'Smash' Recap: What Price To Pay
'Smash' Recap: What Price To Pay
This week, the workshop begins which gives us a first glimpse into what will certainly be a rather drawn out affair to determine who will really play Marilyn on Broadway. Let's see how it went down.

Welcome to Marilyn

"The road to Broadway is exceedingly long. So let's get to it," carks Derek at the beginning of the workshop. What sounds like a meta-commentary on writing a TV show that has as its fixed end point the premiere of a show on Broadway is meant to describe what ensues, namely the writer's attempt to paint Ivy, who was until this point clearly more talented than Karen, in a less sympathetic way by having her act like a diva during rehearsals. "I have difficulty hearing myself!" she interrupts one number. "The chorus is very enthusiastic!" Which is supposed to mean that the others bother her.

The Rivalry is On!

Song is not the only bothering element here; a certain rival is too. Consequently, Ivy's entourage plots against poor little Karen from day one. They make fun of how inexperienced she is, and when the choreographer reprehends her because she holds her arms up too high during a dance number, they have nothing but pity in their eyes.

Then Karen asks if the numbers taped on the floor to give guidance to the dancers will also be there in the theater. "Of course!" barks someone from Ivy's entourage. When Karen dares to remark that she has never been part of a Broadway production before, the other girl retorts smugly, "Oh, we know!" And then our poor little soul even gets pulled from a number.

Karen is Sidetracked

Why does she get pulled from a number? Because Ivy, as mentioned previously, is suddenly morphing into a power hungry beast and tries to get Karen fired. Apparently, no one had told her that Karen is still part of the ensemble, so she does everything in her power to paint Karen in a bad light. When she is singing behind her, pretend-Marilyn acts like it's bothering her, so Karen gets pulled not only from one number but from two. However, the show clearly wants us to think that Ivy is wholly wrong for doing so.

Karen, the show argues, is simply too good to be relegated to the cheap seats. Sam, an old friend of Ivy's who is hired by Derek to make his leading lady happy, immediately remarks on her exceptional voice at the beginning of the episode. And Ivy is portrayed as strangely off this week when she clearly has been the better performer in weeks past. Are we heading towards a scenario where they'll change the main star midway through the workshop? Or, even worse, is a love triangle being set up with Karen and Sam?

A Helping Hand

The other members of the ensemble, after Karen throws a moderate hissy fit over being continuously removed from the numbers, make a complete 180, warm up to our Midwestern doe and stage what they call an "intervention." Which means that they throw out her clothes, tell her how to behave and dance for her in her living room, which is supposed to teach her a big lesson about how to behave in a workshop. Everything culminates in them putting on a dance show in the middle of a bar to some random song and Karen starting to sing.

Shaky Finances

Meanwhile, Eileen is trying to get together some money because, you know, there actually is a production to be paid for. Since her ex-husband has control over much of her funds, she turns toward the selling of artwork as an option. Conveniently, she has an original drawing hanging around that is, one is led to believe, worth a fortune.

At a party for some kid named Lyle (played rather laboriously by guest star Nick Jonas) that Derek purports to have discovered, she finally finds a willing buyer in Lyle who is smart enough to secure himself some financial rights to the show. If only he knew what drama awaits on the leading lady front!

What did you think of this episode? While certainly a step up from last week's snooze fest, is it enough to hold your interest?

Jan Cee
Contributing Writer

(Image courtesy of NBC)