Smash Recap: It's All Wrong, But It's All Raita

katharine mcphee bollywoodI’m not sure about Rebecca Duvall as the star of Bombshell, but I sure am enjoying what her portrayer Uma Thurman is bringing to NBC’s Smash: Namely, a wry, unflinching look at the entitlement that can come with celebrity, and the way so many other folks feed into it.

Indeed, Rebecca’s obsession with kale and flaxseed smoothies — so glad the writers didn’t forget that little detail from last week — punctuates the whole circle of stardom that’s enveloped Marilyn the Musical (as I still like to call it) and everyone involved in trying to get it to Broadway.

My favorite moment from “Publicity” came when Derek got all huffy about his Hollywood star hijacking stage manager Linda to make those bloody smoothies, and holding up rehearsal in the process. Rebecca, not embarrassed in the least, headed back to practice with her director, but not before this little kicker to Linda (accompanied by a breezy smile): “If you could just do it all, then bring it in, that would be great.” Why should Derek’s anger get in the way of Rebecca’s snacking, after all. And there’s the thing: No, Linda is not paid to blend natural ingredients into a (possibly) refreshing health shake, and it’s kind of offensive that she’s asked to do so. And yet, there she is, immersion blender in hand, crushing kale without complaint. Ditto for Tom and Julia rewriting the Bombshell book to suit Rebecca’s “suggestions.” And the same goes for Derek reconfiguring rehearsals to suit Rebecca’s whims. Heck, the woman can’t really sing, but she’s got the starring role in a Broadway musical. Viva celebrity!

No one seemed more transfixed by Rebecca, though, than wide-eyed Iowa gal Karen, and her blind devotion to her new “gal pal” could cost her in the end. Naturally, common garden snake Ellis overheard Derek hinting to Karen that he might yet need her for the lead role, and he slithered to Rebecca’s manager (can’t believe that dude would allow Ellis within 10 feet of him!) with the intel. This led to Rebecca taking Karen under her wing: Scoring her a guest-vocal slot at a swanky NY concert (to deliver a pretty rendition of Snow Patrol’s “Run”), sharing some of her couture swag from a photo shoot (because one can’t live one’s life in yoga gear!), landing her on Page 6, and (uh-oh) planting seeds of doubt that Dev might not be able to handle her potential celebrity.

Oh and how those seeds grew once the formerly supportive Dev, continuing his descent into douche-dom, played into Rebecca’s dismissive hand as they sat down to dine at an Indian restaurant. I couldn’t help but giggle at the way the movie star, ignoring everything Dev had told her about Indian cuisine, immediately asked the waiter, “Do you have something without peanuts in it?” And while it’s hard to fathom Dev wouldn’t just indulge the obnoxious Hollywooder before him — after all, she’s in a position to potentially make or break his girlfriend’s career — I guess the writers needed some excuse for that jaunty “One Thousand and One Nights” Bollywood number that played out in Karen’s mind as she tried to escape the tension. Katharine McPhee looked amazing in her Indian attire, and yowza she certainly can dance. (Side note: Funniest line of the week goes to Ivy Lynn, commenting on Karen taking Dev and Rebecca to dinner together: “Wow. That’s bold, since you’re dating both of them.”)

In other news…

* Ivy conspired with Ellis (gross!) to trick gullible, gullible Karen into leaving rehearsal early, and would up getting to deliver a sublime rendition of “Second Hand White Baby Grand” in her rival’s absence. Eileen was moved to tears, the company was moved to slackjawed awe, and Rebecca was moved to try to pick off another potential rival from the collection of Marilyn’s “shadow voices”: “Derek? A suggestion? I think Marilyn should sing that song!” I don’t care how underhanded it all was — and honestly, Karen, do you trust just any text that lands in your inbox — because Megan Hilty pretty much needs to sing in every episode. Thank you and goodnight.

* Julia and Frank’s son Leo went missing for a few days, but it turns out he was just hiding out on his best friend’s bedroom floor. (Oh Smash writers, couldn’t you have kept the kid out of the picture till he went off to college?) At least the subplot allowed Julia a chance to hurl another barn directly in Ellis’ face. “Oh great. Now I have to take messages about my broken marriage from him?” And while I don’t object to a Julia-Frank reconcilliation, you’ve got to admit she’s a lot more fun (and funny) in her repartee with gay bestie Tom, no?

* Eileen took Nick to some kind of boring high-art production, and ran into her estranged hubby in the process. Jerry’s bimbo had one of the night’s best lines — “Hello, Mrs. Rand. I mean, hello.” — but the whole run-in made Eileen realize she’d traded up, and so she traded in her own bed for Nick’s, if I’m not being too subtle. You get it, Eileen!

What did you think of this week’s Smash? Are you digging the Rebecca dynamic? And how do you think it’ll all play out in the end? Sound off below, and for all my TV recaps, follow me on Twitter @MichaelSlezakTV!

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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  1. Caygri says:

    I hope the Marylin it’s Karen..Ivy I hate her…and I think Derek and Karen falll in love..and Dev leave NY for job.

  2. Colleen says:

    Did they cut the moment from last weeks previews the “call an ambulance she can’t breathe?”

    • Julie says:

      I was wondering that too…or maybe it’s still coming next week? I kept waiting for her to drink a smoothie laced with peanuts.

    • Lisa says:

      i wondered the same thing!!! they showed it in previews then it just didn’t happen!! i am sure it has to do with the peanut allergy that had been mentioned a million and 1 times!!!

      • Robin says:

        Ah yes but who will lace her smoothie with peanuts? Karen – no way she doesn’t have it in her…Ivy – definitely possibility especially if Rebecca gets her claws into Derek…The other suspect would be Ellis – I think he’s capable of anything….but I don’t know that he’d have a motive to do that to Rebecca…but course maybe he doesn’t really need one.

    • Tiffany says:

      This. I figured that when Ivy asked Ellis to help her, she was going to get Ellis to put a bit of peanut into the smoothie prompting that scene that played over and over in the previews. I missed a few minutes of the episode but saw the part where they all ran out of the studio so I knew we got tossed a curve ball with that preview. Also from the previews — Did we see Rebecca tell Derek to fire Karen? I didn’t see that part either.

      I loved the Bollywood number if only for the fact that because of his character, it’s the only way that Dev can sing – fantasy numbers. Having all the rest of the cast show up in it, with parts of their story lines that Karen knows nothing about on display, was kind of stupid.

    • Smigglesby says:

      that’s what i was just thinking. I watched celeb apprentice today and saw ads for “tomorrows” Smash and was weirded out

    • John says:

      Someone else past pointed out that the previews say “Coming up on SMASH,” not “Next week on SMASH.”

      • susela says:

        Yes, last week’s “coming up…” also showed Rebecca saying ot Derek, “Just get rid of Karen,” which also didn’t happen last night. I think it’s a sneaky way t give coming attractions, myself.

  3. Beth t says:

    I must have rewatched “One Thousand and One Nights” three or four times last night before I hit the sack. I have saved this episode on my DVR just to watch again – LOVED that number! (Fun to see Dev dance and sing). And when Ellis steals the jewelry from the casket Nick showed Eileen I about fell off the couch laughing. :D :D

    • Beth t says:

      I meant to add – In the restaurant I’m afraid I would have reacted to Rebecca jsut as Dev did, so that didn’t really seem like an excuse to set up the musical number – rather, the number seemed forced as a “response” to the exchange.
      All in all a lot of this episode didn’t set so well with me… While I thought Megan Hilty sounded just wonderful on “Second Hand White Baby Grand”, I was back to disliking her character for the trick she played on Karen. (But yeah – Karen – you actually didn’t think to fact-check that text message from…whose phone was that, anyway?) And Karen running around with Rebecca when she apparently is trying to work things out with Dev…
      Still love the show, though. :)

      • jenna says:

        this episode really confused me, I didn’t see the point in the whole bollywood number and I agree it seemed out of place in the scene

      • dan says:

        The text from Ellis to Karen was sent from some woman’s phone–she was just sitting outside the rehearsal hall when Ellis asked to use her phone. Was she supposed to be somebody that we recognized? Why would Karen read a text from an unknown person and just accept it to be true (ie: it wasn’t from Tom or Derek or from Linda the stage manager)? Very strange. Also, if the Bollywood scene was supposed to take place in Karen’s head then why were there shots of Julia/Frank/Leo and Tom/Sam and Nick/Eileen? Karen really doesn’t know anything about these people’s personal so why would she imagine Frank, Leo, and Nick? The scene was very intricate and well done (although extremely cheesy), but made no sense in the plot of this show…which I guess shouldn’t be surprising with the inconsistencies constantly on display!

        • julia says:

          I believe the woman he borrowed the phone from was Rebecca’s other assistant, who was shown in one of the opening scenes. Doesn’t make it credible, but that’s who I think it was. Yeah, the inconsistencies are ridiculous. No show bible? No script supervisor? Egads.

    • marta says:

      The Bollywood number was FANTASTIC! If you listen to the lyrics, it’s kind of funny

  4. JAO says:

    I enjoyed SMAS again… it’s fun … love the music and the conniving and back-stabbing. I agree, though, Karen wouldn’t just trust a text. That’s way beyond naive. You always check with the Stage Manage whether you may leave or not.

  5. Lisa (@KittyKay3) says:

    I am enjoying Eileen feeling beautiful, perhaps for the first time in her life. It is a story that has not been told. This is the first scene with Eileen/Jerry that she didn’t throw a drink in his face. That shows growth!

    • dan says:

      When Nick complimented Elileen on her new hair style I busted out laughing. I’ve never found Angelica Huston to be particularly attractive and her normal hairstyle isn’t flattering (IMO), but the curlier style definitely looked better and I was glad Nick mentioned it. By the way, my wife was sitting within earshot of the tv (she doesn’t watch this show) and after hearing Nick talk she said “how can you be watching All My Children, it was cancelled” because she recognized Thorstyn Kaye’s voice (he played Zach on AMC for many years).

      • Rick says:

        There is no way a bartender that probably has women half his age throwing themselves at him is going to date an old washed up 60+ broad like Angelica Huston. However she is a fine actress.

  6. Siria says:

    I’m not sure if I liked this episode although it certainly made me laugh. Funniest line of the episode: Rebecca Duvall claiming that Karen whats-her-name has a great rock voice. It really made me laugh out loud. Come on, she absolutely butchered ‘Run’ and in her performance, it certainly wasn’t a rock song any more. And that Bollywood number??? So bad it was actually good.
    There were however also good parts. First of all, Ivy Lynn should sing every single number. Her ‘Second Hand White Baby Grand’ was simply spectacular. Even after watching it 10 times it still brings me to tears. Just incredible.
    I also enjoyed the scene between Tom and Derek. Also, Derek being his moody, angry asshole director self is so much fun.

    • AlexKessie says:

      I think she sang Leona Lewis’ version of Snow Patrols ‘rock’ song. Massive hit here in the UK.

    • marta says:

      Run sung by Karen was was simply spectacular!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! And 1001 Nights also spectacular!!!!

    • Leigh says:

      I loved Run and thought she sounded great. You must be one of those Team Ivy people who don’t want to admit that Katharine Mcphee is also a talented singer. It’s really getting old. They are both great singers.

    • Eli says:

      I’m a huge Snow Patrol fan, but McPhee did a great job with “Run”. Actually my favorite non-musical performance of the season.

  7. sarah says:

    The One thousand and One nights is my favorite number of the season!
    I have wanted Karen to be Marilyn from the start and I really hope she ends up as Marilyn! I used to like Dev but now not so much and next week he cheats on Karen with RJ and then looks like he feels guilty and proposes to Karen. If he actually DOES cheat and it is not just preview trickery then I want her to dump him and I think I may like the idea of her and Derek together, but we will have to see.
    Rebecca and Ivy know that Karen is good and should be Marilyn and so they both want to sabotage her in their own way. I really hope Karen gets the last laugh and the role of Marilyn!
    I really like Nick!

  8. SMASH! says:

    I LOVED LOVED LOVED “Run” by Karen/Katharine. The Bollywood number was beautiful and fun. I liked “A Thousand and One Nights” much more once Karen started singing.

  9. memo says:

    Is there any way they could give the role to both Karen and Ivy??
    They are both so good :(
    Loved Karen in 1001 nights, who knew Katharine McPhee could dance like that!

    • gregk says:

      I started watching because I love Katharine (even more now that she dances so well and looks so hot) but now also have begun to like Megan too. Both do need to keep performing as the main focus of the show, and please do away with the time wasting subplots and quick cuts between scenes.

    • Snsetblaze says:

      I think that’s what’s going to happen. Karen gets the good, unaffected, Marilyn on her way up. Ivy plays the sexy superstar Marilyn.

  10. Christine L says:

    I loved the Bollywood number. Katharine McPhee was terrific and finally Dev was interesting. However it did feel like someone hit the reset button on the Karen/Dev relationship. There was no reference to the problems they’ve been having as a couple. I don’t like how naive Karen’s character is. If she’s been in New York long enough to have a relationship with Dev that’s progressed to moving in together, then she’s been there long enough to be more clued in. Also why wasn’t Derek annoyed that his star and stand-in have been running around till all hours when they have a early morning call to rehearse? That can’t be good for their voices.

  11. dan says:

    I think this was the best episode yet. However, the writers have hit us over the head with Rebecca’s allergy to peanuts, and the fact that snake Ellis is mixing her smoothies. I’m guessing that the season finale will end with him poisoning her, leaving us with the cliffhanger of who will go on as Marilyn, Ivy or Karen.

  12. Renee says:

    I love Ivy Lynn!

    My one real objection to last couple of eps is please please stop with the Derek visions of a cheesy Karen/Marilyn. I feel like we need a Wayne’s World ‘didly dip didly dip’ dissolve for those ridiculous things. And what is the message? That Derek is feeling Karen should be Marilyn? (Because having her in a bad wig and simpering baby talk is like a junior high version of Some Like It Hot). I don’t object to the idea – Karen has the Norma Jean thing over Ivy and it’s always been clear Derek’s frustrated that he has to choose between Karen’s fresh, sense of wonder and Ivy’s more sensual take, knowing quality. The vaselined lens ‘visions’ are less convincing and powerful than some realworld scene along the lines of Karen’s first audition that blew them all away. And c’mon Derek really isn’t a ‘Imma havin a daydream now’ kind of guy. Seriously. Stop.

    Please don’t let Angelica Huston go anywhere. Right now some of my favorite moments are when Eileen, Derek, Tom and Julia fling themselves into her office and stare at each other like ‘what are we going to do??

    Leo has outstayed his welcome and, oh god, he cried again. This is the least interesting teenager alive. How about a semester at sea? Or four.

  13. Carla says:

    “Second Hand White Baby Grand” is my fav Smash song so far. Ivy was amazing! I just hate that the writers had to come up with that “Oh, let’s have her conspire with Ellis” plot to make it happen. Just give Ivy the lead role and stuff like that won’t be necessary anymore! Also, I’m very confused about the Derek-Karen thing. His visions are disturbing and annoying, and I didn’t like at all how he was praising her over the moon at the beginning of the episode. Ivy is the better Marilyn (IMHO), and also YOUR GIRLFRIEND, idiot. He better not end up cheating on her with Karen. Although from the promos for next week, it looks like he’s kissing Rebecca first- WTH?! Then again, you can’t trust the promos too much these days…
    While I thought the “Leo’s missing” plot was boring, I really liked how Tom reacted to the news. He’s such a good friend, I love him.
    And I liked the Bollywood number more than I thought I would- best part was that sideways 3 second cameo of Ellis. Hilarious.

  14. Carla says:

    Also, I love Snow Patrol’s “Run” and I was not very happy with Karen doing it.

  15. Danielle H says:

    Not a bad episode. I thought the Bollywood number was really weird though.. and I’m not a Bollywood hater! Dev just looked uncomfortable. The writers on this show really know how to write annoying characters, because I just want to punch Rebecca in the face along with of course Ellis.
    BTW, loving Eileen’s relationship w/ Nick. God he’s sexy!

    • diane says:

      Bollywood number was fun and it would have been better if Karen and dDev had any chemistry. Which they absolutely and totally don`t. I just don`t get it why such sparkless couple deserved an epic musical number about their non-descript relationship. Karen and Derek are what chemistry is all about. Simply mesmerizing. And I`m not even a shipper but credit where it`s due. Give them much more scenes together but hold on a romance. Karen should be single for a while, long while.

  16. Tracy says:

    I really liked parts of the episode but others fell flat for me. I can’t stand scheming, self centered, phony Ivy with that pathetic little smirk of hers. And I’ve never been a Uma Thurman fan – she really gets on my nerves. I want Derek to bust Ivy for what she did to Karen because in sending her home early Ivy basically sent Derek’s understudy home which wasn’t fair to him – He’s got enough problems with Rebecca. I loved the number Dev and Karen did but I loved Karen singing “Run” even more! It was so good! Kat McPhee is a much better singer than Megan Hilty and I’d love to see Karen play Marilyn!

  17. Lisa says:

    Karen was great! She should sing every song! Can’t wait for she and Derek to get together!

  18. Jane says:

    I loved the Bollywood number. Yes it was forced but it was also fantastic. I am glad they are writing original music beyond the Marilyn show. Their original songs are amazing and I think they should be used exclusively.

  19. valeriakementari says:

    when oh when will Ellis die a horrible death???

  20. rubytu says:

    I think the funniest line was when Rebecca said, “I think Marilyn should sing that”
    I was expecting something from her, but not that! too funny

  21. Tahoe Mike says:

    The Bollywood number was like a bad acid trip, all I could think was “Don’t eat the brown vindaloo!” I was really thinking W.T. Ever Lovin’ F is this, but when Ellis stole the necklace I cracked up.
    Speaking of Ellis, I want to see him sold to Joffery (Game of Thrones) for use as a prostitute.

  22. Addie says:

    Ivy has the look (Karen is way to skinny)and mind for Marlyin(her drug use?) If she gets the lead, than Karen can get BGP to sing and they can do they whole thing where she’s Marlyin’s mind person, or the more innocent Marlyin.

  23. Cathy says:

    I just want to thank the Casting department for bringing Thorsten Kaye back to my TV (and primetime, to boot)!

  24. sana' says:

    guys, haven’t you heard, Ellis is still going to be around for season 2 and he will be even more vile and sinister. so, those who pray for his early demise will be greatly disappointed.

    the bollywood number was OK i guess, but did they really have to include the other characters in it?

    Tom continues to be great , he deserves more screen time, preferebly with Julia or Sam.

  25. Jeff says:

    The character of Tom is fast becoming my favorite ! Ivy’s rendition of Baby Grand was beyond awesome. And Karen needs to stop being so naive. I agree, WHY would you trust a text like that? Gimme a break. She deserves to lose out the understudy to Ivy if she’s that gullible.

  26. TV Watcher says:

    Another solid episode from Smash. I could have used Tom singing again but hey, what are you going to do? The Bollywood number was so forced into the episode but I didn’t even care cause I kind of loved it.

    I find Uma Thurman grating and haven’t liked her since Pulp Fiction and its beyond ridiculous that they are continuing with the ruse that a woman that can’t sing is the lead in a major B’way Musical BUT you need some villain and tension beyond Ivy and Karen going at it.

    Re Karen and the text; if Julia didn’t show up meaning you had off, why wouldn’t your bestie Rebecca have gotten the same message? Didn’t Karen find it weird that no one else was leaving early? Do they not have logic in Iowa?

  27. Catharine says:

    Namely, a wry, unflinching look at the entitlement that can come with celebrity, and the way so many other folks feed into it.

  28. RLS says:

    There’s a reason they have a new showrunner for Smash. This show is such a great idea and has SUCH potential but I think they shot too many episodes before figuring out what works and what doesn’t. And right now there is just too much that doesn’t. It is still worth watching, because if they tighten it up I think it could have a breakout second season.

  29. Marion Slaton says:

    I think Karen is going to smarten up and put the peanuts in the Smoothie. I loved Ivy’s song. I think that Karen is underestimated. She is ambitious and has the talent to match. I love Derek’s secret crush on her. In the end, he will make the call, and he wants Karen bad. He wants a hit and he knows that Karen is a star. They all do. I’m going to hate to see it end, and can hardly wait for season two!

  30. Peace Maker says:

    I really hope that they figure out how to keep the good aspects of this show and lose the bad. It’s so rare to have a musical show like this that knows how to film music/dance numbers, and they do a great job with that.

  31. Donna says:

    I have to say that I like both Karen and Ivy but think the role should go to Ivy with Karen as understudy. Both young ladies are very good and I’m very impressed with Katherine McPhee. It is evident she’s worked hard after AI — where I was not/not a fan of hers Also, Uma T’s character is too funny!!

  32. john mover says:

    I like Tom, Ivy, not so much. Hope the series keeps going.

  33. John Taylor says:

    Ivy can be real mean at times but there is really something about her that gets to me. Meanwhile, Karen was really moving in this episode. So excited for what’s in store for Season 2!