Smash recap: A Star Isn't Born

Bombshell's team worked hard to find a celebrity to headline their show. Too bad they ended up with one who can't sing
Ep. 11 | Aired Apr 16, 2012

A METHOD TO HER MADNESS See Uma-as-Rebecca-as-Marilyn in an acting seminar. Hall of mirrooooors!

Will Hart/NBC

Faithful recap readers will be pleased to know that our very own Terrible Ellis -- Earl of Eavesdropping, Sultan of Smug, Grand Poobah of "Oh God, why is he still on this show??" -- topped EW's recent list of TV's most annoying characters. Happily, tonight, we had the pleasure of watching  one of TE's plans finally blow up in his face. And after hearing Ellis call him a "loser," it seems likely that Rebecca Duvall's manager Randall might be ready to take some revenge on our least favorite sentient sweater vest.

But beyond that brief, shining moment, "The Movie Star" was a bit of a dud. The episode was heavy on relationship drama and light on musical theater; maybe that's why it felt like overall, nothing much really happened. Add in another hallucinatory Derek dream sequence and storylines for both Dev and Leo, and you get an hour that was more snoozeworthy than scintillating. But hey, how about that peek at Casual Friday 2?!

Everyone at Bombshell is pumped to begin rehearsing with the great Rebecca Duvall. Karen's celebrating by wearing lip gloss, a luxurious cosmetic embellishment unknown in her native Iowa. (Folk there are humble and honest; plus, they aren't allowed to wear makeup unless it's made of corn.) Tom and Sam are so excited that they're flirting even harder than usual, finally prompting an exhausted Julia to go ahead and plan a date for them. Ha!

But when Rebecca swans in and starts performing "Let Me Be Your Star" to the cast and crew, they simultaneously have a nasty revelation: The lady can't sing. Like, at all. Her breathy, talky performance is so bad that when Tom, Julia, Eileen, and Derek meet to discuss it, the lyricist suggests that their best bet at this point may be "group suicide." Julia, you're killing it so far tonight! If only I didn't know it'd be downhill from here. Anyway, Derek makes a bold suggestion: Bring Ivy back to the show. Though as Ivy's boyfriend, he's clearly got ulterior motives, the team doesn't disagree with his idea. By the next day, Ivy's back in rehearsals as a member of the chorus ensemble, apparently.

Unfortunately for Karen, this means that her big understudy break is over before it begins. Derek calls Iowa over to deliver the bad news -- but when he speaks to her, he has another vision of Karilyn MonCartwright. And this time, she's sitting on his lap while cooing "Our Day Will Come." Derek, come on -- you've got to lay off the Prednisone! The takeaway: Derek's subconscious is still convinced that Karen is the Once and Future Marilyn, and also he definitely wants to scratch her Seven Year Itch, if you know what I'm saying. (If not: I'm making a reference to sexual intercourse.)

But as Derek's ardor burns hotter, Dev's seems to be cooling. He still hasn't told Karen that Other Guy got the press secretary job; before Karen can learn the truth, she has to schlep all the way down to City Hall. That, alone, is a break-up-able offense.

NEXT: Frank is still mad; Leo is still sullen. Can we move on now?

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