'Smash' Recap: Bringing Your A-Game
Tuesday, March 20, 2012
Ivy's mom comes to a rehearsal right before the workshop performance, and it turns out that she was a big Broadway star and is adored and admired by all. The background dancers all want her to croon a song for them, and even Julia acts like a little girl on Christmas. So the grande dame gets down to business and impresses everyone, so much so that she gets a standing ovation and Ivy realizes that she probably will never be able to step out from under her mom's shadow. In a rare moment of affection in the professional environment, Derek sits down next to Ivy and reassures her that she is "great" in the show.
In the next instance of Derek apparently not really controlling his rehearsal, Michael's wife and kid randomly stop by and trigger an emotional crisis in Julia who slept with the DiMaggio impersonator in last week's episode. And being confronted with the harsh reality that he has a young family at home, she leaves the rehearsal letting Derek hang in the air with no writer present to go over the lines. And instead of finding refuge at home like she hoped, Julia finds her son smoking pot in his room. Poor Julia.
Later, in a scene that's so meta only TV writers could come up with it, Julia is forced to run lines with Michael in front of Derek and Eileen. It's a scene from the musical in which Marilyn and DiMaggio talk about their relationship and Marilyn asks him what he wants from her. "What I want is what I can get," DiMaggios answers. So just in case the audience couldn't have already guessed that Julia had conflicting emotions towards Michael, the writers found a way to spell it out in plain.
Meanwhile, Ellis, who has largely been lurking in the background and collecting incriminating information on Julia, tells Eileen that her writer and male star are having an affair together. She reprimands him for gossiping like that. And apparently Smash's creative team thinks that occupying Anjelica Houston's talent with having her tend to different building repairs is the right way to go. She literally got nothing else to do this episode.
Ivy, meanwhile, has a major case of mommy issues. Of course, her Broadway star mom steals the limelight as soon as she enters a room. And after the workshop she doesn't even have a single kind word for her. Immediately, Ivy makes the connection between her fate and Marilyn's. "She was a drug-addicted mess because her mother didn't love her," she bellows. Which is a) a very broad description of Marilyn's psychological inner-life, and b) a thinly veiled threat to her mother that she might be responsible for any future bad behavior Ivy might exhibit.
Bad behavior might be a possibility for next week already, because the workshop didn't go as well as expected. Ivy made a few mistakes and was generally perceived as flat (although the show led us to believe early on that she would deliver an amazing performance). Derek, for one, wasn't pleased with her, and Eileen, after a few negative reviews pour in, decides that the show must be retooled a bit. That leaves the door open for Karen to step in as Marilyn. And it's time already. McPhee was slated to be the big star of the show but literally had nothing to do in this week's episode. If we're supposed to believe that Karen has a shot at being a convincing Marilyn she has to have more to do in the show.
What did you think of the episode of Smash? Did you enjoy the workshop performance?
(Image courtesy of NBC)