Original Air Date: March 26, 2012
Lauren A – Senior Reviewer
Now that the workshop is over, the Smashies are all in a tizzy wondering what will become of the show. Ivy is (shocker!) insecure about her grasp on the lead role, Tom and Julia are itching for news, and Ellis is trying to make a place for himself in every little rat hole he can dig up.
The biggest surprise is Eileen and Derek taking matters into their own hands – and recruiting Karen’s help.
Ivy and the chorus kids are suffering from Post-Workshop Stress Syndrome. And, since they can’t exactly take it out in the rehearsal space, they take to the bowling alley. It’s a jazzy number with a vintage flair, but it felt a little forced for my taste. Don’t get me wrong, I’m a fan of bowling. I just don’t think the regular league crowd would much appreciate a bunch of twenty-somethings doing the jive down the lanes when they’re going in for the strike.
Julia is dealing with her son’s court date, which involves a date of Tom’s as well. Lawyer John (I like that – it’s kind of Robin Hood-y) accompanies Leo to court, and the result is favorable for Julia and her family. More favorable, at least, than her husband’s guitar-hero solo. Seriously, what a waste of Brian d’Arcy James’ considerable talent. He’s completely underutilized on this show. That may change, however, as Michael moves out of the picture (once and for all?). He and Julia part ways at the park, and she gives Michael the news that he won’t be returning to Marilyn. If there’s a Marilyn to return to…
Speaking of, Eileen and Derek are busy hatching plans for a MODERN! Marilyn, and they ask Karen to help them stage a new number for Tom and Julia. The only problem for Karen is that they ask her to keep it a secret. The only problem for everyone else is that no one in the theatre can keep secrets. Especially not Ellis, who is ultimately the one to whisper the news to Ivy and some others. The number is just one big strobe light and masquerade mess. I couldn’t tell if they were purposely making it weird so we would know that it wasn’t right for the show, or if that was an actual attempt at wooing us into an abstract, sexy, bed/jail theme. (Although I’ll admit that I thought the sheet-cum-dress bit was the coolest part of this whole episode.) Tom and Julia are livid that Derek and Eileen even tried to pull this off, and Eileen’s daughter (overhyped guest star Grace Gummer) is ultimately the one to shame Eileen out of the plan. The best thing to come out of this fuster-cluck is that we finally get to the root of Tom and Derek’s head-butting: they used to be friends, until Derek jilted Tom by throwing him under the bus to some Broadway big-wigs. And something about Derek’s dad being secretly gay. I wasn’t too sure what that had to do with anything, but I’m assuming we’ll go there in another episode.
Much of this episode hinged on Ellis. Now, we all know I’m not a fan of Ellis, which is why I’m a little surprised to admit that I loved his story line in this episode. Not because I suddenly like Ellis, but because we finally got clarification that NO ONE ELSE DOES. Sweet relief! Several characters made it very clear that they see Ellis as a sneaky social climber who isn’t fit to do much more than lurk around closed doors and report back. Heartbreaker – that’s exactly what Eileen likes about him, and she steals Ellis’s assistant skills (what assistant skills, I’m not sure) away from Tom and catapults the little rat on his newfound path to becoming a producer. And, actually, that’s ok…because he’s sure not good enough at covering up his true intentions to ever make it as an actor.
Smash viewers, which was your favorite snide remark or knowing look directed at Ellis this week? What did you think about Grace Gummer’s guest role – do you hope to see her make another appearance, or do you wish she’d stick with the salmon? And will Tom and Derek ever mend their abandoned friendship, now that it looks like neither is going anywhere? Leave your TwoCents below!