Since the very beginning of NBC’s Broadway-loving Smash, Marilyn Monroe wannabes Ivy (Megan Hilty) and Karen (Katharine McPhee) have both been hoping, praying and conniving to be the star of the new musical about the blonde icon. In the tenth episode, entitled “Understudy,” Karen finally gets her chance, sort of. While newly cast leading lady Rebecca Duvall (Uma Thurman) is stuck saving the world, Karen gets to be the understudy in the renamed show Bombshell. Meanwhile, Tom (Christian Borle) gets closer to love, Julia (Debra Messing) gets farther away from it, and Eileen (Anjelica Huston) finally hits her romantic mark. And, of course, it wouldn’t be an episode of Smash if someone didn’t get punched. (Thanks, Dev!) Read on for more highlights in this week’s Smash-back.
Most Obvious Reason to Visit Cuba: We haven't even seen her yet, but movie star Rebecca Duvall, who landed the role of Marilyn, is already a diva. When her royal highness fails to show up for her first table read of Bombshell, we quickly find out that the super famous are not like you and me. What's her excuse for being days late to the project? She's "on a goodwill mission with Sean Penn" in Cuba, of course. (Duh!) Perhaps Rebecca could have used some of that goodwill and let the producers or anyone know she was running late? Just sayin'.
Best Way for Theater Geeks to Bond: You might think things are getting serious between cutie Republican lawyer John (Neal Bledsoe) and Tom. The two were eating breakfast and reading The New York Times together, which in this reality could signal wedding bells. Not so fast! It seems Ivy’s gay bestie Sam (Leslie Odom Jr.) is having a strange effect on Tom. For example, Tom is suddenly reading the sports page. Wha?? But how did we really know that Sam and Tom were hitting it off? When they agreed that the best reason to see a crappy Broadway show is because it's crappy. Nothing entertains theater folks like a "train wreck." Sorry, John. This relationship is adjourned.
Saddest Grilling: As if making her son a grilled cheese sandwich for dinner weren’t sad enough, Julia uses her “quality” time with Leo (Emory Cohen) to gather info on hubby Frank (Brian d’Arcy James) who has gone AWOL after that pesky cheating incident. When Leo refuses to answer her questions or arrange a family reunion, Julia does what any parent would do: She invades her son's privacy, steals his phone and calls Frank begging him to meet because she’ll just "die" if he won't talk to her. Why can't she put this drama into her work?
Worst Place to Hide a Wad of Cash: Eileen’s investors have been driving her up a wall. So what if she doesn’t have a finished script and her big-name star isn't showing up for her Broadway musical? Who needs millionaires when you have a hot bartender serving you an endless supply of martinis and innuendo? Not only does Nick (Thorsten Caye) keep Eileen from getting thirsty, he also offers her a huge wad of cash from behind his Lower East Side dive bar. Dear Nick, perhaps you have a mattress, sock drawer or bank account for your pile of cash? Just an idea.
Fastest Way to Burn a Bridge: Manners disappear on this episode of Smash. It’s been 10 years since Julia and Tom started their writing partnership and to celebrate their anniversary, the duo attend a high school production of their first show, Three on a Match. As Tom presents Julia with a signed apron (worst anniversary gift ever? Then again the girl does need to learn to make more than just a grilled cheese sandwich), Julia storms off, offending the class and teacher (played by Broadway vet Kristine Nielsen). Meanwhile, Eileen decides to go with the funding of questionable rocker Randy Cobra (two-time Tony nominee Terrence Mann). Cobra (what a name!) literally burns the contracts of real-life Broadway producers Robyn Goodman and Manny Azenberg. Let's hope Eileen's newfound confidence doesn't go up in flames.