While we’re under the impression the creative team has yet to reach a final version of its Marilyn musical, the opening night of Bombshell is rapidly approaching. (Yay?) With Rebecca Duvall (Uma Thurman) in town for at least another week, last night’s episode touched on all the ways celebrities go about garnering “publicity” for new projects. But instead of giving us more of a reason to tune into the show’s final weeks, Smash went and threw us a curve ball by doing a Bollywood number— we laughed, we cried, we may never be the same. Join in as Samantha Martin and I attempt to count the times Karen has been duped by those more “seasoned,” as well as the number of (good) reasons Angsty Leo had for running away from this mess.
Emily: In yet another example of her Iowa-bred naivete, Karen fails to recognize that GIANT MOVIE STAR Rebecca Duvall is inviting her along solely to size up her own competition/potentially poison her in her sleep.
Samantha: As a star that the director hasn’t slept with, it’s her responsibility to see what “Derek’s muse” is all about.
Emily: By way of a few wild nights on the NYC club scene (anywhere you’ve been, Samantha?) while paparazzi cameras eat it all up. Congrats, girl! You’ll be an unnamed friend in People‘s Star Tracks in no time.
Samantha: HA! That said, I would die happy being Uma Thurman’s “Unnamed Friend” in People. Heck, even Star…
Emily: But Rebecca’s generosity extends beyond free tequila shots and a car service home. She was pushing for Karen to get certain solos (in new song “Second Hand White Baby Grand,” to be sung by Marilyn’s “shadows”) and gave her a bunch of hand-me-downs. Do. Not. Trust.
Samantha: Kissing Karen’s cheek = so Black Swan-y.
Emily: If Ivy’s not going to fully go there…
Samantha: Some movie star advice: “Boyfriends can be a problem on the way up.” How did Karen manage to not “That’s what she said” that?! In a related story, Katherine McPhee’s agent just deleted “plays a convincing drunk” from the Special Skills section on her resume.
Emily: In some strange form of self-torture, Rebecca brings Karen to a some club (or death chamber, depending on your interior decorating tastes) where Cooper is playing. (“They’re fantastic, I love them!” If you say so, poor, anonymous, Manhattan denizen.)
Samantha: “Derek says his dream version of you is really talented!” Yeah, the dream version of me can fly sometimes, but I don’t want to go testing that in real time.
Emily: At least this is a step up from bar mitzvahs.
Samantha: A Snow Patrol song? Karen’s got it!
Emily: And doesn’t even need to take off her jacket (which goes with the band’s name?).
Samantha: She’s a band name chameleon. If Jack White shows up, she’ll magically have on into a white striped shirt. If Garbage shows up, well, you get it.
Emily: I was a little disturbed by how Rebecca was slowly getting the look of Ursula in her eyes. She clearly wants to steal Karen’s voice—or My Fair Lady her. Eileen will sign off on this, yes?
Samantha: I’m surprised Rebecca wanted to hear singing at all. I was under the impression that anything intruding upon dialogue was not the cup of tea of this serious musical theater (and beret-wearing) actress.
Emily: I didn’t understand why people in the audience looked like they’d never seen
real, live talent before. Isn’t this New York? (Are the headliners that bad?) Also, Rebecca doesn’t seem like the type to hang out at Applebee’s karaoke nights.
Samantha: Maybe they’re standing up for this band who always has Snow Patrol at the ready. In any key.
Emily: “You are not an understudy, you are a star!” And with that, a passive aggressive enemy even worse than Ivy is born.
Samantha: With fancier snacks.
Emily: So Karen’s parents are worried this “publicity” means their baby girl is a lesbian?
Samantha: To be fair, she WAS being kissed on the cheek. I’m pretty sure that’s what white picket fence Iowan parents think constitutes an intense same-sex relationship.
Emily: To prove to the paparazzi and her parents back at home that Dev still exists (by name only), Karen invites him to third wheel it on another movie star date with Rebecca.
Samantha: Who pronounces “curry” openly lampooning an Indian accent in an Indian restaurant.
Emily: Bring on the casual racism!
Samantha: Rebecca and Dev started fighting over Karen after 20 minutes (I’m guessing; entrees had been served). How so-insane-it’s-awesome would it be if Rebecca were actually falling in love with Karen?
Emily: Not as insane as the fantasy Karen has to escape it all. Now I love a sizable amount of camp, but this Bollywood number. I can’t.
Samantha: Was NOBODY on the staff of Smash questioning this number?
Emily: It was cheesy, never-ending and not at all how I wanted to first witness Dev “perform.”
Samantha: “Hey, that movie Slumdog Millionaire won a bunch of Oscars! Let’s do that!”
Emily: Not only was it just a weird reflection of this potential three-way, but Julia and her rays of sunshine showed up, as well as Tom (rubbing a magic lamp) and Dev’s sidepiece from the Times, flirting with some “forbidden fruit.” Another magical play at subtlety.
Samantha: I feel like the “morning after” performing an impromptu Bollywood dance with your boyfriend is more awkward than any other kind of morning after experience.
Emily: BUT if they can get through this, they can get through anything. And if McPhee does this, surely she’ll be able to do whatever indie movie she’s craving next.
Samantha: Meanwhile, in another household that couldn’t be further separated from reality…
Emily: I’m in full support of the working mother, and definitely the mother as the breadwinner, but wouldn’t Julia be sending texts to check in on Leo or something?
Samantha: It doesn’t exactly seem plausible that both she and Frank would LOSE him, or let him run away under their watch. But then again he does drugs.
Emily: Julia describes him as “serious” and “tenderhearted” to the cops. That will help a lot when they’re trolling Port Authority.
Samantha: What if she also added the truth: kinda boring, annoyingly emo and technically unlovable?
Emily: “Running away is about the most dangerous thing a kid can do in New York. Trouble at home?” Educators and city employees are not going to let Julia and Frank get away with having a child when they were clearly unfit to procreate.
Samantha: Have you seen Baby’s Day Out, though? File a missing persons report, check the airports—the glamorous Newark airport, for sure.
Emily: Shame on Smash for downplaying the seriousness of runaways. Where is Free Willy when you need it?
Samantha: I also don’t like that this show is downplaying the severity of peanut allergies. Where is Rebecca’s Epi pen? (The universal conflict of this episode surrounds the leading lady’s dietary habits, just so we’re clear.)
Emily: I’m surprised Ivy didn’t use that to her advantage in rehearsal. Her “Julia has the flu, you’re off” trick on Karen felt a little like a rejected scene from Bride Wars. I thought Rihanna brought these two together?
Samantha: Her smirk after “Where is Karen Cartwright?!” was priceless, though.
Emily: As was her singing “Second Hand White Baby Grand”
Samantha: Rebecca: Oh Shit, Ivy can sing too AND she’s a more convincing Marilyn than me or Karen? This is her cue to mentally reach for the peanuts.
Emily: “Second hand white baby grand still has something to give.” This is the song that’s representative of Ivy’s life, you guys! It’s also the song that Tom and Sam (and Eileen and Nick) are going to bang to as pan across all the couples! And linger on Ellis because….?
Samantha: This song is pretty, but we need to remind ourselves its being sung by a f#$%ng shadow. (Shadow?)
Emily: As we pan out, Julia’s family was laughing, clearly having forgotten all about how they once forgot about Leo…y’know, their son?
Samantha: Remember when your affair nearly ruined our family and our son disappeared? HILARIOUS.
Emily: Maybe this final scene was a way of suggesting Rebecca will pull out of the show when she sees how everyone loves Ivy? EILEEN CRIED. But then again that may be the typical post-coital reaction from someone of menopausal age.
Samantha Or about Free Willy, like I am.
Emily: “Hold me…”
Samantha: “Like the river Jordan…”
Emily: “Derek? Suggestion: I think Marilyn should sing that song.” Does Rebecca know how to give a note that doesn’t have to do with herself?
Samantha: I mean, realistically, it should be sung by Marilyn.
Emily: How long is Rebecca going to be around? I’ve already lost my bet and owe you one kale smoothie.
Samantha: Until Karen’s homophobic parents have her removed?
Did that Bollywood number leave you with a bad taste in your moth, too? Should Karen be wary of both Ivy and Rebecca? Let us know your thoughts on Smash in the comments below.