Can a Hollywood headliner hack it on the Great White Way? That's the question on this week's episode of NBC’s Broadway drama, Smash, entitled “The Movie Star.” Actress extraordinaire Rebecca Duvall (Uma Thurman) arrives for rehearsals and quickly establishes that she might have star power but that doesn't mean her singing is electric. Meanwhile, with things coming to a head between Tom (Christian Borle) and Sam (Leslie Odom Jr.), Julia (Debra Messing) and Frank (Brian d’Arcy James) and Eileen (Anjelica Huston) and Nick (Thorsten Kaye), it seems like every relationship is on the fritz. Highlights?
Best Reason to Love Sam: Chorus boy Sam Strickland (Leslie Odom Jr.) is the kind of guy we’d like to befriend. Not only does he smash the usual gay TV stereotypes as a Knicks-loving, God-fearing, down-to-earth guy, he also knows how to put his current crush Tom in his place. When the two discuss the questionable casting of Rebecca based on her age, Tom defends her stating that Marilyn was 36 when she died, and Rebecca is “36.. ish.” Sam snaps back, “Ish being the operative word!” Tom quickly gives a catty “Gurrrrrl! Oh, no she didn’t,” response to which Sam deadpans, "Please don’t ever do that again.” Yes, Tom. Please, please don’t ever do that again. Ever. Thank you, Sam. Let's hang out.
Worst Introduction: Now that the Bombshell team has landed a huge movie star to headline their production, it should be smooth sailing. Not so fast. Rebecca Duvall flounces into the rehearsal room and attempts to sing the show's signature song "Let Me Be Your Star." Ouch. The faces of the stunned ensemble say it all. But don't count this blonde out. After all, Uma Thurman flaunted her stuff in the movie of The Producers. You never know.
Strangest Hallucination: Oh, Derek, you ornery British director. Are you popping Ivy's hallucinogens? Derek has a weird reaction to chatting with Karen (Katharine McPhee). He pictures her in full Marilyn drag singing Amy Winehouse's "Our Day Will Come." Pull it together, Derek! Your vision (and visions) of this show is too weird. Actually, this might be the second strangest hallucination after Christian Borle's Tom says his favorite Sondheim musical is The Frogs. Wha??
Most Prepared Producer: Eileen is one tough lady. Not only did this uptown gal move to the Manhattan’s Lower East Side, she packs a weapon. During a rehearsal, Rebecca's drunken ex-boyfriend Colin bursts into the room demanding to know why she hasn’t called him. But before anyone can call 911, Eileen threatens the perp with pepper spray. A producer and bodyguard in one? Eileen, we’d sign up for your musical any day.
Worst Technology Flub: After Eileen gives her assistant Ellis (Jaime Cepero) some stranger than usual advice, "Keep your enemies closer; celebrities even closer, and their assistants even closer yet," Ellis tries to get close to Rebecca’s lackey Randall. His plan goes awry, however, when Randall calls him on the phone to confirm their date and Ellis makes a huge call-waiting error. Thinking he is talking to his girlfriend, Ellis says, "Sorry, I have to suck up to that loser.” That's no way to get closer.