‘Smash’: Karen drifts between ‘Bombshell’ and ‘Hit List’, Ivy tries to save ‘Liaisons’

Karen Cartwright, played by Katharine McPhee, and Jimmy Collins, played by Jeremy Jordan, in "The Fringe."

Karen Cartwright, played by Katharine McPhee, and Jimmy Collins, played by Jeremy Jordan, in “The Fringe.”

What could be one of the most important episodes for the original Bombshell was overshadowed by this season’s new musicals, Liaisons and Hit List.

In a not-so-surprising turn of events, Bombshell bid farewell to its director, Derek Wills, with a goodbye monologue almost as hilariously awful as the one given by Frank, Julia’s ex-husband, earlier this season. (Frank’s farewell telling his wife and various others what they have done wrong. Derek’s goodbyes are no different, with his insults directed at the entire creative team of Bombshell.) Derek delivers the worst of his parting blows to long-time enemy Tom and makes it clear that he is moving on to bigger and better things.

…and that thing is Jimmy and Kyle’s show Hit List which started workshop readings in the basement of another theater.

Jimmy and Kyle have taken their brand-new, revamped version of Hit List to the Winter Fringe festival without a director.

They also soon find themselves without a star, after Jerry makes tells Karen during a Bombshell rehearsal that her contract states that she can’t participate in both shows. In a panic, Jimmy and Kyle decide to throw in one of their friends for the first night of their two-night stand at the Fringe.

Unfortunately, the audience hated her so much that the show is now “60 minutes closer to death.”

The next night, Karen miraculously gets out of Bombshell rehearsals early (thanks to Derek’s parting scene) and is able to perform in the show. She sings the pop ballad “Heart-Shaped Wreckage” with a reluctant Jimmy and the audience loses their minds.

Admittedly, the song is great. Karen’s voice is strong here, and it’s a wonder why she hasn’t been singing pop songs ever since the beginning.

This week’s episode also spends an ungodly amount of time focusing on Liaisons, the show Ivy is headlining. As we’re told multiple times throughout the episode, the show is a wreck (worse than the musical version of Urban Cowboy, even), thanks to the world’s worst comedian, Terry Falls played by the very funny Sean Hayes.

Ivy, who has been pushed out of the spotlight by Terry, is clearly upset about what has happened to Liaisons. She repeatedly drops hints to Terry about just how atrocious his acting is before blatantly telling him, “You’re really bad.” Inspired by her honesty, Terry decides that he will do his best to help Liaisons succeed.

This week’s episode also features several dozen name droppings for Ellis, the nemesis of every character in season one.

In a chance encounter with Ellis’ ex outside of the Fringe festival, Karen hears about Ellis’ side deal with Jerry to remove Eileen from Bombshell. And, finally doing something right, Karen tells Eileen.

Eileen discovers that Ellis had supplied Jerry with all of his information about Bombshell’s finances and even had a hand in Nick’s (Eileen’s ex-boyfriend) arrest. Eileen promises Tom and Julia that she’ll get the show back.

Because she’s quick to jump back into the control seat, Eileen replaces Derek with Tom as director after he successfully staged a revamped version of the season one number “Never Give All the Heart” earlier in the episode.

Seeing as it’s been Tom who has stuck with the show’s original vision throughout all of Bombshell’s personal and professional pitfalls, it looks like he might make a decent director after all.

Will Karen stay with Hit List for good? Will Tom make a good director? Will Eileen finally take back Bombshell from Jerry? Let us know in comments!



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