Image credit: Will Hart/NBC
VIENNA'S STILL WAITING Here's to what might have been, guys.
There's just one problem with this idea: Karen is far, far away from the downtown theater, on a quest to find anguished Jimmy and prevent him from doing something stupid -- a mission, by the way, that's basically always futile. After searching high and low, she finally discovers him sitting on a pier overlooking the East River. (It was, apparently, his and Kyle's "place.") They have the talk that characters always have in situations like this -- "He's dead because of me!" "It was an accident!" "But HE WAS COMING TO TALK TO ME, KAREN. GOD, WHY ARE YOU SUCH AN IDIOT? I REFUSE TO BE SYMPATHETIC EVEN IN GRIEF" -- and Karen ends it by telling Jimmy to come to the theater for Kyle's tribute show.
That show, incidentally, seems to be the hottest ticket in town. How did all of these people know to show up even though tonight's Hit List was supposed to be canceled? Simple: Scott never officially called off the show, then engineered the whole concert thing as a way to create buzz. Julia is so horrified by his exploitative actions that she ends their relationship. A couple things: One, they have this conversation in front of Scott's Rent poster, and yet it and Larson still go completely unmentioned. And two -- could Scott's true identity be Benjamin Coffin III?
Derek pumps up the cast by telling them that a lot of people want to hear what they have to say, and what Kyle had to say. Too bad none of his words made it into the show, then! In any case, the concert begins, and we soon transition to the first time Amanda/Karen sings "Broadway Here I Come" -- a song I did not realize was about suicide until this very moment. (P.S. This full synopsis of Hit List explains what actually happens in this damn show more clearly than anybody on Smash ever has. I didn't realize that the VMAs figured into it so prominently!)
But just after she begins the song, Karen is interrupted by Jimmy, who walks right onstage and tells her that he wants to perform "La Vie Boheme" -- I mean, "The Love I Meant to Say" -- for real, rather than in front of a music stand. So some stagehands quickly set the scene, and wouldn't you know it, this song just happens to be the perfect way for him to express the way he feels about Kyle. Snark aside, it's very sweet, and Jimmy fighting tears while singing lines like "Sorry, that's the word I want to sing to you/The other word is stay" is probably Jeremy Jordan's best work on the show thus far.
After the show's done, there's just one thing left to do: Head over to the Lyceum Theatre, where Tom is having the marquee dimmed as a tribute to Kyle. The mood is somber and mournful... but it won't stay that way, because good old Jerry has showed up just to tell Eileen that he's going to personally steal all of Bombshell's presumptive Tonys by bringing Hit List to Broadway after all. So much for death bringing the theater community together!
NEXT: Tonight's real loser: Sam