‘Smash’: ‘The Producers’ ends with ‘Hit List’ in trouble and a cliffhanger that leaves Kyle’s life in the balance

Jimmy and Karen in "Hit List."

Jimmy and Karen in “Hit List.”

Goodbye, love.

In the one of the series’ Hit List-centered episodes, “The Producers” brought about the end of some of season two’s central partnerships and relationships as Hit List begins its performances at the Manhattan Theatre Workshop.

Hit List has set its sights on Broadway and several producers are invited to see the show. In an attempt to check out Bombshell’s potential competition, Eileen attends the performance with Bombshell’s press representative, Agnes (guest star Daphne Rubin-Vega).

However, the performance goes worse than planned – Jimmy has returned to his drug habit and forgets most of his blocking for the show. After he forgets to catch Karen during her death scene, Derek decides that enough is enough. Jimmy is let go from the show, and his newly cast understudy, Sam Strickland, will be taking his place.

Amidst the train wreck of a performance, we’re shown two new Hit List numbers, “Don’t Let Me Know” and “The Goodbye Song.” “Don’t Let Me Know” is a Karen-centered number with choreography in the same vein as this season’s “I Heard Your Voice in a Dream.” There’s quite a bit of interpretative dancing going on around the still high Jimmy, who wanders through the dancers as though lost. Just to assert once more that Hit List is a musical rooted firmly in the present, a few iPads are thrown in for good measure and create the show’s poster onstage during the number.

In case you haven’t heard this before, Hit List is destined to be Broadway’s new rock musical, and gives us a triumphant death scene not unlike Rent’s “Finale B.” “The Goodbye Song,” originally by Joe Iconis, shows Karen’s character going into the afterlife, surrounded by Jimmy, Ana and friends who jump and dance around her like members of the Spring Awakening ensemble. The show ends, but the producers are less than impressed.

It looks like Hit List will not be making the move to Broadway this season.

Elsewhere, the end for Tom and Julia’s ever-enduring partnership is near. Julia tells Tom that she has decided to take the rights to The Great Gatsby for herself, and that she’ll be turning it into play with boyfriend Scott as the director. However, Tom wants in on the project after his opportunity for another directing offer fell through.

In the midst of their argument, the pair decides to do a question and answer session at Table 46. After bickering about their collaboration techniques, Julia shares with the audience that the dynamic duo is through. She’ll continue working on The Great Gatsby with Scott, and Tom will not be involved in the project.

After his drug-infused performance of Hit List, Jimmy breaks off his own partnership with his writing partner, Kyle. He tells everyone who is in the bar with them that Kyle not only stabbed Jimmy in the back by allowing Derek to fire him but has also been cheating on his boyfriend with Tom. Ana forces Jimmy to leave, and Kyle goes home to move Jimmy’s things out of their apartment.

Kyle then sings his first solo number of the season, a cover of Jeff Buckley’s “The Last Goodbye.” The number is one of the season’s finest, as it shows off Andy Mientus’ vocal chops as well as his phenomenal acting skills. Kyle is heartbroken by Jimmy’s betrayal and at himself for not being able to save Jimmy from destroying his image, and you can see it clearly in his face.

It’s then that we’re given one of Smash’s biggest plot twists – after dropping off Jimmy’s things at Adam’s place, Kyle steps out in front of an oncoming car. We see Kyle turn toward the headlights, but the episode cuts out after that. Kyle can’t be dead yet, Smash – he’s one of this season’s best additions! Plus, we’re finally seeing Kyle’s character develop from being Jimmy’s timid shadow to a strong and confident librettist.

Is Kyle going to die? Will Hit List find an investor and knock Bombshell out of the spotlight? Let me know what you think in the comments!

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4 Responses

  1. I would HATE IT if Kyle died, but it doesn’t look promising for him–just met the proud parents, sang “LAST goodbye”. There’s a Jonathan Larson vibe going on.

  2. I agree, it looked like a “memorial” board with Kyles pictures and some comment about doing it for Kyle. So either in coma or dead.

  3. From the ‘next episode’ scenes it seems like Kyle died – but editing is a powerful thing.