Smash Recap: Up and Down and Over and Out

Smash - Season 2 Megan Hilty Katharine McPheeOn this week’s Smash, Bombshell finally opened (and the critics weighed in!), Ivy Lynn and Karen made crucial relationship decisions (and found time for unexpected/delightful bonding!), and speaking of (ahem) “bonding,” a naughty Tom got his freak on with…Kyle?!

Oh yes, Kyle, The Character Formerly Known as Gay Wallpaper (TM pending), got himself a stylish  haircut, a newly discovered set of cojones and apparently the ability to quietly seduce everybody’s favorite neophyte Broadway director! Color me shock’ed!

Without a doubt, though, this was Smash‘s very best episode this season — even with Leo back in the mix! — so let’s get to the facts, shall we?

THE REVIEWS ARE IN FOR BOMBSHELL! | Yes, the Marilyn musical finally opened, and the critics all throught it was fantastic. Well, except for The New York Times, which liked it with the exception of Tom’s direction. (Waah waah waaaaahhh.) All we got to see was Ivy Lynn’s rendition of “Don’t Forget Me,” which she slayed (even if it’s maybe my least-favorite tune in Bombshell.) Eileen, buoyed by the mostly positive response, decided to ignore Agnes’ cautious advice and double down on advertising — in the hopes of sweeping the Tonys and ultimately realizing her dreams of running longer than The Lion King.

IVY LYNN GETS CLOSURE…ON MULTIPLE FRONTS | Ivy Lynn and her mom made peace — and her mom even started a new clip book to keep track of her little girl’s big career. (Aww.) More surprisingly, she made peace with KAREN. Yep, the two former rivals had a really sweet sit-down in the ladies’ room at the Bombshell afterparty where Karen admitted to some pangs of jealousy watching Ivy Lynn as Marilyn, and Ivy Lynn’s patented brand of Season 1 spunk/bitchery percolated to the surface. “The magical Karen Cartwright? You do some tiny show at the Fringe Festival and suddenly it’s the can’t-miss event of the season!” Really, though, it was nice to see a sense of sisterhood between the rising starlets, capped by a killer duet to “That’s Life.” Even more fascinating, though, was Ivy Lynn discovering Derek was still pursuing Karen just a few weeks back — around the same time their own “casual/maybe not casual” dalliance resumed. And just like that, Ivy Lynn shut down Derek without explanation — “I’ll let you know if I need you again” — and chose single-lady status over being the toussled Brit’s Plan B. Good for her! [Side note: My fave part of "That's Life" came when Ivy Lynn delivered the line "my friends just wouldn't buy it" as Bobby and Jessica whooped their approval. Oh Bobby and Jessica, I'll miss you most of all!]

KAREN PUTS HER ROMANCE WITH JIMMY ON ICE | Karen decided that even though attending the Bombshell premiere would be like going to her ex’s wedding, she’d gather up her pride, get gussied up, and accept Eileen’s offer of free tickets for the entire Hit List team. Ana, meanwhile, discovered that Adam dude skulking around the stage door wasn’t just an old friend of Jimmy’s, but more specifically, was Jimmy’s estranged brother. (Can we all give Ana the side-eye for immediately inviting the dude out for drinks? I mean, yeah, I’m sure she was dying for intel, but on the other hand, Jimmy did write and is the current costar in the show that’s responsible for her big break, right?) Anyhow, despite the roomies’ current cold war, Ana spilled said intel to Karen — “nothing he says checks out!” — just as Jimmy told Kyle he was going to come clean to Karen.

Right before the Bombshell premiere, Jimmy got his chance: He was an abused kid who got turned out on the streets with his brother. “I dealt drugs. I used drugs. I watched people OD and I didn’t call 911.” Kyle saved him that life, though, and became his true brother, while Adam means nothing to him. Naturally, though, Ana brought Adam to the afterparty. Kyle got up in the dealer’s grill. Then Jimmy jumped in and fists flew — until Eileen dumped a bucket of ice over the brothers’ heads and kicked them out. (It wasn’t a tossed martini, but a solid alternative that didn’t waste any useful alcohol, I suppose.) Karen, showing good sense, told Jimmy it was clear he wasn’t willing to change — even if his intentions were good. “You scare me, Jimmy,” she said, walking away. Jimmy pretty much jumped up and down with his strained toddler face and whined, “You asked to get to know me and you did, and now you’re walking away of course!” Well, people do walk away when you generally act like a douche, Jimmy. But hey — Derek’s free, Karen’s free…does this mean they’ll finally hook up? Okay, Derek’s not 100 percent free — seeing how he hooked up with the gorgeous, charismatic pilates instructor (Mara Davi) who accused him of sexual harrassment and caught the eye of TVLine staffers earlier in the season. But that just looks like a dalliance, no? (Also: Derek and Scott want to bring Hit List to Broadway — setting up a possible showdown with Bombshell — and between Karen and Ivy Lynn — at the Tonys? Ooooooh.)

Smash Season 2 Christian BorleTOM AND JULIA’S “MARRIAGE” BEGINS TO CRUMBLE? | Tom got a tentative offer to direct a Broadway revival of City of Angels, just as Julia began to negotiate the Broadway rights to The Great Gatsby (the novel she and Tom had always dreamed of turning into a musical). Tempers flared when Julia found out via Rosie O’Donnell (¡!) about Tom’s potential new gig, and Tom was forced to reveal that for the time being, directing — and not writing with his longtime partner — was his passion. Julia, meanwhile, got the idea from Scott (who I always want to refer to as Eric) to try writing the musical on her own — and bringing it to Manhattan Theater Project. Then they made out! (Sidebar: If Julia really is Tom’s bestie, she should respect his desire to try new things in his career and be cool about it. I mean, he forgave her dramaturg secrets in a matter of 24 hours, no?) Oh, and then a drunken Tom, all alone at the end of the Bombshell party, spied the suddenly kinda hot Kyle, and was all. “Hey, wanna get out of here?” And Kyle was all, “I should really go see if Jimmy is okay, but I don’t want to.” Wink-wink, and presumably, baw-chicka-wah-wah! I have to say: I kind of approve!

What did you think of this week’s Smash? Did the Tom-Kyle hookup surprise you? Are you glad to see Karen and Ivy Lynn pressing pause on their unhealthy romantic relationships? Should Karen be thanking Ana instead of giving her the cold shoulder? And how about the Ivy Lynn-Karen duet? Sound off below!

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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157 Comments
  1. Ava says:

    McPhee is no Hilty. ‘Nuff said except I do wish it hadn’t been canceled.

  2. “Oh Bobby and Jessica, I’ll miss you most of all!”
    Yes I will. As much as I love Megan Hilty, and most of the rest of the cast, these two are my favorites and will be sadly missed when SMASH is no more.

  3. angie says:

    loved loved LOVED this episode!! i’ll miss smash like crazy if they cancel it :(

  4. Raquel C. says:

    Tonight was great. The show is finally on the right track. Hope NBC will stick with it. They need to support the show, writers, etc with really good quality material. NBC needs a hit show so why not give Smash every resource they have available to make that happen. I felt tonight like I was at a live Broadway show performance and that feeling doesn’t come around very often. Please NBC don’t give up on Smash!

  5. Brad says:

    Last nights episode was the show I originally fell in love with. Sooo happy and Loved “That’s Life.” I mean….

  6. Opal50 says:

    I will miss Smash, but not McPhee. To me, she is totally unbelievable as a Broadway star. Megan Hilty is fantastic, and all the “backup” players are great. I really enjoyed “That’s Life”, even with McPhee.

  7. TrickyGreyArea says:

    I was cheering a bit for Ivy when she turned Derek down, but simultaneously really bummed. Glad to see her stand up for herself, but I really enjoy the chemistry between Megan Hilty and Jack Davenport and will miss it a lot. I loved his obnoxiously loud cheering for Ivy at the curtain call, and that moment of them in bed this episode was really sweet. I think he’s a lot more relaxed and ‘himself’ with Ivy than he could ever be with Karen, and I believe his character would have reached that conclusion during the series if the show had run its course. I shudder to think where things will be left off at the end of the season.

  8. JoMarch says:

    What’s with the picture of Karen that accompanies this article. She looks as if she has Nicki Minaj butt.

  9. Jared says:

    I still cannot believe that “Don’t Forget Me” is Michael Slezak’s least favorite song of Bombshell?!?!?! It’s one of the best ones! And not taking anything away from Ivy, but Karen’s is the better of the two.

    • Ann says:

      I really like the song as well and it really embodies how Marilyn felt. In one of her last interviews before she died, she told the interviewer that she hopes people don’t forget her…which I’m assuming is how this song came around.

  10. A says:

    I don’t know why anyone is even rooting for Derek to be with Karen or Ivy. To be honest he is such a creep so much of the time that I sometimes find him more annoying than Jimmy. He’s always barking at people and angry. I mean really, people are rooting for a Karen/Derek relationship? The guy gets turned down by Karen, uses Ivy for sex, and then sleeps with some random woman who slandered him. He needs to be with himself for a little while.
    I definitely thought this was one of the best episodes of the season. Karen and Ivy singing together was amazing and the highlight of the episode for me. It brought me back to season one. Overall the entire episode just brought to light how much potential Smash has.

  11. pfitzdc says:

    Do we really need to argue incessantly about who sings certan songs “better”? Both McPhee and Hilty are outstanding. You might prefer one’s tone or styling over the other, but to assert that one is significantly better than the other is just ignorant and childish. Enough already!

  12. Bobbie says:

    It was a wonderful episode. Megan Hilty singing not one, but two songs! I loved it.
    The duet was great, and I actually warmed to Karen this episode, but when singing That’s Life her body movements and facial expressions were like a spastic monkey.
    I like Ivy & Derek together, as equals, two people who understand each other, though one wonders if Derek will ever wake up and smell the coffee.

  13. Tana lynn says:

    Last nights show was amazing and focused on the main characters that matter! there is song much potential for a comeback if you stick to the plot and fade Jimmy out! bringing guest appearances like Liza, and God forbid NOT KathyLee Gifford….they are dreadful distractions that will bring the show down. please do not cancel the show and keep the plot on track with the main characters! I beg you….not Kathy Lee !!! I hope it was a bad rumor!

  14. bellnl says:

    Now that “Ready for Love” has been canceled, can we keep Smash??

  15. proudofMegan says:

    WOW that was outstanding! Can’t stop re-watching the awazing Megan Hilty singing. Also I love the sets – please tell me what the theater’s name is, and the setting for the afterparty? I loved the BombShell band members in drag, and the Bombshell water bottles….

  16. smashy says:

    I’d be happy if Smash was nothing more than Karen and Ivy dueting every week. That’s Life was fantastic :)

    Jimmy sort of became more likeable this episode too when he was asking Karen out on the date and then opening up to her. I wish he had been more like that earlier on in the season, because he’s almost unredeemable now. Shame. For the first time I was actually finding myself rooting for Karen and Jimmy to work out, and then of course they break up …. AGAIN!!

    As for Derek, I now hope neither Karen or Ivy end up in a relationship with him. He is the worst. I loved Ivy brushing him off.

  17. maria says:

    my guess, booth Ivy and Karen would forget Dereck and Jimmy, Tom is heading to city of angels, and in the finale, ivy would discover she is pregnant with dereck’s baby, so karen returns to bombshell to

  18. A straight guy says:

    Love the message this show delivers…
    ALL MEN ARE DOGS!

    Erstwhile Directors..
    Derek… Consumate Pro… with a prior rep as a dog….always a consistent dog on show… but always talented and focused on the work. being a dog does not interfere with work.

    Tom…. Prior rep as a dog… (hecan’t remeber any of the chorus boy names…) Tossed the one positive relationship with Sam for ambition to be director when (what he brings is broadway history not inovation to directing)..

    Producers
    Jerry .. was a dog… and the reason for Eileen to split.

    The young pups.
    Jimmy is a dog of a differerent breed.

    Kyle is learning to be a dog.

    Matches my experience of working with theatre people…. Community theatre on up.

  19. Danielle H. says:

    Great ep. Can they really pull off a race to the emmys in like 5 or 6 episodes though? Cause that’s all that’s left.

  20. Melinda Granieri says:

    I missed Ellis too and now I deleted the episode from my DVR. Please recap.
    Thanks. Any news on cancellation?? Hope springs eternal.

  21. sarah says:

    This was a fantastic episode! It makes me sad that the show is all but cancelled. I really want to see the Great Gatsby on broadway.
    However I do not like they way the are writing Jimmy’s character. I think the show runners and writers new NBC was not going to renew it so they had to move the storylines along super fast.
    They are setting it up for Derek and Karen to get together, with Ivy finding out that she was once again Derek’s second choice that he went to her because Karen turned him down, she has all but ended the affair. Which leaves it open for Karen and Derek to be together!
    I loved seeing Leo,
    I also think Kyle and Tom make a great couple.

  22. Louis says:

    Smash has not yet been officially cancelled and with word that NBC has moved the season (series?) finale to a Sunday night makes me think there’s still a chance it could be renewed.

  23. mar sha says:

    When and where did Donna McKechnie appear in this episode? She was listed in the opening credits.

  24. smash fan122 says:

    don’t let go was amazing! theatrical interpt dancing passion amazing they finally found their stride!

  25. Joseph says:

    Really Derek? Sleep with someone who accused you for sexual assault. Makes perfect sense.

  26. Stamanah says:

    THIS.