Burn baby burn! In the ninth episode of Smash, entitled “Hell On Earth," NBC’s musical theater-loving drama the characters start to feel the heat as relationships reach a boiling point. Julia (Debra Messing) pens her own swan song, Ivy (Megan Hilty) gets high at Heaven on Earth, two-time Tony winner Norbert Leo Butz simmers onstage, Michael Riedel sniffs around Eileen (Anjelica Huston) and Ellis gets burned. Ready for highlights, lowlights and fistfights? Read on.
Weirdest Infidelity Clue: Sheet music. Or should we say cheat music (sorry, had to). After finding a song that Julia wrote about her affair with Michael Swift (Will Chase), hubby Frank has an "a-ha" moment (because a song is never just a song on Smash). Apparently, you can crumble an 18-year marriage by sight-reading a sappy song snatched from your wife's bedside table. Who knew? Once Frank figures out the obvious, he hunts down Michael and punches his lights out. Hey, Julia: May we suggest you write your apology in a showtune form and leave it lying around for Frank to find?
Most High-Tech Orange Juice Commercial: Karen (Katharine McPhee) books her very first national commercial for "Morning Right" orange juice. Ivy, who was up for the gig, is green with envy, but she shouldn't be. The wacky ad features Karen in a green screen catsuit (there is no end to McPhee's humiliation). It's a Smash-off for this episode's worst costume when Ivy later sashays around in her Heaven on Earth angel wings. But we'll get to that.
Most Appropriate Putdown: Last week we learned that Ellis (Jaime Cepero) is sick of answering phones and wants to be a producer, and this week the little “chihuahua” (Derek’s word) is hell-bent on making that happen. Derek wants a star for Marilyn, and Ellis masterminds a plan to get one. When he thinks he's holding a trump card, the little weasel (our word) demands that Eileen give him a co-producing credit. “That’s cheeky” Eileen smirks. Needless to say, Ellis is still answering phones for Eileen... for now.
Reality Check: Once again Smash tapped real-life theater people for casting choices. In addition to Butz (showing off why he's an Astaire Award winner in blond wig and white suit) kicking Ivy off the stage, look for New York Post columnist Michael Riedel up to no good, acclaimed director Doug Hughes taking a meeting and a host of real stage actors (Newsies' Alex Wong, for example) doing their thing in Heaven on Earth.
Biggest Enabler: Dressed up in her insane angel costume, Ivy is up to some not-so-innocent behavior backstage at Heaven on Earth. Tripping on all that Klonopin, Lorazepam and Ambien she’s been popping, she falls on stage, interrupting stage fave Butz's big number and flees the theater. Karen, who is randomly there, tries to get Ivy back on track, but Ivy beelines it to a liquor store, where she begs Karen for 20 bucks to buy a bottle. That's just enough fuel for Ivy’s meltdown to ignite an intoxicated rendition of “Cheers (Drink to That)” in Times Square. Finally, a duet from McPhee and Hilty. We’ll drink to that!