week’s “Smash” was all about the show, but this week, we got into the personal. Julia’s son, Leo, got arrested and Tom had to bail him out of jail. Why? Because Julia was getting her flirt on with former fling Michael (a.k.a. Joe DiMaggio). When she finally arrived home after a diner dinner with her star, Tom insisted this be her wake-up call. Her son was arrested and she missed it because she was trying to mess around outside of her marriage. He told her to cool it. Spoiler alert: She didn’t.
Unfortunately, Julia’s life was about to go from bad to worse. Although he wasn’t technically arrested, Leo’s incident threw a wrench into Julia’s adoption process. At first she tried to do the right thing, giving Michael the cold shoulder at practice, but despite playing it cool at the workshop, Michael showed up at Julia’s apartment, and Leo invited him to stay for dinner. Apparently, Leo really liked Michael, and it was easy to see why, with Michael telling Leo all about how he used to smoke pot with his mom. Bonding!
The cost of art is both a literal and figurative title. How much does art cost, as in a price tag, and how much does art cost, as in – what would you give up, change, demand to be a part of art?
Let’s tackle the literal sense first. Eileen has an original Degas that she’s trying to sell in order to raise $200,000 for her workshop. (She only has access to $8,000 because the rest is in escrow).But she can’t sell it because technically it’s not hers, it was a gift from Jerry who still technically owns it. Too bad, because the painting could get up to $400,000!
The figurative sense – at what personal cost will both Ivy and Karen be a part of “Marilyn”? Ivy is incredibly insecure of leading role in both the musical and in Derek’s life. Karen can’t fit in and although she manages to secure some help from ensemble members loyal to Ivy, what’s she willing to give up to fit in?
The second episode of “Smash” follows up on several story lines. We learn more about Julia and Frank’s marriage and potential adoption, we get a little comic relief with Eileen and Jerry’s pending divorce, there’s a Marilyn and we see some cracks in Dev and Karen’s relationship. I believe it takes place over a week and features several new songs.
For the second time, the show kicks off with Karen singing. This time it’s Blondie’s “Call Me,” (a fantasy sequence in a jazz club with everyone who’s involved with casting “Marilyn” in the audience, and of course Dev) because it’s been 4 days since the first callback and she hasn’t heard anything. It’s a nice rendition, nothing super special, but her voice is sweet and wholesome.
The decision takes up most of the episode, but it’s a bit anticlimactic. However I’m glad it only took 2 episodes to decide, and not 12.
Call it Glee for grown-ups: NBC’s new scripted series Smash peeks behind the Broadway curtain to reveal what it takes (hypothetically) to launch a musical based on the legendary Marilyn Monroe’s life.
The Peacock Network certainly Smash-ed us over the head with an unrelenting advertising campaign. It seemed like everywhere I turned the cast was staring me down. So, whether you tuned in or not, everyone who watches TV, surfs the Web or reads the paper most likely heard of the show before its Monday night premiere.
But in case you’ve been living under a rock, here’s a quick summary of Smash’s premise: A struggling small-town girl – season 5 American Idol runner-up Katharine McPhee as Karen Cartwright – moves to the Big Apple with dreams of becoming a star. Yes, Glee, your coattails are officially being ridden. Watch your back, Rachel Berry.