Last night’s episode of Smash featured The Workshop to give us a taste of what’s to come for the beloved Marilyn: The Musical.So, Ivy and Co. took to the stage to perform for prospective investors and the end result: it tasted bittersweet. So lets dig in!
The episode started with Julia and Michael running around like school kids with a crush. Plus a lot more sexual tension. And a lot more kissing. The moment however is ruined when Tom finds them. Note to Julia and Michael: If you’re going to have a secret affair, do it in secret. Oh, and take a better look around because Ellis was also lurking in the shadows and in true weasel form ran and told Eileen what he saw.
When Julia and Michael return to the final rehearsal before the workshop, they are interrupted by Michael’s wife and son crashing the party. This is ultimately reality check number 82 for Julia causing her to leave. She gets home and finds Leo smoking pot in his room. Seems like lying runs in the family. But Leo not one to let this all come down on him, drops a not so subtle hint that he knows what’s going on between his mom and Michael.
So, the next day Julia yet again ends her affair. Seriously, broken records have nothing on this woman. As if that wasn’t enough, Derek wants to fix some last minute dialogue and has Julia step in as Marilyn for a read through with Michael. Their dialogue ends up being so genuine and perfect for Joe and Marilyn’s situation that Derek adds it to the script. Well, at least it was good for something.
While all this drama is going on, Karen met with Bobby Reskin and recorded a demo for him, which he absolutely loved. And her. When she got to rehearsal she told her friends what went down and got a text from Bobby asking her to come back. Just as she’s about to leave Ivy and her infamous mother Lee Conroy (guest star Bernadette Peters) walk in. After some begging, Lee ends up performing and stealing the spot light from what should be Ivy’s day.
It’s clear during her mother’s performance that this is all too familiar territory for Ivy. Between the drugs she’s on for her voice and the eclipse that is her mother, it’s safe to say Ivy is a little rattled before the workshop. Derek tells her she’s wonderful in this show, but that kind of gets overshadowed by the fact that there’s a CAA casting agent there.
The Workshop goes on with a few kinks. There’s no AC, Ivy had a few little stumbles, and Karen had a big one at the end of Ivy’s biggest number. During intermission Derek tells Ivy to pull it together — not something you want to say to your star who is already hanging on by a thread, right?
In the audience, Julia’s husband Frank is watching in awe at the work his wife did and being all affectionate and supportive. Also looking on admirably? Lee at her daughter, the bartender Eileen invited to watch, and the guy that Tom is seeing. The workshop gets pretty bad reviews causing Derek to throw out the idea of regrouping and repacking the show. He thinks it should be Ivy who goes and Tom puts Michael’s name on the chopping block. The only problem is Michael was amazing in the workshop, but he’s doing it for Julia. Eileen, who knew of the affair thanks to Ellis, asks Julia where she stands on the issue. Julia agrees he should be fired. A revelation that comes in handy when she returns home and is talking to Leo who is clearly having a hard time holding in her secret. She tells him they’re firing Michael and he breaks down crying in a moment that completely breaks your heart.
Another conversation happening after the workshop is between Ivy and her mother. Lee tells Ivy that everything about the musical was wonderful. She just doesn’t mention Ivy’s performance. At all. This leads to Ivy calling her mother out as she draws on the parallels between her and Marilyn’s life. Lee thinks that’s a good thing because Marilyn was a legend. Ivy sees it as a tragedy because they both had uninvolved and non-supportive mothers. In the end, her mother says that she is proud of her, it’s just not the life she would’ve choose for Ivy. She knows how hard the business can be but leaves her daughter with these parting words: She’s a star. But the way things are looking, it’s a star that’s burning out.
What did you guys think? Is Ivy headed for a meltdown? Is the affair really over? Will Karen get signed?