Image credit: Will Hart/NBC
VIENNA'S STILL WAITING Here's to what might have been, guys.
The music dies as soon as Jimmy climbs up Karen's fire escape -- shivering as though he's about to ask her to light his candle -- pleads with her to take him back, and is promptly interrupted by Derek calling for Karen from another room. That's right: The director and his muse have finally spent the night together, though we'll soon learn that "nothing happened" between them. ("Nothing" = some wine-fueled makeouts in the episode's cold open. Guess Iowa doesn't subscribe to the base system.)
Thought this would be the most devastating thing Jimmy has to deal with today? Think again! Tom receives a call from Kyle's phone, but the musical theater elf himself isn't on the other line -- instead, it's the police, informing the composer that his young booty call has ascended to that malt shop in the sky.
News travels quickly, ensuring that Jimmy hears about it in the worst way possible. (Ana, bitchily: "God, you still don't know?) Once it's spread, the Smashers to whom Kyle was closest each remember their fallen friend via color-saturated flashbacks that appear periodically throughout the episode. Julia recalls the day she and Kyle discussed how to make Amanda's death really resonate in Hit List. Tom reminisces about singing Billy Joel's "Vienna" to Kyle after one of their romantic rendezvous. Karen reflects on how Kyle encouraged her to try and "fix" Jimmy. And Jimmy, naturally, thinks about one of the many times that Kyle cheered him on, because a) Jimmy is a selfish jerk and b) Kyle was always more of an encouragement machine/generic dreamer than a fully realized character.
Back in the present -- there's no day but today! -- everyone's trying to figure out how to properly honor Kyle. Eileen briefly takes a break from Tony strategizing, though she tells Julia that there's no way they'll convince Broadway's theater owners to dim their marquees for an Off-Broadway writer with one show to his name. Derek declares that they are absolutely canceling that night's performance, and Scott (with dollar signs practically visible in his eyes) reluctantly agrees.
But sure enough, when Scott and Julia arrive back at the New York Manhattan Theater Workshop that night, they find a giant crowd of people waiting to see Hit List. In light of this, the team decides to perform Hit List after all, albeit as a stripped-down concert rather than the whole aerial acrobatics/iPad art/sea anemone dance-filled shebang. Man, I can't stop thinking about how weird Jesse L. Martin and Daphne Rubin-Vega must have felt about this whole plot thread.
NEXT: Viva La Vie Kyle