Smash Recap: Wing Awakening

megan hilty smashPretty much everything and everyone got flipped upside down on this week’s Smash: Enemies became frenemies, marriages imploded, and gays fundraised for the Republican party. The one true constant was that little weasel wearing his hideous vests and bowties and continuing to be completely deplorable. But to be fair, even Ellis got himself into a new position by episode’s end. (Ewww. Sorry. I really regret writing that.)

Anyhow, let’s review the key plot developments from “Hell on Earth,” and whether or not they were heavenly or bound for hell:

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* Karen becomes the wind beneath Ivy’s fluffy wings: Kinda heavenly-ish? | Fueled by an increasing reliance on a slew of prescription drugs, Ivy Lynn continued a downward spiral that found her huffing and sighing her way through a Heaven on Earth production number (anyone find it a stretch she’d sabotage her employment and reputation with such a display while she was sober?), raging that “midwestern moonface” Karen had snagged a coveted role in an orange juice ad, and then returning for another evening performance where her drugs made her absolutely loopy, causing her to goofily sabotage a rendition of (the pretty painful) “The Higher You Get the Farther You Fall,” while dressed as an angel. Cut to: Karen popping up backstage to return a pair of Ivy’s shades. An icy smackdown in Times Square (Ivy on Karen’s appeal: “There are thousands of girls just like you!” Karen on not sleeping with Derek to score the role of Marilyn: “It wasn’t because he didn’t ask: You weren’t the first choice, sorry.”). And then a truce, followed by a booze-fueled (and rather solid) duet of Rihanna’s “Cheers (Drink to That).” I kinda like these ladies as reluctant buddies, but as Ivy warned, don’t go thinking they’re gonna be BFFs now. (Side note: Anyone else notice the Times Square billboard for Casual Friday 2 with Rebecca Duvall? Why not just make it a sequel to Sack Lunch?)

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* Julia gets hers — and not in a sexy way: Heavenly! | When Frank discovered Julia had written a mournful ditty about kissing an illicit lover on the the Brooklyn Bridge, he made the fantastical leap that she’d had an affair with Michael. “It wasn’t anything!” she replied, which left Frank hollering (rather righteously), “That’s disgusting!” To make matters worse, when Frank confronted Michael, Cheaty McAdulterypants spilled the beans that his and Julia’s recent fling was a continuation of something that went down several years prior. Frank slugged Michael. Frank packed his bags and moved out of the house. The kid playing Leo still couldn’t conjure up a single believable emotion. And I had a serious case of interior-design lust over Julia’s living room walls. (Is that wallpaper? And how the hell is it so magnificent?)

* Tom’s eye starts a’wanderin': Neither heaven nor hell | Tom reluctantly accompanied his boyfriend to a Republican fundraiser (he shoulda known, what with the suits and the closely cropped hair), bailed when he got a text about Ivy’s meltdown (“I really like you, even though I don’t like Republicans,” was his overly loud parting shot), and ended up spending a long evening with so-straight-but-he’s-actually-gay Sam. Whatevs. Wake me when Tom is back to work and composing the next “Let Me Be Your Star.” (Love how the show uses the mournful “fade in on a girl…” melody to tug at the heartstrings).

* Ellis uses his sexual charms — wait, he has those!?! — to land a “star” for the Marilyn musical: Hellish in the extreme! | Ellis spied/eavesdropped/connived/stole computer passwords to land a meeting with movie star Rebecca Duvall’s manager, then convinced the guy to make the project the screen siren’s top priority by batting his eyelashes and noting they had a few hours alone before Ms. Duvall arrived at her apartment. No me gusta. Does not want to see “the chihuahua” (as Derek brilliantly nicknamed Ellis) having sexytimes with anyone: Not his girlfriend, not manager dude, I repeat, not anyone. Especially not in the same episode where he’s sported an awful aqua velvet bowtie, corduroy vest and plaid shirt. At the very least we got Eileen shooting down Ellis when the ambitious assistant huffed that he didn’t want to answer phones anymore and demanded a co-producing credit if the Lady Duvall signed on for the project. Instead of a “That’s cheeky,” though, wouldn’t Eileen have delivered a “You’re fired.” If I ran the world, or the Smash writers room, she sure would’ve.

What did you think of this week’s Smash? Did you howl like I did when Derek said Ivy could play “dead hooker” in the procedural pilot he hoped to direct? And wasn’t this hour a major improvement on “The Coup”? (Not that anything wouldn’t be.) Sound off in the comments!

Comments are monitored, so don’t go off topic, don’t frakkin’ curse and don’t bore us with how much your coworker’s sister-in-law makes per hour. Talk smart about TV!

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38 Comments
  1. Anna says:

    Is there a part for me?
    How’s your dead hooker?
    Funny funny. Better than last week. I hope they don’t ruin the ivy Lynn character I like her (and Karen is starting to grow on me too)

  2. Robyn says:

    My problem with Ellis is that he isn’t a character to you love to hate; he’s just a character you hate.

  3. Goku says:

    Why Karen always has to be such a saint? It was so great, when she told Ivy, that she wasn’t Derek’s first choice, but literally 2 seconds later she was like “I’m sorry!”. I’d love to see more bitchy Karen!

  4. Bethoflores says:

    Can we please get rid of Ellis, maybe some aliens from “Taken” abduct him forever or something like that??

  5. YowzaPowza says:

    I still think the actor who plays Ellis is just fine, but for me it’s all in the way the character is written. Ellis has so much potential, but they make him so damn smug. I would have no problem with a character who does whatever he can to come up in the world of broadway at all costs. But give us something other than some schmuck who seems like he has nothing better to do. Let us realize that it’s been a dream of his to do something like this since he was a kid or something. Let us see him getting screwed over before. And most importantly, let him be gay, as he so obviously is.

    • jenna says:

      I completely agree! The fact that they had him lurking around corners and consistently eavesdropping made him seem more of a creep than anything else!

      • Jenny says:

        With Ellis he is around EVERY corner when there is a secret. It is one thing to do what you need to get success, but no one is able to find every secret or everything falls perfectly in his lap. As someone else said, he isn’t a character you love to hate….you just HATE him.

  6. bacoby13 says:

    No kidding, re: Sack Lunch 2. I’d hope the sequel would finally reveal how they got inside that bag.

  7. jess says:

    Yep, I still hate Ellis. And yes, I was equally grossed out when he propositioned that manager dude. (and not because the gay sexytimes, which I wholehearted approve of). The time square duet was so weird, and so is the whole Tom with two-guys thing. I love the guy “he’s seeing” aka Daniel’s younger half-brother from Ugly Betty so I’m really hoping they’ll stay together (despite him being a Republican, which… yea, would totally be a deal breaker for me… eek!). I wonder if they’ll ever show the OJ commercial Karen shot, but with all that green screen, it would be awesome if it was something HILARIOUS! like if they put her face on a rabbit’s body or something… ;p

  8. I hope we get to see more of Karen & Ivy together being nice to each other.

  9. Jay says:

    Ellis should run off with the kid who can’t act.

  10. Al says:

    It was better than last week… But how could it not be. I am excited for uma.

    • Em says:

      Love Uma, but in what way is she remotely Marilyn? She’s 6 feet tall and lanky… Marilyn was all about curves (that was kind of the whole point). Ivy Lynn IS Marilyn. It’s a little eerie when she starts doing the voice.

  11. Carla says:

    Definitely a huge improvement! It’s really unfortunate Karen thought Ivy was “drunk”, and let her drink on top of all those pills. Not a great idea. I’m curious to see what Derek has to say about his girlfriend’s very public meltdown next week! And Tom and Sam are so cute! Just dump the Republican lawyer already! Sam should also tell him abt the tons of prescription bottles Ivy carries around, I feel someone as responsible as Tom should be in on this.

  12. Megan says:

    Ellis is ridicuous and needs to be elsewhere. And I’m not sure if it’s just me, but as much as I love Uma Thurmon (And i totally do), I’m not completely sold on her being Marilyn…

  13. tla says:

    i’m sorry, but I just can’t get behind Karen. I want to like her (and I know the show wants me to like her), and I don’t know if it is the writing or McPhee as an actress, but almost everything about this character irritates me. I think the problem is the writing since everything with Ivy is ridiculously over dramatic. I can’t blame Ivy’s rant though, everything does seem to happen really easily for Karen for being such a newbie.

  14. Renee says:

    I can’t believe I’m falling for this show after wrinkling my nose at the cheesy promo and weak start. The elements I thought I might like – Julia/Tom, the ingenue getting her big break, the baseball number (ha!), etc. have turned out to be the things I’m not so thrilled with BUT the things I side-eyed at the beginning as ott – Eileen, Derek, Ivy – have turned into real treasures. And I love the ‘ensemble’ kids. (And even Dev – but it’s partly b/c I have never stopped mourning his twin bro Zaf who used to be w/MI-5)
    But what to do about Kat McPhee’s inability to act – even a little?? She looks the part and sings beautifully but my god she’s awful and flat and the role is so fundamental to the show… Maybe they’ll just continue marginalizing her – it’s not like there is a shortage of characters. And Ellis? Well, I can put with him as long as Eileen has his number though he’s such an All About Eve stereotype he practically twirls his villainous mustache. I’d kind of like to see Tom show some teeth and deal Ellis his comeuppance. I like the actor who plays Tom a lot but so far his character has been written as really two-dimensional (mostly as bff to Julia/Ivy and obvious gay bf subplot). I don’t think he survived and succeeded on B’dway w/out learning how to handle the Ellis-types.

    • Michelle says:

      Agreed at wanting to see more of Tom/Christian Borle! But I’m partly biased since I loved Legally Blonde the musical. Also I loved seeing more Broadway vets in this episode, we can add Norbert Leo Butz and James Monroe Iglehart to the list :)

    • Paul Richards says:

      I don’t know if I’m in the minority or not….I think your attack on Kat McPhee’s acting skills is way over the top. Indeed, her voice is FABULOUS….absolutely FABULOUS!!! And she is DEFINITELY eye candy of the highest order!!! WOWZERS!!! :o) Although she is far from being the best actress I’ve ever seen, I would not call her acting “below average” by any stretch–I think she’s doing a solid job on quite an important role. I’d give her (at least!!) a C+ or B-….

  15. Danielle H says:

    Hmm did not like this episode. Everything I reallyy really liked about the show is slipping away (the Marilyn musical numbers, Eileen clawing her way back to the top, Dev screen time, etc.). I used to really get excited about this show each week. Hopefully it can pick itself back up and not head down a road where it becomes super inconsistent.

  16. Did love Derek’s line to Ivy (though we forgot to add it to our recap).

    This was definitely a better episode (as you say Slezak, it’d have to be hellish-ly bad to throw under last week’s). If more episodes could be like this one – more realistic drama, more consequences – I don’t think people would have as many problems with the show.

  17. Forwarddad says:

    I would like to know what TPTB plan was and is for Ellis? Do they not hear the critiques on him. How on earth did an inexperienced admin get so far do quick? Where are they going with Julia and Frank. I know it’s easy to get hooked on prescription drugs but this quick and how many did the doctor give her? Where are they going with this Plot? So many questions – so little answers.

  18. Linderella says:

    I actually like Katherine McPhee and her take on the “innocent from the Midwest.” There was a scene where Ivy explained her collection of meds and just the list of them (kicked off by the steroids for her throat condition) made it clear how she could get in over her head very fast. She totally knows she’s turning to the meds to deaden the emotional pain she’s feeling. The show needed an Ellis type character to move the drama forward but the casting seems off. I don’t mind hating him one little bit.

  19. Renee says:

    I also really want them to follow up on why Derek turned on Tom all those years ago. I can’t imagine it was – at his mature age even then – finding out his father was gay thus turning him into instant homophobe. More Tom/Derek plz.
    I do respect that TPTB (with the talented actor) have given Derek nuance beyond sleazy, mean director guy. Yes, he’s insensitive but he’s shown he really thinks about and cares about the show and, in his own way, Ivy and Eileen. Even when he brought in the Ryan Tedder’s Marilyn the Rock Opera (Ryan seems to be wandering the stage of many shows these days)- he did invite Tom/Julia down to see instead of trying to Ellis them and shove them out.
    (On a sidenote maybe we could solve the Leo problem by sending him to boarding school for a year – or all of high school.)

  20. RD says:

    This show started off within the bounds of reality but the further it goes,the farther away the plotlines veer. It really seems that the writers have just the vaguest idea week to week what to do with the characters,and several of the main characters weak acting becomes increasingly more evident.It had such potential but it seems like it’s all being flushed down the toilet.

  21. dvmom says:

    Loved the Karen/Ivy duet. I think that may be my new theme song!

    • Paul Richards says:

      ABSOLUTELY!!! My favorites thus far–Nick Jonas (I Just Haven’t Met You Yet–Michael Buble original), Donnie Hathaway’s (A Song For You) and the Karen/Ivy duet you mentioned–I’ll Drink to That.” WHAT A PERFORMANCE THAT WAS!!! MY GOODNESS!!! They tore that song up!!! Forget Rihanna’s original…the “Smash” version is ALL THAT & MORE!!! :o)

  22. Joann says:

    I am very much in love with this show. I am a former Broadway baby and it brings back so much. But I have to ask, was that Alex “freaking” Wong dancing in the production number? If it was, I am so happy to see that he’s recovered from his injuries!!!

  23. Lily says:

    BRING BACK MICHAEL, that’s all I have to say

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